Tampa Bay is a lively port city located off of the beautiful Gulf Coast of Central Florida. Home to two large universities, a vibrant sports scene, and award-winning beaches, you can now book cruises from Tampa to the Caribbean and beyond with Celebrity Cruises. This underrated city offers all kinds of diversions for your entire group, from world-class museums to natural wonders and water-based adventures.
If you’ve got a couple of days before or after your cruise from Florida, Tampa is ripe for exploration. Spend an afternoon strolling through the historic district of Y-Bor City or along the waterfront where you can grab a bite to eat at the trendy Armature Works, and explore the surrounding region. Thrill seekers can head to Busch Gardens, home to spectacular roller coasters guaranteed to get your heart pumping. No trip to Tampa is complete without discovering why its nearby beaches are consistently ranked among the best in the country.
Once dubbed the “Cigar Capital of the World,” the Y-Bor City district is rich in history and Latin culture. Stop in one of the area’s many cigar shops and buy a few hand-rolled cigars to take home. Spend the day mingling with locals at one of its craft breweries or simply stroll the cobblestoned streets and admire the façades of this charming neighborhood before boarding one of our Tampa cruises.
If you’re a fan of celebrated Spanish artist Salvador Dalí, then a visit to the awe-inspiring Dalí Museum in St. Pete is a must. The museum is home to the largest collection of his art outside of Europe. The gift shop is a great place to grab a quirky gift to take home.
Rated one of the best aquariums in the country, the Florida Aquarium is located just steps away from Tampa’s port area. Here, you can pet stingrays, get up close with African penguins, and even spot dolphins in the wild on a catamaran cruise. The aquarium is so close to the port that passengers leaving on cruises from Tampa can bring their luggage, which the venue will safely store while you explore.
Some of the nation’s leading beaches are found on the Gulf Coast, and passengers on Tampa cruises will have plenty of award-winning options to explore. Clearwater Beach, which frequently tops best-of lists, is a family favorite lined with hotels, shops, and restaurants. At Fort de Soto, you can canoe or kayak, hunt for seashells, and explore the historic fort. At the upscale St. Pete Beach, try an exciting watersport like parasailing or kiteboarding, or simply lounge on its sugary sands.
Located southwest of the city of Tampa, St. Pete is an artsy city that boasts upscale boutiques and restaurants, museums and art galleries, and fun activities for the whole family. If you’re here on a Saturday, stop in the Morning Market for live music, international cuisine, and artisan goods.
No matter what type of sport you’re into, you’re bound to find it here in Tampa. Sit near the ice and dodge pucks at a Lightning game, cheer on the Bucs to the sounds of a pirate ship’s cannon balls blasting at Raymond James Stadium, or snack on cracker jacks while watching the Yankees during spring training or the Rays during the regular season.
Bern’s Steak House
1208 S. Howard Ave., Tampa
For the ultimate culinary experience in Tampa Bay, Bern’s Steak House is the most sought-after choice. Its extraordinary wine menu, delectable steaks, and magnificent dessert room make it a top spot to celebrate a special occasion. Reservations are recommended.
1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa
Once the home of a phosphate machinery manufacturer, Armature Works is Tampa’s trendiest new dining destination located along the Hillsborough River. Choose from a number of innovative restaurants in this fully restored warehouse with a picturesque outdoor space
2117 E. 7th Ave., Tampa
Visit the state’s oldest restaurant and world’s largest Spanish restaurant at Columbia, a renowned Y-Bor City institution. Marvel at Spanish flamenco dancers while you dine on delicious tapas and fresh seafood dishes.
Tampa Bay’s Native American history can be traced as far back as 900 A.D. Multiple tribes inhabited the region until the arrival of Ponce de Leon in the 1500s, when their populations began to decline. In the 1820s, the U.S. Army founded Fort Brooke to protect the city’s valuable harbor area.
Today, Tampa’s port is one of the largest in the nation due to its phosphate shipping and shrimp trading. Its culture is diverse and thriving, with influences from Latin and Caribbean communities. The annual Gasparilla festival, which celebrates the legend of pirate José Gaspar, attracts half a million people to the city every year.
Passengers departing on cruises from Tampa Bay will leave from Port Tampa Bay, home to three cruise terminals. Just outside of the cruise terminals is the Channelside district, where you’ll find a handful of shops and restaurants. Tourist information centers, Wi-Fi, and bathrooms are available at the port.
To get from the Tampa cruise port to most attractions in the city, you’ll need to rent a car or use a ridesharing service. There are a handful of car rental agencies located close to the port. You can also take the TECO line streetcar around downtown Tampa and Y-Bor. There’s a stop nearby where cruises from Tampa depart. For a fun way to see the city, try a water taxi, which will take you to various stops along the water.
International Plaza is an upscale shopping destination with both brand-name and luxury stores, plus a number of world-class restaurants, located about 20 minutes away from the port. For upscale boutiques in a picturesque setting, head to Hyde Park Village, just 10 minutes from the port.
Tampa, along with the rest of the United States, uses the U.S. dollar. You’ll find ATMs throughout the city’s most-visited destinations and neighborhoods. Credit cards are widely accepted, though it’s always wise to have some cash on hand. At restaurants and bars, a 15% to 20% tip is suggested.