Carnival Rolling Out Staggered Check-In to More Ports

Since first being tested a little over a year ago, Carnival’s staggered check-in has proven to be a big hit. Now it is rolling out to five more ports in the coming months.

According to Carnival, “staggered Check-In will be rolling out as follows and will now include Port Canaveral, Tampa, San Juan, Seattle and Vancouver.”

The roll-out starts with the following dates:

  • Carnival Pride from Tampa starting 1/15/2017
  • Carnival Paradise from Tampa starting 1/16/2017
  • Carnival Fascination from San Juan starting 1/22/2017
  • Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral starting 1/26/2017
  • Carnival Magic from Port Canaveral starting 1/28/2017
  • Carnival Sunshine from Port Canaveral starting 1/29/2017
  • Carnival Legend from Vancouver starting 4/30/2017
  • Carnival Legend from Seattle starting 5/08/2017

For those unfamiliar, staggered check-in alleviates a lot of the headaches caused by traditional boarding.

Normally, a cruise line gives passengers a boarding window of 3-5 hours to board. So if the ship leaves at 5 p.m., then passengers might be allowed to board from 1-4 p.m. on embarkation day.

The problem is that so many passengers are excited to cruise that the lines at the start of the embarkation window are usually long. It’s not unusual for it to take 45 minutes to an hour to board for passengers showing up right when boarding begins.

Staggered check-in fixes this issue. It gives each passenger a 30-minute assigned boarding window. So instead of being able to board anytime from 1-4 p.m., a passenger may be allowed to board from 2-2:30 p.m. If a passenger shows up too early, they will be turned away. If they show up later, they will still be allowed to board.

This new type of check-in alleviates the bottleneck that occurs at the start of boarding by spreading passengers across the entire boarding window.

Given the quick roll-out of the program from coast to coast, staggered check-in appears to be working as intended, making boarding much smoother and faster.