If you happen to be driving through Hillsborough county, more specifically the city of Tampa, you will see the familiar whale's tale across the skyline. The port of Tampa facilities has been hosting ships to berth for some time now, however the ships appear incapable of carrying enough passengers to make the trip a profitable one. Across the bay, St. Pete has been hosting the major league baseball team known as the Rays, their problem seems to be a common one through this economic downturn and that is filling the seats.
If you are looking for an attraction to keep you busy while in the Tampa Bay area you should be able to visit several interesting venues, but some of the more popular ones would have to be Bush Gardens and either the Buccaneers or the Rays. If the cruise industry goes along with their idea of increasing the size of their vessels, neither Tampa nor St Pete will be able to accommodate them, especially with the Skyway bridge blocking its path. Now if only there was a way to get around that.
The cruise industry appears to have taken off in the Tampa St. Pete area and although the ships are relatively big in size, for the most part the area has been restricted to small and mid sized ships. Hillsborough county, through the port of Tampa, has been home for Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but as the big name companies reassess their options it has become evident that it may be wiser to develop larger capacity vessels to travel the high seas. The only problem is that the skyway bridge will limit the size of the vessels that can access the port of Tampa.
Pinellas county has a very small port that could probably be developed into something bigger, my only question is whether the people of St Petersburg would welcome these monstrosities into their neighborhood . Cruise ships are an essential part of any thriving economy and that is probably why Hillsborough is concerned about losing the asset. The point would be mute at this point though, because both ports require passage under the Skyway bridge.