MIAMI -- Passengers at Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades can expect to board the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, in 15 minutes.
Speaking at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping convention, port director Phillip Allen said that the extensive renovation of Terminal 18 will allow passengers to debark and embark the 5,400-passenger ship simultaneously. Separate areas of the terminal will be used to process each group.
"Our goal is to move passengers from curbside to shipboard in 15 minutes," he said. "With 6,000 people, you can well imagine the challenges we face."
The new Terminal 18 will be the largest single-ship cruise terminal in the world, Allen said, growing from 67,500 square feet of interior space to 240,000 square feet on two floors by November.
The Oasis is slated to enter service in November. For the first time, Royal Caribbean will introduce a new class of ship at a port outside of Miami.
Craig Milan, Royal Caribbean's senior vice president of land operators, said that the port’s promise to rebuild the terminal, its proximity to Fort Lauderdale’s airport and Broward County's large population were all factors in that decision.