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Royal Caribbean could be first cruise line to restart cruises in Tampa by October

In:
18 Aug 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

While cruise ships have restarted from most of Florida's ports, Tampa has been conspicuously absent.

Many cruise fans have wondered when cruise ships would start sailing from the western Florida port, and October might be the first opportunity.

At the Tampa Port Authority board meeting this week, port officials said a mid-October is possible.

Royal Caribbean announced earlier this month Serenade of the Seas would offer 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa, Florida, starting Oct. 16.

The first sailing is a five-night cruise to the Bahamas, followed by a 4-night sailing to Cozumel on October 21st.

Brilliance of the Seas is also scheduled to sail from Tampa to offer 4- and 5-night Bahamas and Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa, starting Dec. 16

Tampa officials now seem to echo that announcement in their own plans.

Tampa Port Authority Vice President of Business Development, Wade Elliott, said at a meeting that a mid-October restart is what they are expecting, "We anticipate that we will begin to see regular sailings from Port Tampa Bay starting again in mid-October, so we’re excited about that."

"We are encouraged to see the cruise industry slowly starting back up across the county."

Elliott said Port Tampa Bay’s facilities teams have been making cosmetic tune-ups to the terminals and the port will be ready for cruise travel in weeks.

"Structurally, we’re in good shape," he said.