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Royal Caribbean and Tampa Bay


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2 hours ago, MacMarauder said:

Tampa is on my short list of places I would move to once the kids are out of the house, have fun down there!

 

Be sure to visit downtown St Petersburg next time you visit! Have really grown to love it here. It's a San Diego - French Riveria - Brooklyn mash-up geographically.

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I'm not too crazy bout the Vision Class, but lie the Radiance Class a lot. Just the right size in my opinion. It's also cheaper booking a balcony because they have so many more than the Vision Class.

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11 hours ago, deliver42 said:

I'm not too crazy bout the Vision Class, but lie the Radiance Class a lot. Just the right size in my opinion. It's also cheaper booking a balcony because they have so many more than the Vision Class.

 

Radiance Class is our favorite - like you said "just the right size". At our age we don't need a ship to be a floating amusement park - but great for families with children.

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Have never been to Tampa but we'll be sailing into it from our Panama Canal on the Serenade that leaves our home port of San Pedro Ca. in Oct 2022....Leave the light on :classic_wink:

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Orlando here, I've done 3 sailings out of Tampa (Vision, Empress, and Rhapsody), somewhat limited on destinations but the price can sometimes be lower than PC if you just wanna get away.

My last sailing (Rhapsody Jan 2020) and next sailing (Brilliance Jan 2022) are actually both from Tampa, ha, with the next being a 5 day, 2 port to Mexico, trying to bank on that double C&A point promotion (should get me to Diamond in time for my Bermuda sailing!)

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We love cruising from Tampa. It is becoming more and more popular - a great airport, nice port, and wonderful weather. Since we live close to Tampa, we use Uber or Lyft avoiding the drive and parking fees.

The Brilliance is a fine older ship with a very friendly crew. We have done 2 TA's and 4 or 5 shorter cruises on her and have enjoyed all of them. The downside, as previously mentioned, is the lack of variety of destinations. Having also been on the Radiance, we prefer the intimacy and friendliness of the Brilliance.

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Posted (edited)

I was always surprised that Brilliance did the 5/5/4 routine and Rhapsody did the 7 day. Should have been switched in my opinion

Edited by John&LaLa
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30 minutes ago, DavidA23 said:

. Having also been on the Radiance, we prefer the intimacy and friendliness of the Brilliance.

Aren't they sister ships?

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On 4/8/2021 at 6:49 PM, Nado44 said:

 

Be sure to visit downtown St Petersburg next time you visit! Have really grown to love it here. It's a San Diego - French Riveria - Brooklyn mash-up geographically.

I second this! I'm from St. Pete and they have really built that area up. For years the Vinoy was just a closed, dilapidated resort. That whole area is beautiful with wonderful restaurants (to include 1st / central avenue area). I also worked for a few years in downtown Tampa but it was more oriented to the weekday business crowd. I know they've built that area up a bit since I left (they were almost finished building the hockey arena) but St. Pete is still my favorite. 

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We're on the TA this year via Rhapsody of the Seas from Barcelona on November 30 for 14 nights to Tampa. Have our 1-way air booked thru Air2Sea and just made our parking reservation at Tampa airport for just a little over $10 per day in the economy lot! Cheaper than I expected! Very pleased and hope this cruise is a go!

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1 hour ago, mafig said:

Aren't they sister ships?

 

Brilliance, Serenade and Jewel are sisters to the Radiance.  The big differences between the sisters is the Radiance and Brilliance have shower curtains and the Serenade and Jewel have shower doors😁.  All great ships.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SilkySal said:

We're on the TA this year via Rhapsody of the Seas from Barcelona on November 30 for 14 nights to Tampa. Have our 1-way air booked thru Air2Sea and just made our parking reservation at Tampa airport for just a little over $10 per day in the economy lot! Cheaper than I expected! Very pleased and hope this cruise is a go!

Is the Tampa Airport Parking refundable?

Edited by Jimbo
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I park at TPA often and had no idea you can pre-pay. 

I park at the economy garage and it's always $10 a day.

I don't see why you have to pre-pay if price is the same

unless they are nervous about getting a spot.  It's huge

I have never seen it full, even pre-covid.

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On 4/11/2021 at 8:44 AM, kelbell said:

I park at TPA often and had no idea you can pre-pay. 

I park at the economy garage and it's always $10 a day.

I don't see why you have to pre-pay if price is the same

unless they are nervous about getting a spot.  It's huge

I have never seen it full, even pre-covid.

Thanks for the info. Did not know that; however, I want to be guaranteed a spot!

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We have our first cruise out of Tampa booked for April 2022 and I’m truly looking forward to it! We live in the Atlanta area and normally, if we are going to drive 7 hours, we’ll sail out of Port Canaveral because we do enjoy the newer, larger ships as well as the larger variety of cruise lines (our most recent one from there was a 7 night on the Disney Fantasy). 
 

But as others have mentioned, itineraries from Port Canaveral tend to be repetitive, and Tampa will have on occasion itineraries that break the mold. That’s why we are sailing from Tampa on April 2022. We are booked on an 8 night cruise that visits Costa Rica and makes a partial transit of the Panama Canal aboard the Carnival Pride.

 

Now I know that Carnival gets disparaging comments, specially from “loyals to Royal”, but this is a unique itinerary aboard one of their Spirit class ships which are less crowded and tend to get more positive reviews than other ships in the Carnival fleet. Another bonus is that Carnival’s pricing makes it affordable to book an Ocean Suite (comparable to Junior Suites on Royal) for not much more than a standard balcony stateroom. 

