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View Full Version : How early should we arrive.....


rovernole
05-12-2010, 12:50 PM
to get in line and get on board quickly and avoid the crowds? We sail out on our first Disney cruise tomorrow on the Wonder. We only have about a 2 hour drive from Jupiter so I am trying to plan our departure time.

Jenni :-)

kcashner
05-12-2010, 01:13 PM
It depends on what you want. If you arrive at 10, you'll be with the early birds. You'll have the best chance to purchase an upgrade at port if that is a consideration. However, boarding won't start till 11:45, so you'll be hanging around the terminal for almost 2 hours.

If you arrive around 12:30, you will check in and essentially walk right onto the ship as they will be finished boarding the "crowd" and the people riding the WDW buses won't have arrived yet. The WDW bus traffic starts to arrive about 1:30, so at that time you'll again see lines (at least on some days).

Palo reservations and dining changes on the Wonder open at 1 pm and they wouldn't even allow people to line up earlier on our cruise--thus, even with 12:30 arrival and check in, you're in plenty of time for this line if needed!

Angelhalo
05-12-2010, 01:38 PM
We like to arrive early. This last time we were first in line to check in, then we did our upgrades. I know it was about a 2 hour wait to board but it really didn't feel like it at all. I called people to say see ya soon, watched Mickey taking pictures with people and it seemed in no time it was time to board. We love boarding early because we go straight to Parrot Cay and the buffet is nice and new and fresh with no lines and the dining room isn't crowded yet. Plus when we're done eating, it is still early and we can drop off our carryon luggage and hit the pool.

It is all up to your personal choice. :wizard:

jjgarv
05-12-2010, 02:19 PM
...If you arrive around 12:30, you will check in and essentially walk right onto the ship as they will be finished boarding the "crowd" and the people riding the WDW buses won't have arrived yet. The WDW bus traffic starts to arrive about 1:30, so at that time you'll again see lines (at least on some days).


This is so true! We always arrive on the earlier side, and the terminal is mobbed by the time they start letting folks board the ship. If you want to avoid the crowds, then 12:30 would be the time to get there.

OhToodles2
05-12-2010, 02:25 PM
What about if you're taking the Disney bus from the airport? What's the earliest bus you can take to get there? We are planning on staying at one of the airport hotels so the earliest we could board the bus would be great.

moet7
05-12-2010, 02:30 PM
It depends on what you want. If you arrive at 10, you'll be with the early birds. You'll have the best chance to purchase an upgrade at port if that is a consideration. However, boarding won't start till 11:45, so you'll be hanging around the terminal for almost 2 hours.

If you arrive around 12:30, you will check in and essentially walk right onto the ship as they will be finished boarding the "crowd" and the people riding the WDW buses won't have arrived yet. The WDW bus traffic starts to arrive about 1:30, so at that time you'll again see lines (at least on some days).

Palo reservations and dining changes on the Wonder open at 1 pm and they wouldn't even allow people to line up earlier on our cruise--thus, even with 12:30 arrival and check in, you're in plenty of time for this line if needed!


I sailed on the Magic and was on board at 11:45..........went right to Palo reservations and got brunch and made it up to Top Siders by noon, which is when they opened the doors. Not sure if it would be different on the Wonder, but on the MAGIC Palo reservations were open as soon as I walked on board at 11:45.

CruiseBoundnKY
05-12-2010, 02:36 PM
My vote is the sooner the better. We have taken the 10AM shuttle both times from the hotel and we had boarding #5 the first time and like 6 or 7 the second. Being there (even if you're sitting) still puts you in the spirit. You get to see all the Disboard shirts, meet your friends that you made online, check in your kids to the kids clubs, take pics with Mickey/Minnie and just put your mind in vacation mode. Love it!!!!

The sooner you set foot on the ship, the sooner you can feel the relief of being there. Ahhhh...can you just smell the freedom and relaxation? I know I need therapy. :rotfl2::rotfl2:

They don't call it Disney Magic for nothing. :wizard:

TwingleMum
05-12-2010, 03:01 PM
When is the earliest you can go to your stateroom???

jjgarv
05-12-2010, 03:36 PM
When is the earliest you can go to your stateroom???

They typically say 1:30PM. And on our past several cruises, they had the hallways to the staterooms roped off until that time.

Tneah
05-12-2010, 03:40 PM
I think you can go to your stateroom around 1:30pm.


We've done both times. We liked getting there closer to 11:30-12:30pm time. Checked in and got on the ship right away. Didn't stop to have our pictures taken, either.

The first time we got to the terminal so early and then sat around for what seemed like forever. The anticipation of getting on the ship was killing us.

ruadisneyfan2
05-12-2010, 04:19 PM
My vote is the sooner the better. We have taken the 10AM shuttle both times from the hotel and we had boarding #5 the first time and like 6 or 7 the second. Being there (even if you're sitting) still puts you in the spirit. You get to see all the Disboard shirts, meet your friends that you made online, check in your kids to the kids clubs, take pics with Mickey/Minnie and just put your mind in vacation mode. Love it!!!!

The sooner you set foot on the ship, the sooner you can feel the relief of being there. Ahhhh...can you just smell the freedom and relaxation? I know I need therapy. :rotfl2::rotfl2:

They don't call it Disney Magic for nothing. :wizard:

So true! ITA!!:lmao:

Even when the terminal is full, it's also full of excitement. :wizard:
I even enjoy just being there, taking pictures, etc.
DCL's terminal in PC is like no other cruise terminals, looking like old warehouses.

I can't wait!! :hourglass

canadiancruisers
05-12-2010, 04:22 PM
So if we are taking Disney transportation from the Wilderness Lodge, will we be arriving as late as 1:30?

WhoDat
05-12-2010, 04:55 PM
We got there around 10:15 for our cruise and we were 2nd in line to check in and were able to upgrade from a Cat 11 to a Cat 6. We had our ID pictures taken and then signed DS in for the kid's club. Once we had bathroom breaks we had a seat near the gigantic windows and watched what was going on outside and met fellow cruisers sitting near us. We walked around and explored the terminal for a little while. We were called for the 2nd group to board and we entered, had our official picture taken and were welcomed aboard by the crew. We headed straight to Parrot Cay and went right in for lunch. No waiting for an empty table, no big crowd and the buffets were brimming with fantastic foods and desserts. DH is incredible impatient and he actually suggested we do it all the same way in April when we cruise again. The time just seemed to fly by.

kcashner
05-12-2010, 05:44 PM
On the Magic (21 cruises), Palo and Dining Changes are open when the boarding starts...typically 11:45. On the Wonder (3 sailings) they don't open till 1 pm. I don't know why the difference. ALL of our Wonder sailings were in 2009, Magic sailings have been from maiden voyage till 2010.

You have access to your stateroom at 1:30.

The first bus from the airport leaves about 9:30. They will tell you that it leaves at 10, but I've been on it at 9:30. This gets you to the terminal about 10:15.

Yes, to the poster coming from Wilderness Lodge, you will have a bus pick up time between 11:30 and 12:15 and will arrive at the port at about 1:30. If you don't like this, you can choose private transportation--rental car or a towncar service.