Carnival to Expand Keyless Embarkation Program

Carnival Splendor
Carnival debuted the program last fall onboard Carnival Splendor.

Carnival Cruise Line is planning to expand its keyless embarkation program, a representative for the cruise line tells Travel Agent.

Carnival started the program last fall onboard the Carnival Splendor and gradually rolled it out to the Carnival Glory, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Vista, Carnival Victory and Carnival Freedom. The system aims to streamline the embarkation process by placing cabin keys in a sealed envelope in the mailbox outside guest stateroom doors, eliminating the need to pick up the key in the cruise port and eliminating one touch point in the cruise terminal. Staterooms remain locked until the guest retrieves their key and enters the cabin.

On ships using the keyless embarkation program, guests are typically able to access the stateroom areas around 1:30 p.m., unless they are a high level VIFP guest or purchased Faster to the Fun. In the meantime, if guests want to make any food or beverage purchases, they can do so using their name and stateroom number.

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The program has been working extremely well and will continue to roll out to other ships over time, a spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line said.

Carnival has also finished rolling out a separate and unrelated embarkation system, Arrival Appointment, to all of its homeports. The Arrival Appointment system allows guests to pick a specific arrival and check-in window ahead of time. The guest must then arrive at the cruise terminal and check in during that specific time period.

The embarkation changes are the latest of several enhancements for guests and travel agents the line has debuted over the course of the past year. In June Carnival announced the new EasyPay Installment program, which allows guests to pay for their cruise in three monthly installments. Travel agents can also sign up for the program to process payments on behalf of their clients.

For travel agents, Carnival started paying commission on Future Cruise Credits on new bookings made July 10 and after. The new commission structure calculates commission based on the value of the cruise prior to the application of the Future Cruise Credit. Previously, the line had calculated the commission on these bookings after a Future Cruise Credit was applied.

In May, Carnival also updated its Future Cruise Vacation program to allow guests and travel agents to take advantage of promotional rates up to two weeks following a guests cruise. Previously, the offer could only be booked onboard.

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