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Hi everyone,

 

I'm sailing on the 18th out of Port Canaveral on the Sunshine. A few days ago, I received an email asking me to arrive between 2:00 and 3:00 for check in. It stated "guests arriving outside of their assigned window may be asked to come back later or experience a longer wait time.". Today I got a phone call stating the same information. I was planning on arriving around 11:00, or at the latest, noon, to give my mom and sister (first time cruisers) ample time to get used to the motion of the ship (since it still moves a but while docked) before we sail. Now I'm concerned that if we do arrive early we will be made to wait until 2:00. Is that the case? This will be my first time sailing with Carnival so I'm not sure how they do things. I thought after priority guest boarded it was first come basis, but if that's not how it works then I'll adjust my plans. Please let me know what your experience has been with this. Thank you!

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This gets asked alot. Unless they say there is a clear reason to arrive late, like a recent cruise had to perform a drill that delayed boarding for a few hours, show up when you want. The calls and letters are to try to space boarding out better so you wait in line less. They actually have no way right now to restrict your arrival. They don't even know who you are until you arrive at the check-in desk, much less what time that email said to arrive. Make sure you are aware that once on board, they may restrict your access to your room until 1:30, but that's for everyone without priority boarding. Most people head to the Lido and eat lunch until the rooms are opened.

Edited by Davey Wavey
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Just be prepared to sit in a large waiting room (like an airport). They board by zones, after priority/diamond/fttf etc. last time we had zone 12 and it took approximately 30-40 minutes to get our zone called once they started.

 

 

 

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Just be prepared to sit in a large waiting room (like an airport). They board by zones, after priority/diamond/fttf etc. last time we had zone 12 and it took approximately 30-40 minutes to get our zone called once they started.

 

 

 

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Yeah, I'm okay with a wait as long as it's not until 2:00 when I'm planning on getting there around 11 haha. I wonder if the zones correspond with the time frame they gave you in your email. Like all the people who were told to arrive between 1 and 2 are in one zone and all the people who were told to arrive between 2 and 3 are in another, etc. Or do you think it's based on cabin number?

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This gets asked alot. Unless they say there is a clear reason to arrive late, like a recent cruise had to perform a drill that delayed boarding for a few hours, show up when you want. The calls and letters are to try to space boarding out better so you wait in line less. They actually have no way right now to restrict your arrival. They don't even know who you are until you arrive at the check-in desk, much less what time that email said to arrive. Make sure you are aware that once on board, they may restrict your access to your room until 1:30, but that's for everyone without priority boarding. Most people head to the Lido and eat lunch until the rooms are opened.

Thanks for your response! I had read a similar question before and thought it wouldn't be a problem, but the wording of Carnival's email was enough to start me second guessing myself and worrying about it. Thanks for putting my worries to rest!

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This gets asked alot. Unless they say there is a clear reason to arrive late, like a recent cruise had to perform a drill that delayed boarding for a few hours, show up when you want. The calls and letters are to try to space boarding out better so you wait in line less. They actually have no way right now to restrict your arrival. They don't even know who you are until you arrive at the check-in desk, much less what time that email said to arrive. Make sure you are aware that once on board, they may restrict your access to your room until 1:30, but that's for everyone without priority boarding. Most people head to the Lido and eat lunch until the rooms are opened.

Out of curiosity, and since you have sailed with Carnival out of Port Canaveral frequently and recently, do you think arriving at 11:00 AM will be too early? Online there is a document that says the Sunshine does not start boarding until 12:30 PM. If that's the case then I'm assuming priority folks start then, or do the priority guest start before that time and 12:30 is general boarding? Thanks for your help!

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I just looked at my documents after seeing this on another thread, it had check in time between 1-3 ....... I don't think so! Our hotel is downtown check out is 11......... I am not waiting around until 1 to head to port !

