Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal

Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal

Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal Florida Vacation Homes

November kicks off the winter cruise season, which is the busiest time of year for Port Tampa Bay and Erehwon Retreat’s more complicated booking season. Each season we host a few cruise line passengers for a week’s visit preceding or following a cruise out of Port of Tampa.

From our historic perspective, the Port’s single largest embarkation took place in 1898 when Tampa received 30,000 troops bound for the Spanish American War. The initial wave, which included Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, departed on June 7 with 16,000 troops bound for Cuba. The Tampa Bay Hotel was used as the Officer Quarters. The Rough Riders were recruited mainly in the Menger bar in San Antonio and trained in front of the Alamo. Coincidentally, in my prior life managing the NY City Joffrey Ballet, whenever the company played San Antonio we stayed at the Hotel Menger next to the Alamo. I knew the story that they departed for the east by train, but that’s where the story stopped until I opened Erehwon Retreat. But that’s another blog post.

Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal Florida Vacation Homes

Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal Florida Vacation Homes

Port of Tampa Cruise Services

Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal Florida Vacation Homes

Carnival’s ships operate year-round four- and five-day cruises to the western Caribbean, including the popular destination at Mahogany Bay. Currently, the line also sails seven-day itineraries during the winter season and these will be offered year-round commencing January 2018.

Royal Caribbean’s two ships will provide four-, five- and seven-day cruises in the winter. And, for the first time, Royal Caribbean will operate four- and five-day summer cruises when Empress of the Seas begins sailing from Tampa on 30 April.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade, will offer itineraries ranging from four to 12 days that will include a stop at its new island destination, Harvest Cay in Belize.

Rounding out Port of Tampa’s passenger offerings, Holland America has increased its passenger capacity by replacing a long favorite among Erehwon Retreat guests, the Veendam, with the Oosterdam.

2017 saw a 6% growth in passengers to a total of 813,934 over 188 sailings.

September 22-23, 2018 Port of Tampa celebrated it’s 1 millionth cruise passenger.

Unique Accommodations for Cruise Passengers

Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal Florida Vacation Homes

Erehwon Retreat is located just 4.6 miles from the Port of Tampa Cruise Ship Terminal; we coordinate our two properties during winter cruise season to turn over the same day arrival/departures of Saturday and Sunday. This allows cruise ship passengers to easily enjoy an evening show at The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, visit Ybor city, the historic Cigar District discover Disney or Harry Potter

With a host who is a sailor and ex US Navy, one of the subtle differences of staying at Erehwon is having special amenities for guests preparing for sea or returning to land. There are adjustments to avoid land sickness for some, and we know how to prepare our property so that guests rest peacefully in our 1920’s environment. Old Seminole Heights is Tampa’s first suburb (1911) and has been designated as a National, State and local Historic Landmark District.

Holiday Homes

Our 2 bed + pull out couch/2 bath Bungalow is great for families. An added benefit with early planning, extended families coordinate booking both our Guest Cottage and Bungalow to give Grandparents or in-laws a separate unit less than 150′ away from the Bungalow. Larger families utilize our on-site expert Concierge to identify other nearby vacation rentals within a few blocks.

We have hosted families in our Holday Rentals from Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Helsinki, Johannesburg, Essen, Dorncaster, Bithoven, Enschele, Skieve, Vellinge Schleusingen, Glengowie and in a few weeks Buenos Aires. Ocassionaly linking reservations with family members living in the USA. Each reunion is unique and over and over I plug in my own world travel experience to ensure the little details are considered.

As well as elegant rooms you can find amenities and services you expect of a hotel. Complimentary Wi-Fi. Free off-street parking, linen service, Children’s beach toys, Beach Umbrella and beach towels, Yoga mat(yoga studio one block away), visiting massage therapist, expert on site Concierge.

There is a rich history in Tampa that is still being made to this day. Whether you are visiting for a weekend, a week or a month make sure to use our traveler resources under the Location tab.

Baseball in Florida – The Grapefruit League

Baseball in Florida – The 2020 Grapefruit League

Baseball in Florida - The Grapefruit League Florida Vacation Homes

Erehwon Retreat is well placed for visitors to enjoy a quintessential American activity – baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays will be playing in Dunedin, the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater and the New York Yankees in Tampa itself. Every one of these games is within half an hour’s drive of Erehwon and with the Baltimore Orioles doing their winter training in Sarasota and the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, each within an hour’s drive, there’s no shortage of quality baseball literally on our doorstep.

