Have you ever wished you could just skip the lines when you’re on a cruise? Checking in at embarkation, asking a question at Guest Services, heading to a tender boat to start your day in port – there are so many long lines on a cruise!
Faster to the Fun is Carnival Cruise Line’s for-a-fee program that gives passengers priority boarding, disembarkation, and dinner reservations during a cruise.
On most cruise lines, the only way to get priority status that lets you skip the long lines is by achieving a high level in the company’s loyalty program. That means taking a lot of cruises with the same cruise line! Or you could book a full suite, which is way out of the price range of the average cruiser.
But on a Carnival cruise, there’s a way to get these perks without spending tons of cash on a suite or spending years building up your loyalty status: Faster to the Fun!
How does Faster to the Fun work?
When you purchase Faster to the Fun, you and all other guests sailing in the same stateroom will be eligible for priority status. Your boarding passes and luggage tags will be marked with a symbol to show the crew that you’ve enrolled in the program. You’ll also have a FTTF sticker on each Sail & Sign card.
What benefits do you get with FTTF?
- Priority boarding line at embarkation
- Priority delivery of checked luggage to your stateroom
- Stateroom is ready when you board
- Priority line at guest services
- Dedicated phone line for guest services
- Priority dinner times (early, late, or Your Time Dining)
- Priority tendering at tender ports
- Choice of disembarkation time (early or late)
Can you get Faster to the Fun for any sailing?
You can purchase FTTF on most Carnival cruises. However, there are some exceptions. Faster to the Fun isn’t available on cruises in Europe, or for any Carnival Journeys cruises.
In addition, FTTF isn’t offered in the home ports of Honolulu, Norfolk, Vancouver, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Faster to the Fun will be offered on the Carnival Radiance and Carnival Mardi Gras beginning in 2021.
When is Faster to the Fun available for your cruise?
The date that FTTF is available for purchase can vary by cruise. Generally, passes will be offered starting anywhere from eighteen months to six months before your sail date.
You’ll need to buy FTTF before you sail. Passes won’t be sold on the ship or just before departure.
If you really want to purchase this program, buy it as soon as you can. Faster to the Fun often sells out very quickly on Carnival cruises.
How many Faster to the Fun passes are available per cruise?
There isn’t a set number of passes available for each cruise. Instead, Carnival estimates how many Diamond- and Platinum-level guests will be on board for each sailing. Since these elite loyalty program guests also have priority status, the cruise line will offer more or fewer FTTF passes for purchase, depending on how many Diamonds and Platinums will be on board.
The program needs to be kept to a small number of passengers, or else the priority perks wouldn’t be a benefit to anyone. If Carnival sold too many passes, the priority lines wouldn’t be very short.
Tip: If FTTF is sold out, keep checking back. If your cruise has fewer Platinum and Diamond level guests than Carnival originally thought, they’ll often release more passes.
How much does Faster to the Fun cost?
Faster to the Fun‘s pricing varies by cruise ship and by the length of the voyage. The prices below are accurate as of 2020, and are in US dollars.
|3-day cruises (excluding Carnival Liberty)
|3-day cruises on Carnival Liberty
|4-day cruises on Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Sensation
|4-day cruises on Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Fantasy, and Carnival Conquest
|4-day cruises on Carnival Elation, Dream, Freedom, Glory, Horizon, Liberty, Miracle, Paradise, Sunrise, Sunshine, Valor, and Vista
|5-day cruises on Carnival Sensation
|5-day cruises (excluding Carnival Sensation)
|6-day cruises (excluding Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama)
|6-day cruises on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama
|7-day cruises (excluding Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama)
|7-day cruises on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama
|8-day and longer cruises (excluding Carnival Journeys sailings and Carnival Horizon)
|8-day cruises on Carnival Horizon
Does everyone in your group need to buy Faster to the Fun?
FTTF can be used by everyone sailing in the same stateroom. So if your family or group are all in the same cabin, only one person needs to buy the package.
If your group is sailing in more than one cabin, one person from each room needs to buy Faster to the Fun for everyone to benefit from it.
What time is check-in for passengers who have FTTF?
