Opinion Is Carnival's Faster to the Fun (FTTF) Worth It?

Is Carnival’s Faster to the Fun (FTTF) Worth It?

Carnival Cruise Line offers a program that is not offered by any other cruise line.  FTTF (Faster to the Fun) allows guests to pay a small fee for what are essentially line cutting benefits on their cruise ships.
carnival's faster to the fun

As someone who has purchased Faster to the Fun for one of their cruises on Carnival Cruise Line, I can honestly say it’s totally worth it.  Even with the recent price increase, here are reasons why you should purchase Faster to the Fun on your next Carnival cruise.  That is, unless you don’t want to feel like a VIP.

Priority Security/Check-in/Boarding

Let’s be honest, you paid a lot of money for your cruise and you’ve been looking forward to embarkation day for months. Faster to the Fun gives you a fast pass to boarding the cruise ship.  While everyone else is everyone else is standing in security and check-in lines, you will have your own priority lanes making check-in a breeze.

Who wants to wait in lines while on vacation?  I certainly don’t! One of the biggest perks of buying FTTF is kissing lines goodbye. And it’s not just on embarkation day where this saves you time.  There are other areas which I will get into later in this article where FTTF is a godsend. If you hate lines, purchase FTTF.

Stateroom is Ready When You Board

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When you purchase Faster to the Fun, your stateroom is ready when you board the ship.  This allows you to drop off any carry-on bags you have.  We’ve all seen that person who looks miserable when hauling around a heavy backpack and luggage around the ship waiting for the announcement that cabins are finally ready.  With FTTF, you can start using your cabin the moment you board the ship.

This really comes in handy when you want to change after lunch and use the pools/water park. I think we can all agree that we’d rather change in the privacy of our own cabin than in a public restroom.

Is fttf worth the cost
When you check-in for your cruise, just look for the Faster to the Fun sign.

Priority Luggage

Faster to the Fun takes the stress out of embarkation day and makes it enjoyable, like it should be.  After all, you’ve been counting down the days to your cruise for a long time.  With FTTF, your luggage will be given priority and arrive to your cabin soon after boarding.  This allows you to get unpacked and settled for your cruise hours before you would have without FTTF.

Priority Tendering

Tendering can be one of the most miserable parts of cruising. (If you can call any part of cruising “miserable”)  Since at some ports the cruise ships cannot dock, you will have to take smaller boats called tenders to reach the shore.

Tender ports for Carnival Cruise Line include Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Princess Cays, and Belize.

With Faster to the Fun, you won’t have to wait in line to tender.  Notice a pattern here of not having to wait in line?  When you are ready to go ashore, just head to the guest services desk and you will receive priority tendering.  This can save you as much as an hour or more of time when trying to tender at peak times.  I mean, wouldn’t you want to spend an extra hour on a tropical island instead of waiting in line?

Carnivals fttf program
A Carnival cruise ship with tender boats in Grand Cayman.

Your Own Line at Guest Services

Ever needed to go to guest services but you were dreading it because you didn’t want to wait in the long line?  The line at guest services can get long, especially at the end of the cruise with other passengers trying to get their onboard bills squared away.

When you purchase FTTF, you will have a separate line at guest services.  On a recent cruise where I purchased FTTF, the line at guest services was clear down the hallway.  I walked up to the priority line and got my matter resolved in less than a minute.  Thanks FTTF for allowing me to spend more of my time enjoying my vacation.

diamond platinum faster to the fun
At guest services, you just look for this sign.

Priority Dining Reservations

Hate getting stuck with the late second seating dining time?  Yes, I do to0. With Faster to the Fun, you will get priority dining reservations so you can eat when you want to eat, not when the cruise line tells you to eat.

Priority Debarkation

When your cruise is over and it’s time to get off the ship, Faster to the Fun won’t leave you hanging.  You will be able to choose from early or late disembarkation.  You can choose the one that best fits your travel plans, taking the pain out of getting off the ship.

How Much Does Faster to the Fun Cost?

Faster to the Fun costs anywhere from $39.95 to $99.95 per cabin.  The price varies by cruise ship and the length of the cruise.  The prices for FTTF  went up in March 2018 and the current prices can be seen below:

  • $39.95 – 2 and 3 day cruises (excluding Carnival Liberty)
  • $49.95 – 4 day cruises on Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Sensation
  • $59.95 – 3 day cruises on Carnival Liberty
  • $59.95 – 4 day cruises on Carnival Elation, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Victory
  • $59.95 – 5 day cruises on Carnival Sensation
  • $69.95 – 4 day cruises on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor and Carnival Vista
  • $79.95 – 5 day cruises (excluding Carnival Sensation)
  • $89.95 – 6 day and 7 day cruises
  • $99.95 – 8 day and longer cruises (excluding Carnival Journeys departures)

When you think about all of the perks that you get, it’s really a no-brainer.  There’s a reason why it sells out so fast.

