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Cruises from Tampa

5 favorite cruises to the Caribbean, Panama Canal and across the Atlantic.

From sunny Tampa you can sail to tropical islands in the Caribbean and along with coast of Mexico. You can also cruise to the Panama Canal and across the Atlantic, to Spain.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line are known for offering good value, with mid-tier pricing, plenty to do onboard and restaurants with glowing reviews. Or book great cruises from Tampa with Celebrity — but keep in mind that these cruises are pricier up front because drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities are included in the fare.

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, However, it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated domestic travelers as of April 2021. International travelers need to get tested three days prior to flying out of the US and within three days after returning, even if you are fully vaccinated. It recommends that you delay travel if you’re not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

If you’re planning a trip outside the US, bear in mind that many countries have placed restrictions on US tourists. Check the US embassy website for updates before booking international travel.

Our favorite cruises from Tampa

Cruise lineCruiseItineraryPriceBook
Royal CaribbeanBahamas & Key West — 4 nights
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Key West, Florida
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Tampa, Florida
From $329 per personBook now
CarnivalWestern Caribbean — 6 days
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Belize City, Belize
  • Costa Maya, Mexico
  • Tampa, Florida
From $399 per personBook now
Norwegian Cruise LineCaribbean — 11 days
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Key West, Florida
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
  • Oranjestad, Aruba
  • Willemstad, Curacao
  • George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Tampa, Florida
From $1,014 per personBook now
Celebrity CruisesAzores & Spain Transatlantic — 15 nights
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Ponta Delgada, Azores
  • Seville, Spain
  • Malaga, Spain
  • Cartagena, Spain
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Barcelona, Spain
From $1,799 per personBook now
CarnivalPanama Canal — 8 days
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Limon, Peru
  • Panama Canal Partial Transit
  • Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Tampa, Florida
From $789 per personBook now

Best cruises from Tampa

Port of Tampa Bay is relatively small compared to other cruise ports in Florida, but it’s still got quality itineraries for a sunny getaway.

Best for cruises from Tampa to Key West: Royal Caribbean

Craving some Key Lime Pie? Sink your teeth into laid-back living, with Royal Caribbean itineraries that swing by Key West, CocoCay and Nassau from Tampa.

Most of these trips are scheduled from December through April. As cabins start at under $500 per person, families might favor these for spring break getaways.

  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for cruises to the Panama Canal from Tampa: Carnival

See Mexico and Costa Rica before sailing through part of the Panama Canal, a 48-mile man-made waterway that's considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Expect entertaining days at sea with a comedy club, live music and more. This is also a great choice for families in need of retreat, as an adults-only lounge and a camp specially designed for kids is included.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for Caribbean cruises from Tampa: Norwegian

NCL has routes that go to the western Caribbean — Belize, Honduras and the eastern edge of Mexico, or to the southern Caribbean — Aruba, Barbados, St. Maarten, Antilles and Puerto Rico. While you won't see many summer options, its cruises are perfect for folks looking to escape the wintertime blues. The vast majority of trips are scheduled from December through March.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for short cruises from Tampa: Royal Caribbean

While three-day cruises from Tampa are rare, Royal Caribbean offers a four-night getaway that'll take you to Cozumel and back. Prices start at under $400/person, dining included and plenty of options for entertainment including a climbing wall, mini golf course, live entertainment and shops on board. If you can squeeze in one more day, you'll find ample itineraries for five-night cruises with a rich handful of palm tree-dotted destinations.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we chose these cruises

When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around the region.

We also considered onboard dining and weighed the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. And we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

How to find last-minute cruises from Tampa

Check leading travel sites like TripAdvisor and Expedia that make it their business to scout last-minute cruise deals. Enter your travel dates into the search bar, select Tampa as your departure city, and hit it to see cruises with available last-minute fares.

When is the best time to cruise from Tampa?

You’ll find the widest range of itineraries available for cruises from Tampa in December through April — snowbird season. Still, fares are likely to be more expensive during this time due to increased demand. Airfare and accommodations may also be pricier.

For budget travelers, the cheapest time to cruise from Tampa is May to early June, and late August through early November. These off-season months have a lower demand overall, which makes for cheaper fare — with weather that’s still lovely for a sail.

Getting to the port for your cruise from Tampa

The Tampa cruise port is about 10 miles southwest of the airport — a 20- to 25-minute drive, depending on traffic.

From Tampa International Airport, you can get to the cruise port via:

  • Ride-hailing app. Uber and Lyft abound in Tampa.
  • Taxi. Taxis will be available at the airport.
  • Shuttle. Check to see if your cruise line or hotel offers shuttles to and from the airport. Otherwise, browse third-party options.
  • Public transportation. Take the SkyConnect passenger train to the Skyconnect Rental Car Facility. From there, walk to the Airport Rental Car Facility bus stop and hop on the 60 East to Downtown bus. Get off at Jackson St @ Brush St and walk about a half mile to the cruise port terminals. The whole trip will take you about an hour, and will cost $2.

To find cheap flights for your cruise from Tampa, consider flying with a budget airline. These low-cost carriers fly into Tampa International Airport:

  • Allegiant
  • Frontier
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • Sun Country

You could also search for cheap flights into Orlando, FL, which is about a 1.5 hour from Tampa. Greyhound buses regularly run between the two cities.

Bottom line

Tampa is more low-key than bustling Miami or Orlando, providing an easy-in, easy-out port experience. Before booking your getaway above the waves, browse coupons to save money on your fare.

Frequently asked questions

Where do Royal Caribbean cruises depart from in Tampa?

Most Royal Caribbean cruises depart from terminal two or three at the Port of Tampa Bay. Verify your cruising terminal in advance to see which you’ll go to.

Which cruises from Tampa own their own island?

Royal Caribbean and Holland America Line both own private islands in the Caribbean.

  • Royal Caribbean Owns CocoCay, also called Little Stirrup Cay, a small island just north of Nassau. While many of its Caribbean cruises do stop there, you’ll find the widest variety of CocoCay routes departing from Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
  • Holland America Line owns Half Moon Cay, a tiny island southeast of Nassau. Some itineraries that go to the Caribbean and Panama Canal stop at Half Moon Cay — but not often from Tampa. Check cruises from Orlando or Miami for a Holland America Line route to Half Moon Cay.

What are the other cruise ports in Florida?

Besides Tampa, there are five other ports where cruises in Florida depart. These are:

  • Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale
  • Carnival Cruise Port in Jacksonville
  • Port Miami in Miami
  • Canaveral in Orlando
  • Port of Palm Beach in Palm Beach

Are there cruises to Cuba from Tampa?

No — not currently. In June of 2019, the Trump administration banned tourist travel to Cuba, effectively cancelling cruises that were planning to stop in Havana.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated in a press release that this is because “Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes”.

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