Complete Guide To Cruising From Port Tampa Bay
In our opinion, Port Tampa Bay is one of the best-kept secrets in cruising. While ports on the eastern side of Florida including Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral are well known thanks to the mega-ships and multiple terminals at each port, Tampa seems to sneak under the radar.
Despite the lack of notoriety, Port Tampa Bay offers a ton for cruise passengers. This includes multiple terminals with a constant stream of ships, lots to do in the area, more convenience, and fewer headaches than dealing with a larger port.
In other words, you get a lot of the benefits of a larger port without a lot of the drawbacks.
So whether you want to sail to The Bahamas, Mexico, or points in between, or if you want to sail on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, or Norwegian, the port has something to offer.
Below we dive into all the details of everything you need to know about sailing from the Port Tampa Bay.
What To Do In Tampa After A Cruise
- If youve got a couple of days before or after your cruise from Florida, Tampa is ripe for exploration. Spend an afternoon strolling through the historic district of Y-Bor City or along the waterfront where you can grab a bite to eat at the trendy Armature Works, and explore the surrounding region.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Out Of Tampa
The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has three ships that sail out of Tampas port: Brilliance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.
The cruise liner, Brilliance of the Seas, measures 962 feet long with a capacity to hold 2,500 guests and 859 crew members. This cruise liner offers one-way and round-trip cruises ranging from 4-14 days. Destinations include the Bahamas, Key West, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Spain, Italy and more. Guests can soak up some rays at the pool while enjoying frosty cocktails and live music. If you are looking for more adventure, check out the rock climbing wall or mini-golf.
The Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship measures just over 900 feet long with a capacity to hold 2,435 guests and 765 crew members. The cruise ship offers round-trip cruises only ranging from 4-8 days. Destinations include Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Grand Cayman and more. Couples can enjoy a night out at one of the many bars and clubs around the ship. Kids will love the arcade, rock climbing wall and numerous pools found on the ship.
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Royal Caribbean Is First Cruise Line To Restart Cruises From Tampa
The cruise industry restart has reached the Port of Tampa.
Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas arrived in Tampa on Saturday to begin offering cruises from West Florida, which is the first time a cruise ship has sailed from the Port of Tampa since 2020.
Serenade of the Seas will depart Terminal 6 on Saturday to begin a new cruise season there, having just wrapped up an abbreviated cruise season in Alaska.
Serenade will offer 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa, Florida, starting Oct. 16 and 7-night Caribbean itineraries, beginning December.
Royal Caribbean’s return to Tampa is just as ceremonial as it is tangible to the area. Business Research & Economic Advisors estimated that a 3,000-passenger ship generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call in a homeport city.
Cruises have been able to restart from other ports in Florida, including Port Everglades, PortMiami and Port Canaveral, but this is the first time Tampa has been able to see ships leave.
Later in December, Brilliance of the Seas will return to Tampa to offer 4- and 5-night Bahamas and Western Caribbean cruises beginning on December 16.
Celebrity Cruises Out Of Tampa
Another great cruise line that sails from Tampa Bay is Celebrity Cruises. Their ship, the Celebrity Constellation, meausures 965 feet long and holds up to 2,184 guests and 999 crew members. From Port Tampa Bay, Celebrity Cruises has one-way and round-trip cruises ranging from 5-15 days. Destinations include Spain, Grand Cayman, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Antigua and more.
Celebrity Cruises offers fun for kids of all ages. Teens can participate in culinary classes and Xbox tournaments. Pre-teens will have the chance to join the ship scavenger hunt and sports tournaments. Elementary-age kids can join the campouts, movie nights and lawn games. All ages are welcome at the silent disco party. Dont worry, the adults havent been forgotten on the Celebrity Constellation. Theres a spa, adult-only solarium and numerous bars and lounges.
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Royal Caribbean Cancels Cruises On 4 Ships Out Of Florida Over Covid Surge
TAMPA, Fla. – A major cruise line is putting a pause on sailings for several cruise ships that depart from Florida ports due to a rise in COVID-19 infections.
Royal Caribbean announced Friday it is pausing operations on four cruise ships that sail out of Florida including one that sails out of Tampa. According to the cruise lines website, the four ships are the Vision of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.
Serenade of the Seas offers cruises out of Tampa and Vancouver. Royal Caribbean confirmed to 8 On Your Side the pause in operations impacts Tampa sailings from Jan. 8 through March 5.
Cruises on the Jewel of the Seas, which sails out of Miami and Port Canaveral, are paused from Jan. 9 through Feb. 12 with an anticipated return on Feb. 20. Symphony of the Seas departs from Miami and has paused sailings from Jan. 8 through Jan. 22 with an expected Jan. 29 return, according to Royal Caribbean.
The company also postponed Vision of the Seas return to cruising. The ship, which leaves from Fort Lauderdale, wont return until at leach March 7.
Guests who booked travel aboard the canceled sailings are said to receive assistance and compensation options, including a full refund.
Brilliance Of The Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
The Brilliance of the Seas is undoubtedly one of the top cruises that depart from Tampa.
