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As a fairly frequent cruiser, I've never seen the need for FTTF... However I'm considering for my next cruise. I know this topic has been discussed before, just wondering for any recent cruisers sailing out of Miami: how early is it realistic to expect to be on board?

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Since the FTTFs board after the Wedding parties, Diamonds, Platinums, and Suites, I've never seen the wisdom of paying to board 15-30 minutes before the masses on a 168-hour cruise. But that's just me. More revenue for Carnival helping to keep the cabin rates low, I'm all for it. 🙂

Edited by glrounds
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57 minutes ago, habsfan4ever said:

I am interested in this offering as well, but not sure why it doesn’t show it available when I’m on my manage my cruise section, Panorama in late Feb?

If it's not available it's sold out. It sells out quickly.

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2 hours ago, ober134 said:

As a fairly frequent cruiser, I've never seen the need for FTTF... However I'm considering for my next cruise. I know this topic has been discussed before, just wondering for any recent cruisers sailing out of Miami: how early is it realistic to expect to be on board?

 

We sailed out of Miami last year. They started boarding around 11am, FTTF was called at about 11:10. We were onboard, put our carry-ons in our cabin and got our S&S cards, ate lunch, and were done eating by 11:25. All before the general boarding crowds started filling up the Lido buffet. Obviously boarding times will vary depending on how quickly they clear the previous cruise. Don't forget, early boarding is only one of the perks.

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2 hours ago, glrounds said:

Since the FTTFs board after the Wedding parties, Diamonds, Platinums, and Suites, I've never seen the wisdom of paying to board 15-30 minutes before the masses on a 168-hour cruise. But that's just me. More revenue for Carnival helping to keep the cabin rates low, I'm all for it. 🙂

 

What you consider to be only a short time between FTTF boarding and the rest of general boarding can make the world of difference. Like I said in my previous comment, we were on, put away our carry-on bags, and were done eating lunch before general boarding filled up the Lido buffet. That 20-30 minutes meant no crowds to fight boarding the ship and getting to Lido, no lines to wait in for lunch, and a hectic-free meal on embarkation day. Not to mention, early boarding is only one of the perks, so it isn't fair to base it just off of that. In the end, it's value is subjective. Everyone has to consider the perks and whether they'll take advantage of them or not, then decide for themselves if it's worth it.

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1 hour ago, habsfan4ever said:

I am interested in this offering as well, but not sure why it doesn’t show it available when I’m on my manage my cruise section, Panorama in late Feb?

 

They won't even start offering FTTF for the Panorama until its February, 2020 departures. So that may be why you don't see them available for those cruises yet. If it was simply sold out, you'd still see it in your excursions, but listed as "Sold Out."

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Thanks for opinions. The difference is I'm sailing with a newbie since DH can't get off work for this "last minute" booking. Friend is concerned leaving luggage outside the ship with porters. I've tried to reassure her that we've never had any issues, but of course there is not a 100% guarantee. So in an effort to ease her peace of mind, I did purchase it so we can have immediate access to cabin. I'm just trying to coordinate ground transportation to the port; since I've never done FTTF wondering what time to arrange.

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I purchased FTTF last time I cruised as my mother gets very anxious if she thinks we're going to be late anywhere.  As in, if we're not 3 hours early, she's a basket case thinking we might be late.  Didn't want to start out vacation with that stress for either of us so it was worth it.  My $.02.

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2 hours ago, ober134 said:

Thanks for opinions. The difference is I'm sailing with a newbie since DH can't get off work for this "last minute" booking. Friend is concerned leaving luggage outside the ship with porters. I've tried to reassure her that we've never had any issues, but of course there is not a 100% guarantee. So in an effort to ease her peace of mind, I did purchase it so we can have immediate access to cabin. I'm just trying to coordinate ground transportation to the port; since I've never done FTTF wondering what time to arrange.

 

I just got back 2 weeks ago from a cruise out of Miami.  I got a Lyft from the hotel at 9am and was at the port with our luggage dropped off about 9:30.  They opened the terminal to start letting guests in for check in, security, etc. at about 10am.  Boarding was started about 10:30am and as FTTF we were on board by about 10:50.  This was on the Horizon.

