Located along the west coast of Florida, Tampa is a great city to take a cruise from, particularly because it is a convenient departure port for those that live within driving distance. It is also a great choice if you would like to take a cruise leaving from a beautiful city that has lots of things to do. While in Tampa, you can visit fun theme parks, go to the beach, visit a zoo or museum, go shopping, and enjoy a great meal at one of the city's fabulous restaurants.
Cruises from Tampa are available year-round, and are usually anywhere from 4- to over 14-nights in length. Among the cruise lines that offer cruises from Tampa are Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise from Tampa, FL. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines feature cruises leaving from Tampa, FL. Select a cruise line to view upcoming cruises that they're offering from Tampa, FL:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Tampa, along with a brief description:
♦ Busch Gardens
Without a doubt, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tampa is Busch Gardens. It is a great theme park that features a bunch of exciting rides (like record-breaking roller coasters), as well as a zoo (with over 2,500 exotic and endangered animals). If you are looking to do something exciting before or after your cruise, consider paying a visit to here!
♦ Tampa Museum of Art
Located in downtown Tampa, this large museum is a great place to spend some time admiring fine works of art from many eras. The museum features a world-class collection of artworks, including Greek and Roman antiques, beautiful sculptures, photography, paintings, as well as contemporary art.
♦ Lowry Park Zoo
Wildlife lovers should definitely consider visiting Lowry Park Zoo before or after their cruise. The zoo is open daily, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (subject to change). There is a great educational program given at the zoo, as well as a really large selection of animals (over 2,000) and attractions. Among the animals you can see at this zoo are elephants, leopards, tigers, bears, kangaroos, tropical birds, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, manatees, monkeys and raptors.
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