Carnival Cruise Line Implements Digital Passport App to Streamline Embarkation Process

The cruise line is piloting the use of VeriFLY, a travel document verification app used by many airlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carnival Cruise Line is streamlining its embarkation process by implementing a new app to verify passengers' vaccination and testing proof ahead of sailing.

Announced last week, the cruise line started rolling out VeriFLY — an app which issues users a digital pass after uploading necessary travel documents — in a pilot program on the company's Mardi Gras ship, sailing from Port Canaveral.

"We are committed to using technology to enhance the guest experience and are very pleased with the initial results from the VeriFLY pilot," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. "The faster we can make the terminal check-in process, the faster our guests can get to the fun on board."

The company said it intends to roll out the technology across its fleet.

the Carnival - 15-Day Hawaii from San Francisco
Courtesy of Carnival Cruises

The app has been a favorite of some airlines throughout the pandemic, including American Airlines and British Airways. It has also been used by Denver International Airport to reserve a spot in advance for airport security.

"VeriFLY by Daon is now widely used in the airline industry, and it will allow Carnival guests to upload their proof of vaccination and testing information so that it can be verified in advance of the sailing – resulting in a streamlined embarkation experience at the terminal," the cruise line wrote in a statement.

Downloading the app is voluntary and not mandatory for embarkation, a Carnival spokesman confirmed told T+L.

In addition to rolling out the app, Carnival is expanding testing capacity for vaccinated guests at its terminals, focusing on short 3-day and 4-day itineraries. Once the testing is ready, passengers will be required to pre-register.

Carnival requires all guests to be vaccinated to board, with limited exceptions granted for children and guests who provide a doctor's note verifying they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Vaccinated passengers are also required to get tested within two days of embarking.

In December, Carnival strengthened its onboard mask protocols, requiring all guests 2 years old and older to wear masks in indoor public spaces, except when eating and drinking. Travelers are also required to wear masks during embarkation and debarkation and during any Carnival-approved shore excursions. Additionally, smoking is not allowed in the casino and passengers must "sip and cover" when drinking.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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