Port Everglades Gets to Know Cruise Guests in New Study

Port Everglades (Logo)Port Everglades is getting to know its cruise guests a little better since completing a comprehensive study that included interviews with more than 7,000 travelers.

“We really want to know how we can improve the guest experience, and also how the port impacts the economic well-being of Broward County,” said Port Everglades CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels.

“We were concerned about the timing since the 2022/23 season was still a recovery period for the cruise industry, but we now anticipate 3 million passengers sailing in and out of the port compared to the 1.9 million passengers budgeted for this fiscal year, which ends September 30, and in excess of 3.6 million in the coming 2023/24 season. So, we can confidently say ‘Cruising is Back’ and your opinion matters.”

Moffatt & Nichol and Dickey Consulting Services (DCS) surveyed 7,186 passengers during 20 days at peak and non-peak times from December 2022 through March 2023. In March 2015, DCS conducted a similar study of 1,800 passengers on eight days during spring break. Port Everglades recorded 3.6 million passengers embarking and disembarking cruise ships in 2015. In FY2024, Port Everglades officials forecast returning to the 3.6 million passenger count.

Participating cruise lines include Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea and Viking. The Baleária Caribbean ferry also participated.

Key findings from the 2022/2023 Port Everglades Cruise Passenger Study include:

● 94% of those surveyed listed “Ease of Sailing” from Port Everglades as Excellent or Good.
● The majority (53%) of domestic cruise guests reside in the U.S. Southeast, which is 15% higher than in 2015 and accounts for a higher drive market.
● In the 2022/23 study, 26% drove their own vehicles to the port and 35% took a taxi or ride share. In the 2015 study, 18% drove their own vehicle and 30% took a taxi to the port.
● Canadian citizens account for 57% of the port’s international guests.
● 56% of those surveyed have cruised from Port Everglades in the past.
● As their main consideration for booking a cruise, 42% list the destination (mainly Caribbean), 28% chose based on the cruise line and 26% list cost as their primary factor.
● 35% of those surveyed said the Fort Lauderdale area was a high factor in determining their cruise vacation choice.
● Of those surveyed, 34% stayed in a hotel for at least one night prior to their cruise, compared to 51% who participated in the 2015 survey. Conversely, 24% of the respondents in 2022-23 said they came to Port Everglades directly from their homes compared to 18% in 2015. This may reflect the availability of shorter cruise itineraries, which could attract a higher drive market.
● Of those surveyed who answered that they stayed in a hotel in the 2022-23 survey, 66% stayed in a hotel for one night prior to their cruise, and 31% stayed 2-4 nights. For those who stayed in a hotel after their cruise, 50% booked for one night and 44% stayed for 2-4 nights.
● 53% of those surveyed intended to visit Florida destinations after their cruise, including 20% who stayed in the Fort Lauderdale area.
● 22% of the cruise passengers came to Port Everglades directly from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), of which 70% said they chose FLL because it is close to the port.
● Each day visiting South Florida, the average cruise passenger surveyed reported spending $288 on lodging, $134 on food and beverages, and $450 in other expenses such as tours, entertainment, transportation and gifts.

Port Everglades is continuing to make investments in its cruise facilities to keep ahead of the growing popularity of cruising worldwide.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) conducted a global study that compared pre-pandemic 2019 to 2022 and found that the intent to cruise is higher. “Eighty-five percent of those that have cruised will cruise again, 6% higher than pre-pandemic.” Based on their study, CLIA also predicts worldwide that: “Cruise tourism is forecast to reach 106% of 2019 levels in 2023 – with 31.5 million passengers sailing.”

As the third largest cruise homeport in the world, the cruise industry at Port Everglades supports 2,575 direct local jobs and $786 million in economic activity.

About Port Everglades
Port Everglades offers everything under the sun from Caribbean cruises to world voyages to fast ferry getaways — all from the vacation paradise of Greater Fort Lauderdale. Port Everglades’ enviable location in the heart of South Florida and the neighboring Caribbean, makes it the third largest cruise homeport in the world, typically hosting more than 3 million passengers annually. Guests enjoy the Port’s proximity to three international airports, including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) less than two miles away. For pre- and post-cruise stays, Port Everglades is a short drive to sweeping beachfronts, a vibrant art scene, world-class restaurants, craft breweries, entertainment, shopping, casinos, and family-friendly activities — including the area’s namesake, the Florida Everglades.

(Port Everglades Gets to Know Cruise Guests in New Study – Port Everglades)