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53 minutes ago, Tapi said:

We have our first cruise out of Tampa booked for April 2022 and I’m truly looking forward to it! We live in the Atlanta area and normally, if we are going to drive 7 hours, we’ll sail out of Port Canaveral because we do enjoy the newer, larger ships as well as the larger variety of cruise lines (our most recent one from there was a 7 night on the Disney Fantasy). 
 

But as others have mentioned, itineraries from Port Canaveral tend to be repetitive, and Tampa will have on occasion itineraries that break the mold. That’s why we are sailing from Tampa on April 2022. We are booked on an 8 night cruise that visits Costa Rica and makes a partial transit of the Panama Canal aboard the Carnival Pride.

 

Now I know that Carnival gets disparaging comments, specially from “loyals to Royal”, but this is a unique itinerary aboard one of their Spirit class ships which are less crowded and tend to get more positive reviews than other ships in the Carnival fleet. Another bonus is that Carnival’s pricing makes it affordable to book an Ocean Suite (comparable to Junior Suites on Royal) for not much more than a standard balcony stateroom. 

 

We have never cruise on Carnival - maybe one day. Pictures of their newest ships look very nice and dining options are interesting. We usually drive to the port a day early, spend a night at a local hotel that has a cruise parking package.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, cruise wizard said:

 

We have never cruise on Carnival - maybe one day. Pictures of their newest ships look very nice and dining options are interesting.

I consider Carnival’s biggest advantages over Royal to be accessibility (they have more “drive to” ports than any other cruise line in the USA), but most importantly, pricing. They are consistently cheaper than Royal. They offer a good product considering the money you pay, but with cheaper prices also comes an experience that is less polished and more budget feeling. So you do need to adjust expectations accordingly. For many though, the money saved is not worth it. 
 

Their older ships tend to show their age more than similarly aged ships on Royal, but they’ve truly upped the ante with their newer classes of ship, like their brand new Mardi Gras. 

Edited by Tapi
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4 minutes ago, Tapi said:

I consider Carnival’s biggest advantages over Royal to be accessibility (they have more “drive to” ports than any other cruise line in the USA), but most importantly, pricing. They are consistently cheaper than Royal. They offer a good product considering the money you pay, but with cheaper prices also comes an experience that is less polished and more budget feeling. So you do need to adjust expectations accordingly. For many though, the money saved is not worth it. 
 

Their older ships tend to show their age more than similarly aged ships on Royal, but they’ve truly upped the ante with their newer classes of ship, like their brand new Mardi Gras. 

 

Thanks for your insights. My wife and I are "seniors" - I just turned 78 and finding that our lifestyles have changed from the adventuresome - to family friendly - to a slower paced and relaxing cruise experience. We have done a few Celebrity cruises and yes they are a bit more expensive but are fitting our demographics better. 

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, cruise wizard said:

Thanks for your insights. My wife and I are "seniors" - I just turned 78 and finding that our lifestyles have changed from the adventuresome - to family friendly - to a slower paced and relaxing cruise experience. 

We are in the midst of raising a young family, but I’m beginning to feel the same way. We’ve gradually become less attracted by the high energy, activity filled cruise experiences, and drawn instead to more relaxing cruises.
 

Even though my children are 9 and 11 years old, we decided to sail on Holland America for our last cruise in 2020. Long story short, we absolutely loved it. Even the kids raved about it. The slower pace and more relaxing cruise experience as you mention was heaven sent, and a welcome change from the fast paced, activity filled lifestyle that we lead back home at this stage in our lives. We came home rested and relaxed, instead of needing another vacation to recover from our vacation. 

Edited by Tapi
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Posted (edited)

Taken 3 cruises on the Rhapsody from Tampa and another on the Radiance. I used Park4Cruise last couple of sailings. A grassy lot just down from terminal 6 and paid $5.97 a day with a short 5 minute shuttle to the pier. It was $49.36 with tax  on 1/4/20 for 7 nights. Hope to use them again in November if my Brilliance cruise is not cancelled.

Edited by coaster
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9 minutes ago, coaster said:

Taken 3 cruises on the Rhapsody from Tampa and another on the Radiance. I used Park4Cruise last couple of sailings. A grassy lot just down from terminal 6 and paid $5.97 a day with a short 5 minute shuttle to the pier. It was $49.36 with tax  on 1/4/20 for 7 nights. Hope to use them again in November if my Brilliance cruise is not cancelled.

 

I think that we have used them once before and another time the big several story parking garage about a block or so from the terminals.

 

I hope that your Brilliance sails - we have Brilliance in October.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Tapi said:

We have our first cruise out of Tampa booked for April 2022 and I’m truly looking forward to it! We live in the Atlanta area and normally, if we are going to drive 7 hours, we’ll sail out of Port Canaveral because we do enjoy the newer, larger ships as well as the larger variety of cruise lines (our most recent one from there was a 7 night on the Disney Fantasy). 
 

But as others have mentioned, itineraries from Port Canaveral tend to be repetitive, and Tampa will have on occasion itineraries that break the mold. That’s why we are sailing from Tampa on April 2022. 

 

PC repetitive, not in 2022.😉

 

Mariner doing 8 night Southern and 8 night Bermuda.  Booked one of each😁

Edited by John&LaLa
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