Royal Caribbean International has notified travel agents that 2024 departures from Vancouver, Canada will require passengers to check-in via the cruise line’s app.

This will impact guests setting sail for the immensely popular Alaska sailing season as well as select other cruises, but if travelers are unable to use the app, they will still be able to check in at the cruise terminal.

In a newsletter sent to travel agents, Royal Caribbean International has announced that app-based check-in will be required for sailings departing from Vancouver, Canada.

“Effective immediately, select 2024 sailings departing from Vancouver, British Columbia, will require app check-in only,” the email stated. “If guest[s] cannot check in via the app, they have the alternative option to check in once at the terminal.”

This appears to indicate that online check-in using a computer will no longer be possible, but only on departures from Vancouver. Guests booked on ships sailing from other homeports can still use online check-in if they prefer.

The check-in window opens 45 days before sailing, and guests will be able to use the app up to 9 a.m. local time on their departure date. After that time, they will need to check-in manually at the cruise terminal.

Checking in on the app is intended to make the process of verifying passengers’ identities, setting up onboard accounts, and completing health questionnaires smoother and easier. This will ultimately save time at the cruise terminal, moving crowds along more quickly and getting guests on vacation faster and more efficiently.

Royal Caribbean in Vancouver

To make the app-based check-in even easier, booked guests should log in to the app several days before their check-in window opens to be sure the app is updated and working properly. If they have trouble, uninstalling and reinstalling the app may be effective at correcting errors.

The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store, and is compatible with a variety of mobile platforms.

Before arriving at the cruise terminal, guests should ensure their phones are fully charged and keep their paper documentation, including their passports, close at hand in case they are needed.

Though the change is to be implemented immediately, it should be noted that no Royal Caribbean International ships are sailing from Vancouver until Radiance of the Seas opens the cruise line’s Alaska sailing season on Friday, April 26 for a 7-night “Alaska Adventure” itinerary calling on Juneau, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan.

Quantum of the Seas will follow three days later with her first and only Vancouver departure of the year after she arrives from Brisbane, Australia. The ship will leave Vancouver on Monday, April 29 for a 7-night Alaska cruise that will reposition the ship to Seattle for the season.

Quantum of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mohd Syis Zulkipli / Shutterstock)

Brilliance of the Seas will also be sailing from Vancouver for the Alaska season, but will not arrive until early May, along with Ovation of the Seas, which will do a one-time Vancouver departure similar to Quantum of the Seas before homeporting from Seattle.

Ovation of the Seas will also depart from Vancouver for a second time at the end of the season as she heads to Hawaii on her return trip to Sydney, Australia.

At this time, the requirement to check on via the Royal Caribbean app is only for departures from Vancouver. The cruise line even indicates it is only for “select departures” but further details are not yet available.

Read Also: Must-Know Things About the Vancouver Cruise Terminal

It is possible that this may be a testing period for whether or not app check-in has a strong impact on embarkation processing. If it is successful and receives a positive response, Royal Caribbean may choose to roll out the requirement to other cruise homeports, though no such plans have been announced or confirmed at this time.

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