Here in Central Florida, we are fortunate to have five major cruise ports within a 4-hour drive from our homes. Many people around the country have to factor airfare into their cruise vacations, which substantially increases the cost and reduces the feasibility of a shorter cruise getaway.
From Tampa, we can drive easily to Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami, and embark of a variety of cruise ships heading, well, pretty much everywhere! It’s great to also have a home port right here in Tampa. It makes it convenient to hop on and go with almost no travel time, and less time missed from school and work.
During the summer months, many of the cruise lines have ships sailing in Alaska and Europe. When the temperatures cool down each Fall, these ships usually return to the US for domestic departures. Galveston, New York, and New Orleans all see increased cruise traffic during the winter months, and Tampa is on this list as well!
Starting in November, cruisers have new ships and new itineraries available to them right out of the Port of Tampa! In addition to our Carnival Paradise, sailing year-round from Tampa on a 4-and-5 night Caribbean itinerary, Carnival will also be bringing in the Legend, offering 7-night Western Caribbean Cruises. Carnival Cruise Line is known as “The Fun Ship”, and the addition of the Legend brings even more fun options to Tampa Bay!
Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing into town with the Norwegian Dawn, fresh off a multi-million dollar refurbishment in May. Offering 7 night Western Caribbean cruises, the Dawn features the new Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse; updated kids and teen areas; and 19” flat screen TVs in every stateroom.
Royal Caribbean International is bringing the Jewel of the Seas back to Tampa! Sailing on shorter 4-and-5 night itineraries to the Western Caribbean, the Jewel is perfect for the long weekend getaway! The Jewel of the Seas features 3 pools and 3 whirlpools; the 6,000+ square foot Casino Royale; specialty dining venues Chops Grill steakhouse and Portofino Italian; a rock-climbing wall, mini golf course, and on-board jogging track; kids & teen programs, and more.
Holland America is bringing the MS Ryndam to town, with its popular 7-night Western Caribbean cruise. In addition, the Ryndam will also be sailing straight from Tampa on several 14-night Southern Caribbean itineraries, as well as an exciting, 21-day EXTENDED Caribbean itinerary! These longer trips offer more convenience to Tampa and Central Florida residents, and open the door to more exotic destinations such as Curacao, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, and Aruba.
More options = more choices and better values for our Tampa area cruisers. Take advantage of the new ships and itineraries, and venture into the Caribbean this winter!