Port Canaveral, local hotels take financial hit after crane falls on cruise ship
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – The accident involving a crane hitting and damaging a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in the Bahamas for maintenance will have a financial impact on Port Canaveral and other local tourism businesses, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
The Port Canaveral-based ship, the Oasis of the Seas, was forced to cancel three sailings from Port Canaveral — on April 7, 14 and 21 — while it undergoes repairs.
A crane slammed into the vessel as it sat in dry dock in the Bahamas on Monday. Eight people were injured.
Port Canaveral officials did not provide a specific dollar amount for the money the port will lose by not having those three sailings this month.
But, during the first five months of the port's current budget year that began Oct. 1, the port received cruise ship and cruise parking revenue totaling $32.48 million from 280 multiday cruise ship sailings of all the cruise lines that serve Port Canaveral. That's an average of $116,000 per sailing, or an average of $348,000 for three sailings.
In a statement, Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said: "The port’s revenue loss is incremental. However, we recognize that some businesses in our community may be impacted by the cancellation of these sailings."
Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director Peter Cranis said the financial impact of the lost sailings will be wide-ranging on the local tourism industry — on hotels, restaurants, retail stores and ground-transportation providers, for example.
Many Port Canaveral cruise passengers from other parts of the country spend one or more days on the Space Coast, either before or after their cruises.
As previously scheduled, Port Canaveral on May 6 will get a new ship to replace the Oasis of the Seas, when the Harmony of the Seas begins sailing from Brevard County's seaport. Oasis has a double-occupancy capacity of 5,484 passengers and a full capacity of 6,780 passengers. Harmony has a double-occupancy capacity of 5,479 passengers and a full capacity of 6,687 passengers.
At the same time, the Port Canaveral-based Enchantment of the Seas will be replaced by the Mariner of the Seas. Enchantment has a double-occupancy capacity of 2,252 passengers and a full capacity of 2,730 passengers. Mariner has a double-occupancy capacity of 3,344 passengers and a full capacity of 4,000 passengers.
"We had already planned for Oasis’ departure later this month, and now looking forward to the arrival of her replacement, Harmony of the Seas, the second-largest cruise ship in the world, along with Mariner of the Seas on the same day,” Murray said.
Royal Caribbean offered passengers on the canceled Oasis of the Seas cruises a full refund for their cruise fare; a future cruise certificate in the value of 100 percent of their cruise fare paid; and air change fees up to $200 per customer for domestic flights and up to $400 per person for international flights.
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