Is paying the $50.00 really worth the money? How much earlier can we board? What other pros and cons are there?
As has been said.it's all in one's preference. We have only cruised out of New Orleans because we live about 20 mins from port on a heavy traffic day.
Maybe there are not as many people to board here as in other ports because we usually get to the port about 10:30 and get on board by by eleven thirty-five directly after the wedding guests,platinum/diamonds,and physically challenged. We don't try to carry cases of water or soda and such so all we really have are one rolling bag apiece a little larger than a computer carrier. We are pretty much "beach trump" in this area what with Lake Ponchartrain in the city and our proximity to the beaches along the Gulf Coast that we can visit almost throughout the year so we're not that excited about getting into a public pool real fast.
We take our little rolling bags and head for the inside lido deck restaurant where we relax and eat (since I, especially, haven't eaten or slept since the night before,) Waiting until our cabin is ready is really no hardship we just enjoy the passing parade.
We really don't mind the wait if we have tendered ports because with those and the "muster drill" we seem to find the nicest people who become our "cruisemates" for that voyage: some even becoming good friends. So we enjoy it.
As far as the lines for Guest Services go; I'm a night owl by DNA and on the ship even more so. (She-who-must-be-obeyed goes to bed and leaves a note telling the chickens not to stay up too late!)
I love to do my "walkabout" around 1 or 2:00 a.m. enjoying the beauty of the ship one misses during the day and just meet, really meet, the crew I don't meet during that time
If there is something that can wait ( and I assure you; most things can) this is the time I visit GS and believe me; possibly the only one who will be in line with you will be me.
So, for right now, I have no desire or need to pay for FTTF.
But that's for us.
Your mileage may vary.
Have a great cruise!
CARNIVAL SENSATION 2005 (HURRICANE DENNIS CRUISE)
CARNIVAL FANTASY 2008 (THANKSGIVING CRUISE)
CARNIVAL TRIUMPH 2009 (BIRTHDAY / FAMILY CRUISE)
CARNIVAL TRIUMPH 2010 ( "SERENITY" CRUISE [ NO KIDS] )
CARNIVAL TRIUMPH 2011 (GRADUATION / FAMILY TOGETHER CRUISE)
CARNIVAL CONQUEST 2012 (BIRTHDAY / MARDI GRAS CRUISE)
CARNIVAL CONQUEST 2012 (YOUR NAME DOESN'T EVEN GO IN THE HAT CRUISE)
CARNIVAL CONQUEST 2012 ( WE'RE IN JAMAICA WITCH! CRUISE )