Port Everglades received a certificate of occupancy for the new Cruise Terminal 18, two weeks before the official grand opening on November 6 and in time to test the building's functionality before welcoming Royal Caribbean International's 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas.
The City of Hollywood awarded the certificate to the Port on Friday, October 23, which is earlier than anticipated and will give Royal Caribbean the opportunity to test the terminal operationally with the 2,250-passenger Enchantment of the Seas. The Broward County Public Works Department's Seaport Construction Division managed the completion of this $75m project in 22 months.
"Hollywood's building officials are really the unsung heroes of the Terminal 18 project because they provided direction and were proactive and professional in conducting necessary inspections," Port Everglades Director Phil Allen said about the ability of the terminal to open earlier than anticipated.
Enchantment of the Seas will complete full turnarounds at Terminal 18 four times before the Oasis of the Seas begins sailing on its regular year-round Saturday rotation in December. These trial runs with Enchantment of the Seas will give Royal Caribbean's shore staff a chance to become familiar with the terminal and perfect operations before handling a cruise ship with more than twice as many guests.
To accommodate these revolutionary cruise ships, the Port has more than tripled the size of Cruise Terminal 18 from 67,500 square-feet to 240,000 square-feet. The terminal's mega-size will accommodate mega numbers of cruise passengers and their luggage so that both arriving and departing guests can go through processing procedures simultaneously.
Each Oasis-class ship is projected to generate approximately 584,000 passenger movements annually at Port Everglades. The first of the 225,282-gross-registered-ton ships, Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to begin sailing year-round from Port Everglades in December 2009, with the second sister-ship, Allure of the Seas, to begin year-round sailings one year later.