Cruise Terminals Port of Tampa

The cruise terminals in the Port of Tampa are some of the busiest in the nation with close to 1 million passengers in 2006.

Cruise Lines

One of the fastest growing ports in the country, the cruises from Tampa consist of 3 cruise lines with 4 vessels that sail out of the port.

These cruise lines are

  • Holland America – ms Veendam vessel
  • Carnival – Inspiration and Carnival Legend vessels
  • Royal Caribbean – Grandeur of the Seas vessels

The Holland America cruise line provides premium cruises that cater to usually older, more experienced cruisers.

On the other hand, Royal Caribbean and Carnival usually attract more first time cruisers and families.

The cruise terminals in the Port of Tampa are located on Channelside Drive near downtown Tampa in the Channelside district.

There are 3 terminals from which each of the cruise lines depart.

  • Terminal 2 – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Terminal 3 - Royal Caribbean International
  • Terminal 6 – Holland America Line

Parking at each of the terminals is $12 / day.

Parking for Terminals 2 and 3 is located at the parking garage across the street from the Florida aquarium at 810 Channelside Dr., while parking for Terminal 6 is adjacent to the terminal.

Things to Do

Located near the cruise terminals in the Port of Tampa, there are a variety of spots that you want to be sure to check out.

I would suggest that you make plans to stay an extra day or at least a few extra hours.

One of the most popular of these attractions is the Tampa aquarium. The aquarium has over 1,340 species of plants and animals all over the world.

In addition to the exhibits, they have shows and a new water play area for children with water jets and a pirate ship.

You can expect to spend about 2 – 3 hours here depending on how much you like to read the information at the exhibits. If you are an information junkie like me then it will be closer to 3 hours.

Also while you are there be sure to visit Channelside Tampa.

This is an entertainment complex with various restaurants, shops, and entertainment just next to the cruise terminals in the Port of Tampa.

You will find a movie theater with an IMAX screen here. There is also a very nice upscale bowling alley, Splitsville in the Channelside complex.

There are a variety of restaurants with different cuisines in the area.

I recommend Bennigan’s, one of my favorite Casual dining restaurants if you are looking for a casual dining place.

They are usually quick, have good food with a variety of things in which to choose.

The reason that I especially like this Bennigan’s in Channelside is because the view is awesome!

It has a waterfront view and you can watch the ships pull out to sea until they fade over the horizon. Hopefully it is not your ship!

There is also shopping in the area at the specialty retail shops throughout the complex.

These are just some of the things to do in and around the cruise terminals in the Port of Tampa.

You should also check out Ybor City which is just down the street from the terminals.

At Centro Ybor you will also find more shops, restaurants and entertainment. Along 7th avenue in Ybor City there are many popular Tampa Bay restaurants.

You can get there by taking the Streetcar or by driving along Channelside drive, since it is a little too far to walk.

Of course if you want to experience all that Tampa has to offer then you want to get here a few days earlier to see the Tampa bay beaches, Busch Gardens, Lowry Park zoo, and the tons of other things to do in the city.

The cruise terminals in the Port of Tampa are in a perfect location and should allow you to combine your vacation into two wonderful experiences.

First experience what the great city of Tampa has to offer and then set sail and enjoy your cruise.

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