Carnival first tested staggered check-in over a year ago in Galveston and after a successful test pilot program, the cruise line has begun to roll the process out to other embarkation cities. Cities that currently have the staggered check-in program are Galveston, Honolulu, Miami, Charleston, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Norfolk. The new six home ports that will receive staggered check will be as follows with the start date for each port:
- Tampa – January 15, 2017 (Carnival Pride, Carnival Paradise)
- San Juan – January 22, 2017 (Carnival Fascination)
- Jacksonville – January 23, 2017 (Carnival Elation)
- Port Canaveral – January 26, 2017 (Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sunshine)
- Vancouver – April 30, 2017 (Carnival Legend)
- Seattle – May 8, 2017 (Carnival Legend)
How does staggered check-in work?
Passengers will check-in online before their cruise like they normally would. When checking in, they will select a check-in window, complete all required travel information and print out their boarding passes. On embarkation day, they will fill out a quick document, go through security, and board the ship. The cruise line is hoping that this will help streamline the embarkation process and enhance the boarding experience.
Guests must arrive within 30 minutes of the check-in window. Carnival Cruise Line will be strictly enforcing the times to help minimize wait times. Guests who arrive more than 30 minutes before their check-in time will not be allowed to enter the cruise terminal and will be asked to return at their scheduled time.
If someone does not select a specific check-in time, one will be automatically assigned to them the morning of the cruise. They will receive an email with their boarding pass that they can print out or save to their mobile phone. A boarding pass will be required to enter the cruise terminal.
There will not be a waitlist for check-in times that are already full. However, openings may appear and guests can check back later to see if there other spots open back up.
The check-in process will close one hour before the cruise is scheduled to depart. All passengers must have a paper or electronic copy of their boarding pass, proof of citizenship, a government issued photo ID, and any applicable visas.
Passengers who purchased FTTF (Faster to the Fun) and those who are part of the Priority Program (Diamond, Platinum, and suites) must select a check-in window online. However, they may arrive at the cruise terminal at their leisure up to one hour before sailing.