The ceremony was attended by travel agents, elected officials and cruise line executives who toured the modernized cruise terminal and were entertained by grant recipients from Broward’s Cultural Division.
'We continuously re-invest in our facilities to keep pace with the today’s customer-service-driven cruise industry, to provide our guests with a seamless boarding experience,' said Port Everglades chief executive and port director Steven Cernak. 'Our goal when we reconfigured Cruise Terminal 4’s traffic pattern and updated the interior was to make it easier for the cruise lines to process passengers while providing guests with a bright, comfortable experience.'
Passenger moves at Port Everglades are expected to exceed 4m this year.
Broward County’s cruise industry generates more than $1.68bn in total economic activity annually, said Broward County Vice Mayor Martin David Kiar. 'Not only do cruise ships bring jobs and revenue to our port, but they also bring guests who visit our hotels and resorts, and support the small businesses and attractions that are the lifeblood of our economy.'
Richard Biter, assistant secretary for Intermodal Systems Development for the Florida Department of Transportation noted Florida is 'far and away the largest cruise market in the world,' adding that more than 14m revenue passengers a year cruise from Florida ports.
Biter said partnered investments with federal and local government, and cruise industry commitments, the Florida Department of Transportation and the state’s seaports will continue to support and grow Florida’s cruise business.
The Cruise Terminal 4 renovation is the latest manifestation of this partnership, Biter said, adding that 'public infrastructure investments create the foundation to support the private sector investments, and individual expenditures that create economic activity and prosperity for the citizens of Florida.'
Improvements to the 140,000-square-foot Cruise Terminal 4 include moving passenger drop-off from the east side of the terminal to the west side to separate the traffic from neighboring Cruise Terminal 2 and reduce traffic congestion in that area.
Covered loading/drop-off areas were provided as part of the ground transportation area, and 172 surface parking spaces were added adjacent to the area.
The work replaced the single escalator and older elevators with two new escalators and two new elevators for improved passenger flow. Improved lighting and acoustics, and a high-efficiency air conditioning system were installed, along with new restrooms.
The facility now sports 50 check-in counters to meet the demands of larger vessels. An additional new loading bridge was installed, too.
A prominent art piece by South Florida artist Xavier Cortada, 'Pelican Path,' is a four foot by 40 foot ceramic mural that will be used to guide cruisers from the arrival area and onto their ship.
In addition, the terminal’s many energy-efficient improvements will qualify it to become certified through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a first for Port Everglades.
The next project for this terminal will be to lengthen the adjacent slip by 250 feet, for a total 1,150 feet of berth length to accommodate larger cruise ships. The $18m slip extension is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.
Cruise Terminal 4 was designed by Bermello Ajamil & Partners and Moss served as the construction contractor. Broward County's Public Works Department, Seaport Engineering & Construction Division, oversaw the renovations.