Carnival Cruise Line Fixes Online Check-In Glitch

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Carnival Cruise Line has verified that a known glitch with its online check-in system has been corrected, and clarified exactly when guests can complete the check-in process for their upcoming sailings.

Because of time zone issues, the problem has not been noticeable to every passenger, but has caused difficulties for guests crossing time zones to reach their embarkation ports.

Booked guests can check in for their sailing 14 days before embarkation. At that time, they are able to set up their onboard account, input travel information, and complete other steps for the ship’s manifest to ensure a smooth and efficient embarkation.

The exact time that check-in begins can be confusing, however. Travelers have wondered whether or not the window opens at midnight based on the cruise homeport, the guest’s registered location, or Carnival Cruise Line headquarters in Miami, Florida. Traditionally, the check-in window opens at midnight in Miami, where Carnival Cruise Line is based.

More and more guests, however, have reported a glitch that check-in has not been available until midnight at the embarkation port. While this may seem easy enough, travelers flying across time zones to reach their embarkation port may not always be aware of when that check-in time may be.

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has been fielding these comments over the past several days through his popular Facebook page, where he answers hundreds of questions daily about all types of issues, including technical problems.

“Check in for our next cruise on Carnival Jubilee out of Galveston didn’t open [until] midnight Galveston time (Central Time),” one traveler explained to Heald on June 10. “We tried and tried starting at midnight Eastern Time, but nothing worked [until] midnight in Galveston rolled around.”

“Thank you, I’ve had dozens of comments about this over the last few days,” Heald responded. “My colleagues are truly aware of this and are looking into it within the IT department. I apologize, I promise that I will let you know any news on this as soon as I can, and thank you for your patience.”

After more than two weeks of these glitches, the issue finally appears resolved and Heald has updated travelers on the situation and exactly when they can expect to check in for their sailings.

“We had had some problems with people checking in and the time zone they needed to do it,” he confirmed on June 26. “With a huge thanks to the beards I can tell you that the problem has now been fixed so when you do check in, you can do so at midnight Miami time.”

Miami, Florida is in the US Eastern Time Zone (ET), which is UTC-05:00 – an offset of five hours earlier than Coordinated Universal Time. It should also be noted that Florida observes Daylight Saving Time during the summer months, for travelers who may be attempting to check-in when that time adjustment is in effect.

Why Check-In Time Matters

While booked guests can complete their online check-in at any point from the time the window opens until midnight on the day before embarkation, completing the process early does have benefits.

Not only will travelers have their full embarkation information ready for a smooth experience at the cruise terminal, but one of the most critical parts of the check-in process is to choose the arrival appointment window. This is the 30-minute window when guests are expected to arrive at the terminal and can begin the embarkation process.

Carnival Cruise Line Ship Docked in Miami
Carnival Cruise Line Ship Docked in Miami (Photo Credit: ByDroneVideos)

Read Also: How Early Can You Board a Cruise Ship?

Arrival appointments were first tested before the pandemic shutdown as a way to smooth embarkation crowds, and the process proved very helpful in promoting social distancing during the cruise travel restart in 2021. Now, the process is standard for all major cruise lines, and helps minimize crowds and keep embarkation day chaos to a minimum.

The earliest arrival appointments can fill up quickly, however. Travelers who are able to check-in as close as possible to the beginning of the window – midnight, Miami time – have the greatest selection of options, and many guests will set alarms just to select their best possible arrival appointment.

It should be noted that the arrival appointment does not guarantee ship embarkation at that time. That 30-minute window is only when travelers will be able to arrive at the cruise terminal for their identity check and luggage screening.

Furthermore, Carnival Cruise Line’s highest tiers of VIFP Club loyalty – Diamond and Platinum guests – have the ability to check in two days earlier than other travelers, permitting them the widest possible selection of arrival appointment times.

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