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#1
144 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Hi we are considering another Carnival Cruise for January. My two previous Carnival cruises we didn't get FTTF as I felt embarkation lines moved quickly enough that we didn't need it. I know FTTF is more than just getting on the ship faster but is it worth the money?
Thanks
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Carnival Imagination (first cruise) 10/09
Norwegian Jewel (honeymoon cruise) 4/10
Norwegian Jewel (we loved the ship) 9/11
Carnival Ecstasy 6/12
Norwegian Pride of America (Hawaii) 10/14
Norwegian Breakaway 11/14
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 1/15
Norwegian Dawn (Bermuda) 7/17
#2
4,098 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by bobjer17
Hi we are considering another Carnival Cruise for January. My two previous Carnival cruises we didn't get FTTF as I felt embarkation lines moved quickly enough that we didn't need it. I know FTTF is more than just getting on the ship faster but is it worth the money?
Thanks
Depends. Do you want to pay Carnival for items that are free? If so, and you want to gain an extra 15 minutes than it is worth it. For me, I think people give Carnival enough money, and paying for free items is just silly.
#3
Southwest Florida
8,178 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by bobjer17
Hi we are considering another Carnival Cruise for January. My two previous Carnival cruises we didn't get FTTF as I felt embarkation lines moved quickly enough that we didn't need it. I know FTTF is more than just getting on the ship faster but is it worth the money?
Thanks
Does your cruise have tender stops where you want to get off the ship asap for a private excursion? Would having the priority line at guest services help you? Only you can answer your questions.

Some swear by it, say it's great for them. Others say they wouldn't waste the money. It's a personal choice. No one has the right to enforce their personal opinion on you, one way or the other. You decide after hearing the pros and cons.
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Paradise 1/03, Paradise 8/03, Holiday 4/04, Majesty of the Seas 5/04, Fascination 2/05, Legend 3/05, Legend 5/05, Triumph 2/06, Valor 8/06, Valor 12/08, Destiny 1/08, Valor 7/09, Liberty 10/09, Miracle 1/10, Valor 4/10, Liberty 12/10, Valor 1/11, Disney Dream 2/11, Valor 12/11, Crown Princess Mediterranean 9/12, NCL Epic 3/13, Liberty 12/13, Celebrity Summit 1/14, Crown Princess Alaska CruiseTour 8/14, Conquest 10/14 my first B2B, Freedom 12/14, Norwegian Epic, 1/15, Valor 3/15, Carnival Magic 10/15, Carnival Magic 11/15, Celebrity Summit 12/15, Glory 1/16 - 2/16 B2B, Conquest 4/16, NCL Breakaway to Bermuda, 5/16, Conquest {Diamond} 6/16,Vista, 11 days repo Nov 2016. Glory 12/16, NCL Breakaway 14 days, Jan 2017, Conquest 4/17, Glory 6/17, Carnival Dream 10/17, .Breeze, 12/17, NCL Dawn, 1/18, Glory, 4/18, Horizon 5/18

Upcoming: Miracle 8/18, MSC Seaside 10/18, Magic, 11/18, NCL Jade 11/18 eleven day Panama.
#4
144 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Originally posted by Havingfun2010
Depends. Do you want to pay Carnival for items that are free? If so, and you want to gain an extra 15 minutes than it is worth it. For me, I think people give Carnival enough money, and paying for free items is just silly.
That is kind of my thoughts about it. Thanks!
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Carnival Imagination (first cruise) 10/09
Norwegian Jewel (honeymoon cruise) 4/10
Norwegian Jewel (we loved the ship) 9/11
Carnival Ecstasy 6/12
Norwegian Pride of America (Hawaii) 10/14
Norwegian Breakaway 11/14
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 1/15
Norwegian Dawn (Bermuda) 7/17
#5
Carlsbad, CA USA
357 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
We have never done it and we usually are on the ship early and have never seen a need for it.
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Carnival Vista 09/03/2016 Barcelona, Marseille, Florence, Rome, Naples, Crete, Rhodes, Athens
Carnival Miracle 11/14/2015 Long Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo
Carnival Valor 09/2014 Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Barbados, St Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin
Carnival Inspiration 04/2012 Avalon, Ensenada
Carnival Ecstasy 5/20/2010 Cozumel