 

In response to dropping luggage off with the porters...I've never understood why people would want to drag their luggage around with them when boarding, however, there are a lot of people that do that.  Just like you, we have never had an issue with luggage with the porters, but to each their own.

 

 

Edited by ishap
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9 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

What you consider to be only a short time between FTTF boarding and the rest of general boarding can make the world of difference. Like I said in my previous comment, we were on, put away our carry-on bags, and were done eating lunch before general boarding filled up the Lido buffet. That 20-30 minutes meant no crowds to fight boarding the ship and getting to Lido, no lines to wait in for lunch, and a hectic-free meal on embarkation day. Not to mention, early boarding is only one of the perks, so it isn't fair to base it just off of that. In the end, it's value is subjective. Everyone has to consider the perks and whether they'll take advantage of them or not, then decide for themselves if it's worth it.

 

You're probably right. I'm most likely "jaded". 🙂

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10 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

We sailed out of Miami last year. They started boarding around 11am, FTTF was called at about 11:10. We were onboard, put our carry-ons in our cabin and got our S&S cards, ate lunch, and were done eating by 11:25. All before the general boarding crowds started filling up the Lido buffet. Obviously boarding times will vary depending on how quickly they clear the previous cruise. Don't forget, early boarding is only one of the perks.

 

You're a FAST eater!😮

 

I mean, I'm no mathematician, but:

 

FTTF was called at about 11:10

 

+ getting onboard, put our carry-ons in our cabin and got our S&S cards

 

+ and were done eating by 11:25

 

= eating in < 10 minutes (and that's only allowing 5 minutes to do everything else you mentioned, which I don't think is humanly possible)!  Yikes, man!  Take your time and chew.  You're gonna choke or at least get heartburn or something.:classic_sad:

 

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4 hours ago, ober134 said:

Thanks for opinions. The difference is I'm sailing with a newbie since DH can't get off work for this "last minute" booking. Friend is concerned leaving luggage outside the ship with porters. I've tried to reassure her that we've never had any issues, but of course there is not a 100% guarantee. So in an effort to ease her peace of mind, I did purchase it so we can have immediate access to cabin. I'm just trying to coordinate ground transportation to the port; since I've never done FTTF wondering what time to arrange.

 

Everyone was a new cruiser once. I think some people forget what it was like. Some people are more cautious and nervous about new experiences than others. It's nice of you to take this extra step to help ease their mind. If they enjoy it and decide to cruise again, maybe they'll feel more comfortable checking their luggage in the future. If not, they'll just have to accept the effort it takes to carry everything on. I get it, though. On our first cruise, we ended up with a hole poked in one of our suitcases. It was only poked through the outside lid pocket and not the body of the suitcase, so it could've been worse. And it was an old suitcase that we cared less about, so we didn't bother reporting it, but it was still disappointing to see it happen. Knowing that things like that can, and do, happen gives a person pause.

 

 

1 hour ago, ishap said:

In response to dropping luggage off with the porters...I've never understood why people would want to drag their luggage around with them when boarding, however, there are a lot of people that do that.  Just like you, we have never had an issue with luggage with the porters, but to each their own.

 

We've always checked out large suitcases, but I think I'm just going to carry it on for our upcoming cruise. We do have FTTF, so I can put it away as soon as we get on board. Going to give it a try. Just thinking it'll be nice to have it there immediately because, even with FTTF priority luggage delivery, they don't always get there till a few hours later. The only other carry-on items I have are a backpack and a 12-pack of soda, so taking my suitcase with me shouldn't be an issue. I'll set the soda on top of the suitcase and strap it to the handle. Works like a charm.

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1 hour ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

You're a FAST eater!😮

 

I mean, I'm no mathematician, but:

 

FTTF was called at about 11:10

 

+ getting onboard, put our carry-ons in our cabin and got our S&S cards

 

+ and were done eating by 11:25

 

= eating in < 10 minutes (and that's only allowing 5 minutes to do everything else you mentioned, which I don't think is humanly possible)!  Yikes, man!  Take your time and chew.  You're gonna choke or at least get heartburn or something.:classic_sad:

 

Thank you for analyzing it so closely. I'm not sure if this is some kind of "gotcha" moment to prove me wrong, or what. I admittedly don't remember every last minute of every detail, but my account of boarding is close enough to give others a pretty good idea of our experience.

