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.”

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MSC Cruises chief warns yields could drop amid mass growth

Image result for msc seaview
MSC Seaview

Cruise line yields could fall in the future due to the volume of new ships entering the market in the next decade, according to the boss of MSC Cruises.

A total of 106 ships are expected to launch between 2017-26, including 12 alone from MSC Cruises. Other mainstream cruise brands such as Royal Caribbean International has six ships on its order books and Norwegian Cruise Line has seven. 48 expedition and luxury ships are also planned.

Asked whether occupancy levels were at risk of falling from so much growth, chief executive Gianni Onorato told delegates at the ITT Conference in Sicily: “No, we are not crazy. But in difficult times it can have an impact on yields more than occupancy. So I think this will be more of an issue than occupancy levels.”

Onorato said the slowdown in cruise bookings last year in the UK was due to a “lack of capacity” in 2017 and said he was very “optimistic” about the British market going forward.

He said the biggest challenge facing cruise lines was future proofing ships which are built to last 20 years.

“Knowing what guests want in 2040 when you’re building them now is very difficult to predict so we need to have a flexible mindset and be able to follow guests’ needs (in terms of technology) but at the same time maintain human contact,” Onorato said.

New Features for Mariner of the Seas in Short Cruise Market

Mariner of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International today announced the details of a $90 million refurbishment on the Mariner of the Seas, as she moves into the Caribbean short cruise market and is redeployed from the Asia and China market.

Service starts from Miami with a three- and four-day cruise program in June, with the ship sailing to Nassau and CocoCay.

“At Royal Caribbean, we believe in the constant pursuit of adventure and that every weekend is an opportunity to experience something new and live life to its fullest,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With the new Mariner of the Seas, we invite travellers to weekend like they really mean it and make the most of a quick getaway than they even thought was possible.”

Among the highlights is the Sky Pad, a brand new virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience on the Mariner of the Seas.

Guests will strap in and put on a virtual reality headset, which the company said will ” transport them to another time and planet to bounce over moon craters or compete in intergalactic games. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages, and also can be enjoyed without virtual reality headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky.”

Other additions include The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon, and a glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience in Studio B, where friends and family can team up to play “Battle for Planet Z.”

Mariner will offer Puzzle Break: The Observatorium, a new escape room experience.

The company is also adding the FlowRide surfing simulator to the ship.

New food and beverage options include Jamie’s Italian, Starbucks and Izumi Hibachi & Sushi.