The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) is pleased to announce the inaugural call and celebration of Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Brilliance of the Seas in Tampa, where the cruise ship will home port for the 2013-14 cruise season, at Cruise Terminal 3.

Port Authority officials, including commissioners Larry Shipp and Patrick Allman, and area tourism partners welcomed the ship, its captain and crew to the Port of Tampa during an onboard reception, held Saturday, Nov. 16.  Tampa Port Authority Commissioner Larry Shipp presented a customary commemorative plaque and gift to Captain Stig Nilsen, and they both delivered brief remarks about the significance of Royal Caribbean International’s presence at the port; nine RCI vessels have called Tampa home throughout previous years, underscoring a long and prosperous partnership between the cruise line and Tampa as a home port.

Larry Shipp, TPA commissioner, presents commemorative plaque and gift to Capt. Stig Nilsen.“This is a very special day in Tampa, to welcome yet another amazing ship from the Royal Caribbean fleet into the port and into our region, where we recognize the incredible economic benefits and prestige of being one of the nation’s top cruise home ports,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.  “We are excited to continue to build our relationship with Royal Caribbean and are eager to welcome even more of their vessels to our world-class port in the future.”

In recent years, Tampa has become a robust cruise home port, and officials expect to reach the million passenger benchmark in the near future.  Tampa Bay has much to offer cruise passengers, including family recreation, sports, beaches and proximity to central Florida theme parks. Excellent airlift and strong drive-in market help drive the strong cruise industry in Tampa.