Faster to the Fun review

Carnival’s Faster to the Fun Review – Why I changed my mind

I admit, I used to think Faster to the Fun was not worth it, and there are instances where it isn’t. But after a few not so fun experiences I now buy it every cruise if it is available. Here is my Faster to the Fun review.

Carnival Faster to the Fun review - Why I changed my mind

The reasons I think Faster to the Fun is worth it.

Top reasons I buy Faster to the Fun

1. Boarding early

I like to be onboard as early as possible for 2 reasons.

  • It’s the first day of the cruise! You’ve paid for the day, you might as well make the most out of it.
  • Less people onboard at first. It’s a great time to get photos of the ship.

Having Faster to the Fun (FTTF) takes the stress out of being one of the first to do the online check-in in order to select an early arrival time slot.

When boarding starts, FTTF is called after weddings, diamond/platinum and suites guests.

Regardless of what your check-in time says on your boarding pass you can arrive early and have priority boarding if you have Faster to the Fun.

Here are a couple examples of our recent experiences with faster to the fun.

Carnival Horizon (Miami)

  • Scheduled arrival time 11:00 – 11:30 am
  • Boarding started 10:35 am
  • On and muster station done by 10:45 am

Carnival Panorama (Long Beach CA)

  • Scheduled arrival time 12:30 – 1:00 pm
  • Boarding started 11:12 am
  • Onboard 11:26 am
  • Muster done by 11:34 am

Faster to the Fun shown on a Carnival Cruise boarding pass

2. Priority line at guest services

I used to think this perk wasn’t a big deal, until my room key stopped working (charging worked, room access didn’t) on the last full day and the line up was incredibly long.

This was the not fun experience I mentioned at the beginning.

After spending almost an hour in line for something I couldn’t control, I realized this was an incredibly valuable perk and has become one of the main reasons I now purchase FTTF whenever it is available.

I realize some will say waiting in line isn’t that big of a deal, and they are right. It doesn’t wreck a cruise but I’m sure happy when I have faster to the fun and can by pass the long line to wait with only one or two other people.

Faster to the Fun priority line sign at guest services

3. Priority debarkation

While I’m never excited to get off a ship, having the priority debarkation option takes some of the guess work out of what time we will be off. This helps with arranging transfers and feeling a little less stressed about making a flight. Always follow cruise line guide lines when choosing a return flight time.

Of course there are other factors that the cruise line cannot control, like the time it takes for the ship to clear customs. But with faster to the fun I know I’ll be one of the first off and that I won’t have to deal with as big of a line up.

You will receive a letter in your stateroom explaining your debarkation options.

For me, these are the three main reasons I purchase faster to the fun whenever it is available.

There are of course other Carnival Faster to the Fun perks that for me are an added bonus. These are:

Stateroom baggage drop

If you have FTTF, you can drop your carry-on bags off at your stateroom.

Any bags that your didn’t check (leave with the porters outside the cruise terminal) can be dropped off outside your cabin door. You can NOT access your cabin and please don’t try.

I admit it feels a little awkward doing this because most of the hallways are blocked by luggage carts and are roped off. It feels a little wrong to walk past these. I always make a point of showing the workers that I have Faster to the Fun and saying that I’m just dropping them off.

Priority tender

It also won’t help if you have purchased an early morning shore excursion directly with Carnival as you will meet in an assigned area and as a group be lead to a tender.

It is a nice perk if you are exploring a tendered port on your own. You don’t have to go the day prior to an assigned area and pick up a numbered tender ticket, then wait for that number to be called on the port day.

An important note – Faster to the Fun priority tender (any priority for that matter) is only from the ship to shore and NOT back to the ship.

Faster to the Fun priority tender meeting point sign

Express luggage delivery

Your checked luggage will be expedited to your stateroom. Luggage is dropped outside your stateroom.

Priority dining reservations

Another faster to the fun perk is priority choice for early or late dining in the main dining room. It doesn’t help if you have Your Time Dining. Carnival also lists priority specialty dining reservations as a perk.

I always choose the Your Time Dining option so I have never used this perk. And I have actually never noticed if it has made a difference with specialty dining reservations.

In the end it’s a personal preference and you will probably find just as many people that will say it’s not worth it as you will find ones saying it is.

All you can do is understand the perks and decide for yourself if the cost is worth it.

For me, it’s worth it, especially since the price is per cabin and not per person.

How do you purchase Faster to the Fun?

You purchase Faster to the Fun on Carnival’s website. Log in and check under shore excursions for your home port. If it is sold out keep checking back as they often become available.

I have had that happen. I was disappointed to see it sold out, I checked back a month or so later and it was available.

How do they tell you bought Faster to the Fun?

If you have purchased FTTF, when you print your boarding pass (after checking in online 2 weeks prior to departure) you will see the FTTF logo in the top left corner.

Carnival cruise luggage tag showing faster to the fun has been purchased

This Carnival pay-for-perks program is a nice option, but don’t worry, your cruise won’t be ruined if you choose not to purchase it, or it’s not available.

The perks or rules can change, be sure to check Carnival’s website. I hope my Faster to the Fun review has helped you decide it it is worth it for you.

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