The Baltimore Orioles migrate to Sarasota

The long history of the Baltimore Orioles began with a name change, when, in 1953 the St Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and changed their name … from that year they went from strength to strength, and today their winter training ground in Sarasota gives many a Florida vacation rental visitor the chance to explore some quality baseball.

Detroit Tigers travel to Lakeland

In a similar vein, the even more veteran Detroit Tigers have a winter training ground in Lakeland. Since 1894 when the Tigers were a charter member of the reorganized Western League, the changing fortune of the Tigers has been a subject of joy and despair for their followers. It’s amazing to consider that this baseball team has been around since the day star players traveled to the baseball ground in horse-drawn buggies! But for those looking for homes for rent in Florida, the Tigers present a fantastic opportunity to see baseball in the sun today.

The Grapefruit League 2020

On February 21,2020 the Grapefruit League begins this year’s matches. Pitchers and catchers report to the NY Yankees February 12 and position players on the 17th. Of special note, the Nationals and the Astros both train in West Palm Beach and as of tonight’s World Series the Astros have 3 months and 21 days to get over it. There’s something special about watching baseball in Florida – endless sunshine, easy travel between baseball grounds and none of the stress of fighting to get into the packed grounds and dealing with the congested roads around stadiums in the Northern states. Instead it’s an easy-going experience of sport in the sun, with something for everybody. As the league timetable shows, there’s no end of excitement to be had!

Florida villa rentals – the joy of year-round sport

For golfers in particular, Florida is a center of excellence renowned throughout the world, but baseball is also a winter joy for those hunting down the perfect Tampa homes for rent. Whether you’re a fan of a particular team, or just enjoy watching baseball for the sheer pleasure of sportsmen in action, Florida state is a wonderful opportunity for spectators. Not only that, but with Florida’s wonderful food shops and eateries there’s every opportunity to enjoy a picnic or tailgate meal that will delight every member of your vacation party – whether they are baseball fanatics or not.

View a map of 2018 Grapefruit League Spring Training sites

View Grapefruit League training schedule

Train Travel to Florida – reliving the golden age

 Train Travel to Florida – reliving the golden age

 

Train Travel to Florida - reliving the golden age Florida Vacation Homes Train Travel to Florida - reliving the golden age Florida Vacation Homes

 

Train Travel to Florida - reliving the golden age Florida Vacation Homes

Snowbirds aboard! From 1925, vacationers heading for Florida had a new way to travel – the Orange Blossom Special – a deluxe passenger train that connected New York City and Miami during the winter. The train sped over 1327 miles through Washington DC, Richmond, Raleigh and Savannah, with a limited section continuing to Tampa and St. Petersburg.

The area was booming and vacation rentals in Florida were let as soon as they were available. By using fast, elegant trains, the railway company hoped to persuade influential and busy people to move to the Sunshine State for the winter. It succeeded beyond anybody’s expectations – the journey took around 35 hours and during the trip, passengers were regaled with superb food, vintage wines and liquors and exceptional service. So famous was the route that it was immortalized in song by Ervin T Rouse and Robert Russell “Chubby” Wise – perhaps the best-known recording of the song was by Johnny Cash. The paint scheme for the train, in lime, orange and lemon, was meant to suggest the hues of Florida’s citrus orchards and it was so distinctive it was granted a patent.

 

Train Travel to Florida - reliving the golden age Florida Vacation Homes

 

Florida Vacation? Take the train

So, are the golden days of travel to Florida behind us?  Not so. There are two ways to travel to Tampa, via The Silver Service or the Auto Train.

 

The Silver Service – New York City to Miami

Two trains, the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star make vacation travel to Florida a breeze. With dozens of exciting destination stops en route, reserved coach seating and comfortable sleeping berths, both trains give vacationers a taste of the elegant transport of previous generations. Silver Meteor offers inclusive traditional dining car meals in the ticket price, while on Silver Star the food service is simply sandwiches, snacks and drinks – a cheaper option, particularly suited to student travel. The Palmetto offers business class travel, ideal for those heading to a convention or business meeting in Florida and needing a stress-free travel option. Trains run every day and the journey time is around 28 hours, depending on your start and finish points.

