Cruise News

Port Tampa Bay Sees Influx of Cruise Guests Due to Strong Bookings

More and more guests are finding their way to Port Tampa Bay to set sail on a cruise. The difference between last year, when cruises were just starting again, is almost double the number of passengers boarding a cruise ship. 

All three big cruise companies currently have ships sailing from Tampa, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corporation, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Each call for one of the big cruise ships is responsible for no less than $300,000 in economic impact. 

Cruise Ships Bringing More Than Fun

Several ports in the United States and elsewhere have been seeing the cruise industry’s economic impact on their local economies. That is no different for Port Tampa Bay; although the port is not the biggest cruise port in the United States, it is fast becoming much more popular, with far-reaching consequences.

Read Also: Tampa Cruise Terminal – Everything You Need to Know!

The Senior Director of Development for Port Tampa Bay, Greg Lovelace, said to News Channel 8 each time a cruise ship docks in the city, the economic impact is no less than $300,000 impact on the local economy. But that’s not where the benefits stop. Each cruise liner brings additional jobs and income to local entrepreneurs. 

Serenade of the Seas at Port of Tampa in Florida
Photo Courtesy: Port of Tampa

As the cruise industry resumes, numbers have been steadily growing. Before the Pandemic, 1.1 million guests sailed from Tampa each year. While the port doesn’t expect this year’s numbers to reach that strength, it does expect they’ll return to that capacity by 2023.

With the CDC lowering the cruise travel warning, which is having a positive effect on the bookings for the near term, all lights are green for a successful 2022 and beyond.

The number of cruise ship calls in the port have already been exceeding expectations. For April 2022, the Port of Tampa Bay expects 41 cruise ship calls. With that, the port is well on its way to the projected 187 calls and 400,000 passengers it expected to see in 2022.

One Cruise Line Stands Out For Tampa

It’s only been a few months since October of 2021, when Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas restarted cruises from Tampa Bay. Now, all three major cruise companies have ships sailing from the increasingly popular cruise port.

Carnival Cruise Line is operating with Carnival Paradise and Carnival Pride, Royal Caribbean with Brilliance of the Seas; Celebrity Cruises with Celebrity Constellation; and Norwegian Cruise Line with Norwegian Dawn.

Carnival Pride in Tampa, Florida
Photo Credit: Port of Tampa Bay

As Carnival Cruise Line celebrates its 50th Birthday, Kirk Neil, Regional Vice President for Carnival in Tampa, and Seth Grunes, Business Development Director of Carnival Cruise Line, celebrated Carnival’s Birthday with the board of Port Tampa Bay, which reacted as follow:

“For more than 27 years, Carnival has brought the fun to cruising from Tampa and has taken guests to a variety of wonderful locations throughout the Caribbean. Over the years, Carnival has become the most popular cruise line for guests sailing from Port Tampa Bay, and our community and region continues to be positively impacted by Carnival’s partnership. We congratulate your entire team of dedicated workers, who strive to be the best in the industry and keep guests at the forefront of their mission.”

As the cruise industry continues to develop and evolve, the risk exists that big ports such as Port Everglades and PortMiami become increasingly overcrowded and unattractive. It is good that ports such as Tampa can become regional players, where guests can board a cruise with relative ease. 

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