SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Port of San Diego's 2016-17 cruise season began Friday with the arrival of Disney Wonder at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal.
Currently, 90 passenger liners are scheduled to come to San Diego during the season, up 30 percent from last year, port officials said.
The port's cruise business has made a steady climb the last two years.
The uptick came after several years of struggle for San Diego's cruise industry, which stemmed from the effects of the recession, worries about violence in Mexico and strong overseas competition.
"The Port of San Diego's cruise business is coming back in a big way,'' said Marshall Merrifield, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners.
"We are making improvements to our B Street facility, including adding an escalator, to meet the growing demand,'' Merrifield said. "We've been working with our cruise partners over the last couple of years, making improvements to port security and enhancing itineraries. That, combined with an improved U.S. economy, has contributed to this resurgence.''
The 2,700-passenger Disney Wonder will board guests for a 14-night voyage through the Panama Canal to Port Canaveral, Florida, with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Cartagena, Colombia; and Cozumel, Mexico.
Other cruises from San Diego this year are scheduled to make stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; the Mexican Riviera; Hawaii; and the California coast.
Along with Disney Cruise Line, others that will sail to and from San Diego are Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises.
An economic impact study covering the port's cruise business for the 2015 calendar year found that each home-ported cruise generated an average of nearly $2 million in economic impact to the region.
"It's also tremendous for the international presence of San Diego,'' Merrifield told CBS8. "We have visitors from near and far who come to our town and say `hey, what a great place.' How many folks went on vacation here and ended up living here?''
The study also found that the port's cruise business contributed $82 million in overall economic impact to the San Diego region, with about $46.8 million spent at local businesses resulting in $22.3 million in employment earnings.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.