A cruise vacation is the ultimate getaway. Whether it is a five-day, seven-day, or a fourteen-day cruise, the fun and excitement are non-stop. The alcoholic drinks are flowing, the entertainment is never-ending, and the on-board staff puts on a phenomenal show of their own. A cruise is the most perfect vacation experience anyone can have. The moment a couple or a family books a cruise vacation, the countdown is on. The calendar is marked. The excitement and anticipation continue to build as the day draws close. However, there is one major portion that cruise passengers never seem to understand. A successful sailing day depends on more than just having passports and all the essentials packed. A successful sailing day depends on a major step on the preparation list. That step is completing the online check-in process.
When preparing for a cruise vacation, online check-in is the most preached step. In case anyone has not known, only thirty percent of Americans have gone on a cruise. It’s second nature for avid cruisers to complete this process. Online check-in is no ordinary step on the preparation list. It’s number one and the most crucial of all steps. Once a cruise vacation is fully booked and the costs are fully paid up, it’s time to get the homework done. The travel agent, or the cruise line reservation agent will issue the reservation number. Once that reservation code is received, it’s time to get started. A cruise vacation doesn’t just start at the cruise terminal. It actually starts at home. The cruise passenger must go to the cruise line’s web site and log in using the reservation number. From there, it’s all about following the “yellow brick road”. Once logged on, it’s time to get the process going.
What are the steps to the online check-in process? It’s very easy. Why so many cruise passengers never bother completing this process is unimaginable. There’s no reason not to complete the online check-in process. It is what minimizes a couple or family’s waiting time at the terminal. Where would anyone wish to spend more time, in the terminal or on-board the ship? First, everyone in the family must have their personal information entered. This includes their home address, email address, emergency name of contact, and the phone number of that person. The emergency name of contact must be someone who is NOT sailing. The area code must also be included. Further, there are two questions asked, whether it is the family’s first cruise vacation or not. The other question is whether the family has sailed with that cruise line before. If yes, they should enter how many times they have sailed with them. Next, the family must enter their passport information. If a family wishes to use birth certificates, they can specify that by making that choice.
Now, the most crucial part of the online check-in process has arrived. The next step is to enter a debit or credit card for the on-board charge account. This part is a little tedious, but it can be simple if followed properly. The name on the debit or credit card MUST match the name of the paying passenger. Whoever the paying passengers are, the card number must be entered under their names to avoid confusion. Adults traveling with children under the age of eighteen must carefully decide whether or not to include their children on the on-board charge account. Adults must use their utmost discretion. If the family chooses to use a cash account, they can click on that choice. Once on board the ship, they can set up their balance at the guest services desk. As a courtesy, Carnival allows passengers to make their cash deposits at the check-in counter to avoid doing so on board the ship.
The online check-in process is very easy. It is the x-factor in getting on board the ship in a timely manner. Once the on-board charge account is established, the paying passenger must accept the terms of the cruise ticket and on-board charge contracts. Once complete, the cruise tickets can be printed out. For two examples, Royal Caribbean’s cruise ticket is called the Set Sail Pass and Celebrity’s cruise ticket is known as the Xpress Pass. Some tickets require hand-written signatures in order to be accepted. Others may require online signatures. Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships, Quantum of The Seas and Anthem of The Seas, require passengers to sign their cruise ticket and on-board charge contracts online. If the passengers don’t complete the online check-in process, they must sign the contracts in the terminal with the assistance of the check-in agent. For the Quantum and the Anthem, passengers can also upload their own security photos. As long as the photos concur with the guidelines provided, they’ll be accepted. Finally, cruise passengers will officially complete their online check-in process by printing out their cabin luggage tags. Some cruise lines mail them to the family’s home address once the online check-in process has been completed. All cruise lines’ online check-in processes are mirror image of each other. There may be a slight variation in between them, but the goal is uniform. It’s all about minimizing time inside the terminal, and boarding the ship in a timely manner.
A cruise vacation: it’s viewed by some as a floating party on the move. For others, it’s a much needed getaway from the stresses of everyday life and the perfect reason to get away from the redundancy of everyday life. Whichever cruise line a family enjoys sailing on, or where a family enjoys sailing to, the excitement never fades away. Before any couple or family begins their cruise vacation, they must remember to do their homework. Besides getting to the terminal on time, having the proper essentials packed, tagging their luggage properly, and having their documentation ready, they must complete the hallmark of the preparation phase. Online check-in is the key step when preparing for any cruise vacation. Not only is it the way of the world in the cruising industry, but it is the most vital step to ensuring a timely embarkation experience. Particularly, it is the pivotal step towards an exciting, sensational, and memorable cruise vacation.