 

Auto Train – Washington to Orlando

Train Travel to Florida - reliving the golden age Florida Vacation HomesThis 855 mile train service caries both passengers and their four tire/ 2 axle vehicle or motorcycle. Whether you rock a van or travel with a jet-ski, this non-stop train journey gives you a chance to travel in comfort and still have your own vehicle at the other end of your trip. Comfy coach seats give you a chance to nap on the way, or you can reserve a roomette with nearby restrooms … or go the whole hog and hire a bedroom with daytime seating, private restroom and shower and attendant service to convert your seats to beds overnight. Not only that, but all meals are included.

This travel option really brings the best of both worlds – relaxing transport to your Florida vacation rental and the comfort of being able to drive your own automobile when you arrive. The 17.5-hour journey makes a pleasure of getting to the Sunshine State.

 

Train Travel to Florida - reliving the golden age Florida Vacation Homes

Caught the train bug? A rail pass brings Florida to you

It seems every year we have guests who fly into Seattle, or San Francisco or Los Angeles and spend a few weeks riding such famous trains as the Empire Builder, California Zepher, SW Chief to Chicago and then on to New York or Washington DC before traveling to Florida.  Available in 15, 30 and 45-day options, Amtrak’s rail pass allows you to get on and off the train wherever you choose – why not consult our guide to the local area’s attractions and events and plan an itinerary that includes all that’s best in Florida?

Erehwon Retreat Instagram

750 posts on Instagram

Erehwon Retreat Instagram Florida Vacation Homes

Finding “your” ideal Florida vacation rental can be endless, which is why I spend much time ensuring that prospective visitors to Erehwon Retreat know exactly what to expect from their Tampa vacation home and area.

I’ve taken and posted more than 750 pics with commentary on a range of locations, habitats, fauna and restaurants you may want to visit while visiting.

The problem is that it can be difficult to tell how long ago photographs of holiday homes were taken. Some proprietors who offer their property on Airbnb or Vrbo haven’t updated the pictures of their vacation home in years much less dry cleaned draperies every six months. And several years of wear and tear can really date a property and its furnishings.

Erehwon Retreat has a rolling ‘refresh’ program to ensure that every aspect of the property looks bandbox fresh, but in addition I have begun to post every day on Instagram to show exactly what Erehwon Retreat and the environs look like all year round and to introduce vacationers to all that is best in Tampa Bay To make it even easier for potential renters to discover the reality of staying Erehwon Retreat, each daily image is automatically cross-posted to the landing page of my website, ensuring that our Tampa homes for rent are always in the spotlight!

But that’s not the whole story. I’m keen to let visitors know exactly how to make the most of their Florida vacation rental, whether its fine dining and concerts, hikes and bird-watching, biking, locating the best fresh water spring or chilling in coffee houses. That’s why the Erehwon Retreat Instagram feed will feature many details of life in the area, from coffee to beaches, from painted buntings to the view from the porch so that by the time guests arrive they already feel right at home.

Finding homes for rent in Florida

So what are the top tips for finding the perfect vacation rental?

1. Be sure what you’re looking for

Knowing whether you want a relaxing break or a vacation filled with experiences can help you pick the right kind of location for your trip. Consider the preferences of all the members of your party – is there plenty of activity for the kids, will teenagers find enough to amuse them, do all the adults in the party have something special to look forward to at this venue?

2. Know your vacation rental terminology

Do you know the difference between sea view and waterfront or Seminole Heights vs Old Seminole Heights? It’s important because a sea view simply means that the ocean can be observed from at least one window of the vacation rental, while a waterfront location means nothing between you and the beach or the Intra Coastal Waterway Misleading and dated photos are a real issue. That’s one reason I’m happy about Instagram, over time it will give people a real sense of Erehwon Retreat and its environs.

3. Visit several sites

Everybody knows AirBnB, but sites like Booking.com and Vrbo offer a wider range of possibilities. Don’t forget that it can be advantageous to book direct with a proprietor via their own website once you’re certain that you really understand and appreciate the property and its surroundings.