Cruises start from different Locations, this is what its like from Port Canaveral, on a Disney Cruise.
Dreaming of a Disney Cruise Line Vacation? Wondered what the experience is like? Asking yourself if its the right fit for your family? Well…follow my Disney Cruise Line Series and learn the ins/outs of the entire process, starting with the beginning; how you board, where you go, what happens, what you need??? I will be going post by post, sharing my take on the MOST MAGICAL CRUISE at SEA. Having done SEVERAL Disney Cruises myself, at various ports…I am kinda an expert on the subject.
First Stop – Port Canaveral:
Port Canaveral is the Port Terminal you use for your Orlando based ships – flying into MCO. It is HIGHLY suggested that you fly in 1 day before and stay at a local hotel for the evening…making sure you will 100% make it to the ship (more on this in a different post). A Disney ship usually starts boarding about 11-11:30am and you will be provided a BOARDING NUMBER (based on your boarding time, selected ahead of time, online).
Once IN the Terminal:
The Port Terminal opens about 10:00am. AS soon as you arrive and after you go thru security and give your CHECKED bags to the Cruise Porters…you want to head directly to check-in. You will want to provide an ID & Birth Certificate or a Passport. You will also need your Boarding Print Out that you completed online (ahead of time). They will ask you to fill out a simple medical form, assuring that no-one is sick in your party. You will be asked to take a picture and will be given your KEY TO THE WORLD CARD – this card is your room key, your ID on the ship and also has some key info on it like your dining rotation, room number, etc. Having a lanyard with a clear ID case is a good idea – PS I provide these for my cruise clients as a little gift 😉
The Waiting and Excitement Builds up:
Now here comes the good stuff. Stuff like Penny Press Machines!! Stuff like taking the iconic Cruise Pictures, waiting in line for Captain Mickey or Minnie. Using the restroom and waiting for your boarding number to be called. HINT – if you are traveling with a child, this is also the PERFECT time to meet some of the Kids Club Crew Members and get your child his/her Band for the Cruise. THIS RFID band (similar to a WDW Magicband) is the ships way of checking your child in/out of the kids club and also knowing where they are, at all times, in the clubs.
Get READY – Its BOARDING time:
Once your Boarding Number is called…get ready…cause now all the REAL fun begins. You walk down a hallway, scan your KEY TO THE WORLD CARD for the first time, take a special picture (think Holiday Card) and FINALLY actually board the ship. As you take your first steps onto the Ship, a Crew Member will ask your family name (feel free to be creative, I am talking to you Incredible Family or Skywalker Family) – they will announce your name as you walk into the atrium/lobby/hub of the ship. Crew Members are standing by to clap and welcome you aboard. Get ready to be in awe at the beauty that is your ship. Take a moment, turn around and really “take it all in” or be like me and cry like a baby in excitement.
Now that you are on the ship – the world is your oyster. Go eat, go pool, go explore. Shops are closed until the ship actually starts moving, but you are welcome to begin the magic, the fun…making memories. This is also when its important to have PACKED all your swim gear in your carry-on – NOT in the checked bags you left with the porter. Adults grab a beverage, kids get ready to splash and people who want to start living the Cruise Life – go eat at the restaurant that’s open at lunch, where you can dine in style and order off a menu while your amazing service begins. Others will be rushing thru the buffet trying to get to the pool or kids clubs as soon as they possibly can.
Don’t get too comfy – you still need to experience the Muster Drill at 4:00. This is 100% mandatory and 100% for ALL passengers. So get the kids out of the pool, throw on a cover-up and get to the drill. After that…you have the “Sail Away” Party (arrive early for a GOOD spot and don’t forget you can watch from the deck above) and the ship begins to move – (Motion Sickness). Your Stateroom should be ready about 1:30, so you will be able to change and get dressed if you want and for sure before dinner.
Once the ship takes off – you are ON CRUISE TIME – Enjoy, relax, explore and EAT!! More to come, stay tuned.
**And remember I am a Travel Agent, specializing in Disney Vacations (which includes Disney Cruise Line) – so if you think these posts are helpful…wait until you book a trip with me 🙂 My services are complementary as Disney pays me, not you…so why not – book with an expert and let me help you have the MOST MAGICAL CRUISE EVER!!
Mahalo – Nina