With the launch on Oasis of the Seas quickly approaching, there has been a lot of interest in what is being done at the ship’s home port in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to be ready for her arrival. This week, I have invited Craig Milan, Senior Vice President of Land Operations to give a perspective on the significant expansions that are underway at Port Everglades’ Terminal 18. Craig oversees Guest Port Services and is working closely with the Port Everglades team to make sure everything is ready for the Oasis of the Seas. Thank you Craig.
When the Oasis of the Seas makes her debut later this year, she will be home porting at Port Everglades – Terminal 18. We are very excited at the prospect of our new ship operating from this new home.
Port Everglades will more than triple the size of Terminal 18 in order to accommodate the Oasis of the Seas and her sister ship Allure of the Seas. Terminal 18 will become the largest single-ship cruise terminal in the world. Already the largest of Port Everglades’ 12 terminals with 67,500 square feet of interior space, Terminal 18 will soon cover 240,000 square feet.
The teams at Royal Caribbean International and Port Everglades have been working closely together to ensure that Terminal 18 provides a state-of-the art experience for all cruisers. The goal is for each guest to move from curbside to onboard Oasis of the Seas in no more than 15 minutes, once boarding is underway. Boarding and debarking guests will be processed simultaneously in two different sections of the building to facilitate the transition. The arrival hall for boarding guests encompasses 138,000 square feet on two levels with 90 check-in counters, while the area for debarking guests is 102,000 square feet on two levels. Traffic will run swiftly to and from Terminal 18 as the traffic pattern is separated from that of the other cruise terminals and there are 1,000 new parking spaces within walking distance. We also have partnered with the United States Department of Homeland Security (Customs and Border Protection) to enhance their space within the facility. There will be a total of 22 booths for CBP officers to screen debarking guests.
The interior and exterior of Terminal 18 will be beautifully decorated with deep shades of blue and green to evoke the colors of the ocean. Renowned international artist Michele Oka Doner has been commissioned to create a 3,000 square foot work of art on the atrium floor of the new terminal. The upper level of the terminal will have a substantial seating area. An indoor playground area will entertain children in the unlikely event they are waiting with their families. There is also an inviting seating area for our Suite guests to enjoy prior to boarding.
As part of Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan, an economic impact study projected that an estimated 8,000 jobs will be supported by the fifth year of the 10 year agreement between Broward County and Royal Caribbean to homeport the Oasis-class and other ships at Port Everglades. These jobs are expected to generate over $350 million in personal income and over $30 million in state and local taxes. Additionally, more than 1,400 new construction jobs are anticipated to be created as a result of the Terminal 18 expansion. The cost of the expansion is expected to be close to $75 million and will be covered primarily through the increased number of Royal Caribbean guests who will sail to/from Port Everglades on the new Oasis-class ships.