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M2DD's
08-13-2012, 05:01 PM
We booked a cruise the other day about 45 days out on the Fantasy. When I went to do the on line check-in 12:00 was the earliest time to arrive at the port. Does that mean we can't check into the port any earlier than that?

ludari
08-13-2012, 06:16 PM
We booked a cruise the other day about 45 days out on the Fantasy. When I went to do the on line check-in 12:00 was the earliest time to arrive at the port. Does that mean we can't check into the port any earlier than that?

You can check in but DCL will not let you on the ship until your boarding time, however on my past two cruises I was able to get on board sooner than my scheduled time.

PrincessShmoo
08-13-2012, 06:23 PM
We booked a cruise the other day about 45 days out on the Fantasy. When I went to do the on line check-in 12:00 was the earliest time to arrive at the port. Does that mean we can't check into the port any earlier than that?

Chances are good that you will be able to enter the terminal earlier than your actual port arrival time, but you actual boarding number is tied to that port arrival time. So, if you do get into the terminal early, you will see others arriving after you (at their correct port arrival time) boarding before you do.

:cutie:

kcashner
08-13-2012, 06:24 PM
It is really not a boarding time. A more accurate term would be something like "scheduled terminal arrival time." If you arrive at the terminal before your scheduled time via any means other than DCL transportation, whether you are allowed right in or kept waiting a short while will depend on how full the terminal is. The big ships have enough passengers to exceed the number the fire marshal allows into the terminal at one time.

After boarding starts, people rapidly move from terminal to ship--no more crowding, no more waiting. While on most of our cruises boarding started at 11:45, on our May Fantasy cruise it started before 11:30.

After you enter the terminal and check in, you will get a boarding card with a number on it. This number has been determined by the computer at the time you did your on line check in and will not be changed by your actual arrival time--if you arrive at 11, you'll still get the pre-assigned number. You will board the ship when this number is announced (with about 100 or so of your closest friends). Boarding numbers go fast. Somewhere around 12:30 or 1, they will announce "open boarding" meaning that there are no crowds remaining and each family can board as soon as they have checked in.

SO...back to original question. If you arrive before your scheduled time, you may or may not be allowed to check in.

If using DCL transportation, you may enter as soon as the bus gets you there; if coming from MCO via DCL bus, you will have already checked in at MCO.

SamandWill1921
08-13-2012, 07:29 PM
If using DCL transportation, you may enter as soon as the bus gets you there; if coming from MCO via DCL bus, you will have already checked in at MCO.

Does this work the same at the port of LA? We couldn't schedule an arrival time before noon but we are taking DCL transfers. Will people arriving after us board before us if we took the DCL bus from LAX?

PrincessShmoo
08-13-2012, 07:40 PM
Does this work the same at the port of LA? We couldn't schedule an arrival time before noon but we are taking DCL transfers. Will people arriving after us board before us if we took the DCL bus from LAX?

At San Pedro it's a bit different. You receive your boarding number after you've checked in, before going through security.

On our 2 MR cruises out of there we had the 12:00-12:30 window for port arrival. The first time we arrived about 11:50 and the second time just right about 12:00. Both times we went directly in. Went directly to check in desk (CC members desk) with no line. We receive #13 boarding number as we went through security. They were already boarding and we up to #9 and #10 on first and second cruises respectively. We waited about 10 minutes before they got to #13. We were onboard and sitting down to lunch at BBB by 12:30-12:40.

:cutie:

erionm
08-13-2012, 07:41 PM
Does this work the same at the port of LA? We couldn't schedule an arrival time before noon but we are taking DCL transfers. Will people arriving after us board before us if we took the DCL bus from LAX?

Port Arrival time only matters for those not using DCL transfers. This applies at all departure ports.

PrincessShmoo
08-13-2012, 07:59 PM
Port Arrival time only matters for those not using DCL transfers. This applies at all departure ports.

Well, that wasn't our experience at San Pedro. They didn't check our Port Arrival Time when we went. We walked right into the terminal. Yes, we were pretty much on time, only 10 minutes early, but noone checked for what our PAT was.

:cutie:

kcashner
08-13-2012, 08:39 PM
At all ports, when using DCL transfers you get in right away when the bus gets you there regardless of scheduled times. You do have to select a time on line because people do change transportation plans. Translation--I can't say that I have DCL transfers to get around the system and then use a limo service.

The whole system of choosing a time is less critical on the classic ships as the lower passenger load basically eliminates the possibility of terminal crowds exceeding fire marshal allowances. They keep the system in place, but I've never seen, read, or personally been delayed in entering the terminal on one of the classic ships.

magrudersmakes3
08-13-2012, 10:03 PM
We booked a cruise the other day about 45 days out on the Fantasy. When I went to do the on line check-in 12:00 was the earliest time to arrive at the port. Does that mean we can't check into the port any earlier than that?

We had a 12:00 boarding time last year and we were onboard around 12:30. They actually called our boarding number (17 I think) while we were registering our daughter for the club. It really wasn't that bad.

M2DD's
08-14-2012, 11:36 AM
Thanks for all the replies:goodvibes
Just trying to figure out what time to return the rental car and get back to the pier to check in.

P.S When we went on our MR cruise out of san pedro they never looked or checked our boarding time. We were the first in line to check in at castaway club and first through security.