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I got an email from Carnival today for our cruise leaving from Galveston on 12/27 that said they are now requiring everyone to select a 30 minute window for arrival. If you have Priority, suite, or FTTF you also have to select a time but can arrive anytime you want to. Otherwise if you are early they said they will not let you in the terminal until your time. They stated this was a new policy. I had to go back and add the time since I had already completed the online registration. Also everyone will be required to have a preprinted boarding pass or show it on their phone to enter the terminal. Not sure if this will apply to all cruises or just those our of Galveston, or just this one. I've checked out March cruise our of NOLA and no option to select a check in time yet on there.

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Thanks for the head's up. We are sailing 12/26/15 out of Galveston and I went online and did check-in so we could have the earliest check-in time I could get. We are set for 10:30-11:00.

 

I got an email from Carnival today for our cruise leaving from Galveston on 12/27 that said they are now requiring everyone to select a 30 minute window for arrival. If you have Priority, suite, or FTTF you also have to select a time but can arrive anytime you want to. Otherwise if you are early they said they will not let you in the terminal until your time. They stated this was a new policy. I had to go back and add the time since I had already completed the online registration. Also everyone will be required to have a preprinted boarding pass or show it on their phone to enter the terminal. Not sure if this will apply to all cruises or just those our of Galveston, or just this one. I've checked out March cruise our of NOLA and no option to select a check in time yet on there.
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I got an email from Carnival today for our cruise leaving from Galveston on 12/27 that said they are now requiring everyone to select a 30 minute window for arrival. If you have Priority, suite, or FTTF you also have to select a time but can arrive anytime you want to. Otherwise if you are early they said they will not let you in the terminal until your time. They stated this was a new policy. I had to go back and add the time since I had already completed the online registration. Also everyone will be required to have a preprinted boarding pass or show it on their phone to enter the terminal. Not sure if this will apply to all cruises or just those our of Galveston, or just this one. I've checked out March cruise our of NOLA and no option to select a check in time yet on there.

Wow that is very strict, but at least you are able to choose a time instead of it being assigned to you. I don't think they are being that strict at Port Canaveral, at least not yet. Have a fun cruise in December!

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...do you think arriving at 11:00 AM will be too early?

 

If everything is going smoothly, 11am is the perfect time to arrive. By the time you get through security and check-in, they will probably be ready to start calling priority boarding. You may be onboard by 11:45 or so, but be prepared to sit in the lounge for 30 minutes though and be onboard a bit after noon.

 

Our most recent cruise we arrived at 11am and had priority boarding. We finished check-in and had just turned around to look for a seat when they called the priority zones. We were up in our room at 11:35.

Edited by Davey Wavey
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We got FTTF for our Valor cruise. However, we've met some of the greatest people while waiting to board in those large holding rooms. On our last sailing on Celebrity Reflection they had an issue with a couple of the metal detectors in Miami.Added about 45 minutes to embarkation. Met 3 couples and ended up sitting with them the entire cruise for dinner. Sometimes the wait is fun, depends on how you look at it. Start your vacation when you step into the terminal. :)

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I got an email from Carnival today for our cruise leaving from Galveston on 12/27 that said they are now requiring everyone to select a 30 minute window for arrival. If you have Priority, suite, or FTTF you also have to select a time but can arrive anytime you want to. Otherwise if you are early they said they will not let you in the terminal until your time. They stated this was a new policy. I had to go back and add the time since I had already completed the online registration. Also everyone will be required to have a preprinted boarding pass or show it on their phone to enter the terminal. Not sure if this will apply to all cruises or just those our of Galveston, or just this one. I've checked out March cruise our of NOLA and no option to select a check in time yet on there.

 

 

This is correct new boarding program , Galveston is the 1st to get it , When you print your boarding pass your check in time frame will be on it , Come before your time , you are not allowed into terminal .

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This is correct new boarding program , Galveston is the 1st to get it , When you print your boarding pass your check in time frame will be on it , Come before your time , you are not allowed into terminal .

Interesting. I guess it would make things go more smoothly to have very specific staggered arrival times. Based on what Glassman352 said it looks like Port Canaveral will definitely have that system in place by next July.

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We are flying into Miami from Orlando the morning of the cruise. We arrive at MIA at 830am. Plan to check in at the MIA desk and be at the port around 10am. We are platinum and will find out then when we can board. We have a 1-3pm checkin time.

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