Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, has announced that they have partnered with Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line to launch two different pilot programs this summer that will help cruise passengers speed through customs after their cruise.
The two pilot programs, APC (Automated Passport Control) and MPC (Mobile Passport Control), are designed to expedite secure entry back into the United States when a cruise is completed. Port Everglades will be the first U.S. cruise port to test these programs that are currently available in many U.S. airports. Port of Vancouver was the first cruise port to test these two programs in May 2015 when Ruby Princess departed for a four night cruise to Alaska.
Both programs are designed to streamline the traveler inspection process and enable CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions.
Glenn Wiltshire, the Deputy Port Director for Port Everglades, said, “We are working closely with CBP to improve guest service and make the debark process more efficient without compromising safety and security. We have high hopes for both programs, and are evaluating the efficiency, staff time and costs involved during this three-month pilot program.”
The MPC program is the first Smartphone app authorized to expedite a traveler’s entry process into the United States. This first-of-its-kind app was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America in partnerships with CBP. The app allows U.S. citizens debarking a cruise ship to complete their Customs declaration using their phones, expediting their clearance process in the terminal.
APC kiosks allow passengers to provide their travel documents and customs declaration forms prior to speaking to a CBP officer.
In addition, CBP’s Global Entry program, which gives preferential processing to those guests who are Global Entry card holders, has been available at Port Everglades since summer 2015.
Port Everglades is one of the three busiest cruise ports in world with more than 3.7 million cruise passengers passing through the port in 2015. Nine different cruise lines base more than 40 cruise ships each year from the South Florida port.
Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland American Line, Cunard Line, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, and Balearia’s Bahamas Express (ferry) all have ships based in Port Everglades.