 

I made it a point to look at the time when I was done eating because so many people ask about FTTF on here that I wanted to have a good reference as to how quickly one could board and eat when having FTTF. I just wanted to be able to report on my experience, otherwise I wouldn't have cared about the time. It was 11:25, but if accuracy down to the last minute is important, it might've been 11:24. Maybe they announced boarding to begin around 10:55, I could be a little off there. I do know it was around 11:00. And 5-10 minutes between the start of boarding and calling FTTF. Straight to our cabin and dropped off our luggage. The S&S cards weren't in our mailbox yet, so we headed to Lido. We met our steward on our way down the hall and he had everyone's S&S cards, so we introduced ourselves, got our cards, and were on our way. There was only one or two people ahead of me at Guy's and they went fast. And yes, I'm a fast eater. It's an odd carry-over from my military days a long time ago. A habit that I just never broke. Eat it now, taste it later...as they used to say. So I can eat a Guy's burger and handful of fries in about 5 minutes fairly easily.

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14 hours ago, habsfan4ever said:

I am interested in this offering as well, but not sure why it doesn’t show it available when I’m on my manage my cruise section, Panorama in late Feb?

I read elsewhere that FTTF won't be available on the Panorama right away, was supposed to be February, but might have been delayed.  If there are too many Diamond/Platinums on board, then FTTF isn't offered at all.  Being a new ship, there will be lots on board early on.

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13 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

Thank you for analyzing it so closely. I'm not sure if this is some kind of "gotcha" moment to prove me wrong, or what. I admittedly don't remember every last minute of every detail, but my account of boarding is close enough to give others a pretty good idea of our experience.

 

I made it a point to look at the time when I was done eating because so many people ask about FTTF on here that I wanted to have a good reference as to how quickly one could board and eat when having FTTF. I just wanted to be able to report on my experience, otherwise I wouldn't have cared about the time. It was 11:25, but if accuracy down to the last minute is important, it might've been 11:24. Maybe they announced boarding to begin around 10:55, I could be a little off there. I do know it was around 11:00. And 5-10 minutes between the start of boarding and calling FTTF. Straight to our cabin and dropped off our luggage. The S&S cards weren't in our mailbox yet, so we headed to Lido. We met our steward on our way down the hall and he had everyone's S&S cards, so we introduced ourselves, got our cards, and were on our way. There was only one or two people ahead of me at Guy's and they went fast. And yes, I'm a fast eater. It's an odd carry-over from my military days a long time ago. A habit that I just never broke. Eat it now, taste it later...as they used to say. So I can eat a Guy's burger and handful of fries in about 5 minutes fairly easily.

 

Whoa, easy.  It was a joke.   Not a "gotcha".  I was not trying to "prove you wrong".  You mentioned exact times, I happened to notice them and think it was funny, that's all.  Obviously not to you.  Sorry I rubbed you the wrong way.  Not my intention.  I will refrain from joking with you in the future.

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5 hours ago, ishap said:

 

I just got back 2 weeks ago from a cruise out of Miami.  I got a Lyft from the hotel at 9am and was at the port with our luggage dropped off about 9:30.  They opened the terminal to start letting guests in for check in, security, etc. at about 10am.  Boarding was started about 10:30am and as FTTF we were on board by about 10:50.  This was on the Horizon.

 

In response to dropping luggage off with the porters...I've never understood why people would want to drag their luggage around with them when boarding, however, there are a lot of people that do that.  Just like you, we have never had an issue with luggage with the porters, but to each their own.

 

 

If you've ever had your luggage misplaced, which happened to us once. Or delivered after 9pm, that happened once too!  Both times with FTTF...

Now we carry on and since we no longer purchase FTTF, we lug around until 1:30 pm and then unpack and drink without a worry. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Roscoe13 said:

......Or delivered after 9pm, that happened once too!  Both times with FTTF...

