Carnival Cruise Line ships docked at PortMiami

Carnival Cruise Line has received approval from the Miami-Dade County Commission for a complete renovation and major expansion of PortMiami’s Cruise Terminal F to accommodate new Excel class mega-ships in the years to come.

The cruise line’s first Excel class vessel, Mardi Gras, is slated to be delivered in August 2020 while its yet-to-be-named sister ship will be homeported in Miami when it arrives in late 2022.

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Carnival said that all renovations are scheduled for completion by October 2022, resulting in the cruise line’s largest terminal in North America.

Designed by Berenblum Busch Architects of Miami, the simple and open terminal will maximize the use of facial recognition technology and other elements to move guests quickly through the embarkation process, the cruise line said.

“With today’s approval, we will move quickly on a plan to remodel and expand Terminal F so that it will accommodate the most innovative class of ship to join our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a statement accompanying Thursday’s announcement.

“Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown,” she added. “Everyone is very excited about Miami being home to our next liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship in North America and the sister ship to Mardi Gras, which arrives next August and is generating tremendous enthusiasm.”

“Today’s vote assures that the new ship and terminal expansion will both arrive in time for Carnival’s 50th anniversary in 2022.”

The agreement requires the cruise line to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option of two additional seven-year extensions. Carnival is currently the largest cruise operator in Miami.