When you sail with Carnival, they will often times offer what is known as “Faster To The Fun” (aka FTTF) for an extra fee. What that gets you is early boarding onto the ship right after Diamonds/Platinums (the two highest loyalty club levels) and whatever wedding parties there might be that day. It also gets you a priority line at guest services as well as priority tender boarding (should it be needed at any of the ports of call) as well as early access to your room on embarkation day. You can go straight to your room and drop off your carry-ons instead of having to wait until just before muster drill like everyone else.
When we started cruising almost five years ago now, the cost for FTTF was around $70, which really wasn’t terribly expensive and we paid for it, gladly. It got us on the ship faster, which was is always a great benefit to my son because it allows him to calm down a little and stop being so anxious about “OMG WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET OOONNNN?”. Ever since we first started cruising, people have been debating the merits of FTTF versus just waiting patiently versus checking in at the very last possible minute so you don’t have to wait for your boarding zone to be called because they just want to get you on so they can set sail.
Recently, they raised the price of FTTF by about 30% and while people were having fits about the price BEFORE, they’re really having fits about it now. It’s too expensive, they say, for not enough benefit. They’re making it more expensive, they say, so that nobody will buy it. Or some such nonsense.
I don’t know what to make of it. Do I think it sucks that they’ve raised the price so dramatically? Yeah it probably does. Is it going to BOTHER me that they’ve raised the price so much? Not really. We stopped paying for FTTF after we realized it was cheaper (because it was free) and more efficient actually to pull the disability card. Not only do we get in to the terminal quicker (usually) but we’re given a quiet area to wait in (which helps with my son’s sensory issues and his anxiety) and we get boarded first (after Plats/Diamonds and wedding parties AND FTTF…usually. We’ve been boarded BEFORE a wedding party before and I really dislike that because it’s like we’re mucking up somebody’s special day). We also usually request early access to the cabin so we can drop off our things and it gives us some place to go that’s quiet right after lunch if Son needs it or whatever. I don’t like having to do it that way, but FTTF costs a lot more than we’re willing to pay for it. Especially now that they’ve raised the price.