Carnival Cruise Line will be rolling out a staggered embarkation process in 2016 after an extremely successful testing period in Galveston, Texas according to Senior Cruise Director John Heald. The testing period started on November 12 with Carnival Freedom, Carnival Triumph, and Carnival Magic and has led to less wait times and a quicker embarkation for passengers.
Cruise Fever first reported about the staggered embarkation test in October and due to the success of the test, Carnival will roll the process out to other home ports in 2016. A schedule will be released in the near future with dates for when each home port will switch to staggered embarkation.
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 checkin times will be as follows:
- 11:00 am – noon
- Noon – 12:30 pm
- 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
- 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
- 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
- 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Guests must arrive within 30 minutes of the check-in window. Carnival Cruise Line is 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.
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.
If someone does not select a specific check-in time, one will be automatically assigned to one 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.
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.
Cruise Fever reached out to Carnival and asked if this staggered embarkation will roll out to every home port or just a few in 2016. We will update this article when we hear back from the cruise line.