Port commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a feasibility study to be conducted by Bermello Ajamil & Partners.
Disney's CT8 hasn't undergone a significant upgrade since 1998. It is the port's smallest cruise terminal but is highly efficient, according to port CEO Capt. John Murray.
'There is a desire to refresh the facility and bring it up to current standards,' he said.
Disney expected to add another year-round ship
CT10 figures into the plan, Murray added, since Disney has indicated it intends to add another year-round ship at Canaveral so that's more than CT8 can handle.
So far, Disney has not announced the deployment of its new ships.
CT10 is 50% larger than the Disney terminal and there is no need to add square footage, according to Bill Crowe, the port's senior director of facilities, construction and engineering.
A Disney terminal one day, an NCL terminal the next
The challenge with using it for a Disney ship would be how to make it look like a Disney terminal one day and an NCL terminal the next, he said. The use of LED monitors could help with that, Crowe added.
The feasibility study will look at marine improvements, in-filling of a dock, adding a mooring dolphin at CT10 and some work on the CT8 dock. It is expected to be completed in 60 to 90 days.
Disney is building ships that are about 140,000gt, slightly larger than the 130,000gt Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, that currently operate year-round at Canaveral.
The new LNG-powered ships are due for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
'The new ships have features that impact the dock,' Murray said at the commission meeting, without adding further details.
Seatrade Cruise News surmises their LNG design could be a factor.
More parking for Royal Caribbean
In other Canaveral news, commissioners approved more parking for CT1, used by Royal Caribbean International. This would be in preparation for a larger three-/four-day ship, Mariner of the Seas, replacing Enchantment of the Seas next year.
Even now, on some Royal Caribbean sailings 30 to 40 cars have to park outside the garage, Murray said. The additional lot will have space for 252 vehicles and can be used for cargo and other purposes if not needed outside the cruise season.
'This will ensure we have the capacity with a larger ship coming in on the three-/four-day cycle,' Murray said.
According to a study, half of Canaveral's cruise passengers drive to the port. Of the 50% who drive, 75% park on port premises.
The new parking will have security cameras and lighting, a pay-on-exit system and be ready around the end of 2018, Crowe said.