FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - More than 90 high school students learned about cruise and cargo operations at Port Everglades during National Maritime Month.

The marine industry is vital to U.S. commerce and responsible for 2.3 million jobs each year, according to the latest data from the Marine Economy Satellite Account. Over the course of two days, Broward County students in the Junior Achievement of South Florida Pre-Apprenticeship program learned about careers in the maritime industry during discussions with Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members, staff from Port Everglades Terminal LLC, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), and the president of the International Longshoremen's Association Local 1526. 

The Junior Achievement of South Florida Pre-Apprenticeship is a six-month program designed to help young people ages 17 to 24 to build work-readiness skills and gain knowledge of trade industries. 

The career day wasn't all talk. The students toured Disney Magic while it was docked and visited the cargo area where MSC/Port Everglades Terminal operates. Students gained insights from Disney Cruise Line shipboard crew members and officers in a range of areas, including human resources, guest services, and entertainment. Crew members shared details with students about their roles, life at sea and tips for pursuing a maritime career.  

"The opportunities available in the maritime industry are diverse and high-paying," said Acting Port Director Glenn Wiltshire. "We appreciate the chance to share with the students the various career options available on land and at sea."

"It's especially fitting that during National Maritime Month we could share with the participants how we don't just move cargo but we power the local and global economies," said Rick Blackmore, CEO of Port Everglades Terminal, LLC.

The career day marked the first time Disney Cruise Line has partnered with the Junior Achievement of South Florida's maritime Pre-Apprenticeship program. Last year, in recognition of Disney's arrival to Port Everglades, the cruise line announced new community investments, including in Junior Achievement of South Florida, with donations supporting the JA Career Bound as well as other programs such as a special marine service technician track that educates students about the maritime industry, marine basics and engine fundamentals.

"Through our partnership with Junior Achievement of South Florida, and our support of their Pre-Apprenticeship program, we hope to inspire the next generation of maritime professionals," said Beth Thibodaux, Disney Cruise Line External Affairs Director. 

About Port Everglades
As one of Florida's leading economic generators, Broward County's Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Consistently ranked among the top three busiest cruise homeports in the world, Port Everglades is also one of the nation's leading container ports and South Florida's main seaport for receiving energy products including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels. The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida, government with operating revenues of $182.4 million in Fiscal Year 2023 (October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023). It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. For more information on Port Everglades, visit or email

About Disney Cruise Line: For more than 25 years, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry, providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer. Today, the award-winning Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its blueprint for family cruising with a fleet of five ships - the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish - and three more ships planned, including the Disney Treasure, Disney Adventure and Disney Destiny. The Disney Cruise Line fleet sails to destinations in The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, the South Pacific, and Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit 

May 22, 2024
Joy Oglesby, Public Information Officer, Port Everglades