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St Pete Cruiser

HAL LEAVES TAMPA & CELEBRITY MOVES IN

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Many of Holland America's loyal Tampa cruisers were upset when after 35 years of winter season cruising from Tampa, Tampa was removed from the schedules.

 

It looks like Celebrity has decided that with HAL out, they want to be the only alternative to the Carnival/Royal/NCL mass marketers and move in.  Constellation, fresh from an updated dry dock, will sail from Tampa in the 2020/2021 season.  

 

I doubt now that we will see a HAL ship back any time in the near future out of Tampa.  I'm sad.

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jabcruiser beat your thread by 15 minutes: 

 

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I'm sad too.  We took at least one cruise out of Tampa per year.  

I know the captains didn't like the sail in and sail out.  But for the us, it was always a beautiful sail out, 

one of the best IMO.

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Veendam is listed as doing a 7 day Western Caribbean charter for Olivia Cruises out of Tampa in November 2020.....I suspect she will extend her transatlantic to Ft Lauderdale by 3 days to get to Tampa and do a season out of there. Nothing official yet from HAL,but if she’s already scheduled for a cruise out of there it seems logical that a Tampa season will indeed be on the horizon.....come on HAL, announce the Veendam 2020/21 itineraries!

 

 

 

her transatlantic to Ft Lauderdale. 

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I am sorry to hear of this.  I wonder if HAL will ever go back to New Orleans and do cruises out of there again.  That might be an alternative to Tampa!

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3 hours ago, Manhattan Cruiser said:

Veendam is listed as doing a 7 day Western Caribbean charter for Olivia Cruises out of Tampa in November 2020.....I suspect she will extend her transatlantic to Ft Lauderdale by 3 days to get to Tampa and do a season out of there. Nothing official yet from HAL,but if she’s already scheduled for a cruise out of there it seems logical that a Tampa season will indeed be on the horizon.....come on HAL, announce the Veendam 2020/21 itineraries!

 

 

 

her transatlantic to Ft Lauderdale. 

Well, that is interesting.  I just checked and see Veendam is NOT scheduled after a transatlantic to ft Lauderdale arriving Nov 6.

I guess we will see then.  If they do bring Veendam to Tampa, they will now have to compete with the Vista like Constellation which will be doing 10 and 11 day itineraries, so they will need to do really good cruises.  The Veendam was doing Cuba and would be good to again from Tampa if and when that reopens.

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I love cruising from Tampa, I love flying to Tampa and I love Tampa airport.  I hope HAL comes back in the future.

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Great news. Celebrity will have schedules to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal, including ABC Islands, our favorite. Looks like we are back to a 35 minute drive to a cruise port. Yea!

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I live less than two hours from Tampa and love to cruise from there.  It takes over five hours to get to Ft. Lauderdale, so we usually go early and spend the night before, making it more expensive.  We took a Royal Caribbean transatlantic a couple of years ago out of Tampa and it was wonderful.  A friend dropped us off and picked us up so we didn't even have to worry about driving.

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Glad to see Celebrity coming to Tampa! Haven't sailed on her yet, but it's the favorite line of friends of ours. I was sad to see HAL leave Tampa as it's one of our favorites. We live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa, so we cruise out of there the majority of the time.

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We've got our 2020 booked but we will consider X for our 2021 cruise.  Actual details still not available on X website.  Would like to see pricing.

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4 hours ago, G&G said:

Great news. Celebrity will have schedules to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal, including ABC Islands, our favorite. Looks like we are back to a 35 minute drive to a cruise port. Yea!

 

Unfortunately not great news for those of us who had our Fall 2020 through Spring 2021 Asia/ME cruises on Constellation cancelled for this deployment, with no notification given until the news was all over CC, and very limited time and choices for rebooking something similar. :classic_dry:

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6 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

We've got our 2020 booked but we will consider X for our 2021 cruise.  Actual details still not available on X website.  Would like to see pricing.

Details and pricing  are available now.  We booked today for 2021. 

 

We  can drive to the port but would like to book a reasonable pre cruuse hotel with parking on the other side the Skyway bridge. N?

 

Any suggestions are appreciated,  Also posted inquiry on Fl dep  port board,

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2 hours ago, hcat said:

Details and pricing  are available now.  We booked today for 2021. 

 

We  can drive to the port but would like to book a reasonable pre cruuse hotel with parking on the other side the Skyway bridge. N?

 

Any suggestions are appreciated,  Also posted inquiry on Fl dep  port board,

We've driven to Tampa twice from North Alabama.  A full day's drive takes us to Ocala where we spend the night.  It's only a 90 minute drive to the port in Tampa.  Works for us.  The best part is that it's about 10 and a half hours home.  When we drive home from FLL, it takes us about sixteen hours, a two day trip.

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Hate to see any ship leave Tampa.  Cruise lines keep building bigger and, eventually, we'll have little if any choices in Tampa.

