Do you have a few extra vacation days to use up this summer and don’t know what to do? Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Why not a cruise? One of the things that makes Tampa great is the fact that we have a port right downtown. Now, I know what you’re thinking, with all the recent press there’s no way you’re going on a cruise.  Think of it this way, with over 200 cruises in operation currently there are bound to be one or two that have a problem. I recently just got back from a four night three day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico and had not one issue.


And yes, I said cheap. The cruise left out of Tampa’s Port in the Channelside District, which means all I had to do was pay for the cruise (no parking to worry about, no flight to book, and no long drive to be annoyed by).  Now Channelside may not be full of restaurants to try before the cruise, however there is still Wet Willies and Hooters to get your precruise drink started.

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The cruise itself was less than $300 for an inside room, and lets face it who spends much time in the room anyways? Once on the cruise don’t worry about spending money for food, the entire ship is all you can eat. THAT INCLUDES ROOM SERVICE TOO.  What it doesn’t include is alcohol. Main focus of the pre-cruise packing, alcohol. Now everyone has their opinion of how to sneak alcohol on the boat but my suggestion is to try to sneak on more than you think you need; some of it is bound to get confiscated. When boarding, security shakes water to see if it’s been tampered with. If you have to buy alcohol on the cruise, prices really aren’t that bad, the average drink was about $8-$9.

If you’re worried about getting bored on the cruise (which, you’re on a cruise, I don’t know why you would be bored, but regardless…) the cruise offers live music, comedy shows, clubs, kids club, daytime activities, a casino, etc. Every cruise is different so do your research and find one that offers a variety of activities you enjoy most.

If you live in Tampa and don’t take advantage of the convenience of a weekend cruise to anywhere in the Gulf you’re missing out. What are you waiting for, book you cruise date, pack you bags, and have a great long weekend.

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