Voyager of the Seas 3/22/09 Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya
Norwegian Spirit 3/16/08 Roatan, Guatamala, Cozumel

Carnival Destiny 11/26/06 San Juan, St. Thomas, Belize, Aruba
Norwegian Sea 2004 Roatan, Cozumel, Belize
Rhapsody of the Seas 2002 Key West, Cancun, Grand Cayman
Viking Serenade 1993
Disney Big Red Boat 1992 Nassau, Disney's private island
S.S. Azure Seas 1990 Avalon, Ensenada
#6
Missouri
1,725 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
My favorite part of FTTF is the ability to debark early and relatively quickly. This is because we usually drive home from the port (12-19hrs) and want to get straight home. I can be very patient when it comes to starting my vacay, but I lack patience for sitting around waiting, when I really need to be on my way.

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Tracy in Missouri
#7
Jersey
820 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We had it on our last cruise and we liked getting on early, not having to drag our bags around with us and I did have to go to the help desk once, so that was great not having to wait on line.

Is it essential? No, but there are a lot of optional expenses on cruises. This is what makes cruising so great, you can do it cheaply by getting an inside cabin, not buying drinks, pictures, etc or you can spend a little more for things that you value.
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Past Cruises:

SS Constitution -American Hawaii Cruise Line 3/1990
Disney Wonder 6/2001
Carnival Liberty Charter 5/2008
Carnival Valor 11/2008
Carnival Sensation 8/2013
RCCL Explorer of the Seas 4/2014
Carnival Elation 1/2015

Carnival Victory 5/2017
#8
Ohio
3,661 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We have had FTTF twice. Last time we had two in our party we requested wheelchairs for. We bypassed the long line outside the terminal. However were last in the terminal to board (12:30) as we waited for wheelchairs to return for them. Bypassing line at guest services and priority tender is very good too. Also luggage early is nice. We like having it.
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05-15-2011 Carnival Pride
12-02-2012 Carnival Pride
06-02-2013 Carnival Valor

04-23-2017 Carnival Pride



#9
21,698 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
If one is patient waiting in line and not particular with luggage priority, it may not be worth it.


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#10
United States
152 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
We have always purchased when able to get it, and booked it already for our cruise in August 2018. I almost always have to go to guest services for something or other and it's really nice not having to wait in line. We have young kids so being able to drop our carry ons off at the room and have access to the room immediately is very nice. That combined with priority debarkation makes it worth it for us. We always stay the night before in a hotel, and like to check out early and get to the port and on the boat as quickly as possible. I like to get our vacation started!
#11
Humble, Texas
305 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
I've cruised twice, 1 time I had it and the other I didn't. My upcoming cruise I do have it. I like it for the tender ports. It's all just a matter of ones opinion. I don't drink much, so I'm not spending money on that.
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Carnival Ecstasy, May 2013
Carnival Triumph, April 2014
#12
East Coast
59 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
As of now, I like paying for the FTTF since I don't drink alcohol. I feel that Carnival is losing money on me everytime that I cruise, so I try to make up for lost costs. Soon I will not have to pay for the FTTF since I am almost a Platinum member and when that happens, I will have to double everyones tip onboard to keep the cash flowing. Consider myself a loyal guest. 😀

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#13
144 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Originally posted by cheermomof2girls
We have always purchased when able to get it, and booked it already for our cruise in August 2018. I almost always have to go to guest services for something or other and it's really nice not having to wait in line. We have young kids so being able to drop our carry ons off at the room and have access to the room immediately is very nice. That combined with priority debarkation makes it worth it for us. We always stay the night before in a hotel, and like to check out early and get to the port and on the boat as quickly as possible. I like to get our vacation started!
We generally do a pre-cruise hotel stay and like to get on the ship as early as possible as well. Enjoy your cruise!
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Carnival Imagination (first cruise) 10/09
Norwegian Jewel (honeymoon cruise) 4/10
Norwegian Jewel (we loved the ship) 9/11
Carnival Ecstasy 6/12
Norwegian Pride of America (Hawaii) 10/14
Norwegian Breakaway 11/14
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 1/15
Norwegian Dawn (Bermuda) 7/17
#14
Central Ohio
2,902 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by bobjer17
Hi we are considering another Carnival Cruise for January. My two previous Carnival cruises we didn't get FTTF as I felt embarkation lines moved quickly enough that we didn't need it. I know FTTF is more than just getting on the ship faster but is it worth the money?
Thanks
It's all subjective and you will find a huge range of opinions on the matter. If you use the search function and search for "FTTF worth it," you'll find a ton of posts about it (or even google it).

