For the first time since the pause in operations in March 2020 and Carnival Cruise Line’s resumption of cruises in July 2021, a Carnival ship sails on a voyage from Tampa Bay.
After the ship sailed on a series of cruises from Baltimore, Maryland, Carnival Pride has completed her repositioning down south and is all set to start her winter season in the Caribbean, combining 6-day and 7-day cruises to the Western Caribbean, 8-day cruises to and through the Panama Canal, and one extraordinary cruise.
It might be the first time a Carnival cruise ship sails from Tampa; it’s not the first cruise back in action for Carnival Pride. The ship became the ninth cruise ship sailing for Carnival to resume operations on September 12 from Baltimore, Maryland. She sailed on a series of Bahamas cruises, which concluded with a 14-day repositioning to Tampa with several stops around the Caribbean.
“We have been a proud member of the Tampa community for more than 25 years, having been the first cruise line to sail from Tampa in 1994, so we’re absolutely thrilled to provide our guests an opportunity to get Back to Fun from the port while supporting the local economy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
The 88,500 gross tons cruise ship has arrived in Tampa and is welcoming guests on November 14. The vessel will sail on a cruise that will call in Costa Maya, Roatan Island, Belize City, and Cozumel before she arrives back in Tampa, Florida, on November 21.
“We are so pleased to have Carnival Cruise Line returning to Port Tampa Bay today. The return of cruising has a far-reaching impact on our region, with many local businesses standing to benefit. It’s estimated that a ship like Carnival Pride generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call,” said Raul Alfonso, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Port Tampa Bay.
Also read: Cruises Out of Tampa: The Pros and Cons
The ship will combine the 7- and 6-day cruises to the Western Caribbean with 8-day cruises to and through the Panama Canal until she repositions to Europe. From April, the vessel will be homeporting in Barcelona, Spain; Dover, UK; and Civitavecchia, Italy, respectively. However, before it comes to that, the ship will embark on one very special voyage.
There is probably no better fit for an event like the Big Nude Boat 2022 cruise than Carnival Pride. With its variety of nude statues and paintings and the “Icons of Beauty” theme, the guests on board will feel right at home.
The Big Nude Boat is a two-week charter by Bare Necessities, a company that organizes clothing-optional vacations in various areas, including cruise ships. In the past, the company also chartered Carnival Freedom in 2013, while other upcoming cruises include Carnival Pride again in 2023.
Are you interested in taking a clothing-optional cruise? The voyage will set sail from Tampa on February 13 and feature calls in Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia, Curacao, Puerto Rico, Amber Cove, and Nassau before the vessel arrives back in Tampa.
While Carnival Pride will sail from Tampa until April next year, she will have the company of Carnival Paradise during March, making it two Carnival cruise ships sailing from the port. Carnival Paradise will also be sailing on a Western Caribbean itinerary.
For the Tampa Bay Cruise Terminal and local merchants, this is good news. For more than a year, they lost nearly all cruise ship-generated income, Lisa Wolf-Chason, a spokesperson for Port Tampa Bay, said to ABC Action News:
“We celebrate the return for not only ourselves, but for all of the tourism and small business-related industries. This is truly a great time to celebrate and spend time in Tampa in and of itself. So, we’re really excited that Tampa will get this big boost in tourism from the cruise business.”
The entire port area has seen revenues drop by more than 20% over the last 20 months, while only recently, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the past, each cruise ship call with ships carrying 3,000 passengers or more brought in $334,000 to the local economy on average. The return of Carnival Cruise Line to Tampa will bring a much-needed boost for the locals.