As part of the continuing kickoff of a busy 2014/2015 cruise season for Port Tampa Bay, port officials welcomed Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ship Vision of the Seas—which will home port in Tampa concurrent with Brilliance of the Seas—in a plaque exchange with the ship’s captain in a ceremony Saturday, November 22.

Last year, Port Tampa Bay and Royal Caribbean International announced that the cruise line would be deploying a second ship at the Port Tampa Bay, marking the first time the cruise line would have two ships in Tampa simultaneously.  Up to now, Royal Caribbean has been operating one ship at Port Tampa Bay, during winter cruise seasons, since January 2002.  Brilliance of the Seas, which sails seasonally four- and five-night Western Caribbean cruises, is now joined by Vision of the Seas, which offers seven-night Western Caribbean cruises, sailing from Tampa throughout winter 2014-15.

“It is extremely exciting to see Royal Caribbean International’s continued support of the Tampa cruise market by adding an additional vessel to our thriving home port. Royal Caribbean is a very important partner, offering a quality cruise experience to their guests and significant economic value to the port and our region,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.

Vision of the Seas will sail every Saturday from Tampa to destinations in the Western Caribbean, including Grand Cayman, Cozumel (MX), Costa Maya (MX), Roatan (Honduras) or Belize.  The 915-foot ship has a capacity of 2,000 guests, double occupancy, and a crew of 742. Previously announced, Brilliance of the Seas also will sail from Tampa on four-night cruises to Cozumel and five-night Cozumel itineraries, which additionally call at Grand Cayman or Key West.

A total of six cruise ships will now be home ported in Tampa, and, counting port of call visits, this will be the busiest winter cruise season in history of Port Tampa Bay, say port officials.