Tampa, Florida is a major cruise port with a number of cruise lines scheduling itineraries departing from the port. The city boasts a major international airport, access to a number of beautiful beaches and a number of attractions worthy of a visit.
On the western side of Tampa Bay is a peninsula that encompasses four cities. St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo and Dunedin. In addition to spectacular beaches the area is well worth a few days just visiting the major sites. Having a rental car is highly recommended.
Where Your Ship Docks
Tampa has a large seaport featuring modern cruise terminals with public facilities and docking space for several large cruise ships. There are a number of parking facilities both public and commercial that serve the port for those driving in to catch a cruise.
Taxis are available at the port with moderate rates and Hertz and Avis have locations within a mile of the cruise port. Because of the demand it is highly recommended that cars be reserved ahead of time. The cruise lines have shuttle service available from Tampa airport to the ships for under $25 per trip per person. If your party is several people there is a taxi flat rate of $25 to downtown Tampa and the port.
Tampa is a U.S. port and you will need US$ (some locations will also accept Canadian Dollars) but most major credit cards are welcome and ATM machines are plentiful.
The Florida Aquarium [ 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602] is only a short walk from the cruise port. Rated Florida’s Best Aquarium and one of the “top 5 kid-friendly aquariums in the country”. Exploring “the great outdoors” indoors while inside our cool, air-conditioned facility or coming face to beak with one of their penguins, The Florida Aquarium is a fabulous destination and very near the cruise port.
The American Victory [705 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602] is also very near the cruise port and located on a pier right next to The Florida Aquarium. Visit this real piece of WWII history. Welcome aboard the American Victory Ship and Museum, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. As one of only 4 fully-operational WWII Liberty ships in the country, the American Victory is a true American icon and is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
Busch Gardens – If you’re spending more than a day in Tampa there’s the Busch Gardens Theme Park which is rated one of America’s great attractions featuring live animal attractions in addition to thrilling rides for all ages.
The Dali Museum [1 Dali Blvd, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701] This modern marvel celebrates the life and work of Salvador Dali (1904-1989) and features works from the artist’s entire career. The collection includes over 2,000 works from every moment and in every medium of his artistic activity.
Tampa is part of the twin cities of Tampa-St. Petersburg and sits just east of the Gulf of Mexico beaches.
Sunken Gardens [1825 4th St N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33704] A botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city. As St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, this 100-year-old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region.