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4 hours ago, gadaboutgal said:

Hate to see any ship leave Tampa.  Cruise lines keep building bigger and, eventually, we'll have little if any choices in Tampa.

That is pretty much the story.  When I look at the fares for the newer ships that are smaller/1500 guests or less,  the remaining older ships look better and better.  There are many ports that can't handle the big ones.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to hear HAL is leaving Tampa.  We sailed on them twice out of there (one was a B2B, so really three times) and enjoyed our pre-cruise and "layover" time there.  Quite different from Ft Lauderdale in various ways.  E.g. nothing quite like sailing under the Tampa Bay Bridge (second to sailing under Golden Gate in SF). Also sailed on Carnival out of there once.  At least Celebrity will fill the void--we've sailed on them a lot, too.

Edited by BarbinMich

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Maybe Holland America Line is returning to Tampa!  The Veendam is now scheduled to arrive Nov 3, 2020 from a 14 day Atlantic crossing.  It is also scheduled for 2 holiday sailings, both 7 day cruises to Belize, Honduras, Guatemala , and Costa Maya, Mexico in Dec 2020.  HAL hopefully is working on some longer cruises for it from Tampa, as it did have 14 day itineraries in the past.  Plus it now has to compete with Celebrity's Constellation which will be doing 10 and 11 days.  Cuba from Tampa would be a good choice if and when that reopens.

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14 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

Maybe Holland America Line is returning to Tampa!  The Veendam is now scheduled to arrive Nov 3, 2020 from a 14 day Atlantic crossing.  It is also scheduled for 2 holiday sailings, both 7 day cruises to Belize, Honduras, Guatemala , and Costa Maya, Mexico in Dec 2020.  HAL hopefully is working on some longer cruises for it from Tampa, as it did have 14 day itineraries in the past.  Plus it now has to compete with Celebrity's Constellation which will be doing 10 and 11 days.  Cuba from Tampa would be a good choice if and when that reopens.

 

I hope HAL will include some longer itineraries. I love driving an hour & sailing under the SS Bridge, and I love HAL, but like many people, want more choices than a 7-day. 

 

We pounced, as did our local pals, on the Constellation when the TPA itineraries came out a couple of weeks ago offering exceptionally good Sky Suite prices by recent Celebrity standards with all the premium amenities included. We found a perfect April 2021 10-day date for two birthdays to celebrate on board, and our friends plan to stay on for the crossing to Barcelona. A bonus is that the 2000+ passenger Constellation will be coming out of dry dock with fresh decor when it starts the TPA route in 2020.

 

X must have had a good response because what’s left of the sky suites have seen big price jumps.

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4 hours ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

I hope HAL will include some longer itineraries. I love driving an hour & sailing under the SS Bridge, and I love HAL, but like many people, want more choices than a 7-day. 

 

We pounced, as did our local pals, on the Constellation when the TPA itineraries came out a couple of weeks ago offering exceptionally good Sky Suite prices by recent Celebrity standards with all the premium amenities included. We found a perfect April 2021 10-day date for two birthdays to celebrate on board, and our friends plan to stay on for the crossing to Barcelona. A bonus is that the 2000+ passenger Constellation will be coming out of dry dock with fresh decor when it starts the TPA route in 2020.

 

X must have had a good response because what’s left of the sky suites have seen big price jumps.

We were on the Constellation about 10 years ago, before I had been on a Vista class HAL ship.  Size wise, they are about the same.  How do you think they compare?  Unless they give the Veendam some exceptionally good itineraries, HAL will have a hard time competing with Celebrity out of Tampa.

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I enjoyed Vistas more than the Constellation. HAL Zuiderdam in 2016 was a winner on staff & service as always, on the spacious between dining tables, and on the quality of a Signature Suite (8039] we booked. Big balcony, good view, two sinks in a more modern bathroom. (Of course, there are no real benefit perks like a lounge to a Signature Suite on HAL, it’s mostly the extra space.)

 

The main pluses for Constellation in late 2014 to me were the the adults-only Solarium with free, large, salt water Thalassotherapy pool with water jets, and the service in the Murano (later changed to Qsine) and Tuscan Grille surcharge restaurants. But the Sky Suite had a view of machinery, a dated bathroom with dark yellow marble which didn’t appeal to me, and the anytime dining was crowded and often disorganized - I recall standing around waiting despite having reservations.

 

The game-changer for Celebrity’s Sky Suites on all their ships was that they created Luminae dining rooms in 2015 for all suite passengers, along with the Michael’s Club suite lounge with concierge and bartender serving complimentary beverages. They are adding a suite retreat sun area and modernizing decor during the 2020 dry dock. So we’re looking forward to returning to check it out (and will still have a view of machinery down below.😃).

 

I  agree that Veendam could have a hard time competing out of Tampa.

 

 

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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