While not as large a port as its sister ports like Miami and Port Canaveral, many people like sailing from Tampa for exactly that reason. The area is not near as busy or crowded as some bigger ports, making it easier to get to the ship and get home.
Of course, if you are driving into the area for your cruise, then you need somewhere to park your car.
Parking at the Port of Tampa gives you plenty of options. Whether you want to park right at your ship and pay a little more, or save some serious cash by parking a little further away (and taking a free shuttle), you’re covered. Best of all, Tampa has several options that compete and run parking specials, so your rate may even be lower than what we have here.
(If you are staying in the area, many Tampa hotels also offer cruise parking packages. Still others offer shuttles to the port.)
For your convenience we’ve put together a quick table for your parking options.
Tampa Cruise Parking Options
Port of Tampa Official Parking: The port offers plenty of parking right at the cruise terminals. In total, you have your choice of about 3,500 spots, two-thirds of which are covered garage parking. Just as with any other port, you will pay for the convenience of parking right next to the cruise ship. Parking is $15 per day. That runs a hefty $105 for a 7-day cruise.
The port also offers valet parking, which is a good idea for those who have issue walking or simply don’t want to deal with parking themselves. The rate is the same $15 per day, but there is also a $20 convenience fee for a total of $125 for a 7-day cruise.
Parking for oversized vehicles (RVs, etc.) is $30 per day. The port offers online pre-pay for its lots, which we suggest as it gives you one less thing to worry about once you reach the port. However, if you want to pay at the port, they accept cash, as well as major credit cards (including Discover and American Express.
Cost: $15 per day
Distance: At terminal
241 Car Services: This parking lot is almost as close as the official Port of Tampa parking, but at just a fraction of the cost. Rates run just $8 per day. The main parking lot is lighted, fenced, and offers overnight security. And even though the lot is very close to the port, a shuttle is offered. We do recommend booking online ahead of time due to the lot’s small size.
Cost: $8 per day (plus $5 processing fee)
Distance: 6 blocks (free shuttle provided)
Park 4 Cruise — As the competition among parking lots has increased, that’s been good for consumers. Case in point is this parking lot company, which now features two lots that can let you park for as little as $6 per day, despite being close to the terminals.
The Orange Lot is right across from the terminals and offers you cruise parking for just $7 a day — considerably less than the $15 you’ll pay just down the road at the official port lots. There is also the Purple Lot (which can accommodate larger vehicles) for only $6 per day. It’s just slightly farther away, but still just a minute or two via the shuttle to the port. Park 4 Cruise is gated and lit, offers 24 hour security, and a shuttle to your terminal.
If you want to park here, it’s a good idea to reserve a spot ahead of time online.
Cost: $6-7 per day (8.5% sales tax + $4 processing fee)
Distance: 4-6 blocks (free shuttle provided)
Parktologists: Parktologists (also known as The Parking Doctors) is another lot that is very close to the port, yet offers a heavy discount compared to the official Port of Tampa lots. The lot sits just a few blocks north of the port. In total, you’re about a block to the nearest terminal and six blocks from the farthest terminal from the lot. (Don’t worry, there is a shuttle to the ships.)
The daily rate is currently an inexpensive $6.50 per day when booked online in advance. That price and includes a free shuttle and 24-hour surveillance. Like most other lots, we recommend booking online ahead of time to lock in your rate and spot.
Cost: $6.50 per day (8.5% sales tax + $4 processing charge)
Distance: 1-6 blocks (free shuttle provided)
Website: The Parking Doctors
717 Parking: 717 offers the absolute cheapest rate we’ve seen for Tampa port parking. The company has several lots, including three different garages. The cheapest lot is called Union Station, located near the Amtrak station, and offers a rate of just $6 per day. A second lot located near the other parking lots is still a cheap $7 per day. On-demand shuttles are provided
There are also parking garages — the SkyHouse, Hampton Inn, and Pierhouse Garages — located within about blocks of the port. The rates here run $8, $9, and $10, respectively.
Because of the cheap rates, 717’s lots fill up quickly. You definitely want to book ahead of time to secure your spot. You also get a lower rate.
Cost: $6-10 per day (8.5% sales tax + $5 processing charge)
Individual Hotels: If you are staying in the Fort Lauderdale area, contact your hotel to see if they will allow you to park your car for the length of your cruise. Many hotels cater to cruisers and have special daily parking rates and free shuttles. Here is a list of hotels in the area with cruise parking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I park for my cruise from Tampa?
The good news is that with so many parking lots right near the port, you can find affordable parking and save a bundle of money. The bad news is that so many options it can be a bit overwhelming. So where should you park? If you simply worry about convenience, you can’t beat the official port parking. Right next to the terminals, you can simply walk to the ship and then walk back when it’s time to go home. If you wanted to save money, we’d suggest one of the lots along Channelside Drive, right near the port. Those lots farther away are less convenient.
What’s the cheapest cruise parking lot?
While prices may change, the cheapest lots we found were Park 4 Cruise (Purple Lot) and 717 Parking’s Union Station lot. Both of these came in at $6 per day, plus tax. In all, you’d spend about $50 to park for a week.
Is there free parking anywhere?
Traditional free parking isn’t available near the port. However, many hotels in the area offer cruise parking specials as a way to attract customers. You simply stay a night and you can get free or discounted parking in addition to the room. For a list of Tampa park and cruise hotels, see our article here.
More on Cruising From Tampa
Getting to the Port of Tampa — Transportation options from airports and the area to the cruise port. Everything you need to know to get to the port and start your vacation.
Tampa Park and Cruise Hotels — If you plan to stay in the area the night before your cruise, look at this list of hotels that offer cruise parking with a one-night stay.