Your family is packed. After an early morning drive to the airport, a flight, a cab ride, and a few temper tantrums, you've finally made it to the dock. Now all if you have to do is wait in line for your cruise ship to board and hope that your cabin is ready for you. What if you could skip that last step and board early? What if you could guarantee that your room would be ready the moment that you boarded? Would you pay for that privilege? Well, Carnival Cruise Lines is testing a program that will allow you to do just that. For $49.95, you and anyone else sharing your stateroom can skip the line, board early, and have your bags waiting for you when you arrive at your cabin.
According to Fox News, the company is piloting the program on two ships later this month. The Carnival Liberty and Carnival Imagination will offer the "Faster to the Fun" package on cruises beginning on August 20 and 25, respectively. Guests wishing to take advantage of the offer will need to purchase in advance in order to board early and have their staterooms guaranteed to be ready for them when they arrive. Additionally, guests will have priority when making restaurant reservations onboard and be able to disembark at ports of call ahead of other passengers.
Is that all worth $50? Seems like it to us. Once you've shelled out a few hundred (or maybe even thousands) or dollars to take your family on a trip, what's another $50 to remove some of the inconveniences of cruising. It's pretty logical that one "Faster to the Fun" purchase covers everyone in a stateroom, similar to how an entire party can board a flight together during priority boarding if just one person has status. With Carnival's program, $50 gets you virtually the same boarding status as the cruise line's VIFP Club's Diamond and Platinum members, which works out well for people who cruise infrequently but want some perks.
There is the potential for the program to expand to more of Carnival's offerings. We're interested to see how it goes (and hopeful that it will allow us to get to the front of the buffet lines quicker).