Royal Caribbean has more than 250 roundtrip Miami cruises to the Caribbean scheduled for 2019, aboard five ships (Mariner, Jewel, Empress, Symphony and Allure of the Seas).
The new terminal will be the turnaround base for these vessels, which represent around a quarter of all cruise ship departures from the city next year.
“We look forward to all the new and exciting developments the opening of Terminal A will bring to our cruise lines, our guests, and the Miami community,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We are proud that our Oasis class vessels, each hosting more than 5,000 guests, will now be able to call on Miami.”
Mariner of the Seas in the background below was the first cruise ship to use the new terminal.
“Terminal A is an important milestone in the growth of the cruise industry in South Florida and underscores our commitment to Miami, where our company was founded almost 50 years ago,” said Richard D. Fain, CEO and Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises, the parent company of Royal Caribbean International.
“We are thrilled to announce the opening of Terminal A at the largest cruise port in the U.S. and would like to thank Royal Caribbean for their continued support of the Miami community,” added Carlos A. Giménez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County.
“With the opening of Terminal A, we are excited to welcome even more visitors to Miami,” he said.
Some 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers embark and disembark cruise ships at PortMiami annually, representing roughly 15 percent of the port’s overall passenger traffic.
However, with the new terminal, Royal Caribbean wants to boost that number to 2-million. Such plans, if carried out, would make PortMiami the largest cruise port in the United States for Royal Caribbean.
Terminal A is LEED certified and has leveraged new technologies to enhance the waiting areas and boarding experience of guests, enabling the 6,000-passenger Oasis-class cruise ships to board passengers at the same speed as a mid-size vessel.
A running complaint regarding the world’s largest cruise ship class is that embarkation and disembarkation takes much longer than on most other large cruise ships. This is largely due to port infrastructure that cannot handle the larger volume of passengers.
The external design of the terminal evokes the points in the brand’s crown and anchor logo when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side.