Check In Times

How many of us follow those check in times? I know with Royal they give a couple hour window, and Carnival started doing staggered check in (which many are mistaken for the time they embark the ship). But curious to how many follow those times?


My second job is with intercruises, so I check in people to their cruises on the weekends, and there is clearly a "peak time" at the pier, and I have seen some benefits to the staggered check in times for carnival... Just curious how many of us stick to them.... Sadly, I do what I want and I just get there as early as my BF can get there without complaining lol. 

Tags: Checking in Embarking Time

12 Answers

We get to the pier when we get there. They let us board when they let us board. At the end of the day, we are on vacation on a cruise ship.

With the staggered checkin, Carnival is not allowing anyone to enter the terminal before their assigned/chosen time. Those with priority boarding (Diamonds, Platinums, etc) may check in at any time. It hasn't rolled out to all ports yet. They are strictly enforcing the times.

I know when it rolled out in Baltimore, the first few weeks it was not so enforced and people are still thinking the time is to get on the ship not to check inSad

Galveston and NOLA are strictly enforcing. That's how Carnival shoots itself in the foot with a lot of their policies--inconsistency. I am not a fan of the staggered check-in, since we like to get to port early. We don't mind waiting to board--the people-watching is entertaining :)

We have priority boarding currently on 2 of the 3 lines we usually use, so we have not seen some of the problems experienced by the current check-in suggestions or windows given by the staggered boarding trend that most cruise lines seem to be going with. But I have noticed online in several forums and social media sites that people are confusing the check-in time w/ their boarding time and complain when they arrive earlier & the port authorities bar their entry to the terminal erroneously blaming the cruise line or on board crew for their confusion. I've even seen veteran cruisers counseling these posters to arrive at port an hour or 90 minutes prior to that window that they can park or get off the hotel shuttle (cruise line direct shuttles are usually immune to specified times) with enough time to do the security and physical check-in with enough time to still make their boarding window.

Most admit further in the posting they booked themselves without the benefit of a Personal Vacation Planner or Travel Agent and it is their first time with that line, then turned to social media for answers instead of consulting the cruise line's FAQs. Maybe certain FAQs should be part of the online check-in process as pop-ups or an acknowledgment box that needs to be checked off, that the cruise line directly explains what their check-in time is in relation to the actual boarding process. Because from the chatter I'm hearing all this does is frustrates passengers that do know that the check-in times represents when you should arrive at a port.

My most frustrating thing about check in is the people who wait till they get to the counter to begin digging for their passport in a bottomless pit bag. Be ready people!

I've arrived way too early and way too late ...early is better. Princess seems to let you go regardless of your designated check-in time ... I have priority boarding on my next cruise so will see how that goes.

That is true! Have everything ready when you get to the counter,and don't forget your paperwork... But not everyone follows that...

I cruise mostly out of Port Canaveral. Never had a problem. I have arrived early and end up waiting for hours. My last trip I waited till 1pm for the last shuttle. Walked right in, checked right in and on the boat.

IMHO, Port Canaveral and Jacksonville have the process down to a science. Our experience in Galveston was awful, and Miami wasn't that great either of the two times we have cruised from there. I can see where staggered checkin would benefit some ports, but I hate to see them mess with Port Canaveral and Jax.

We haven't yet been to a port with staggered check-in. When we do, if it is Carnival, we are will not worry because we have priority check-in. I do like to know about this because we have so many new cruisers sailing with us in January. Looking forward to more comments.


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