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How can you make your Disney Cruise Embarkation as easy as possible? You have counted down the days for months and now it is finally time to embark on your Disney cruise! Embarkation should be one of the most exciting parts of your Disney Cruise, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming if you don’t understand what you are doing.
Here our our tips and secrets to make the Disney Cruise Embarkation process as simple and pain free as possible.
Disney Cruise Online Check In
To cut down on a lot of time at the port you need to make sure that you have already checked in online with Disney Cruises. This is a very easy process.
First you need to go to the online Disney Cruise Planning Center. You will go into My Reservations. There you will see a box which is clearly marked Online Check In.
You will then complete all of the forms online. These are simple details. You will also put a credit card on your account and decide who will have charging privileges.
You will get the chance to select a port arrival time. This is very important. We always like to get ours as early as possible, as it maximizes your time on the ship.
You will then print out your forms and bring them with you to the port. You can do everything in the port, but it makes the process so much easier if you have done this online.
You will be sent your luggage tags in the mail. Make sure that they are securely placed on all the bags that you want to check in. If you forget to do this it is fine. They will have labels at the port for you, but it is much quicker if these are already on your bags and ready to go.
Arriving at the Disney Cruise Port
Always make sure that you arrive in good time at your Disney Cruise port. A cruise does not wait for you – if you are late you could be watching it sail into the distance!
If you are sailing out of Port Canaveral you will go through the security and x-ray machines on the first floor. You will already have given your checked luggage to the porters. If you have a Disney Cruise Transfer your luggage will already have been checked in for you.
The next time you see your checked luggage will be when it is delivered to your stateroom, which is usually in the early afternoon.
Once you have cleared security in Port Canaveral you will go up to the second level. You will immediately see the check in desks. You will be given a health form to complete to confirm that you do not have any contagious illness.
You will be directed to a check in desk line. There is a separate line for Concierge Guests and Platinum Castaway Club Members.
You will be given a boarding number. Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club members have priority. If you have an early check in time you will have a lower number and be able to board more quickly.
It is essential that you have the correct ID. If you do not, you will not be allowed to board. Check with your Travel Agent or directly with Disney Cruise Lines for the ID requirements for your cruise .
It does happen that guests are left behind as they have not brought the correct ID with them. Don't let that be you!
Register with the Kids Clubs
You are able to fill out all the paper work online for the kids clubs for your children aged 3 to 12. This will include your child’s details, any allergies, who is authorized to pick them up from the club and a password that they will use.
You can fill out these forms in the port, but it is easier if you already have them done.
You can pick up their Oceaneer Bands in the port. It doesn’t matter if you do not want to do this right now, or if the line seems intimidatingly long.
You can do this at the kids clubs when you are on board the ship.
Waiting To Board the Disney Ship
If you arrive early in the morning at Port Canaveral you are likely to be there will a lot of fellow guests waiting to get on board the ship. There isn’t seating for everyone so be prepared to wait a little while standing up.
The ships usually starts to board at around 11.30 am. in Port Canaveral. The boarding process is usually quick. As soon as your number is called you can get into the line.
You will go through the Mickey Ears and begin your walk to the ship. Your Key To The World will be swiped and you will be welcome on board.
SHOULD YOU GET A PHOTOGRAPH?
In the port before you embark on your cruise Mickey and Minnie will be there ready for you to have your photograph taken with them. The lines are usually long, but if you know you have time it's a nice thing to have.
Once you start the boarding process there will be another photo opportunity before you actually get on the ship. If you want to save time you can skip the line. You will get on the ship slightly early , but miss out on the boarding photo opportunity.
Boarding Your Disney Cruise
The time has finally arrived! You are about to step onto your Disney ship! A Cast Member at the door will ask you for your family name. This will be announced over the microphone so that the whole lobby can hear.
You will be welcomed on board to the sound of applause from the assembled Cast Members in the lobby. If this all sounds a bit cheesy to you, then it most definitely is. However, it is a whole lot of fun!
Do You Need to Visit Guest Services?
When you board you will probably already see a line at Guest Services. Do you need to join it? You will if you want tickets for special character greetings such as meeting Anna and Elsa.
Also, if you want to check to sign up for other activities such as Wine Tasting, or other special things which are not available online. You can even put your name down for one of those coveted Castaway Cay Cabanas – it isn’t very likely, but there may be a cancellation and you will get lucky!
If you want to change your dining time or request a certain table now is your chance. Look at your Personal Navigator to see where on the ship the dining staff will be stationed to help you with this. You can also make reservations at Palo and Remy.
Go To Lunch
You will definitely never be hungry on a Disney Cruise – the eating starts as soon as you board. The buffet and one of the rotational dining restaurants will both be serving food. The selection will be larger in the buffet, but it can sometimes be fun to go to the restaurant as it is likely to be less crowded. Whichever option you choose, it will be all you can eat!
A Cast Member will be there to direct you where to go. They usually direct you to the buffet rather than the restaurant, so ask if you want to dine in a rotational restaurant.
Explore the Ship
This is a great time to start learning your way around and to begin exploring the ship. Cast Members lead tours of the ship which can be really useful for finding out about the major features of your Disney ship. The spa and the kids clubs are open house until early evening, so that you can take the chance to explore.
Boarding Check List
- Check in online
- Get to the port in good time
- Register for the Kids Clubs
- Decide Whether To Do The Picture
- Board Your Disney Cruise!
- Go to Guest Services