New Cruise Ships Select Port Everglades For 2008-2009 Winter Homeport

Port Everglades will become home to five of the cruise industry's eight newest cruise ships in time for the 2008-2009 winter Caribbean cruise season.

Newly built cruise ships joining the Port Everglades fleet include: Holland America Line's ms Eurodam, Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess, Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Solstice, Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Splendor, and Royal Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas.  

In addition, several cruise ships will be sailing for the first time from Port Everglades including Princess Cruises' Tahitian Princess, MSC Cruises' Orchestra and Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Freedom, which will be sailing year-round from Greater Fort Lauderdale.

"The newest, largest and grandest cruise ships typically debut at Port Everglades because South Florida is the cruise capital of the world and is easily accessible by air and land," says Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen.  During the 2008-2009 cruise season, Port Everglades expects to host 48 cruise ships from 16 cruise lines.  Approximately 3.14 million cruise passengers are expected to embark and disembark from Port Everglades this coming year.

Holland America Line's 2,104-passenger ms Eurodam will kick off the season as the first new cruise ship to arrive at Port Everglades.  The ship arrives in South Florida on October 15, 2008.  The ms Eurodam marks Holland America Line's new Signature Class vessels. The 86,700-ton ship has 11 passenger decks, a new topside Pan-Asian restaurant called Tamarind that is surrounded by panoramic views, an Explorer's Lounge Bar, a new Italian restaurant adjacent to the Lido, elegant luxury jewelry boutique, new atrium bar area, an enhanced and reconfigured show lounge and a new photographic and imaging center.

On November 6, 2008, Princess Cruises' will celebrate the official naming of the line's newest ship, Ruby Princess, at Port Everglades.  Built by Fincatieri Cantieri Navali Italiani, the 113,000-ton Ruby Princess is a sister vessel to the Crown Princess and Emerald Princess, both of which also will sail from Port Everglades this winter. The new vessel includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing array of performing street entertainers. Passengers will also enjoy Princess' other signature dining venues - including Sabatini's, an Italian trattoria, and Crown Grill, a seafood and steak house -  plus an adults-only retreat called The Sanctuary and the line's popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater. Ruby Princess' inaugural season of seven-day Western Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale will feature calls at Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and the line's private beach call at Princess Cays in the Bahamas.

Celebrity Cruises' brand new 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice will be named at Port Everglades during a ceremony on November 14, 2008.   The 122,000-ton Celebrity Solstice features staterooms that are 15 percent larger than those on previous Celebrity ships, a half-acre Lawn Club with real grass and a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass, 10 restaurants, Cellar Masters wine tour and new theater productions produced through an exclusive partnership with Poet Theatricals. In addition, Celebrity commissioned preeminent restaurant and hotel designer Adam Tihany to create Celebrity Solstice's dramatic, two-level Grand Épernay dining room, the classic steakhouse Tuscan Grille, and the stylishly casual Oceanview Café and Grill on the ship's Lido deck.

Carnival Cruise Lines' 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor will make her maiden call in the United States on November 15, 2008, when the 3,006-passenger ship sails into Port Everglades.  Designed with a "splendid things" theme, the Carnival Splendor touts new features, including: staterooms with flat screen TVs, a spectacular 21,000-square-foot, two-level spa and gym facility, 5,500-square-foot children's playroom and a mid-ship pool covered with a two-deck-high Sliding Sky Dome.

Royal Caribbean International's 160,000-ton Independence of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship to ever visit Port Everglades when the 3,634-passenger ship debuts in the United States on November 16, 2008.  One of Royal Caribbean's three Freedom-class vessels, Independence of the Seas features amenities that have revolutionized the industry, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the H20 Zone water park, a boxing ring, cantilevered whirlpools, and the four-bedroom/four-bath Presidential Family Suite. Guests have dining and entertainment options that include eight restaurants and more than 15 bars and lounges.

Port Everglades' ever-expanding fleet of cruise ships provides guests with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale area including everything from sampler-size day cruises to around-the-world cruises.   Cruise lines sail from the South Florida seaport including: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Discovery Cruises, Holland America Line, Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, ResidenSea, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line , SeaEscape Cruises, and Silversea Cruises.  

In fall 2009, Port Everglades will be the home of the first of Royal Caribbean International's new Oasis-class ships, the largest cruise ships in the world.

Details on the latest cruise offerings are available on the Internet at