What is Carnival Cruise Line’s Faster to the Fun Package (FTTF) And Is It Worth it?

By Alan
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Filed Under: Faster To The Fun, FTTF

Imagine kicking off your Carnival Cruise vacation not in the long, sticky hot lines at the port, but instead breezing through check-in. That’s just one of the things that Faster to the Fun (FTTF) offers—a fast express pass to start your vacation.

If you buy the Faster to the Fun package ahead of your cruise, FTTF is the golden ticket that serves up a nice list of priority perks, such as quicker cabin access, speedy luggage delivery, and a fast pass to guest services, making sure the gap between you and that nice cool Pina Colada isn’t hampered by lengthy waits in long queues.

With FTTF, you’re purchasing more than just a quick start to your trip; you’re also getting a little taste of the VIP treatment without splurging on a suite.

From being among the first to get their luggage or that coveted early-bird tender ashore, you’re starting your cruise on the right foot.

The beauty of this program is that anyone can snag these benefits regardless of their cabin category or loyalty status—making it a nice little upgrade for those wanting to make their Carnival cruise just that little bit more special.

So without further ado let’s get your questions answered.

Carnival Pride Docked in Norway
Carnival Pride Docked in Norway

What Is Carnival Cruise Line’s Faster to the Fun Package (FTTF)?

Before diving into the nuts and bolts of the package, think of Faster to the Fun (FTTF) as your onboard VIP fast-pass to skip the queues, giving you more time to enjoy your cruise from start to finish. No more waiting in long lines!

Benefits of Faster To The Fun – It’s Not Just Priority Check-in

The FTTF package is a premium add-on that allows you greater convenience aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships. 

The best part about Faster To The Fun is that it is available to everyone who wishes to purchase it (subject to availability).

Normally perks like this are kept for the higher bands of Carnival’s VIFP Loyalty program or suite guests. This means you can get a taste of the high life even if it’s your first time on a Carnival cruise.

A quick aside: If you are not familiar with the VIFP loyalty program it is the Very Important Fun Person (VIFP) Club, and everyone who sails with Carnival is automatically enrolled. The more cruises you do, the more VIFP Loyalty points you earn, with some nice perks provided for those that reach the higher levels like diamond and platinum members.

Here’s the list of benefits of FTTF :

Priority Check-In

Zip past the queues - Carnival Guests Checking In
Zip Past The Check-In Queue With FTTF

If you ever cruised before, you’ll know that the check-in process can sometimes be cumbersome and slow. Getting anywhere from 2000 to 5000 cruise passengers on board takes time!

The Faster To The Fun program ensures you get access to priority security and check-in, so that you’ll be relaxing on deck with a drink in hand before you know it!

Early Access To Your Stateroom

One of the downsides of early check-in, is that you are generally onboard the ship before the staterooms are ready.  With FTTF you will be allowed priority access to your room to go and drop off your carry-on luggage and not have to drag it around as you explore the ship.

Priority Luggage

On a cruise, checked luggage gets processed through security, and then it gets delivered to your stateroom.  That process can take a long time and it’s not unusual to not see your luggage until early evening – sometimes as late as 6:30, or 7 pm depending on how busy the ship is. 

If you haven’t planned accordingly the thought of attending the dining room in that sweaty outfit you’ve been traveling in, doesn’t really make for the start of a nice glamorous cruise vacation, does it?

With Faster To The Fun, your bags get special treatment and will be expedited to your stateroom earlier than normal and in plenty of time for dinner.

The Blue Iguana Bar on Carnival Pride
I Like To Call It – Faster To The Bar LOL

Guest Services

Ah, the Guest Services desk. The department on the ship we all love, but hate to have to go and visit.  There’s almost always a long queue – especially on the first day and last day of a cruise.

As a FTTF VIP, you get access to a dedicated phone extension and line at guest services.  How good is that?  Just don’t look so smug as you walk in front of the normal passenger line 😉 

Priority Dining Reservations

If you are keen to ensure you get a specific early or late dining slot, FTTF holders will get priority in the queue when allocating those slots.  Be aware though that this does not extend to specific Your Time Dining slots.

Faster to the Fun also gives you priority reservations at the Specialty Dining restaurants.

Priority Tender Access

If you are on a cruise itinerary that includes tender ports, this can be a biggie! Tenders are always a bit of a pain.  Everyone wants to get off the ship at once, and LONG queues form for the numbered tender tickets.

As FTTF guests you will get “priority water shuttle access” (Not sure why Carnival refers to tenders as water shuttles, but hey ho). You’ll be able to skip those queues getting off the ship.

This is great if you have a shore excursion early in the morning that has been booked independently of the ship or grab the best beach spots at Half Moon Cay.

Sadly you don’t have the same benefit coming back to the ship – it’s ship to shore only. But this can genuinely give you an extra couple of hours in port that you otherwise may not have had.

Priority Disembarkation – Early or Late

No one likes to leave the ship at the end of a cruise.  However, upon arrival to your homeport, you can choose to leave the ship on your terms at the end of the cruise – you may choose an early or late cruise ship disembarkation time – whatever you decide.

How Much is Faster to the Fun

One of the things I personally really like about this is that the FTTF price is NOT PER PERSON, but is instead priced PER CABIN. The price also varies depending on the length of the cruise.

Here are the current prices for 2024/2025

Cruise LengthPrice per Cabin
2-3 nights$69.95
4-5 nights$99.95
6-8 nights$139.95
6-8 nights (Excel class ships)$159.95
9+ nights$189.95

Is Faster to the Fun Worth the Investment?

