Five months after a cruise ship crashed into a mooring in high winds, a Key West pier reopened this week.
The cruise ship port at Mallory Square has been restored, with the first cruise ship pulling in May 5, said Doug Bradshaw, the city’s director of marinas and ports.
“We canceled only five ships,” Bradshaw said. “We were able to relocate 15 ships to the other piers.”
At 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27, the 691-foot-long Silversea Silver Spirit cruise ship was leaving Mallory Square when the winds stopped it from turning around to get under way, Key West City Manager Jim Scholl said.
No injuries were reported and the ship was not significantly damaged.
But the pier was another story.
“We had to do the demolition of the old one and install a new one,” Scholl said. “The city had to pay it. We’ve been working with the cruise line’s insurance people all along. They knew all the plans for the demo and installation. We expect them to pay all of it plus the lost revenue.”
Silversea will have to pay not only for the repairs, which Scholl clocked at between $500,000 and $750,000, but also reimburse the city for passenger fees lost during the five-month-long restoration period. That could be another $50,000, Scholl estimated.
Key West owns the Mallory Square pier while it shares “disembarkation” fees — a per passenger fee the city charges the cruise lines — with the owners of two other ports.
The Navy owns the port at the Outer Mole at the Truman Waterfront, while the Margaritaville Hotel owners lay claim to what is called Pier B.
BY GWEN FILOSA, Miami Herald
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