VIDEO: Marella Discovery makes first sailing from Port Canaveral

Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery sailed from Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 5 today, kicking off a slate of 26 weekly sailings between now and November.

“We are excited to extend a warm welcome Marella Cruises’ Discovery and honored that they’ve chosen to base their first homeport in the United States at Port Canaveral,” said Capt. John Murray, port CEO on the ship’s arrival. “Their decision to join us is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and only adds to our reputation as the world’s busiest port. We are proud to be associated with a high-quality brand as Marella and look forward to providing an exceptional customer experience for their guests.”

The ship was escorted as she departed Port Canaveral out to sea with a traditional water gun salute led by Canaveral Fire Rescue’s Fireboat 2 and two tugboats provided by Seabulk and E.N. Bisso.

While today’s sailing was Marella Discovery’s first from the U.S. under its present name, the ship is no stranger to U.S. waters. Built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, it was delivered to Royal Caribbean as the Splendour of the Seas in 1996. In 2012 it received substantial upgrades that included multiple interior upgrades and the addition of 124 new balconies. Royal Caribbean sold the ship to TUI Group in 2015 and it then sailed as TUI Discovery, until being put under the Marella Brand.

Marella is a division of TUI United Kingdom and Ireland and TUI World group and five flights will arrive weekly at Melbourne Orlando International Airport from the U.K. bringing roughly 1,500 passengers from Britain to sail on each cruise.

With a length of 264 meters and beam of 32 meters, the 11-deck Marella Discovery has 915 cabins, can carry 1,830 passengers and has a crew and staff of 753 people. Its amenities include an 800-seat Broadway Show Lounge, outdoor movie theater, five-story atrium, mini-golf course, rock-climbing wall. seven restaurants and seven bars and an indoor and outdoor pool.

The Discovery will have varying itineraries on its “American Dream, Floridian Favourites and Sunshine State and Sands” programs that it offers with port-of-call visits set for the Ports of Charleston, S.C., New York City, Norfolk, Va., New Orleans, Key West, Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas.

Marella is now the sixth cruise line with at least one ship homeported at Port Canaveral, joining a list of cruise lines that includes Carnival, Disney, MSC, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean.

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