Review the benefits of FTTF and determine if they are worth it for you. For us, it's worth every penny just be able to access our stateroom early.

Priority Security, Check-in and Boarding
A dedicated security and check-in lane has been set aside for all Priority guests on embarkation day. FTTF guests will board after VIFP Diamond, Platinum and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations.
Note: Only Diamond, Platinum and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations have access to the Captain’s Lounge.

First Access to Stateroom
Your stateroom will be ready for you as soon as you board, so you can relax or freshen up for all the fun you are about to have.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests.

Priority Luggage
While we process thousands of bags, FTTF luggage will receive priority delivery.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests.

Guest Services
Quickly have any of your questions answered or requests addressed as you will have a dedicated phone extension and line at Guest Services.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests.

Dining Reservations
Priority Dinner Time Assignment: FTTF guests will be cleared after VIFP Platinum guests. This benefit does not include specific time reservations for 'Your Time Dining'.
Note: VIFP Diamond guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations are guaranteed their dining in the Main Dining Room.

Tender Priority
You will have priority tender service from ship to shore (multiple departure times may be possible) so you can explore ashore as quickly as you want to. When ready to go ashore, if not on a Carnival shore excursion, present yourself at the Guest Services Desk.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations.

Debarkation Choices
When it’s time to say good bye, you may choose an early or late disembarkation time upon arrival to your homeport.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations.
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2017 - Carnival Dream
2016 - Carnival Sunshine (CA/NE)
2015 - Carnival Paradise
2014 - Carnival Elation
2012 - Carnival Sensation
#15
wisconsin
631 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by bobjer17
Hi we are considering another Carnival Cruise for January. My two previous Carnival cruises we didn't get FTTF as I felt embarkation lines moved quickly enough that we didn't need it. I know FTTF is more than just getting on the ship faster but is it worth the money?
Thanks

I have done it both ways. I don't think its worth it for me though.

Now I just show up around 2pm at port---small lines and you can get right to your room. I go to guest services at odd times if need be to avoid lines and we don't care about the tender port stuff.

We stay the night before in a hotel so always just request a late check out and relax until leaving for the ship around 1 or 1:30p
#16
New York
1,498 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Originally posted by Havingfun2010
Depends. Do you want to pay Carnival for items that are free? If so, and you want to gain an extra 15 minutes than it is worth it. For me, I think people give Carnival enough money, and paying for free items is just silly.
Considering you proudly proclaim to give Carnival no money whatsoever, your opinion is irrelevant.
#17
West TN
27 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We sure wished that we had it on our last cruise, we waited in a SUPER long line to board the ship and to talk to guest services. It was extra tough waiting with an impatient 9 year old.
#18
New Jersey
1,286 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Here's my take benefit by benefit...


