On June 15, 2021, the Broward County Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to authorize the Broward County Administrator to execute a Marine Terminal and Berth User Agreement between Broward County and Disney Cruise Line which would be subject to final review for legal sufficiency by the Office of the County Attorney. According to the documents published for the meeting, Disney Cruise Line is eying the 2023-2024 cruise season to begin homeporting from Port Everglades.
Disney Cruise Line made a formal request to enter into negotiations with Port Everglades about a long-term berthing agreement with the intention of sailing year-round a ship capable of carrying approximately 3,500 passengers in April sending a formal request letter to Port Everglades on April 26, 2021 to initiate discussions for Cruise Terminal 4 and accompanying berth.
After receiving the formal request, Port Everglades staff turned to the county to seek approval to negotiate the use of Cruise Terminal 4 and its adjacent Berth 4 in order for Disney to move its South Florida operations to Port Everglades, starting with one year-round ship capable of carrying approximately 3,500 passengers. On May 18, 2021, the Broward County Commissioners waived the competitive selection requirements for a marine terminal and berth user agreement and authorized the Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director to negotiate a marine terminal and berth user agreement between Broward County and Disney, to be brought back to the Board for approval.
Disney Cruise Line and Port Everglades staff held a fact-finding meeting on May 20, 2021, and held sunshined negotiations on June 8, 2021. As of June 15th, both side are finalizing the business terms of the agreement based on the May 20th negotiations. It is reported in the agenda item that the final version of the agreement will be ready for execution before the end of the Board’s summer recess. Authorizing the Broward County Administrator to execute the agreement during the summer recess will allow Port Everglades staff to start the procurement process necessary to complete required terminal and berth improvements prior to commencement of Disney Cruise Line’s cruise activity, and allows Disney sufficient lead time to make vessel deployment decisions associated with homeporting from Port Everglades starting in the 2023-2024 cruise season.
Recently, on July 9th, the Disney Wonder was redeployed to Port Everglades following a month long stay at PortMiami while she continues to wait out the industry shutdown. As reported by the Sun Sentinel, according to Port Everglades spokeswoman Ellen Kennedy, the Disney Wonder moved to Port Everglades temporarily because PortMiami needed berthing space for a Royal Caribbean ship that’s housing first responders working at the Surfside condominium collapse site.
At the time of publication, the agreement between Broward County/Port Everglades and Disney Cruise Line has not been fully executed.