The Tampa Port Authority and Royal Caribbean International have announced that the cruise line will be deploying a second ship at the Port of Tampa beginning in the fall of 2014. Royal Caribbean has been operating one ship at the Port of Tampa, during winter cruise seasons, since January 2002. The Brilliance of the Seas, which will sail seasonally four- and five-night Western Caribbean cruises, will now be joined by the Vision of the Seas, which will offer 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.
The Vision of the Seas will sail a nine-night Southern Caribbean itinerary from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on November 6, 2014, to Tampa, with calls at Aruba, Curacao, Grand Cayman and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti.
Beginning November 15, the Vision of the Seas will sail every Saturday from Tampa to destinations in the Western Caribbean, including Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan or Belize. The 915-foot ship has a capacity of 2,000 guests, double occupancy, and a crew of 742.
As previously announced, the Brilliance of the Seas also will sail from Tampa in winter 2013-14 and 2014-15 on four-night cruises to Cozumel, and five-night Cozumel itineraries, which additionally call at Grand Cayman or Key West.
“We look forward to having two of our most recently revitalized ships, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas sail from Tampa in 2014,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “The Port of Tampa has been a great partner for more than a decade and we look forward to continued growth with the Tampa Port Authority in the future.”
There will now be six cruise ships that homeport in Tampa. The projected passenger throughput with the sixth ship will be just over 1 million passengers, the largest throughput in the port’s 31-year history as a cruise port. Port officials said they were excited to welcome an additional ship to Tampa, which has been home port to Royal Caribbean ships since the first ship, Rhapsody of the Seas, called in January 2002.