Short Caribbean cruise capacity is up 9.0 percent this year, according to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
Carnival Cruise Line is the top operator in the short-cruise Caribbean market, with just over 45.3 percent of the market, which is estimated at just under 4.5 million cruise guests at double occupancy, sailing on cruises of four nights or less.
Short cruises are a key market segment for the industry, offering a value-priced entry-level product to first-time passengers sailing from ports in Florida.
Other operators with significant capacity in the short-cruise Caribbean market include Royal Caribbean International, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line.
Bahamas Paradise has the biggest capacity bump in 2019, realizing year-round service from the Grand Classica. The company has two year-round ships that sail from Palm Beach, with the option to stay in the Bahamas between one-night sailings from Palm Beach. Guests can also opt for a two-night cruise round-trip from Palm Beach.
Norwegian Cruise Line has also grown capacity in the short-cruise market significantly, adding the Sun which is homeporting out of Port Canaveral.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean have posted more modest capacity increases year-over-year.
Driving cruise guests and demand in the market was the introduction of Cuba to deployment options, which led to more short cruises offering Havana as the main port of call.
Other moves included Royal Caribbean adding Voyager-class ships, including the Mariner and Navigator of the Seas, into the market with huge refurbishment projects adding new features to both vessels to drive demand for the new-to-cruise. Those ships are now paired with an exciting private island offering in CocoCay.