Priority Security, Check-in and Boarding
A dedicated security and check-in lane has been set aside for all Priority guests on embarkation day. FTTF guests will board after VIFP Diamond, Platinum and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations.
Note: Only Diamond, Platinum and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations have access to the Captain’s Lounge.
This works out great for those forced in to a later check-in time than their transportation options allow for, but the funny thing is the initial run of FttF tends to sell out before the check-in appointment times become available. Those that are able to choose an early check-in time, should really look if the other perks will do them any good, as most with the first set of check-in appointments will board shortly after those with priority. But this does not mean that there will not be any wait in the terminal as check-in times start about an hour or so before the ship is ready to board. The difference here is that the wait will (hopefully) be in seats at the terminal instead of on line waiting to be processed. Also the priority check-in lines tend to be the longest (sometimes much longer than general boarding) first thing after the port opens to new passengers.
Another outstanding feature is for those with a later check-in times is that generally after the first hour of accepting new passengers the lines shift from priority having the long line to general boarding having the longer wait. So those with a check-in time that coincides better with the actual boarding time will have a faster processing by being able to access the priority lines. Furthermore they get to skip getting a zone number and will proceed on board along with the next group of general boarding passengers.
Take note of when your port's parking lot opens if driving in. This may impact parking arrangements as some ports like Baltimore don't allow new cars until 1/3-1/2 of the previous cruiser's cars have left. No amount of priority will get your car parked faster, in cases such as this which could mean even with priority your will not enter the terminal any sooner than those with general boarding.

First Access to Stateroom
Your stateroom will be ready for you as soon as you board, so you can relax or freshen up for all the fun you are about to have.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests.
This is perhaps what sells most passengers on getting FttF. Early check-in can always be arranged if booking early and being vigilant about checking for the appointment times to open, but an early check-in time without priority doe not get your cabin cleaned and ready for occupation any sooner than 2.5-3 hours prior to departure (San Juan is an exception).
If you transportation options will not have you to the port terminal until around the cabin ready time this is a wasted perk.

Priority Luggage
While we process thousands of bags, FTTF luggage will receive priority delivery.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests.
Priority here is a very relative term, your bags will end up at your cabin door faster than others from general boarding that arrived to the porters at the same time as you did. But don't go expecting the bags to arrive before everybody else that did general boarding, unless there at the crack of the port accepting new passengers (usually 1 hour before the first published check-in time) as more passengers arrive the more complex the sorting of checked luggage gets, making even priority luggage take 1 or 2 hours to arrive at your cabin door.
For those carrying on all their luggage the priority delivery has no impact.

Guest Services
Quickly have any of your questions answered or requests addressed as you will have a dedicated phone extension and line at Guest Services.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests.
A great perk to have if you visit the GS desk often, but lines sometimes at the Platinum+ window can be just as long as the general line especially when there are 3 crew members handling the regular line and only 1 maybe 2 sharing a workspace for priority.

Dining Reservations
Priority Dinner Time Assignment: FTTF guests will be cleared after VIFP Platinum guests. This benefit does not include specific time reservations for 'Your Time Dining'.
Note: VIFP Diamond guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations are guaranteed their dining in the Main Dining Room.
If not already confirmed for your prefered dining time or a reservation time at a specialty restaurant this perk will move you further up the waitlist. If confired and happy with your dining tie choice this does nothng for you.

Tender Priority
You will have priority tender service from ship to shore (multiple departure times may be possible) so you can explore ashore as quickly as you want to. When ready to go ashore, if not on a Carnival shore excursion, present yourself at the Guest Services Desk.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations.
Those with shore excursions at tender ports that leave the first 2 hours or so after anchoring will have priority that supercedes even Diamond status. This is only needed if you plan to explore the island on your own or through a 3rd party pre-arranged tour company. But you still might have to wait if the first few tenders are reserved for those on ship's tours.
If no tender ports on your itinerary this is a wasted benefit.

Debarkation Choices
When it’s time to say good bye, you may choose an early or late disembarkation time upon arrival to your homeport.
Note: This is also a benefit for VIFP Diamond and Platinum guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations.
Though any priority will get you off the ship faster, it does not speed up the process of Customs checking your bags and clearing you for repatriation or re-entry to the USA.
As long as you include flight informaion in your online check-in that meets Carnival's recomendations they will do their most to make sure you get a zone # (if doing traditional disembarkation) that will get you to the airport in a timely fashion. Within zone disembarkation those taking a post cruise excursion (bought through the cruise line) or the cruise line's transfer service will get an unofficial type of priority to insure these buses leave on time.
For those wishing to wait till as late as possible on debarkation day to leave the ship, this is an option for anyone regardless of priority. Most ships with a 4 pm departure will want you off by 10/10:30am to start boarding new passengers.

