Symphony Arrives in PortMiami

Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas has arrived in PortMiami.

Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest cruise ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s new Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S., according to a press release.

Symphony of the Seas

“Symphony takes family vacationing to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With her U.S. homecoming this week, Symphony is changing the game for how travellers of all ages vacation on our biggest and boldest adventure yet.”

The Symphony of the Seas will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, and will add visits to the cruise line’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opening May 2019.

Symphony of the Seas

The official naming ceremony for Symphony of the Seas will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, hosted by a Godfamily – actors and avid Royal Caribbean fans Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, along with their toddler son Ocean.

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Record Year for PortMiami

MSC Ship in Miami

PortMiami has announced a record cruise and cargo year.

The port experienced an increase of 5.8 per cent in containerized cargo movements for its 2018 Fiscal Year with a total of 1,084,000 (twenty-foot equivalent units) and an increase of 4.7 per cent in cruise visitors with a total of 5,592,000 passengers during the 12 month period ending September 30, 2018, according to a press release.

On the cruise side, PortMiami officials attribute the growth to expanded business opportunities, according to a statement. n 2018, Royal Caribbean International added sailings to the Empress of the Seas and welcomed the newly renovated Mariner of the Seas.  Oceania Cruises and Disney Cruise Line extended their winter seasons.

The port also welcomed three new cruise lines: Viking Ocean Cruises, Victory Cruise Lines, and Seabourn. Additionally, it welcomed Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic and the new Carnival Horizon.  MSC also introduced its new-build, the MSC Seaside, to the port’s line-up.

“I am proud to say that today PortMiami is a full-service global hub handling some of the largest vessels in the industry,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We’re starting to see the results of more than $1 billion of completed infrastructure and a port team that gets the job done. I would like to thank the entire PortMiami team for their hard work and dedication. The Port’s continued growth would not be possible without them.”

“I want to thank all of PortMiami’s dedicated partners including the cruise and cargo lines, the International Longshoremen’s Associations’ Locals 1416 and 1922, Miami-Dade Police and Fire Departments, the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Miami, U.S. Coast Guard, the Biscayne Bay Pilots among so many others,” said Chairwoman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa. “New facilities, berths and terminals are in the works to accommodate the industry’s new generation of vessels.  The future is only getting brighter at our seaport.”

Carnival Horizon Arrives at PortMiami

Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon’s arrival to PortMiami, its new year-round homeport, was marked today by a fun basketball-themed event featuring the company’s Chief Fun Officer – NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal – along with Miami HEAT legends Alonzo Mourning, Shane Battier and Glen Rice, according to a press release.

The festivities, which took place prior to Carnival Horizon’s inaugural two-day cruise, included the unveiling of a large Choose Fun bumper sticker on the ship’s stern, as well as a flyover from the Carnival AirShip.

During the event, Carnival presented a $25,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital representing funds from an online promotion in which consumers who posted a photo of the AirShip in social media with the hashtag #ChooseFun triggered a donation to the hospital and entered them in a drawing for free cruises and other prizes.

“With its awesome top-deck attractions and a wide variety of al fresco dining experiences, Carnival Horizon is the ideal ship for the Caribbean and this event was a perfect way to celebrate her Miami arrival while benefiting the special children of St. Jude,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “And we’ve taken our Choose Fun tagline to the next level by putting a giant a bumper sticker on our newest ship proclaiming our never-ending commitment to FUN!”

Added O’Neal: “In my role as CFO, I get to tell everyone just how much fun you can have on a Carnival cruise and I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the festivities for the new Carnival Horizon which takes the concept of choosing fun to entirely new level with so much to see and do for guests of all ages.”

Following the two-day cruise, Carnival Horizon kicks off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from PortMiami beginning Sept. 22, 2018.

On its new Miami-based schedule, six-day cruises depart Sundays, calling at Ocho Rios; Grand Cayman; and Cozumel. Two different eight-day itineraries will be offered with departures on Saturdays – one featuring Grand Turk; La Romana (Dominican Republic); Curacao; and Aruba; and the other visiting Grand Turk; San Juan; St. Kitts; and St. Maarten.