Port of Tampa
The Port of Tampa offers parking at two differenct locations, the Channelside Parking Garage and at cruise Terminal 6.
Cruise parking is $14 per day, no reservations needed. Oversize vehicles (RV’s, buses) pay $28 per day.
If departing Cruise Terminal 2 & 3, park at the Tampa Port Authority Channelside garage directly across the street at 810 Channelside Dr., Tampa, 33602. Valet parking is available for only slightly more. The Channelside Parking Garage is open 24 hours a day. Cruise Parking is available while the ship is docked.
Parking for Cruise Terminal 6 is directly at the terminal, located at 1331 McKay Street
Tampa, 33602. The same rules apply there.
Terminator 4: The ChipCoin
Tampa is using what it calls a ChipCoin for payment. The reusable ChipCoin encodes when, where, how you entered/exited the parking facility, and method of payment. Sounds good but what happens if the power is out due to a tropical storm? Several thousand people leaving at the same time and no way to pay? Let’s hope there is a backup generator standing by.
Here is how the ChipCoin system works:
Entering the garage
Pull up to one of the entry lanes, press the Green Button, take the ChipCoin and continue into the garage. Park in a designated spaces or risk having your vehicle towed and paying a find. Keep the ChipCoin with you on the cruise because you will need to use it to pay before returning to your vehicle. Do not leave the ChipCoin in your car.
Paying for parking
After your cruise and before going to your vehicle, insert your ChipCoin in one of 5 Automated Payment Machines. Once your amount comes up, pay the Automated Payment Machine with cash or credit card. You will receive a receipt (also change if you paid cash) and your ChipCoin which is still keeping track of time.
Get to your vehicle quickly--NOW
No time for socializing with new friends. The Channelside Parking Garage wants you out as quickly as possible.
You have to exit the garage within 10 minutes of completing your ChipCoin transaction or you face additional charge because your ChipCoin is still ticking. At the parking garage exit, insert the ChipCoin into the Exit Verifier. The gate will automatically open . . . unless you are over the sacred 10-minute mark. Welcome back to the real world, where machines are more important than people.
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