The cruise operator says with the new terminal, its bookings are expected to rise from 750,000 to 1.8 million over the course of the next year.
Norwegian Cruises in conjunction with Port Miami has also broken ground on a terminal which is expected to be fully operational by February 2020, slightly later than its initial fall 2019 target. Miami-Dade County is spending $100 million on the new terminal while the cruise line is allocating up to $65 million to cover costs among other items.
Other cruise lines are expected to follow suit.
Cruise analysts say while domestic demand is the underlying driver behind the forecasted growth in the cruise industry, a critical component over time will getting international passengers on board.
While bullish on growing cruise bookings, Royal Caribbean's CEO Richard Fain concedes that a number of challenges exist — including geopolitics and trade tensions.
"I'm a free trade advocate and anything that creates tensions about free trade…I view economically as a bad thing. But our business in China continues to do well," said Richard Fain at the launch of Terminal A.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez recognized that trade tensions are a concern but is hopeful that a deal will be worked out.
"We need to make investments to be ready," Gimenez said.
The timing of these new terminals also comes as investors question whether consumers will continue to spend money on travel if the economic backdrop deteriorates.