New Procedure for Carnival Cruise Lines - Staggered Check- In Times at Embarkation

To expedite the embarkation process, Carnival has recently instituted staggered check-in times for all their ships at 8 embarkation ports and will add three more ports in Oct-Nov. Passengers sailing on ships leaving from these ports will need to pre-select online check-in times for their arrival at the terminals. They will have a one-hour window to arrive at the terminal. Passengers will not be permitted to enter terminal ahead of this window. Certain categories of passengers are exempt from the one-hour window but still must choose an online time of arrival at the terminal. These include Priority Program guests, those with ship-sponsored airport transfers & those utilizing Faster To The Fun. Do you think that this is a good or bad thing? Here's a link to answers you may have about the new procedure.

Tags: Carnival Cruise Lines New Carnival Staggered Check-in Arrival Times for Embarkation New Carnival Embarkation Procedure New for Carnival Cruise Lines

26 Answers

With the FTTF, the process does not apply to you -- you can check in any time you want.

Yup, just like Priority as well.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I want to see reviews on the process.

On Princess we had no issues as we were escorted as a group. Once from the airport and the other from the hotel. NCL had a bit of confusion, but we worked around that in Boston.

In theory, it is a good idea. Instead of 3000 people trying to check in at 10:30, thereby necessitating standing in a long line (and the safety problems inherent with this), they try to spread out the check-in windows throughout the day. This results in less crowded waiting areas and much shorter lines.

In practice, though, everyone wants to be first in line. If the port doesn't enforce the windows, then they have the same problem with crowds, lines and safety as before. If they do enforce the windows, then they have upset passengers that "didn't know" they couldn't check in before their time.

Here in Florida it is hard to enforce the staggered times if they run out of seating in the terminal. It is too hot to tell passengers to line up outside in the heat without any shade. I have friends who work for the cruise lines & I'll ask them how the procedure is working.

We cruise out of Port Canaveral in October and cannot select a check in time. It is not showing up for me to select. Anyone here know why I can't. Thanks

We left out of Miami in December 2018. I have had experience with the staggered check-in before and have not noticed a huge difference (I am Platinum, so that may be why). What I did notice that was different, however, was that the queue line to the desk did not exist. NO ONE went to the desk. Once you went through security, the line of people simply proceeded through the photo ops, took the security photo, and walked on. We were continuously moving. Once on board, our sign and sail cards were in our mailboxes outside of our room. Nothing more was needed. It was the smoothest boarding I have ever experienced! Am leaving out of Port Canaveral in 3 days and am curious if this is a new process throughout the line, or if it is just Miami....

So now I am wondering if FTTF even makes a difference. I have a 12pm check in but also have FTTF. On our last cruise we had to stop at the desk to get our keys but the Ecstasy didn't have mailboxes either.

With FTTF, the check-in appointment time does not apply -- show up at any time.

Without it, you may be (will probably be) turned away if you are early.

Personally, I would still try to get FTTF.

The new system on Carnival seems to be working. On our January cruise we didn't get to the port until 12:30 and the terminal was essentially empty. All boarding numbers had been called and there wasn't a line anywhere. I'm sure each sailing has it's own quirks so maybe your FTTF one more time...or try to see what it might be without it. Personally, if I already had it purchased, I think I'd keep it.


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