If you’re sailing aboard Carnival, then you are likely going to board your cruise totally different than what has been done for a long time. That’s because over the past couple of years, Carnival has transitioned to what’s called staggered check-in.
It used to be that the ship’s schedule had a large boarding window. If the ship departed at, say, 5 p.m. on cruise day, then passengers were allowed to board anytime between 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
That caused huge problems. All the passengers were excited to board, which meant they showed up early in the boarding window.
If you showed up at 12 p.m. (the start of boarding), then you were greeted by massive lines. If you showed up at 3 p.m., there would be no one there and you could board quickly.
To fix this problem, Carnival now has staggered check-in. Instead of one long boarding window, passengers are given a 30 minute boarding window instead. This spreads people more evenly throughout the boarding times. Instead of having to wait a long time in a big line at the start of boarding, everyone has a more modest line that moves quickly.
If you show up before your boarding window, you’ll be required to wait until your time. If you show up later, they will let you board when you arrive.
So how do you know what time you should board? Carnival allows you to select your own boarding time.
How to Select a Boarding Time
Selecting a boarding window is easy. After booking your trip, you’ll want to login to your Carnival account. Use your email address you used for booking your trip.
Once logged in, you’ll be taken to your “My Cruise Manager”. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see an option for “Online Check-In”. Click “Edit” next to this option.
When you are at your online check-in area, select the option for “My Check-In Time”. Here, you will see a drop-down list with all the check-in times available. Just select the time you want and click “Continue”.
How to Change Your Boarding Time
Make a mistake? Pick the wrong time or won’t be able to make it?
Don’t worry, it’s no big deal. If you want to change your boarding time, just follow the same instructions above. You can change your boarding time anytime day or night by logging in Carnival’s online portal. Keep in mind that the closer you get to your cruise date,
If you don’t have access to a computer, you can also call Carnival at 1-800-764-7419 to set up your boarding time.