CruiseNonstop writer Morag Hutchison posing in front of a Carnival Cruise Ship
Faster To The Fun Give You More Time To Pose For Pictures LOL

If you are more of a frugal cruise like me, then you probably look at things like this and say “what are they trying to nickel and dime out of me now!”.  The cruise industry seems to thrive in finding additional premium add-ons like these to try and squeeze a few more cruise dollars out of us.

So, you really do have to decide if this will be worth it for you.

Personally speaking, I’ve only ever purchased it once. I did say I was a frugal cruiser, didn’t I? That’s how I can afford to cruise so often.

The scenario where I did purchase it was on a tender-intensive itinerary.

View of Santorini cruise port with the village of Fira perched at the top of the cliff
Santorini – Where Everyone Has To Get Up and Down That Cliff

We were on a cruise that took us to the stunning Greek island of Santorini.  Santorini is an absolute gem. But it is also an absolute pain to visit due to the large number of ships that visit.

Additionally, everyone has to either get up and down to the local town of Fira in a Cable Car or negotiate the 600 steep steps on foot, or heaven forbid on a Donkey (please don’t it’s incredibly cruel).

Santorini is the type of port where it pays to get off the ship early and that’s where FTTF comes into its own. You can be on the island way before the other guests. Do your tours and be ahead of the game when it comes to negotiating the afternoon queues to get back down the cliff in the cable car. 

Here’s all you need to know about Cruise Ship Tenders

Depending on your own priorities then there are of course other pros and cons

Pros of Faster to the Fun:

  • Saves Time: Who enjoys queueing when you could be sipping a cocktail on deck? The Faster to the Fun priority line helps you get to the bar first!
  • Express Delivery of Luggage: Unpacking can be done earlier so that you can be switched on to vacation mode earlier.
  • Vacation Comfort: Feel pampered with priority guest services.

Cons of Faster to the Fun:

  • Extra Cost: This isn’t included in your cruise fare. It’s an add-on cost.
  • Limited Availability: Only so many Faster To The Fun places are sold and not every ship or itinerary will offer it
  • Variable Benefit: Depending on your specific cruise, it might not boost your cruise experience significantly.

Does Faster to the Fun Sell Out Quickly?

You bet it does. The FTTF package functions on a first-come, first-serve basis and the package will be capacity controlled to ensure the benefits of the system are maintained.

Since it’s capacity controlled, only a limited number of passengers can purchase the package per sailing.  A range of factors can impact this including how many higher status VIFP members there are due on board.

Bear in mind that Diamond, Platinum, and Suite guests already get priority boarding. So if there is a higher number of them than normal, then FTTF packages may be very limited or not available at all.

In fact on a number of Carnival cruises recently I’ve seen it announced that even priority boarding has been suspended for Platinum members due to the high number on board.  I bet the queue at their dedicated line at Guest Services was quite long that day LOL.

How to Purchase Faster To The Fun

As I mentioned above, Faster to the Fun does have limited availability – so if you do decide to go ahead, my suggestion is to order it as soon as possible before your cruise.

Here’s the basic process:-

Step 1: Log onto Carnival’s website or call your travel agent. You can purchase FTTF after you’ve booked your cruise and received your booking confirmation.

Step 2: Click on your cruise ship and sailing date. Availability of FTTF varies remember and it may already be sold out or just not available for your cruise.

Step 3: Add the FTTF package to your shopping cart and check out. Make sure all passengers in your stateroom are listed for the upgrade since FTTF benefits apply to everyone sharing your accommodations.

Always keep an eye on the calendar. FTTF is typically offered on a limited basis and can be purchased up to a year in advance, but for the best chance of securing it, mark your calendar for when your sailing’s booking window opens.

FTTF tends to sell out quickly for high-season sailings and the newest ships in the fleet.

Should VIFP Club Diamond and Platinum Members or Suite Guests Purchase FTTF?

Lido Pool deck on Carnival Pride
Faster to the Fun = Faster To The Pool!

The short answer is NO, they should not buy Carnival’s Faster to the Fun.

If you were to check the Benefits for Platinum and Diamond VIFP Card holders, you would see their benefits include the following:-

  • Priority Check-in and boarding
  • Priority Tender Reservations
  • Priority Guest Services line
  • Priority Reservations at the Main Dining Room and Specialty restaurants
  • Priority Debarkation

Look familiar? So now you know why there is no point in purchasing the Faster To The Fun package if you are already a Platinum or Diamond member.

Suite guests basically get the same perks as well!

So, Is Faster To The Fun Right For You?

Alan Hutchison and Morag Hutchison of CruiseNonstop.com on deck of cruise ship
Yours Truly on the Last Night Of Another Wonderful Cruise

The answer with all these things, is, it depends!

If you are not a Platinum or Diamond VIFP member and want a taste of some of the perks these cardholders benefit from then yes, it could be right for you.

If you have a tender-port intensive itinerary then yes,  the FTTF is well worth the money in that case.

If you want to save money and don’t mind queues, then it’s definitely not for you. Let’s face it, have you seen the prices of drinks on Carnival Cruise ships?

It’s your money and your decision. Whatever you decide to do, please let us know in the comments. And if you did purchase FTTF let us know your feedback – was it worth it or not? We’d love to hear from you!

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Alan took his first cruise in 1991 and has been cruising ever since. When he is not writing articles for CruiseNonstop.com you'll find him either on a cruise ship (he's the guy in the kilt), or on the golf course!

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