Anyone who has ever been on a cruise and sailed from and returned to the United States with stops abroad will remember that the embarkation and debarkation process can be slow due to customs and border protection procedures.
Even more so in Long Beach due to the various policies in place in California. This is now to change for Carnival Cruise Line guests with the introduction of face recognition at the port, the same tech used in Florida.
While the process of getting on and off cruise ships has never been a favorite thing for anyone (well, sure, getting on is great!), with the new procedures in place for COVID and having to see customs and border officials while standing in line, it only makes the process more painful. Not anymore, at least in Long Beach, California, says Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald:
John Heald said: “For those of you who cruise on the west coast, you will know that the debarkation process can be and the embarkation process can be a little bit longer than maybe in other ports of call. And there are reasons for this of which I’m not going to mention because you have to remember that. Ultimately we are not in charge of when we start embarkation or when we start debarkation, but we have finally been able to do something that we are doing in other ports. That means a definite massive improvement there.”
Carnival Cruise Line will be using the same facial recognition technology it uses in Port Canaveral and Miami to speed up the process of getting on and off the ships.
The process means that guests no longer need to see an official before getting on or off the ship on embarkation day. Neither is it necessary to show or scan your passport, as these documents have already been uploaded into Carnival’s systems.
The Brand Ambassador continued by explaining how the system will work: “And that is that we are very excited to confirm that the United States customs and border protection have approved for us to roll out the facial recognition program starting on cruises on October 1, from Long Beach California. Now I’m sure, you know, facial recognition is the state of the art wireless system, which will conduct a tremendously quick facial biometric positive match against the guest picture in CBPs database, and within seconds you have automatic clearance.”
The facial recognition will be implemented at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal from October 1, 2021. The cruise line also aims to bring the technology to Baltimore in Maryland and Galveston in Texas, in due time.
This year, the cruises where the new facial recognition system will be available from Long Beach will be onboard Carnival Miracle, which just restarted sailings from the port on September 27; Carnival Panorama, which was the first cruise ship to resume from California; and the new Carnival Radiance, which will kick start cruises from Long Beach on December 13.
The system will provide guests a much faster and smoother embarkation and debarkation process, similar to what guests are used to in Port Canaveral and Miami. It also comes after passengers experienced huge delays when Carnival Panorama first started cruises from the port in August.