The Port of Tampa Bay has announced it will raise the parking fees for cruise ship passengers and the wharfage fees for cruise ships from October 2023. The port will remain one of the most competitive and cheap ports to park a car for the duration of a cruise.
Port Tampa Bay has been developing its cruise offerings in the last years, leading to an increase in cruise ships using the port as a homeport for cruises to the Caribbean.
Parking Becomes More Expensive In Port Tampa Bay
Starting in October 2023, parking fees at Port Tampa Bay will increase by 5% over the current prices. The change in parking fees comes together in a package of other price hikes, 13 in total. The price hikes do not just affect cruise ships, fees for cargo ships, cargo operations, and wharfage fees for cruise ships will also see increases.
As reported by Tampa Bay Times, parking for passengers at the Tampa Bay port facilities will increase from $15 per car per day to $15,75 per car per day. Prices for recreational vehicles will increase from $30 to $31,50 per RV.
“I would say 99 out of 100 times, our rates are on the low end, if not the lowest,” Greg Lovelace, the port’s senior director of business development, said at the port’s monthly board meeting. “For the most part, we remain very competitive.”
While the increases might seem steep, fees remain well below the $17.00 per day charged at Port Canaveral for cars. However, Port Canaveral charges the same amount for RVs, whereas the price doubles in Port Tampa Bay.
Other Miami ports, such as Fort Lauderdale, which charges $15 per day for standard vehicles and $19 per day for RVs, and PortMiami, which charges between $22 and $28 per day, are significantly higher for cars but much cheaper for RVs.
Choosing the correct port to sail from could save significant amounts of money on parking fees. Driving down to Florida by car for a seven-night cruise from Port Canaveral would cost $119.
A similar 7-night cruise from Tampa would cost $110,75. Sailing from Port Miami’s Royal Caribbean terminal would cost $196 on parking fees.
If traveling by RV, the differences are even more considerable. A 7-night cruise from Tampa would cost $220,50 on parking fees, while a similar voyage from Port Canaveral would cost only $119. That’s more than 100 dollars savings just on parking.
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 with a wheelchair ramp, lift, or official DV plates can also park free for the duration of their cruise.
Which Cruise Lines Sail From Tampa?
This year, some 187 cruise ships have called in Tampa Bay or will do so before the end of the year. With some 400,000 passengers onboard those ships, Tampa Bay is slowly but surely becoming a bigger player in the cruise industry, although the port is still far behind the millions that sail from other Florida ports.
At this time, only Carnival Paradise is sailing from Tampa, offering 5-night Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel. From October, Serenade of the Seas will begin operations from Port Tampa Bay, sailing 5-night Western Caribbean cruises to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel.
Starting in November, Celebrity Constellation will begin its Tampa Bay cruise season with a 6-night cruise to Belize and Cozumel, followed by 10-and eleven-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Other ships offering cruises from Tampa this year include Norwegian Dawn, Brilliance of the Seas, and Carnival Pride.