The new Digital Debark procedure for Carnival Cruise Line is expanding to additional vessels, smoothing the way for faster, less crowded debarkation mornings. Guest feedback has been very positive, and the program is sure to be rolled out to the full fleet in the weeks to come.
New Debarkation Program Expanding
Carnival Cruise Line recently began testing a new “Digital Debark” program through the cruise line’s app, with the intention of streamlining debarkation day craziness and minimizing crowds, while giving passengers better control over the time they choose to leave the cruise ship at the end of their sailing.
The program has been working very well, with guests reporting generally smooth operation and positive debarkation experiences.
“I read some fabulous reports about the new Digital Debarkation and how using the App to disembark has really quickened up debarkation proceedings,” said John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador.
Now the program is being rolled out to additional ships. Heald has confirmed that Digital Debark is already available aboard Carnival Elation, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Dream, and Mardi Gras. Additional vessels are just days away from introducing the program.
Carnival Breeze, sailing from Galveston, will begin Digital Debark on Monday, December 18, while Carnival Panorama, sailing from Long Beach (and with newly repaired engines ready to resume service), will offer Digital Debark from Saturday, December 30.
The newest Carnival cruise ship and the fleet’s new flagship, Carnival Jubilee, is planned to offer Digital Debark from her very first cruise, the Saturday, December 23 inaugural sailing from Galveston.
It must be noted that Digital Debark does not impact the procedure for guests with priority debarkation benefits. This includes Diamond and Platinum level guests in the cruise line’s VIFP loyalty program, as well as guests booked in suite staterooms and those who have purchased the Faster to the Fun program. These guests still receive letters onboard with special debarkation instructions.
How Digital Debark Works
On ships where the program is being used, Digital Debark is available through the Carnival Hub app. Guests simply use the “My Planner” feature on the app for debarkation morning, and click “Schedule Debarkation” to be given their options.
Two options are available – “Express Debarkation” which is described as “Vacate the ship sooner by handling your own luggage and disembarking early.” This has also been known as “Self-assist” debarkation previously. The second option is “Checked Luggage” which is described as “Let us handle your luggage for a stress-free debarkation.”
Both options show listed times for approximate debarkation windows. There is also a notice that guests with early flights or early scheduled airport shuttles are advised to use Express Debarkation.
When guests choose Checked Luggage, a notice pops up about how luggage tags will be delivered, when to put tagged luggage outside the stateroom the night before debarkation, and when guests should leave their cabins on debarkation morning.
Guests then select how many travelers they are making debarkation plans for (there is also an option to select all guests in the same stateroom at once), and may note whether or not someone in the party requires assistance.
Next, guests select the number of checked bags they will be placing outside their stateroom for collection. This does not include any carry-on bags that passengers will remove from the ship themselves.
Once the number of bags have been selected and confirmed, travelers are able to choose a time slot for their debarkation, with 20-minute windows available. It should be noted that times are approximate, and may change if there are any delays to the ship’s arrival back to port.
Detailed instructions and a review of the debarkation reservation are displayed for guests to confirm as they complete their Digital Debark scheduling, which will then be displayed on the daily planner.
Have you used Digital Debark? Share your experiences on the Cruise Hive boards!