Cruise News Carnival Testing Staggered Check-in on Embarkation Day

Carnival Testing Staggered Check-in on Embarkation Day

Hate waiting in lines the day you board your cruise? Carnival Cruise Line is testing a new staggered check-in process that will attempt to limit long lines on embarkation day.

This pilot program is being tested on three ships sailing from Galveston, Texas.  The start dates are as follows:

  • Carnival Freedom – Starts with the November 12, 2015 sailing
  • Carnival Triumph – Starts with the November 14, 2015 sailing
  • Carnival Magic – Starts with the November 15, 2015 sailing

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.

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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, a world traveler who has visited 41 countries, currently takes between 8-10 cruises a year. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, Drudge Report, 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 News Carnival Testing Staggered Check-in on Embarkation Day

9 COMMENTS

  1. On the Vista TA out of Barcelona we had a booking time but our friends were Diamond and had a different queue but same time, we were on board way before them because there were so many Diamond cruisers on that cruise!

  2. I noticed that Royal Caribbean allowed me to set a check-in time for my upcoming Anthem of the Seas cruise. In the past, they would tell you what time to arrive based on your deck. I picked 10:30-11, which is when I already planned to be there.

    I guess in order for this to work, people will need to actually honor their check-in time. Do most people actually do that? Since I am Diamond, I never pay attention to the time and show up when I want (typically so we are on the ship by noon). We sailed on Oasis earlier this year and Royal told us to arrive at 1pm and the friends we were sailing with (who lived near the port and who we were staying with) told me that we could not get there before then. I said that we were getting there at 11 as we always do, and after a short line to check in, we were able to walk right onto the ship.

    What will happen to people who arrive more than 30 minutes early? Will they really be told to wait outside the terminal until it’s their time as Carnival says? What are people going to do during that time? It’s not like you can go anywhere once you’re at the port. It will just cause more congestion outside the terminal.

  3. I’m a little confused. Being a Platinum Cruiser it appears that I will get no priority boarding. enter the terminal 1 hr before cruising is nothing. Will they take away the other perks also, like the mid cruise laundry just because to many people have cruised 75 days or more? That’s horrible. My wife and I have spent over $40,000 cruising with Carnival in 12 years. I think this is terrible. Take a lesson from Disney in how to move people and keep them happy and stop taking stuff away. And while I’m on it, what happened to the 16 piece dance bands and the 20 member Dance Cast, down to a 3 piece combo and singer and on stage 8 dancer/singers. Jeepers creepers.

    • That’s not what it said. Read it again. 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.

  4. I am a huge fan of staggered check in times. We did this on the Disney Fantasy and was onboard the ship within 30 minutes. Hope Carnival pushes it out to the Fascination by January 2016 for our next cruise!

  5. So, even though I’m “priority”, I may have to wait to board of I don’t get an early check in time? Something’s not right about that… 🙁

    • That’s not what it said. Read it again. 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.

  6. My husband and I have had staggered times for the last two cruises. We arrived and was on board in about 30 minutes.

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