Feel Like a VIP

When I purchased Faster to the Fun, I felt like I was treated as a VIP. The cost was a small percentage of my cruise fare and made it completely with it.  We had seven cabins on the cruise, and only two of us decided to purchase FTTF.  We weren’t even halfway through the cruise before everyone else in our party started wishing they had purchased it also.

Tips for Buying Faster to the Fun

If you are interested in purchasing this awesome program called Faster to the Fun on your next Carnival cruise, here are a few tips to help you out since there are a limited number of passes available on each sailing.

The early bird gets the worm. FTTF is so popular that is has been known to sell out months in advance.  As soon as you book your cruise, you will want to go to the Fun Shop on Carnival Cruise Line’s website to purchase it.  You can not buy it with your cruise, you have to purchase it after your complete your reservation.

What if FTTF Has Sold Out?

If Faster to the Fun has sold out, you’re not totally out of luck.  As you get closer to your cruise, many times spots open up for others to purchase it. Check back often so you can snag it.  Or better yet, have your travel agent do it for you.  After all, isn’t that what they are there for?

The reasoning for this is because VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests receive many of the same perks. In order to make sure the priority lines stay priority, Carnival Cruise Line only offers a limited number of FTTF spots.

If your sailing has fewer Platinum and Diamond guests booked, the cruise line is more likely to open new spots as you get closer to your sailing.

You can’t purchase it once onboard, you have to buy it prior to your cruise.

What If I Already Printed My Boarding Pass Before Buying FTTF?

If you already printed your boarding passes and luggage tags before you were able to buy FTTF, you will want to reprint them.  Your new boarding passes will have the FTTP stamp which allows for priority embarkation.  Without the stamp, you won’t be able to use the priority lines and your luggage also won’t receive priority.

Only one person in a cabin needs to purchase FTTF.  Once you purchase it, it will cover everyone who is booked in your cabin.  It won’t however cover others who are traveling with you in other cabins.  They will need to purchase it for themselves.

Carnival Cruise Line is the only cruise line to offer a perk like this.  No other line offers anything even close to FTTF.

If you are on the fence about purchasing Faster to the Fun, just do it.  You won’t regret it.  You will only regret not buying it when you are waiting in long lines on the ship.

Remember, you can’t buy happiness but you can buy Faster to the Fun.  And that’s pretty much the same thing!

We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on Carnival’s FTTF in the comment section below.

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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]
Opinion Is Carnival's Faster to the Fun (FTTF) Worth It?

23 COMMENTS

  1. So if everyone buys this, does everyone get to go to the front of the line? Who gets to go first? This totally sounds like another cruise line way to make more money. Ranks right up there with airline priority boarding and luggage fees.

  2. we are sailing on the Panorama on Feb 8th 2020, the FTTF is not available yet. Can you estimate availability so I do not miss it?

  3. On a cruise a few years back with family, my mom purchased FTTF for the cabin. Everyone in our party had it and it was definitely worth it for guest service and boarding lines as well as our state room and luggage were available as soon as we got on the ship. I was unsure if I would purchase it if it was coming out of my own pocket for another cruise because I am cheap–but I did really enjoy the benefits on someone else’s dime. So when we booked our next cruise, I really though long and hard about if I should get it. Ended up adding it so we could have tender priority for our early port excursions.

  4. As a diamond cruiser on Carnival with over 50 Carnival cruises and 25 or so cruises on other lines I detest FTTF PROGRAM. I have earned the privilege to get these perks and do not appreciate Carnival making cruisers nstant diamond members for a small fee even if it is there first cruise. They brag that they are the only cruise line that does this.Thats not a plus as far as I am concerned. The other cruise lines appreciate their loyal passengers and give them the reconition they deserve, and not give first time cruises the same reconition just to make a few extra dollars, and alienate their loyal cruises.

    • I agree with you. Someone who had booked an interior cabin and paid a small fee should not get some of the same benefits as someone who had sailed 50 times. Another group of passengers that I feel that are getting the short end of the stick are those that are in grand suites or captain’s suites. If you have plopped down $5-10k for a cabin, you should have the same benefits as FTTF.

  5. We did purchase FTTF on our last cruise and have already purchased it for our upcoming cruise. We loved skipping the long lines when we arrived. I do have one question, it says that you can get into your room when you get on the ship but we found that the halls were all closed to the rooms with signs up not allowing entrance. Are FTTF allowed to bypass the signs?

