We will be driving from Ohio to Tampa in Feb. to board Rhapsody for Mardi Gras cruise. This is the first time we have "driven to a cruise", i.e., had to fly to embarcation ports for previous cruises.
How is luggage handled at the pier in Tampa - all of it stacked and delivered to the cabins later in the day (as we've experienced when flying in for a cruise) - or can we carry on our luggage when we check in for the cruise?
This will be a first for us. Just couldn't get up the nerve to fly down for this cruise.
Glad to hear from you, Cruz'n! Is this your first Mardi Gras? Have you ever been to NOLA before? We've been there 3X but this will be our first Mardi Gras. Should be fantastic - we know where the ship will dock and it is an absolutely PERFECT location for seeing the sights.
Getting pretty excited about now - are you flying in day before?
We went on a cruise out of the port of Tampa in early December. The port is easy to access from the highway. It is very well marked, a sign at just about every light/corner. You take the downtown east exit off I-275.
Yes, the luggage is handled the same way as it is at every port. The porters nearly trip over each other to get to you and help you with your luggage and then they take it to the large bins. Our luggage actually beat us on board our ship.
There is a large parking garage at the port. We didn't use it because we had a friend drop us off, but I believe you pay in advance for your car's stay in the lot.
All carry on luggage is x-rayed and has to be airplane regulation size, otherwise you have to check it. You don't want to be carrying much luggage at the Port of Tampa anyway because you go up several very narrow escalators to get to the various check in locations and ship boarding location. It would of been a major pain to have anything but my carry-on.