A friend of mine took a cruise recently on Carnival. He enrolled in the "Captain's Club" and upon arriving at the port to board the ship, was wisked past the 300 person-deep line and was given priority status and was wisked aboard immediately. Is this "treatment" limited to Carnival? Do other cruise lines have this feature available? I am booked for the April 5, 2003 Golden Princess E. Caribbean cruise (our first cruise). Does Princess offer something similiar to this?
Yes, get your booking number from your travel agent. Go to the Princess website and fill everything out there. Book any shore excursions you know you want to as well. You will be sent your deiocuments already filled out and though it may or may not say express boarding on your tickets, there isn't a long wait. Also, you can board early on Princess. You can drop your hand luggage at your cabin, but then need to be in the public rooms until the usual boarding times.
By all means do Express Check-in through princesscruises.com. I was amazed. From the time we were dropped at the terminal until we were smiling for the photog on the gangway, it was 10 minutes! Be sure and do it well in advance.
If you are travelling with infants or toddlers, you may get priority boarding and get to skip the lines. We got that with Carnival on the Ecstasy and Paradise. I assume that would also apply if you are traveling with anyone who is elderly or handicapped.
We went on the Grand last year, and also found the online registration great, and anyone can do it. It really saves time. Have fun!
Highly recommend using the "cruise personalizer" on the Princess web-site. You will need your booking number which you can get from your travel agent or by calling 1-800-Princess. Once you have that number, just fill in as much information as you can, including your credit card for your sign/sail card and any excersions you really want to do. We were able to board in a matter of a few minutes, everything was there and ready to go, very fast check-in.