In a remarkable testament to the booming cruise industry, PortMiami, fondly referred to as the “Cruise Capital of the World,” is reveling in the celebration of its busiest passenger day ever. The port made history on Sunday, April 9, when it greeted more than 60,000 cruise ship passengers on a single day.
PortMiami has always been the busiest cruise port globally until the port was overtaken by its more northern competitor, Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida.
PortMiami Makes History
PortMiami announced it recorded the busiest day in its existence on April 9, 2023, when a staggering 67,594 cruise ship passengers passed through the multitude of cruise terminals in the port.
The port stated on May 16: “PortMiami, better known as the “Cruise Capital of the World,” is celebrating its busiest passenger day in history. On Sunday, April 9, PortMiami welcomed a record-breaking 67,594 passengers in one day.”
”Thank you to our cruise partners, pilots, law enforcement personnel, security staff, porters, housekeeping team, and all the dedicated port workers for helping us achieve this milestone.
The port has been on a record-breaking streak lately; on February 12, 2023, PortMiami broke another record for most passengers in a day with 58,984. The previous record stemmed from December 9th, 2018, when 55,819 passed through the port on a single day.
PortMiami confirmed to Cruise Hive the cruise ships that were in port for that record-breaking day. Amongst the ships that docked on April 9 are the 5,602-passenger Oasis of the Seas and the 4,290-passenger Explorer of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. From Carnival Cruise Line, the 3,960-passenger Carnival Horizon and the 5,374-passenger Carnival Celebration visited the port.
Other cruise ships that disembarked and embarked passengers on the record-breaking day included the Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady, which has space for 2,770 guests at double occupancy, the MSC Seascape, which has room for 4,540 guests, and the 3,998-guest Norwegian Encore from Norwegian Cruise Line.
Finally, the ultra-luxury cruise ship Seabourn Ovation from Seabourn Cruise Line visited PortMiami with 604 passengers.
Port Canaveral Surpasses PortMiami
Although PortMiami is widely recognized as the busiest cruise port in the world, it was recently overtaken by Port Canaveral, a neighboring Floridian port. This change in status comes as the 2022 passenger totals were released earlier this year by the Florida Ports Council.
These numbers indicated that Port Canaveral welcomed over 4 million guests, thus exceeding PortMiami’s impressive tally by a slim margin.
Port Canaveral experienced a slow start to the year, with cruise lines limiting guest capacity due to health and safety restrictions. However, the momentum quickly shifted as cruise travel made a dramatic comeback.
The port’s proximity to Orlando and the more rapid relaxation of local community restrictions compared to the more stringent measures in the densely populated communities of South Florida allowed Port Canaveral to gain a slender lead over PortMiami.
In total, 4,072,396 multi-day cruise guests passed through Port Canaveral in 2022, slightly outdoing PortMiami’s 4,022,544 multi-day guests. Despite the recent ascension of Port Canaveral to the status of the busiest cruise port, PortMiami is not far behind.
In the first half of the fiscal year, from October 1, 2022, to May 1, 2023, PortMiami welcomed 4.81 million guests, demonstrating a remarkable increase over the previous year’s passenger numbers.
This significant upsurge can be attributed mainly to the bustling October to May period, traditionally recognized as the peak season within the cruise industry. During this time, guests seeking warm-weather escapes flock to PortMiami for a Caribbean cruise on any one of the major cruise lines sailing from the port.