As Disney Cruise Line gears up with its first new ship sailing from Port Canaveral in more than a decade, the port is already surging ahead of its expected budget nine months into the fiscal year.
Disney Wish is set to have its christening at the port Wednesday, and begin sailing with customers on July 14. That begin date for sailing is actually six weeks beyond what the port had originally budgeted, and cruise revenue through May is actually behind plan.
But revenue from cruise parking is booming along with increased revenue from cargo and recreation.
For the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2021 and ends Sept. 30, 2022, the port has taken in $78.5 million in operational revenue, which is $6.1 million above budget, according to port CFO Michael Poole.
Cruise revenue with parking included makes up the bulk of that at $59.9 million, which is $3.9 million above budget. Through nine months, the port has seen 548 cruise calls moving through nearly 2.4 million multi-day passengers.
Because of some cancellations in January related to the omicron variant of COVID-19 as well as the Carnival Freedom’s funnel fire that canceled some sailings, the port’s expected cruise income has taken a hit, a little more than $1.9 million less than expected.
But parking has outpaced budget by nearly $6 million in those nine months.
Cargo to date has generated $11.8 million, which is $1.6 million above budget moving 4.3 million tons of mostly lumber, slag, granite, limestone, fertilizer, salt and fuel.
And recreation, especially driven by fees to enter Jetty Park, have generated $2.8 million, which is $634,000 above budget. The only other line items that saw losses were lease revenue of $2.8 million, down $68,000 and miscellaneous revenue slightly down, but still bringing in $1.2 million.
Expenses also continue to run under budget, costing the port a little over $31 million for the fiscal year, which is nearly $1.6 million under budget.
So the port is still on track to exceed what would be a record year through FY22, which budgeted $109.2 million in operating revenue. The previous record revenue came in FY19 when the port brought in more than $106 million. It was on its way to record revenue in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic hit, limping to just $67 million in 2020 followed by 2021′s dismal $34.5 million, the lowest in nearly 20 years.