Florida’s Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Company was a pioneer in today’s billion-dollar Florida cruise business. Until Castro’s regime closed Cuba to cruise ships in 1960, the SS FLORIDA was sailing three times a week from Miami. The SS FLORIDA had first sailed from Key West to Cuba until the 1934 devastating hurricane destroyed the terminal and rail connections to Miami. Built in New Port News, Virginia, in 1931, the SS FLORIDA accommodated 612 passengers in first class and 130 in second class. After World War 2 the overnight ship was turned into a one class liner.