Port Tampa Bay and Royal Caribbean International will celebrate the return of cruising on Saturday with the arrival of the Serenade of the Seas, a week ahead of her first commercial cruise and first revenue cruise from the port in more than 18 months.
Port Tampa Bay will welcome Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas to Cruise Terminal 6 before she departs on her maiden voyage next Saturday.
“The return of cruising will have a far-reaching impact on our region, with many small and local businesses standing to benefit,” the port said, in a statement. “Business Research & Economic Advisors estimated that a 3,000-passenger ship generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call in a homeport city. The development of Sparkman Wharf, Water Street, Armature Works, and other hotel, dining, shopping, and entertainment projects in Tampa continues to boost the attractiveness of the bay area as a homeport. Cruise visitors to Tampa have the convenience of accessing a nationally top-ranked airport, secure parking garages – just steps away from all three cruise terminals, world-class beaches, and local attractions like Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and Ybor City.”