Port Canaveral forced to make budget adjustments due to continuing suspension of cruises

   December 22, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Port Canaveral Chief Financial Officer Michael Poole warned port commissioners that he would have to readjust the budget of the port, as the cruise industry shutdown was extending longer than anticipated.

Last summer, Poole prepared the port's 2020-2021 budget for the fiscal year that started on October 1, on the assumption that each of 4 cruise companies would have one ship resume sailings from Port Canaveral, Florida in January 2021, and that each line would add a 2nd vessel in April.

However, the assumption proved to be overly optimistic, as lines continue to work to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements for resuming operation.

The industry has been shut down since March because of the pandemic. The major cruise companies serving Port Canaveral FL have canceled their cruises at least through February 2021. Some analysts believe sailings will not resume until April.

At their December meeting, Poole told port commissioners:

"It's a dynamic situation here. The numbers - it's just hard to lock them down."

Poole added he would come back to the commissioners at the January 27 meeting in order to present a midyear budget modification and might have to do another one a few months later, "depending on how things progress with the cruise industry."

In September, port commissioners approved a 2020-2021 budget that projected a loss of USD 37 million when amortization and depreciation costs are included. 

The losses of the port for October, the first month of the 2020-2021 budget year, were US$5.60 million.