Tampa Reaches 1 Million Mark

The Carnival Miracle (left) and Carnival Paradise at Port Tampa Bay.

One million passengers in Port Tampa Bay was a record number in 2018, and all signs point to more this year.

Two year-round Carnival Cruise Line ships plus seasonal deployments from Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean International make up the bulk of the port’s cruise business, and features one of the most mixed itinerary offerings anywhere, according to Greg Lovelace, director, marketing and business development.

The port cruised past the one million mark on a weekend in September, when three ships were in port.

Earlier in 2018, the port saw a record weekend over Easter, when 29,167 guests were logged.          

Tampa will soon invest some $10 million in its trio of cruise terminals, adding new digital signage, escalators and making other upgrades.

New large video boards will allow the port to display relevant information, and cruise lines will also have access to them – whether to feed boarding alerts to passengers or offer shore excursion sales opportunities,

The Carnival Paradise’s sailings to Cuba have been popular, and the port is eyeing a bigger Cuba portfolio as Havana looks to expand.

“It diversifies our itinerary offerings in the market,” Lovelace added. The recently-refurbished Paradise is on a five-/five-/four-day cruise rotation, and joins the Carnival Miracle year-round out of Tampa. The Miracle offers mainly week-long sailings.

Royal Caribbean, additionally, has offered Cuba from Tampa on both the Empress and the Majesty.

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