TAMPA, Fla. — An exciting weekend in Tampa Bay for those that like to cruise out of Port of Tampa.
The first cruise will set sail Saturday after an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- Royal Caribbean to set sail Saturday from Port of Tampa Bay after an 18-month shutdown
- Other cruise lines will begin sailing from Tampa Bay next month
- Each cruise is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $300K for local businesses
- Each cruise line is handling safety protocols differently
Royal Caribbean will set sail first, followed by other cruise lines within the next month.
"I think maybe the gearing up will be gradual, although we are seeing a healthy calendar of ships starting to sail out of Port Tampa Bay," said Santiago Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. "Kudos to the Port Tampa Bay team working with the cruise industry to bring back those cruises in a safe and responsible way."
Each cruise with 3000 passengers is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $300,000 for local businesses, which means businesses still struggling with the pandemic could see an added bump in sales and hotel stays before the end of the year.
Each cruise line is handling safety protocols differently, but all have protocols in place.
Most cruise lines are either requiring passengers to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative test result before boarding.
Royal Caribbean is requiring passengers to wear a special blue watch while on the ship, which allows the cruise line to contact trace passengers in the event of a COVID positive case on-board.