Not only does it fall into the affordable cruises category, it provides entertaining cruises packages for the entire family.
Teen disco, nursery, mini golf course, rock climbing, three-story theatre, movies by the pool, bars, nine restaurants all inclusive cruises dont get better than this.
Almost 75 percent of the cabins come with mesmerizing views of the ocean.
Budget accommodation options are also available on Brilliance of the Seas.
Size of Ship: Large
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Best Cruises From Tampa
- Panama Canal
Florida is an extremely popular starting point for cruises, from quick sailings around the Florida Keys to extensive Caribbean explorations. In addition to Miami, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale, Tampa is the fourth major cruise port in the Sunshine State. Below, weve selected a handful of the best cruises from Tampa.
Cruises From Tampa On The Carnival Inspiration
Carnival Inspiration the first Fun Ship to feature the lines hugely popular Evolutions of Fun enhancements. The 2,052-passenger Super Liner, including its expansive Carnival Water Works aqua park, Serenity adults-only retreat and the redesigned main pool. A highlight is an exhilarating 300-foot-long tube water slide which serves as the centerpiece of the Carnival Inspirations massive water park.
More fun, more places, lay a hand of blackjack in the casino, indulges in a relaxing treatment in the renovated Spa Carnival facility, and even takes a turn as the featured singer in the ships piano bar.
Carnival Inspirations myriad full-service and casual dining options and wide variety of entertainment and live music venues, including an elegant multi-level theatre showcasing lavish revues. Once in Cozmel you can participated in a dune buggy excursion, one of the featured ports on Carnival Inspirations year-round four- and five-day western Caribbean cruises from Tampa.
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What’s Next For The Restart
Four more Royal Caribbean cruises ships will restart operations before the year comes to a close.
Explorer of the Seas is scheduled to restart cruises when she sails from San Juan, Puerto Rico beginning on November 7. Explorer will sail 7-night Southern Caribbean sailings.
Royal Caribbean is especially excited to see Navigator of the Seas return to service, because it means the restart of cruises for the cruise line from the west coast.
Navigator will offer 3-, 4- and 5-night Catalina Island, California, and Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico cruises from Los Angeles, beginning November 19.
Grandeur of the Seas will start cruising again when she offers 7- and 14-night Southern Caribbean sailings from Bridgetown, Barbados, starting December 5.
Finally, Enchantment of the Seas will begin cruising again in December, when she sails from Baltimore on December 23, offering 8-night Bahamas sailings, and select 12-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean.
Getting To Port Tampa Bay
Of course you cant go on your cruise until you get to the ship. Fortunately, there is no shortage of ways to get from anywhere in the Tampa area to the cruise port, all at an affordable price.
We have all of your options and full details for getting to the port here. Below, we cover the most common ways for getting to the Port Tampa Bay.
Driving to the PortMany people elect to drive to the port, whether they live in the area or they fly in and have a rental car. Coming from Orlando? Expect the drive to take about an hour and a half. From spots in the Tampa/St. Pete region, it can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on where you are.
Driving definitely offers convenience of getting in and out from the port without relying on someone else to give you a ride. As well, Tampa offers relatively inexpensive parking. Official port parking is only $15 per day, but other independent lots can be even cheaper.
Uber/LyftUber and Lyft are popular options to get around the Tampa Bay area because they make it easy to get from Point A to Point B, no matter where you are trying to go. Simply open up the app, request a ride and it should be there within minutes . They also offer rates that are usually less expensive than taxi cabs. For instance, a taxi ride from the airport to the cruise port is a flat $30. It would be around $25 with Uber/Lyft.
Below weve estimated Uber/Lyft fares from certain points around town:
- Tampa International Airport: $20-25
- Sarasota: $60-65
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What They Are Saying
We celebrated our 46th anniversary there with our family & friends. We were treated like royalty. Staff, food, drinks, view, music was excelente!!! Overall, it was a great experience. I highly recommend it!! Definitely going back. Thank you for an awesome time.
Petra F, Clearwater Dinner Cruise June 2021
Find And Plan Your Next Cruise Out Of Tampa In February 2022 On Cruises From Florida
You can sail out of Tampa year-round, the best time for a Caribbean cruise depends on whether youre looking for the best weather or the best deals. The cheapest times to cruise from Tampa are typically in the late summer and fall because of hurricane season wich peaks in October. To avoid the busy season, the best time to go on a Caribbean cruise out of Tampa is from November to early weeks of December. The busy season is through late December, early January and March through mid-April.
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After Long Absence Tampas Port Set For Cruise Ships Return This Weekend
Over at Port Tampa Bay, theyre polishing every surface and and touching up the terminals with fresh paint.
Its been more than a year and a half since the last cruise ship departed from Tampa around the start of the coronavirus pandemic. And in the days leading up to the return of ships this weekend, the ports staff is making sure everything is ready.
Its not that we waited and now were jumping, said Raul Alfonso, the ports executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Weve been ready.
