Hotels in Downtown Tampa With a Shuttle to the Cruise Terminal

by Richard Ludwig

Many of downtown Tampa's hotels provide shuttle service for cruises -- Carnival, Holland America and Royal Caribbean -- departing the Port of Tampa. Tampa's cruise terminal, also located downtown, provides parking, restaurants, shopping and is adjacent to the Florida Aquarium. Booking a hotel before setting sail allows cruisers to avoid costly car rentals and enjoy the beauty of the Tampa area.

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Westin Tampa Harbour Island

Situated on a man-made island in Downtown Tampa, the Westin Tampa Harbour Island is a half-mile from the cruise terminal. The luggage express department, which also handles valet and bell services, provides a complimentary shuttle to the the cruise terminal, and, upon availability, can shuttle guests to nearby restaurants and attractions. The hotel's red brick exterior houses a renovated interior, an update that transformed the rooms, lobby, restaurant, pool area and fitness center from dingy to dignified. Half the hotel's 299 rooms face downtown Tampa, the other half face the waters of Tampa Bay. All rooms feature amenities -- Internet, LCD televisions, comfortable linens -- standard at most downtown properties, but the centerpiece is Westin's aptly named "Heavenly" beds. Staying on Harbour Island allows you one more night on an island than you expected when booking your cruise.

Embassy Suites Tampa - Downtown Convention Center

The 299-room Embassy Suites Tampa is popular with cruising families, as the two-room suites provide ample space. The hotel has a pool, restaurant, room service, Starbucks, business center, and fitness room. Embassy Suites Tampa offers a cruise package which includes transportation to the terminal, breakfast, and a manager's reception.

Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk

Located directly on the Hillsborough River, and less than a mile from the cruise terminal, the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk provides a refreshing respite for cruisers. The hotel has been reawakened with a renovation that updated the lobby, guest rooms and restaurant. The pool area provides an ideal setting to relax as it affronts the river. Ashley Street Grille, also affording river views, provides a casual setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The property also features a business and fitness center. Rooms at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk provide balconies, uncommon among downtown properties, and provide a comfortable night's rest with Sheraton's trademark SweetSleeper bed. The complimentary cruise shuttle is operated by the bell stand.

Marriott Courtyard Tampa Downtown

Book the "Ship to Shore at Courtyard Tampa Downtown" package. The deal includes one-night accommodation, transport to the cruise terminal, and the option of leaving a car in the parking facilities for up to seven days for a discounted charge. The hotel is located at the northern end of downtown Tampa, convenient to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. The 125-room property provides a complimentary shuttle within a two-mile radius, a circumference that covers dozens of restaurants, plenty of nightlife and attractions, and the Port of Tampa. Each room provide Marriott's standard of clean and comfortable. The Courtyard Cafe, open only for breakfast, provides cruise passengers with an easy option for the morning before departure.

About the Author

Richard Ludwig has been a writer for over eight years and has had his work published in "Co-Ed Magazine," the "East Manatee County Observer" and the Disaster and Recovery e-magazine. He received journalism and sociology degrees from the University of South Florida.

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