Cruise Ships Sailing at 110 Percent Occupancy from Port Canaveral

John Murray

“Cruising is back. We’re very strong. We ran our budget at 100 percent double occupancy … but as a fleet average from Port Canaveral, it’s 110 percent,” said Captain John Murray, CEO of Port Canaveral.

Murray told Cruise Industry News the Florida port would continue growing and there is an opportunity to expand with a new terminal in the next few years.

“Berth spaces are getting very tight in Florida. We have some opportunity to expand and we want to do that in an orderly way,” he said. “We have been very good at maximizing utilization of our six terminals.

“When the Mardi Gras came in, it was the first time Carnival Cruise Line had a flag ship homeported here,” Murray continued. “It raised the bar. Since then Royal Caribbean has been here with the Symphony of the Seas and Norwegian Cruise Line just had the Prima here for the winter season.”

That is in addition to the new Disney Wish and a growing presence from MSC, which has the Seaside replacing the Meraviglia for the summer before the Seashore arrives in the fall.

“They are giving us a lot of new, sophisticated tonnage, which is very attractive for our market.”

Later this year the Allure of the Seas arrives and becomes the first ever Oasis-class ship to offer a three- and four-day program. The port will add another parking lot in time for the Allure’s arrival.

“It’s a crazy drive-in market and we don’t know if it’s the new paradigm in cruising or temporary. Different brands have a higher drive-in component than others. All our parking garages are full. We are looking to add another multi-story parking garage on the north side of the port,” Murray added.

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