Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially in the cruise industry. The cruise ship lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. have seen many changes among cruise operators over the years, especially in recent times as the demand for bigger, more innovative vessels grows. And sometimes, in order to make room for the new, lines have to out with the old. Although it’s not easy to go separate ways, Port Canaveral has over a year to say its goodbyes to Carnival Cruise Lines’ Ecstasy vessel, which has been repositioned to sail out of the Port of Miami. Although it will be missed, the Ecstasy will surely thrive in Miami’s booming cruise market.
The move was part of a Carnival plan to shift its vessels in order to boost its presence in the West Coast. The cruise giant announced on Wednesday that the Ecstasy will begin sailing out of the Port of Miami starting in January 2014. That change is in conjunction with another move by the company to shift the Ecstasy’s Miami-based sister ship, the Imagination, to the Port of Long Beach, Calif., from where it will offer itineraries to Mexico.
But Port Canaveral won’t be suffering from a lack of ships anytime soon. According to Bruce Deardoff, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners, there may soon be an announcement regarding a new vessel that will be calling Port Canaveral home.
“It’s common around this time of the year for cruise lines to make changes, and we often benefit from these changes,” said Deardoff. “We feel very optimistic that we will have positive announcements coming our way. In a perfect world, we would love to communicate them all on the same day, but we must defer to our cruise lines on the timing.”
The Ecstasy is just one of three Carnival ships sailing from Port Canaveral, along with the Dream and the Sensation. As of the end of the port’s budget year on September 30, the Ecstasy had 71 sailings and carried about 9 percent of Port Canaveral’s cruise passengers during that time period.
Carnival Cruise Lines Director of Public Relations Lanie Morgenstern assured that the move is not a reflection on Port Canaveral’s importance as a cruise tourism revenue generator.
“Carnival’s relationship with the port and its commissioners is very positive, and a partnership that we know will continue,” said Morgenstern. “Carnival and Port Canaveral have and will continue to build on the development of the cruise business in the region.
Morgenstern added that Carnival does not have “immediate plans to replace the Carnival Ecstasy with another vessel, [and] it is certainly a possibility that we will increase capacity from Port Canaveral in the future.”
In fact, Port Canaveral recently jumped ahead of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale as the world’s second-largest cruise port, based on passenger counts, with Miami remaining in first place.
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line