Port Canaveral reopens Cruise Terminal 10 this weekend following a US$35 million expansion and upgrade project which took 6 months to complete.
The renovations include increasing the size of the two-story terminal from 97,048 square feet to 125,824 square feet, enabling the terminal to handle ships carrying as many as 5,500 passengers. Previously, the terminal could handle 3,600 passengers.
"It's a whole different class of ship," said Bill Crowe, Port Canaveral's senior director of facilities, construction and engineering.
The Epic, for example, has a capacity of 4,100, based on double-occupancy of its cabins, but can carry even more passengers, because some cabins can accommodate three or more passengers. In its first seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral that departed last Saturday, for example, the ship carried 4,302 passengers.
The terminal also will be used by the Norwegian Breakaway, which makes port-of-call stops at Port Canaveral and has a double-occupancy capacity of 3,963 passengers.
Among the major projects of the $35.08 million renovation to Cruise Terminal 10 were:
- $25.69 million for terminal renovations, with H.J. High of Orlando as the contractor.
The downstairs area where baggage processing occurs increased from the previous 42,799 square feet to 64,396 square feet.
The upstairs area where passengers check in increased from the previous 54,249 square feet to 61,428 square feet.
- $4.48 million for mobile passenger boarding bridges, with Adelte of Barcelona, Spain, as the contractor.
Crowe said the mobile bridge systems provide more flexibility than the previous "fixed" gangway systems when used for different ships that have different heights and door locations.
- $1.79 million for pier strengthening, with Vortex Marine of Oakland, California, as the contractor.
By using carbon fiber reinforced polymer technology, the design engineer of record CH2M was able to extend the life and structural capacity of the existing pier.
Saturday's debut of the renovated Cruise Terminal 10, along with the addition that day of the Carnival Sunshine to the port lineup, will mark the culmination of a busy month at Port Canaveral.
That included recovery from Hurricane Matthew; the Port Canaveral debuts of the Oasis of the Seas on Nov. 5 and the Norwegian Epic on Nov. 12; community celebrations in Jetty Park and "plaque-and-key exchange" maritime ceremonies aboard the Epic and the Oasis of the Seas; the swearing-in of new Canaveral Port Authority Commissioners Bob Harvey and Micah Loyd on Wednesday; and three community workshops related to the port's master plan.
Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said the Oasis of the Seas — the world's third-largest cruise ship — will have 6,400 passengers on each of its next two sailings from Port Canaveral.
"We've got a big ship with a lot of folks that are interested in sailing here," Murray told port commissioners.
Canaveral Port Authority Vice Chairman Wayne Justice noted during Wednesday's meeting that he was "still glowing from the incredible week" that passed.
In all, 35 cruise ships made inbound and outbound turns during the first 13 days of November. That includes ships that are based at Port Canaveral and those that make port-of-call stops there.
"That, I think, is a record for the port," Murray said. "We've had a very, very exciting three to four weeks here in the port."
Murray said Cruise Terminal 10 was ready for last Saturday's sailing of the Epic. But Norwegian and the company that coordinates its passenger boarding at Port Canaveral preferred using Cruise Terminal 1 for its first sailing, because that terminal was available and the cruise line has used that terminal in the past.
The reopening of Cruse Terminal 10 on Saturday marks the completion of a series of upgrade projects this year that included:
- A $48.38 million renovation project at Cruise Terminal 5 and its parking garage, pier and passenger boarding bridges. That terminal is used mostly by Carnival Cruise Line
- About $2.3 million in work at Cruise Terminal 8, which is used by Disney Cruise Line.
The upgrades help delay the need for Port Canaveral to build a new terminal, which can cost more than $100 million.