MIAMI (Sept. 19, 2019) – Carnival Cruise Line expressed appreciation today to the Miami-Dade County Commission for approving a proposal for a complete renovation and major expansion of Cruise Terminal F at PortMiami that will be capable of supporting the operations of Carnival’s new Excel class ship – clearing the way for the yet-to-be-named sister ship of Mardi Gras to be homeported in Miami when it is delivered in 2022.
“With today’s approval, we will move quickly on a plan to remodel and expand Terminal F so that it will accommodate the most innovative class of ship to join our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown. Everyone is very excited about Miami being home to our next liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship in North America and the sister ship to Mardi Gras, which arrives next August and is generating tremendous enthusiasm. Today’s vote assures that the new ship and terminal expansion will both arrive in time for Carnival’s 50th anniversary in 2022.”
Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise operator in Miami with more year-round ships sailing from PortMiami than any other cruise line. The redesigned Terminal F will allow Carnival to continue to be the leader in the market, accommodating not only its largest and newest class of ship, but also allowing the line to bring its next LNG ship to south Florida. Duffy thanked local officials for their efforts to work cooperatively with the company to reach agreement on scope, timing and design work so that construction can be completed in time for the ship’s late 2022 arrival. Mardi Gras, the first Carnival Excel class ship for the line, will be delivered in August 2020 and be homeported at Port Canaveral after inaugural sailings from Europe and New York.
When completed, Terminal F will be the third cruise terminal at PortMiami dedicated to Carnival operations. The agreement includes a commitment by Carnival to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option of two additional seven-year extensions.
The terminal’s simple and open design by Berenblum Busch Architects of Miami will allow for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival’s largest class of ships, maximizing use of facial recognition technology and other elements to move guests through the embarkation process.
Expansion plans will result in Terminal F being Carnival’s largest terminal in North America. All renovations are set for completion by October 2022 to welcome the Carnival Excel class ship arriving in late 2022.
(Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)