After we did our personal information on line our tickets came with express check in stickers on the envelope. However, since you have to stand in the same line as all the other passengers on your /category/deck it may not help with the wait time. It does speed you through your process which will only take a couple of minutes.
Too bad they don't have a line for those who have express check in - no matter what cabin category you booked
We are sailing on the Golden Princess Dec.29. Filled out all the info online, at the Princess web site. Then, for insurance, we also filled in and returned the hard copy of the information as well when we received it.
Got our docs this week, and no express check in sticker. Guess they don't have this system down pat quite yet <G>
Ok, so what exactly is the "express check-in" then? We did the same things that Kuki did, and our docs did come with the sticker? I guess its possible, this system is still new and they don't have all the bugs out yet?? Will find out soon enough :-)
The sticker seems to be "hit and miss" but the agents at the terminal also have a list of passengers whose information is complete. If all of your information -- including a credit card for your shipboard account -- is in the system, you'll be able to do the advance check-in.
If you have express check-in, the only coupon in the ticket package that you need at the check-in desk is the signature card for your shipboard account. You tear that out, sign it, and exchange it for your cruise card. That's it.
Some facilities do have a separate express check-in line. It all depends upon the local port.
What seems true is for those who get their tickets 30 or more days early to departure and then complete online and receive a crusie doc with sticker, ist advanced.
For those who get ticket under 30 -15 days and you reguster on web , they know about you at the checkin. You still stand in line and handover the signature coupon. They already have your sail card ready and activated.
Express check in worked great for us on the Golden Princess. In fact, each deck had 2 lines...plain and "express" check in.
We never even got our docs in advance....we live in Washington DC and our mail has been rather screwed up....in fact, to this day (we've been back from the cruise for 2 weeks now!) we still haven't gotten our docs!
So I did the information on the Princess web site and everything went very smoothly...they had everything ready to go for us, including the sign and sail cards, which had a green dot on the card! I think maybe that had something to do with it?? In any case, we had a great experience with express check in.
About the earliest you want to arrive at port terminal is 10:00 AM. You can drop your luggage off in front of the terminal and then park if someone stays with bags. It is not a bad walk at all from parking deck unless you overpack like we did and had many suitcases. At 10:00 there was no line to board but it started forming shortly after at the doors on the left as you face the terminal. It was not obvious when we arrived where to line up. Once they open the doors you proceed to your designated counter (done by deck). It only takes about 5 minutes to get processed here then off to another waiting area. We waited probably 40 minutes in the next area before they started letting people in. They take your picture which makes this go very slowly so the wait here was another 20 minutes. We were onboard by 11:30 and luggage delivered to our room before 2:00.