Far from the flashy cities on Florida's eastern coast, Tampa is a more laid-back and quiet place to begin your cruise - although far from a backwater. It has rich Native American and colonial history, with some lovely historic districts including Ybor City. Visitors also enjoy the excellent Florida Aquarium, the striking Tampa Museum of Art, Busch Gardens amusement park and zoo, and the lovely beaches found to the west of the city.
Embarking on a cruise out of Tampa will take you out through Tampa Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. The natural harbour has a long tradition of welcoming and farewelling ships and vessels of all kinds, from the original Tocobaga inhabitants to the city's current status as an important cargo port.
Tampa cruise lines and destinations
Royal Caribbean is the biggest line sailing from Tampa - and they do Caribbean cruising well, so you'll be in good hands for your tropical adventure! Other popular cruise lines which sail through the area include Celebrity cruises, cruises with Princess, Carnival cruises and the p&o cruise line which doesn't just embark on Australasian cruises!
While the vast majority of cruises departing Tampa head out into the Caribbean, you can take your pick of itineraries which range from short four-night excursions stopping in at Cozumel, Mexico to ten-night journeys into the Southern Caribbean to visit Aruba and other exotic locales. Royal Caribbean even offers a fortnight-long journey from the Caribbean across to Spain.
Tampa cruise port
You will find Tampa's three cruise terminals at the Channelside development. They are modern facilities with extensive passenger amenities, security and parking available on-site. The shops and entertainment options of Channelside are also just metres away.
Cruising from Tampa is very convenient for those who want to explore a little. The terminals are just a twenty minute walk from downtown or Ybor city, only a few hundred metres from the Florida Aquarium and just generally handy to most of the action. Tampa International Airport is a 25-minute drive away.