Cruise Terminal 1 Opens, Wows Passengers
By Port Canaveral Magazine // December 28, 2014
a standout in the modern cruise business
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Passengers began enjoying the benefits of the Port’s newest cruise facilities on Saturday when Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas became the first ship to sail from Cruise Terminal 1 (CT1).
Already popular for its relaxed cruise experience, Port Canaveral continually seeks ways to make the experience even better and new CT1 is a standout in the modern cruise business.
VEHICLE TO SHIP IN EIGHT MINUTES
The technology that enhances our connectivity in so many areas of life is enhancing the cruise experience.
As cruise lines tout their new and improved “smart” ships, Port Canaveral brings online a “smart” terminal with an array of features to move people in and out quickly and make their transit as stress free and pleasant as possible.
Passenger arrival begins at sheltered bus stops, designated cab areas and an adjacent parking facility. The flow of commercial traffic is separated carefully from the flow of pedestrians to maximize both safety and efficiency.
Technology allows those using the parking garage to reserve and pre-pay online from home.
A bar-code reader at the entrance can read their confirmation information from a reservation printout or a smart phone.
If guests have not prepaid, a new automated parking service enables them to pre-pay at entry with a credit card.
Once parked, passengers place their luggage on one of two conveyor handling systems inside the parking facility, instead of hand-carrying bags to the terminal. Both the cruise line and customers will be able to track the bags throughout the trip.
A GPS-enabled smart phone app provided to passengers will let them know when their bags reach their staterooms and even help them locate luggage in the debarkation area at the end of the trip.
To expedite check-in, guests will have the option of submitting check-in information online before they arrive at the terminal, just as airline passengers do.
Passengers who opt for standard check-in are helped by electronic queuing systems and attendants using hand-held tablets to speed the process.
The goal is to move passengers from their vehicles to their ships in eight minutes, a timeframe made achievable by automated parking and baggage processing and passenger pre-check-in.
A PLEASURE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
However, speed isn’t the only goal. The terminal was designed to make the experience pleasant as well as quick. The interior is modern, airy and full of light from an abundance of round portholelike windows. The ocean colors are clean and relaxing.
More than 200 monitors support a dynamic video signage and entertainment system that gives the Port and cruise lines flexibility to redirect and improve traffic flow within the building as well as to entertain guests if delays occur. The lobby features one of several video walls.
Stretching from the west wall of the terminal to the east wall, this programmable bank of contiguous monitors greets entering visitors with clear information.
An advanced audio system can be used for announcements, music or to broadcast events guests don’t want to miss, like the World Series or the Superbowl. WiFi covers the entire facility and is available to all guests free of charge.
Technology also has been employed to keep guests safe with more than 160 security cameras throughout the facility.
Green technology also is used for lighting and air conditioning to reduce energy consumption.
THE COVE CONNECTION
Port-of-call visitors who debark at CT1 will exit the building through a specially designed plaza on its west side.
Covered by an elegant tensile canopy illuminated from below, this exit leads visitors to shaded seating, performance areas, a local-attractions information booth and retail shops.
The abundantly landscaped tropical plaza will create a new port-of-call guest experience and serve as gateway to The Cove with passage to both the existing waterfront restaurants and shops and to the newer areas of development to come.
The plaza and upstairs open waiting area of the terminal will be available for community and corporate events.
MEETING CRUISE LINE NEEDS
As the direct customers of the Port, the cruise lines that will use this new terminal were consulted at every step of its design to ensure that it effectively meets their needs.
The 187,000 square-foot facility is large enough to accommodate not only the largest vessels afloat or being built today, but to allow embarkation on one ship and debarkation from another to occur simultaneously.
Movable gangways that are pre-programmable and multidirectional can attach to the vast majority of ships sailing today.
A first at Port Canaveral is CT1’s onsite warehouse with truck unloading dock for storage of ships’ supplies.
This major convenience to cruise lines allows them to order supplies at times and in quantities that are expedient to be ready and waiting ship side when they’re needed.
“We’re very excited to have this facility to pamper our cruise guests and help attract new cruise business by demonstrating our commitment to growing with the industry,” said Port Authority Commissioner Hank Evans.
– Port Canaveral Magazine