Who doesn’t love a cruise? For those who have traveled the ocean on a cruise ship, you know that you sail out from a home port, enjoy a wide variety of onboard amenities, take shore excursions while the ship is in a port-of-call, and eventually return to your home port at the end of your trip, where you, unfortunately, are asked to leave the vessel.

But what you may not know is: What is all required at the home port to get you on your way? 

Learn more about Ceres’ cruise competencies, operations, and ports around the U.S. 

Cruise Terminal and Stevedoring Management

What exactly is happening at a cruise terminal? Guests are all well familiar with the guest services teams and security teams, similar to the requirements at airports, with the guest checking in for their cruise; where travel documents are getting verified and security screening requirements are applied to ensure guests will have an unencumbered cruise experience. 

However, the cruise ship needs to discharge the luggage of the previous guests, discharge all kinds of waste, take on provisions and supplies, as well as screen, sort and load luggage for those guests embarking on their new adventure. All these logistical requirements are organized and executed by a stevedoring management team, to ensure the vessel is ready to set sail in most times less than 8 hours.

The terminal management team ensures all building systems function perfectly and brings high-level coordination to all these services to ensure the guests have a most-pleasant boarding experience or disembarkation process and the end of their cruise. 

To give you some perspective; Port Canaveral, the 3rd business cruise port in the world, Ceres Terminals, a leading stevedoring and terminal management company, provides their services to over 600 vessel calls a year, while attending to over 1.3 million passengers. You will see enormous cruise ships berthed, which can hold up to 6,600 guests, and where on any given day the stevedore is moving 15,000 bags on and off such a vessel.  

In this fast-paced environment, where production and efficiency are key and have to perform against the backdrop of a sublime client experience. 

Passenger Processing

Are you a first-time cruiser? You might wonder; “what can I expect when it comes to checking in at the cruise terminal”? Don’t sweat it. Follow your cruise line’s instructions for when and where to arrive, and make sure you have your boarding documents and identification underhand, and not tucked away in luggage you just handed over to a Porter. You will find attentive and helpful staff at the terminal who will answer all your questions.  

Similar to the aviation industry, luggage is handed over for screening and processing, whereafter you are reunited with your belongings on board the ship, finding your luggage placed in front of your cabin door or placed inside of your stateroom. Porters, also sometimes called ‘stevedores’, are longshore luggage handlers who are tasked to receive your luggage, process it through an X-ray screening process, and sort it into specific bins for easy distribution on board the vessel.  

As you can imagine, baggage handlers are subjected to significant physical strain from bending, kneeling, and lifting while handling heavy luggage. To prevent injuries, longshoremen use baggage trolleys and other means of equipment to move a large quantity at once. Strict health and safety regulations and Ceres’ extensive safety management program, ensure only well-trained workers can operate any machinery to support loading and discharge processes and operations of any other equipment. Health, Safety, Security & the Environment are fully embedded in Ceres’ strategies and embraced by all Ceres’ employees. 

At Port Canaveral and Miami, Ceres Terminals uses a baggage lifting system to handle luggage as part of the screening and sorting process. This system, creates a vacuum, allowing suction cups and harmonica hoses to lift effortless loads up to 100 pounds, significantly less-straining the staff, as well as supporting productivity and consistency in the process. Ceres Terminals is the only stevedoring company in the United States of America using these baggage lifting systems, where it can demonstrate that the investment pays a recognized dividend towards the health and safety of its workers.

Read more about Kim, a Ceres longshoreman who has been working at the cruise operations and handling cargo in Port Canaveral since 2001! Kim is an advocate user of the vacuum lift luggage handling system.

Cruise Port Security

It should not come as a surprise that there are extensive security measures taken to keep the vessels, its’ staff and of course all its’ passengers safe. Some of these measures are very much apparent with all the security personnel and screening equipment visible, however, do you know the Port as a whole deploys over 1000 cameras, some of which have facial recognition capabilities, extensive automated and restricted access control measures, narcotic and explosive detection dogs (K-9s), etc. Your and our safety is paramount!

Some of these measures were significantly scaled up after the 9/11 attacks back in 2001. Maritime security has certainly taken a flight hereafter, where maritime transportation in its widest form is seen as critical infrastructure globally.

One new measure standing out for all waterfront workers is the requirement to have obtained a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®), as a means of access control using biometric technology (fingerprinting and facial technology), passcodes, etc. all embedded in the ID card and verifiable via a national security database. 

Ceres’ First-Class Cruise Operations and Services

In addition to the services mentioned above, Ceres Terminals also provides and is highly-skilled and experienced in the following cruise operations and services:

  • Proactive, Experienced Management
  • Skilled Workforce
  • Operations
  • Ground Transport Coordination
  • State-of-the-Art Equipment Fleet

Ceres operates in the following cruise ports: