For Full Story: Cruise&Ferry.net
Article By: Rebecca Gibson
Florida’s Port Everglades expects the multi-million-dollar investments it is making to its terminal and transportation facilities will generate returns that benefit both the cruise industry and its own bottom line.
“Port Everglades’ growth opportunity is in the expansion and rehabilitation of our facilities to support the newer vessels that are already being delivered on the order books,” says Steve Cernak, chief executive and port director at Port Everglades. “We expect that some of those vessels will be homeported in South Florida. To play in that game you need the terminals to handle the latest and greatest guest offerings.”
Some of the improvements will be visible as soon as guests arrive at the port’s entrance, such as new wayfinding signage that combines functionality with art.
Port officials worked with Broward County, Florida’s Cultural Division, to engage an environmental graphic design artist to find interpretative art solutions for directional signage. The result, which will be unveiled in time for the start of the 2018-2019 cruise season, will be colorful Florida environmental images that create an intuitive visual map for port visitors to find their destinations. In addition, the port is improving its outdoor aesthetics by adding art installations at the security entrances and within several highly visible medians and roadside locations.
The port is also working with its cruise line partners and investing in cutting-edge terminal improvements that reflect the new wave of cruise ship technology and tailored guest services.
For example, Carnival Corporation has made a multi-million dollar investment in technology and aesthetics to transform Cruise Terminal 2 into the first, and only, facility in the world specially equipped for its new Ocean Medallion interactive wearable technology for guests. Princess Cruises, one of five Carnival brands operating at the port, began trialing the technology onboard Regal Princess in autumn 2017 and the terminal enhancements were a large part of the guest experience. The retrofitted cruise terminal features a movie theatre and more comfortable pre-boarding areas, transforming guests’ experience as they prepare to depart for their cruise vacation.
Port officials are also working with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to completely expand and remodel Cruise Terminal 25 for the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Edge this November.
Cruise Terminal 22/24, which was used strictly for baggage laydown and customs clearance, has been demolished to make way for a single, supersized Cruise Terminal 25. The US$100 million-plus renovation includes expanding the footprint, adding check-in and waiting areas on the second floor, and significantly improving traffic circulation.
Port Everglades will also welcome two newbuild ships in 2018-2019. The 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge, touted as the ship designed to leave the future behind, will sail from Port Everglades during her inaugural season beginning in mid-November 2018. Long-time Port Everglades customer Holland America Line will introduce its newest Pinnacle Class ship, the 2,650-passenger Nieuw Statendam from 19 December 2018. Her sister ship, Koningsdam also homeports at Port Everglades.
“With the way things are going in this industry, it’s a constant evolution and our series of investments are intended to position ourselves to stay ahead of the curve,” says Cernak.