The Port of Tampa Bay announced that it will increase parking fees for cruise ship passengers and dock fees for cruise ships beginning in October 2023. The port will remain one of the most competitive ports and cheapest to park a car for the duration of a cruise. .
Port Tampa Bay has expanded its cruise offerings in recent years, resulting in an increase in the number of cruise ships using the port as a home base for Caribbean cruises.
Parking is getting more expensive in Port Tampa Bay
From October 2023, parking fees at Tampa Bay will increase by 5% compared to current prices. The change in parking prices is part of a set of other price increases, 13 in total. The price increases do not only affect cruise ships, charges for cargo ships, cargo operations and wharfage fees for cruise ships will also see increases.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, passenger parking at Tampa Bay Port Facilities will increase from $15 per car per day to $15.75 per car per day. RV prices will increase from $30 to $31.50 per RV.
“I would say 99 times out of 100 our rates are low, if not the lowest,” Greg Lovelace, the port’s senior business development manager, told the port’s monthly board meeting. “For the most part, we remain very competitive.”
Although the increases may seem significant, the fees remain well below the $17.00 per day charged to Port Canaveral for cars. However, Port Canaveral charges the same amount for RVs, while the price doubles in Port Tampa Bay.
Other ports in Miami, such as Fort Lauderdalewhich charges $15 per day for standard vehicles and $19 per day for recreational vehicles, and PortMiamiwhich charge between $22 and $28 per day, are significantly higher for cars but much cheaper for RVs.
Choosing the right port of departure could save significant sums on parking fees. Driving to Florida for a seven-night cruise from Port Canaveral would cost $119.
A similar 7-night cruise from Tampa would cost $110.75. Sailing from the Royal Caribbean Port Miami terminal would cost $196 in parking fees.
If you are traveling in RV, the differences are even greater. A 7-night cruise from Tampa would cost $220.50 in parking fees, while a similar trip from Port Canaveral would cost just $119. That’s over $100 in savings on parking alone.
Parking for disabled drivers or 100% disabled veterans is free at Port Tampa Bay. Vehicles must have modifications to the foot controls, such as extended pedals or hand controls. Disabled drivers with a car equipped with a wheelchair ramp, lift or official DV plates can also park for free for the duration of their cruise.
Which cruise lines depart from Tampa?
This year some 187 cruise ships have stopped in Tampa Bay or will do so before the end of the year. With some 400,000 passengers aboard these ships, Tampa Bay is slowly but surely becoming a bigger player in the cruise industry, though the port still lags far behind the millions sailing from other Florida ports.
At that time, only Carnival Paradise departs from Tampa and offers 5-night Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel. Starting at October, Serenade of the Seas will begin operations from Port Tampa Bay, sailing on 5-night Western Caribbean cruises to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel.
From November, celebrity constellation will begin its cruise season in Tampa Bay with a 6-night cruise to Belize and Cozumel, followed by 10- and 11-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
Other ships offering cruises from Tampa this year include Norwegian dawn, shine of the seasand Carnival Pride.