    • Yes you can. If you show the crew members that you have FTTF they let you pass straight through to your stateroom.

  6. FTTF was worth every penny our recent cruise. Getting to our stateroom as soon as we boarded was wonderful and we were able to get acquainted with the ship without the luggage so many people had to lug around. Having a very short line at Guest Services was a timesaver because the other line backed up quickly. I highly recommend FTTF but purchase it as soon as you book your cruise because it sells out quickly.

  7. I enjoyed FTTF two years ago. It was everything it promised to be… but for an upcoming cruise it will be $79 due to the price change and we decided to skip it. At the increased priced it does not seem like that great of a deal.

  8. We’ve never bought fttf yet but next year “2019” we are going to try it and will report back later and I can afford a 5% charge on our cruise cost just to make it easier on us.

  9. No, FTTF at $90 is not worth it anymore. The only benefit I’ve ever seen with it is having the ability to drop off my carryon in my cabin as soon as I board. For $90, I’ll carry it around for an hour or two.
    I’ve never used the other benefits as there was no need. When you book a Carnival excursion, you get off the ship in a group with others that are in that excursion that don’t have FTTF.
    If you travel with a group and others don’t have FTTF, you either leave them behind or not use your FTTF and stay with your group.
    I’ve always had an early board time so even when I didn’t have FTTF, I got on in the next group which was only a few minutes after those with FTTF.
    Every time I’ve gone to guest services, there have only been one, two, or three people waiting so no big deal there.
    The dining benefits are not of importance to me as I’ve had no issues there either.
    So for me, I won’t be buying FTTF anymore and will use that $90 for something else.

  10. This is just a little drip in the pot!! For less than $100.00 you have faster tonget on the boat and get situated before all the others are on!! We did this in our last girls getaway and We are going again in July and we purchased it again!! I promise you that you will not be disappointed!!

  11. I am Platinum. So, I don’t need to buy Faster to the Fun anymore. But I bought it once, and I felt it was worth the money. It was shortly before I was upgraded to Platinum. The long lines waiting to check in leave a bitter taste in passenger’s mouths. Not a good way to start a cruise vacation.

    The lines for boarding the ship have become much more manageable in Galveston. About a year ago or thereabouts, Carnival implement an embarkation window. Passengers are assigned a 1/2 hour time slot to check in and board the ship. I don’t know if the company has implemented the check-in window at other ports, but it has made getting on the ship much easier.

    If you are sailing out of Galveston, unless the other perks of the FTTF are important for you, buying FTTF may not be worth the money for you. It just depends.

    • Go on ‘Manage my Cruise’ and select book excursions… it will be listed there. It sells out quickly but keep checking because sometimes more open up.

  12. This is solely your personal opinion. With 37 cruises with Carnival under my belt I NEVER purchased FTTF. The money saved is NOT a small fee as you call it. Saving maybe 2 hours on a line to get on the ship is not worth all that money when all you need is a little bit of patience. Your room will be ready by 1:30 no matter what. If you want to skip the lines, get to the port at 1pm. There will be basically NO lines and you can go straight to your room. You saved all the fees and are able to use that money as part of a payment for ANOTHER cruise. When it comes to tendering and debarkation, same thing. If you have the money to waste, fine, but if you cruise often, save the money. I did and I am still alive.

    • Yes, absolutely. FTTF may not be for everyone, but many that I’ve talked to that have used it are really happy with how everything went. It’s just an option for some, especially when some passengers might only get to cruise once every blue moon. Congrats on 37 cruises with Carnival. That’s awesome!

    • @ EDNKAREN01-I agree with you. I purchased FTTF several times in the past and I think THEN it was more beneficial but the last time or 2, I honestly didn’t feel as though we boarded or debarked any sooner than anyone else w/o FTTF. Also our room was not ready and bags were not already at our room. When questioned, we were told “it shouldn’t be much longer” which ended up being almost 2 hrs later when everyone else seemed to be getting theirs. I’ve been reading more lately where some other cruisers agree that previously always purchased FTTF doesn’t necessarily think it’s the way to go anymore as Carnival has really improved the on/off boarding. My next cruise is in early 2020 and I’m seriously considered not purchasing FTTF for this upcoming cruise. That $75 can easily be spent on some extra Pina Coladas 🙂

  13. This is not necessarily true. Diamond platinum and guest with Suites have priority over faster to the fun on everything. You cannot board the ship until they have, you cannot board the tenders until after them. And the same goes for Anytime dining. Even that dedicated Guest Services line is shared with diamond, Platinum and guest with Suites.

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