Wednesday, April 13, 2005

PORT EVERGLADES RACKS UP 50 MILLION: Actor Gavin MacLeod of “Love Boat” television fame and retired longshoreman Richard Russell were celebrated as Port Everglades’ honorary 50-millionth passengers in a wingding marking Greater Fort Lauderdale’s port milestone. With nearly 4 million cruise guests due this year, Port Everglades surpasses 50 million passengers processed since its first cruise ship docked in 1931. Growth to becoming the world’s second busiest cruise port gets perspective with earlier milestones. In 1958, cruise passenger traffic at Port Everglades numbered nearly 15,000. Two years later, in 1960, the count nearly quadrupled to 60,000. A decade later, in 1970, cruise traffic jumped to 160,000. The Port reached its one-million mark in 1987, surpassed its two-million mark in 1990, and its three-million mark in 2001. Last fiscal year ending 2004, Port Everglades handled a record 4.1 million cruise passengers. “Through “Love Boat” we introduced millions of viewers to the then-unique concept of a sea-going vacation,”said MacLeod. Working at Port Everglades for more than 30 years, Russell recalled when “cruise passengers had trunks – not luggage.” Port Director Krauter noted that “cruise ships are getting bigger and so must we.” To keep pace with new mega-ships, Port Everglades is pumping in more than $80 million to handle more people and baggage, add parking, and enhance safety. Nearly 50 cruise ships and 20 cruise lines call at Port Everglades, for day cruises to around-the-world adventure. Check out Metroguide.com’s cruise port guide at http://www.portofcallguide.com/

Monday, April 11, 2005

FIRST BY SEA, NOW BY LAND: Here’s glad news for event planners. Royal Caribbean International has brought its entertainment to shore via Royal Caribbean Productions, the line’s in-house production company, now set to perform at land-based corporate events and private functions. For previews, RCI's new website – www.royalcaribbeanproductions.com – also has info on how aspiring dancers, singers and comedians worldwide can audition to join company ensembles. Royal Caribbean Productions has created dynamic musical revues since 1990. In 2001, the line opened the Royal Caribbean Productions Rehearsal Studios in Hollywood, Florida, where four shows can rehearse at any given time. Once perfected on land, shows head to sea, and there are now 42 in rotation, from “West End to Broadway” to “Can’t Stop the Rock.” The new web site features video montages and photos to give event planners a sense of what’s on tap. Performances can be booked for 10 minutes up to full-length shows, in full costume or concert style. Audition dates are on the site. For details on RCI cruises, call (800)-327-6700. While you’re at it, check out Metroguide.com’s cruise port guide at www.portofcallguide.com