When the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas departs Tampa for a five-night cruise to the Bahamas, itll be cause for celebration for port executives, who plan to be on hand to personally welcome passengers. Cruises normally brings in more than a fifth of the ports annual revenue, and its also an economic driver for tourists who travel to the region before and after their departure.
The cruise industrys shutdown in March 2020 led to a revenue drop of more than $7.5 million for the port compared to the 2019 fiscal year. Port officials originally predicted cruises might return as early as this past April, but that never happened, leading to an additional shortfall in the ports cruise budget this year.
With cruise ships under a no-sail order, the port turned its focus to other industries. This past fiscal year, shipping revenue saw a 26 percent increase, with the port adding new shipping routes, including one for bananas and pineapples from Dole.
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Tampa Port Facilities & Location
Passengers departing on cruises from Tampa Bay will leave from Port Tampa Bay, home to three cruise terminals. Just outside of the cruise terminals is the Channelside district, where youll find a handful of shops and restaurants. Tourist information centers, Wi-Fi, and bathrooms are available at the port.
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Watch The Video Of Royal Caribbeans Serenade Of The Seas Sailing Making Her Way Down Sparkman Channel To The Port Of Tampa Bay Saturday
TAMPA, FL There is good news for Tampa Bay residents dreaming of taking a long, relaxing ocean voyage and businesses eagerly anticipating the economic impact from the return of cruises to Port Tampa Bay.
Port Tampa Bay and Royal Caribbean International celebrated the return of cruising on Saturday with the arrival of the Serenade of the Seas, a week ahead of her first commercial cruise and first revenue cruise from the port in more than 18 months.
Port Tampa Bay welcomed Royal Caribbeans Serenade of the Seas to Cruise Terminal 6 before she departs on her maiden voyage next Saturday.
Cruise Lines From Tampa Florida
Tampa Port is the largest port in the state of Florida. It handles more than 50 million tons of cargo each year, it is home to more than 2,500 acres water, land, and deepwater industrial sites, and more than 900,000 cruise passengers made their way through the port in 2006 alone. In fact, Tampa Port is considered one of the nations fastest growing homeports. Cruise Lines from Tampa Florida include Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, and Royal Caribbean International. In addition to being the homeport for three of the worldâs top cruise lines, Tampa Port offers the most direct route to Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Tampa Port also has a main shipping channel depth of 43 feet and it is the closest full service U.S. port to the Panama Canal.
Passengers will find world-class shopping in the immediate area as well as museums, zoos, Busch Gardens, and the historic Ybor City. If passengers decide to fly in a day early, there are many luxury hotels located nearby as well as the ever-evolving Channelside. Channelside is a festive complex featuring dining, shopping and IMAX cinema located steps from the Tampa Portâs cruise terminals. Channelsideâs outdoor plaza also features live music and it is also adjacent to the Florida Aquarium!
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Cruises From Port Tampa Bay Are Back With Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Cruises from Tampa, Florida are back as Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas is the first ship to restart operations from the port.
Cruises from the Port of Tampa are back with Royal Caribbean becoming the first cruise line to restart operations. Serenade of the Seas is the first cruise ship since March last year sailing from the city with guests onboard. The vessel has already been sailing this year in Alaska, where she started operation on July 19.
Is there a more beautiful sight than s Serenade of the Seas as she made her way down Sparkman Channel towards Port Tampa Bay this morning? We are so excited that cruising is back!
Port Tampa Bay
As with all Royal Caribbean ships, Serenade of the Seas will be sailing with a maximum 50 percent capacity to start, meaning there will be between 1,000 and 1,500 passengers onboard, out of a possible 2,490, in addition to its crew of more than 800.
Cruises Out Of Tampa Florida
|There are 226 cruises that depart from Tampa, FL in the year 2022. Four cruise lines offer cruises that leave out of Tampa in 2022 Carnival , Royal Caribbean , Celebrity and Norwegian .You can see Tampa cruise schedule for 2022 in the table below. Be sure to look at the $/Day column to find cheap Tampa cruise deals in 2022.|
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Carnival Cruise From Tampa
Carnival Cruise Line currently has two ships that sail out of Port Tampa Bay: Carnival Pride and Carnival Paradise.
The Carnival Pride measures an impressive 963 feet long and has a guest capacity of 2,124 with 930 crew members on board. This cruise liner offers one-way and round-trip cruises ranging from 6-14 days. Destinations include Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, Panama Canal, Bermuda, Barcelona and more.
While onboard, guests can enjoy a day at the spa, an afternoon of waterslide excitement or an evening of live entertainment. There are also numerous restaurants to choose from that cater to both kids and adults.
The Carnival Paradise cruise ship measures slightly less at 855 feet long and has a guest capacity of 2,124 with 920 crew members on board. This cruise ship offers round-trip cruises only ranging from 4-6 days. Destinations include Cozumel, Mahogany Bay, Grand Cayman, Key West and more.
Couples will love the adult-only serenity retreat offered by the Carnival Paradise. While kids will go crazy over Camp Ocean, which offers age-appropriate crafts, songs, games, toys and dancing plus a delicious kid-approved lunch! The Carnival Paradise has it all.