.....

 

Funny coincidence.... the only time I've had luggage arrive late was the one time I'd purchased FTTF (and I didn't forget to tip the porters either).

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I think there are so many variables when it comes to getting FTTF.  

 

 I had been on 3 cruises prior before it was even offered and when it came time to book our first family cruise, I knew it would be beneficial to us.   Our boys were with us and I wanted everything to go as smooth as possible.    We wanted to take advantage of embarkation day, timewise, as much as possible so getting on the ship as early as we could was fantastic;   did not have to  wait  on our room as it was ready when we boarded - awesome;   less crowded for lunch - bonus;   was able to get in priority/fttf line for  guest services twice;  and the debarkation was a huge benefit to us as we had driven to port and wanted to get on the road  quickly.   We were leaving the port parking by 8:10am.

 

On our next cruise the FTTF is sold out, so we will plan with that in mind,  but if it becomes available I will purchase again.    On this cruise there will be a day of tendering to princess cays,  so having fttf will be an added benefit.  

 

We like carrying on our luggage  (a friend did not get his luggage until 9pm, and another had his lost for a couple of days) so being able to take directly to room  was just one less worry.     

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4 hours ago, ShakyBeef said:

Whoa, easy.  It was a joke.   Not a "gotcha".  I was not trying to "prove you wrong".  You mentioned exact times, I happened to notice them and think it was funny, that's all.  Obviously not to you.  Sorry I rubbed you the wrong way.  Not my intention.  I will refrain from joking with you in the future.

 

I don't have any problems taking a joke, but as we all know, they don't often translate as such very well in written form. If that was your goal, I simply misunderstood. Mostly because there's a common trend in the Carnival forums for some people (not saying you) to nitpick everyone's comments down to the smallest detail. It seems like some kind of twisted desire to try to catch someone in a lie. It happens way too often and I thought that's what that was. No harm, no foul.

 

1 hour ago, groundloop said:

Funny coincidence.... the only time I've had luggage arrive late was the one time I'd purchased FTTF (and I didn't forget to tip the porters either).

 

I've seen the rumors about luggage getting to someone's cabin late because they didn't tip the porter, but I truly believe that's a myth. The porters are employed by the port, not Carnival. They have nothing to do with the luggage you hand them getting to your cabin. They load their carts, then take it back to the staging area. I guess if they really wanted to be that vindictive, they could hold someone's suitcase aside until the very end, causing it to be delivered late by the ship's crew, but considering they handle luggage for a few thousand passengers, I seriously doubt that happens.

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10 hours ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

You're a FAST eater!😮

 

I mean, I'm no mathematician, but:

 

FTTF was called at about 11:10

 

+ getting onboard, put our carry-ons in our cabin and got our S&S cards

 

+ and were done eating by 11:25

 

= eating in < 10 minutes (and that's only allowing 5 minutes to do everything else you mentioned, which I don't think is humanly possible)!  Yikes, man!  Take your time and chew.  You're gonna choke or at least get heartburn or something.:classic_sad:

 

Was thinking that too.  Dang it takes me longer to get through the buffet and decide what to eat then his whole meal. 

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23 hours ago, ober134 said:

As a fairly frequent cruiser, I've never seen the need for FTTF... However I'm considering for my next cruise. I know this topic has been discussed before, just wondering for any recent cruisers sailing out of Miami: how early is it realistic to expect to be on board?

 

Generally, you should be able to access the ship once it docks. Check in on-line prior to arrival and you should be expedited and on board before most of the previous cruisers are off.

 

 

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11 hours ago, LadyMac72 said:

I purchased FTTF last time I cruised as my mother gets very anxious if she thinks we're going to be late anywhere.  As in, if we're not 3 hours early, she's a basket case thinking we might be late.  Didn't want to start out vacation with that stress for either of us so it was worth it.  My $.02.

 

I am very much the same way... I always have to be there early 🙂

 

Additionally, I like the priority buffet line access as well. So nice not to wait in line and be able to jump right up front. Eat quicker and off to a wonderful day sooner!!

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