After you buy Faster to the Fun, your boarding pass will note a time window when you should plan to arrive at the cruise port. Historically, Carnival guests have reported that arriving earlier is usually fine. Just note that if you get to the port too early, the ship won’t be cleared for passenger boarding.
However, with today’s social distancing policies, cruise lines are likely to be much more strict about what time guests are able to enter the terminal and board the ship. I’d recommend arriving within your designated time window while social distancing practices are recommended.
Tip: When you first arrive on board your Carnival ship, the doors to the stateroom areas will be closed. Crew usually also posts a sign saying rooms aren’t ready yet. If you have FTTF, ignore the signs and go right through!
How do you buy Faster To The Fun?
You can buy Faster to the Fun right on Carnival’s Cruise Manager page. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the Shore Excursions page for your booked cruise.
As long as passes are available, you’ll be able to buy FTTF from the list and it will be added automatically for all guests in your stateroom.
Who shouldn’t purchase FTTF?
Many Carnival cruisers will agree that Faster to the Fun is an excellent value for the money. But, some cruisers don’t need to purchase it! Here’s who will already get some or all of the benefits at no extra charge:
Guests who are in a full suite: Suite benefits include all FTTF perks except priority access to your room on embarkation day. You won’t need to buy this package unless you really want that early access.
Guests traveling with a Platinum or Diamond member: As long as you’re booked in the same cabin, you’ll be able to board along with them. Your room will be ready early, but you won’t have priority baggage handling.
Many guests with disabilities: Carnival often unofficially gives priority access to guests with disabilities. Call or email Guest Access well before your cruise to discuss what accommodations they can offer. You won’t have all of the FTTF perks, but you’ll usually get priority embarkation, disembarkation, and tendering.
Is FTTF like buying loyalty status?
Faster to the Fun has been a bit controversial among some high-level VIFP loyalty members. Some say that FTTF is essentially buying the same loyalty status that they earned from taking lots of Carnival cruises!
However, Faster to the Fun won’t get you the same level of perks that Diamond and Platinum cruisers enjoy. FTTF guests actually board behind Diamond, Platinum, and full suite guests.
Also, dining requests are cleared for Diamond, Platinum, and suite guests before requests from FTTF passengers.
FTTF guests also don’t receive a free drink at brunch, access to the VIFP party, free laundry, special boarding passes or passport holders, Carnival branded gifts, or access to the Captain’s Lounge at embarkation.
Can you give Faster to the Fun as a gift?
Wouldn’t FTTF make a great gift for a friend or family member who’s going on a Carnival cruise? You can definitely give this upgrade as a gift to anyone booked on Carnival. Here’s how to do it:
Have the gift recipient’s name and booking number (or the sailing date if you don’t have the booking number), then go to Carnival’s Faster to the Fun page.
If you don’t have all of that info (for example, if it’s a surprise and you don’t want to ask), you can call Carnival at 1-800-764-7419 and they can find the reservation for you.
Click on “Give a gift” in the upper right of the page to go to the next step.
Click on the radio button next to “I want to give a gift to a booked cruiser”. This will open up the fields to enter the gift recipient’s information.
Enter your recipient’s first and last name, then either the booking number OR the month they’ll be sailing.
Enter your payment information, and Faster to the Fun will automatically be added to each guest in your gift recipient’s stateroom.
What if you printed your boarding pass and luggage tags before you purchased FTTF?
If you buy Faster to the Fun, but you printed your boarding pass and luggage tags before your purchase, you’ll need to print them out again.
The FTTF symbol will then appear on your new documents so the crew can direct you to the priority embarkation line. Also, if the symbol isn’t on your luggage tags, your bags won’t receive priority handling. They’ll arrive at your cabin much later, so make sure that symbol is on all of your documents!
Be sure to check out these resources when you’re planning a Carnival cruise:
- Carnival Cruise Line Drink Packages: The Ultimate Guide
- 37 Cruise Tips: What to Do Before Your Cruise
- The 19 Best Cruise Accessories You Need to Pack
Have you bought Faster to the Fun on a Carnival cruise? What did you think of the perks? Let me know in the comments below!
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