Cruise NewsFive More Carnival Cruise Ships Switching Over to Staggered Embarkation

Five More Carnival Cruise Ships Switching Over to Staggered Embarkation

Carnival Cruise Line is adding five additional cruise ships to their successful staggered embarkation program this fall.
Carnival first tested staggered check-in last October in Galveston and after a successful test pilot program, the cruise line has begun to roll the process out to other embarkation cities. With these new additions, embarkation ports that will have the staggered check-in program are Long Beach, Port Everglades, Mobile, Barcelona, Charleston, Miami, Galveston, Honolulu, Miami, New Orleans, and Norfolk.

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Beginning in October, the five following Carnival cruise ships will switch over to staggered embarkation:

  • Carnival Imagination (October 6)
  • Carnival Inspiration (October 7)
  • Carnival Miracle (October 8)
  • Carnival Conquest (October 9)
  • Carnival Fantasy (November 9)

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.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsFive More Carnival Cruise Ships Switching Over to Staggered Embarkation


  1. Norwegian Breakaway in NY already does this. I’ve been through this and it is good. Went on a cruise last Oct 2015 and I was able to chose my check in time. I chose the early check in and it was nice to be one of the first ones on the ship. So to me this is not a new thing.

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