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View Full Version : Is the terminal a madhouse with a 11:00 PAT?


Donna M
10-19-2012, 06:25 PM
This will be the first time I need to pick a port arrival time, and not real confident on how it all works. I've been reading a lot about how crowded it will be in the terminal at that time. Is it really worth it to try for 11:00-11:30? I do want to get on board as early as possible, but not be packed into the terminal like sardines. We'll be on the Dream.

mammacaryn
10-19-2012, 06:29 PM
We have always boarded early. Waiting in the line to get in is worse than the crowd once you are in(in my opinion). I hate waiting in lines. Once you are all checked in have a seat and listen for your number.

Donna M
10-19-2012, 06:32 PM
What's the earliest pat? And do you think someone who only cruised twice would be able to get it?

kalc12345
10-19-2012, 06:37 PM
What's the earliest pat? And do you think someone who only cruised twice would be able to get it?

We took our first cruise last year and I was able to get a 11-11:30 check-in time. When we arrived at port we were given a #4 boarding number.

mammacaryn
10-19-2012, 06:38 PM
Last year was the first time we had to pick a time, and it was our third cruise. I think it was 11:00, I can't remember but we had no problem getting it. And we were there when they opened the doors. I don't know that the time really matters though....they don't check anything regarding that time.

kcashner
10-19-2012, 06:41 PM
The earliest PAT is 11:00. Yes, a silver CC member can get that. Also, if you are using DCL transportation, you don't care what your PAT is--you'll get in as soon as you get to the terminal. If you are coming from MCO, you'll check in there including getting your boarding card.

On the classic ships, the terminal is not at all a mess at 11. The terminal can more than handle that volume, and the PAT system has eliminated a lot of the "gotta be there first" mania. Remember that only a small percentage of guests on most cruises are Dis-ers....the others don't know why they might want to show up early!

The silly stuff--people who crowd around the entry area. You aren't going to get in any earlier or later by crowding that space. As above, have a seat, see characters, look at the model, use the restroom, and just chill out for a bit. When the number ahead of you is called, you can start to move toward the entrance. If you are number 27 and they are on number 3, GO AWAY and relax.

Boarding goes very quickly once it starts so people start moving rapidly onto the ship.

On the bigger ships, the Dream tends to be more crazy than the Fantasy. But still, not a problem at all. The system does a decent job of spreading out the arrivals.

Pennyb123
10-19-2012, 07:22 PM
I ALWAYS get to the terminal as early as possible. You get on the ship sooner, which gives you more time to adjust reservations or explore, or even get in the pools for a bit!

justmestace
10-19-2012, 10:24 PM
I ALWAYS get to the terminal as early as possible. You get on the ship sooner, which gives you more time to adjust reservations or explore, or even get in the pools for a bit!

I thought DCL changed their system from First Come, First Served, to giving people port arrival times. Wouldn't that mean that you have to wait until your time?

boogabuzz
10-19-2012, 10:33 PM
I thought DCL changed their system from First Come, First Served, to giving people port arrival times. Wouldn't that mean that you have to wait until your time?

Yes, they did. If you arrive earlier than your arrival time, you may luck out and get on early, but may have to wait a while. On our Fantasy cruise a few weeks back, our arrival time was 11-11:30. We arrived at about 11:20. Walked right up to the desk, checked in. We were issued boarding group 2. Went over to get my sons wristband..no wait, and then walked right onto the ship. I think we were in the terminal a total of 15 minutes. It was great!!

We booked a Dream cruise this week at the last minute due to a great price. When I checked in, the best I could get for port arrival time was 2-2:30. Ugh!!! We plan on getting there early in hopes we can board sooner. Anyone have any experiance with this?