AAPA Seaports Advisory

Cruise: Port Everglades, Tampa

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Port Everglades Launches Mobile Passport Control Program

Port Everglades launched the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) approved Mobile Passport Control (MPC) program for cruise ship travel on November 4.

The MPC program is the first smartphone app authorized to expedite a traveler's entry process into the United States. It allows debarking U.S. citizens with a passport to complete their Customs declarations using smartphones or other mobile devices, thus expediting the terminal clearance process. Currently available for iOS phones, it should be available for Android phones later this month.

MPC is in use at airports across the United States, including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

"Port Everglades purchased the required equipment earlier this summer in anticipation of the MPC program's approval by CBP, and we are now the first and only seaport to offer this app," said Port Everglades Chief Executive Steven Cernak, PPM®. "An added bonus is that MPC will be in service in time for the arrivals of Royal Caribbean Line's Harmony of the Seas and Holland America Line's M/S Koningsdam. Mobile Passport Control is another feature that will help us enhance the cruise guest experience."

Travelers and family groups can use the MPC app to provide their biographic information prior to speaking with a CBP officer. The CBP officer is then able to complete the identity verification and admissibility processing of arriving passengers.

Since summer 2015, Port Everglades has participated in CBP's Global Entry program, giving preferential processing to Global Entry cardholding cruise guests. Port Everglades also recently completed pilot testing of Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in two of its cruise terminals. APC is another CBP initiative to streamline the traveler inspection process.

"Though our partnership with Port Everglades, we have worked together to bring new technology and procedures to the cruise ship processing environment," said Jorge Roig, CBP Port Director, Port Everglades. "The addition of the Mobile Passport App and Automated Passport Control Kiosk to the cruise ship environment will bring added benefits to all those that utilize the program and will assist CBP in the completion of its mission of keeping maritime travel safe."

Automated Passport Control Kiosks are positioned at Port Everglades cruise terminals.
Photo/Port Everglades

Carnival to Add Second Year-Round Ship in Tampa

Carnival Cruise Line will expand capacity in the Tampa market by adding Carnival Miracle, to operate seven-day Caribbean cruises year round from Port Tampa Bay, beginning January 27 2018.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said that Tampa is a highly convenient and popular homeport, and "we’re delighted to provide our guests with exciting new year-round cruise vacation choices."

The weeklong voyages will call the ports of George Town, (Grand Cayman), Cozumel (Mexico); Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatán (Honduras); and Belize City (Belize).

These voyages are part of Carnival’s e Plus program, which features extended stays that provide guests more opportunities to experience and explore a Caribbean vacation destination. Cozumel Plus itineraries offer a variety of new excursions, many on Mexico’s mainland – with tours like swimming with whale sharks, visiting centuries-old ruins and swimming in hidden caverns, complementing the nearly 50 already available.

The 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle will join the 2,052-passenger Carnival Paradise, which sails year-round from Tampa on four- and five-day Caribbean cruises. The two ships will offer four-, five- and seven-day itineraries to an estimated 320,000 guests annually.

Prior to its re-positioning to Tampa, Carnival Miracle will offer a 14-day Panama Canal cruise departing Long Beach January 13, and arriving in Tampa January 27, 2018. Ports of call include Cabo San Lucas; (Mexico)m Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), and Puntarenas (Costa Rica), followed by a transit of the Panama Canal and stops at Cartagena (Colombia) and George Town (Grand Cayman).

Carnival Miracle begins year-round sailing from Port Tampa Bay in January 2018.
Photo/Andy Newman, Carnival Cruise Line


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