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Port Everglades gets ready for Oasis of the Seas

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 18 - 2009

Terminal 18 rendering courtesy of the Port EvergladesPort Everglades unveiled plans to give its largest cruise terminal an extreme makeover as it prepares to receive the largest cruise ship in the world.

Port Everglades Director Phillip Allen announced Wednesday at the annual Cruise Shipping Miami Conference in Miami that they will triple the size of Cruise Terminal 18 in time for the arrival of Royal Caribbean International’s 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas.

“There may be bigger terminals that service two ships at the same time, but Terminal 18 is being constructed specifically to handle one giant Oasis class ship at a time. Guests will be treated to the Oasis experience as soon as they enter the terminal,” Allen says.

Terminal 18 was already the largest of Port Everglades’ 12 cruise terminals with 67,500 square feet of interior space. When construction is completed in November 2009, the terminal will have 240 thousand square feet of space on two floors.

In the new Terminal 18, guests will debark and embark through entirely different sections of the building, permitting the simultaneous debarking of guests from the ship while embarking guests are processed and seated inside the terminal waiting to board the ship. The goal is that once the ship is cleared for embarkation, the transition for guests to go from curbside to the ship can be completed in 15 minutes. For those leaving the ship, there will be 22 booths for U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to process guests after their cruise.

The terminal will also be equipped with two new “switch-back” passenger loading bridges which will replace the current telescoping bridges. The “switch-back” bridges will provide cruise ship passengers an easy transition from the terminal to the ship.

Since welcoming its first cruise ship in 1931, Port Everglades has grown to be the third busiest cruise port in the world with more than 3 million passengers expected this year.

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