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Dec 2017 CCL Pride
May 2017 -X- Summit
Nov. 2016 CCL Vista
Sept. 2016 CCL Pride
June 2016 CCL Pride
Mar. 2016 CCL Pride
Oct. 2015 NCL Breakaway
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Sept 2012 RCI Explorer of the Seas
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#19
Northglenn, Colorado
319 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
pay for free service??

Its only free service if your already Diamond, Platinum or book a suite.

I'll gladly pay extra to walk right in to the terminal first thing in the morning and go right through check in without waiting is worth it instead of waiting in line outside possibly in the rain, hot sun or cold depending where you embark.

I'll gladly pay extra for having your luggage at your stateroom door when you board instead of after dinner 6 hours later AND access to your stateroom at 11:30 am when you board instead of sometime after 1:30 pm and i've heard as late as after 3:00 pm sometimes too.
Which brings me to being able to board the ship with diamond and platinum members. Embarkation day counts as one of the days you paid to be on the ship. Why would I want to wait till 3-4 o'clock in the afternoon to board when most of the day is already gone that I again paid for?

Some excursions will only wait so long for you to arrive and when its a port that's tendered like Belize and the ride is 20-25 minutes to the dock once the tender begins to move. Some cave tubing guides will only wait 1 hour after the boat arrives. FTTF meet at guest services and someone takes you right to the head of the tender lines with diamond and platinum members and you get on the next tender. Sure I could get up really early in the morning to get a number for tenders but i'm on vacation, I dont want to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to wait in a line in the dinning room for hopefully a low tender number. I'll gladly pay extra to just have a crew member take me right down to the head of the line so i can get to my shore excursion that takes all day to do.

I might have a problem and need to speak to guest services to get it resolved. I dont want to spend an hour or more waiting in line at guest services. Again, I'll gladly pay extra to use the priority line. I'm on vacation, I dont want to waste time standing in lines.

It may sound selfish but every passenger has the same opportunity to purchase FTTF or a suite and get the same perks. To me its a small price to pay to avoid waiting during my vacation. $70 for a 7 day cruise equates to $10 a day and covers everyone in my cabin. NOOOO PROBLEM MON. Its worth it to me.
.
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Past Cruises.
Western Caribbean, Carnival Splendor, April 2016
#20
Southwest Florida
8,178 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
For me, the best way to utilize the FTTF "benefits" was to first become a platinum, and finally a diamond cruiser. As I said in an earlier post, FTTF wasn't offered when I was a blue, red or gold cruiser.

If it was offered back then, I think instead of paying FTTF fee for each of 10 week long cruises, I would save that $$$ for my "Platinum" status 11th cruise!
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Paradise 1/03, Paradise 8/03, Holiday 4/04, Majesty of the Seas 5/04, Fascination 2/05, Legend 3/05, Legend 5/05, Triumph 2/06, Valor 8/06, Valor 12/08, Destiny 1/08, Valor 7/09, Liberty 10/09, Miracle 1/10, Valor 4/10, Liberty 12/10, Valor 1/11, Disney Dream 2/11, Valor 12/11, Crown Princess Mediterranean 9/12, NCL Epic 3/13, Liberty 12/13, Celebrity Summit 1/14, Crown Princess Alaska CruiseTour 8/14, Conquest 10/14 my first B2B, Freedom 12/14, Norwegian Epic, 1/15, Valor 3/15, Carnival Magic 10/15, Carnival Magic 11/15, Celebrity Summit 12/15, Glory 1/16 - 2/16 B2B, Conquest 4/16, NCL Breakaway to Bermuda, 5/16, Conquest {Diamond} 6/16,Vista, 11 days repo Nov 2016. Glory 12/16, NCL Breakaway 14 days, Jan 2017, Conquest 4/17, Glory 6/17, Carnival Dream 10/17, .Breeze, 12/17, NCL Dawn, 1/18, Glory, 4/18, Horizon 5/18

Upcoming: Miracle 8/18, MSC Seaside 10/18, Magic, 11/18, NCL Jade 11/18 eleven day Panama.