Travelers Advantage(R) Travel Tips: Online Cruise Booking, Check-In Emerge as Convenient Time Saver

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 1. /PRNewswire/ — Online cruise booking and check- in is the hot new trend among on-the-go cruisers who seek to save time, avoid lines, and embark on their voyage adventure.

Most major cruise lines now offer online check-in that allows you to check-in, print your boarding documents or even change your rooms — all with the click of a mouse. You can get it all from the convenience of your home PC or hotel room, and you can even print your connecting airline boarding pass from your cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have launched online check-in options for guests booked on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas and Celebrity’s Zenith cruises. The online check-in services will be available fleetwide by September. Cruise line officials predict that wait time for cruisers will be reduced from three-to-four minutes on average to 30 seconds per guest. Boarding documents, immigration forms, onboard accounts and ticket accounts are just a click away. Cruisers can simply log-on the Web sites and print out a confirmation — then stop by new express counters located dockside.

Many other cruise lines offer online check-in and booking, including Carnival and NCL Online, and the cruise industry is steaming ahead with a trend that has taken off with airline travelers.

“Online check-in and booking is adding a whole new meaning to ‘cruising the Internet,’” said Julia Ryan, vice president of Travelers Advantage and TravelersAdvantage.com. “The cruise industry is following in the wake of airlines offering online check-in and electronic check-in kiosks for savvy, on-the-go world travelers.”

A recent J.D. Power and Associates study found that more than half of airline passengers are taking advantage of time-saving check-in options, with 38 percent currently using self-check-in kiosks and 17 percent checking in online through airline websites. The study also found that passengers using kiosks wait half as long for their boarding passes as those with an airline representative. Passengers using electronic kiosks wait an average of 7.2 minutes for a boarding pass, compared with 14.2 minutes at the ticket counter and 9.4 minutes at curbside check-in.

Most airlines allow you to check-in and get boarding passes online from 24 hours to 30 minutes prior to your flight, depending on which carrier. It’s a bit different with cruise lines, which require check-in 48 hours to 24 hours in advance.

The virtual travel experts at Travelers Advantage offer these tips about online cruise check-in:

1. Virtual Check-in … You can check-in, print your boarding documents, and even change rooms. Check with your cruise line, as each offers different check-in features.

2. Click It & Ticket … Most cruise lines allow you to check-in and get your boarding documents online from 48 hours to 24 hours prior to your cruise.

3. Have E-Ticket, Will Travel … Keep your e-ticket, booking number, ship and sail date, birth date, passport number and emergency contact information handy to expedite your request while cruising the online expressway.

4. Printer Friendly … Make sure you have access to a printer in your hotel, your home or aboard your cruise.

5. Arrival Time … You should arrive one-to-two hours prior to you departure.

6. Checked Bags For Online Travelers … Most cruise ships allow you to check bags even quicker – simply use dockside or express counters.

7. Name Game … The name on the cruise booking and manifest should match the name on your ID (driver’s license, birth certificate or passport).

8. Anchor’s Away … just before sailing remember to re-confirm airline flights and times, include a note with your name, address and itinerary inside each suitcase and fill out luggage tags.

9. Tip Top Ship Shape … Don’t forget camera and film, binoculars, travel guidebooks for your destination and ports-of-call, extra eye glasses/contact lenses, prescription medications, proper footwear or other walking/sport shoes for deck sports or onboard fitness centers, and any electric items for your cruise, including shavers, hairdryers, curling irons, etc.

10. Cool Travel Gadgets Get You There In Style … GPS devices/electronic maps; MP3 players & iPods; digital travel alarm; portable DVD players; Buckey Pillows, travel pillows & travel massagers; digital cameras, PDAs, mobile phones; and laptops.

About Travelers Advantage

Members of Travelers Advantage (www.travelersadvantage.com or 1-877-841- 1335) can save money on air travel, cruises, car rentals and accommodations, as well as earn five percent cash back on eligible travel booked with preferred providers through the service. Membership in Travelers Advantage can be enjoyed during the first two months for only $1. The trial membership can be canceled at any time during the two-month trial period by calling toll free and owing nothing further. Unless the member calls to cancel during the trial, the membership will be extended automatically for an entire year at the $99.99 annual fee and automatically renewed annually upon expiration at the then-current annual fee, billed to a credit card account, without the member having to do anything further. Additionally, members may call toll free to cancel at any time and receive a pro-rata refund of their then current membership fee. Trilegiant Corporation (www.trilegiant.com) is a leader in the membership services and loyalty businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

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