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Old 12-17-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
ChrizJen
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Port Arrival/Check-in Questions

We just booked this weekend on the June 8th Fantasy.
We haven't cruised since 2005, and it seems EVERYTHING about port arrival has changed since then!

Could someone give me a brief rundown of port arrival/embarkation?
And what about online registration/check-in? We're Silver level, so all I'm aware of is that I can get online at 90 days out and sign up, but for what? LOL...Does this help with the check-in process the day of the cruise?

Also, what about signing up DD for Oceaneers Club? I assume that still has to be done onboard?

Any little bit of help is appreciated. I feel a little lost since I haven't kept up with these changes since we cruised last! We feel like brand new cruisers again!

Thanks!
-Christal
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:19 AM   #2
jcarwash
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I can start with some answers for you...

With online access at 90 days (and payment in full)...
Starting at 12 midnight ET you can:
- Book Palo and Remy brunches and dinners
- Book port excursions
- Book cabanas at Castaway Cay (if any are still available)
- Reserve appointments at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (also for Pirates League night there)
- Register any children for the kids clubs (the registration online is just selecting their name(s) and choosing a password)

Starting at 3am ET you can complete your online check-in (verify information, choose a port arrival time, print signature forms to bring to port)
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
Mandersons04
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Actually, the past two check-ins I've done have allowed me to choose port arrival times at midnight instead of 3:00 AM. One check-in was a Silver CC member (done at 90 days) and the other was a first time cruiser (done at 75 days).
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
ChrizJen
I am not a Koala Bear at the zoo!!
Sorry about the lack of linkage
Oh, I can't believe what I let you people rope me into!!
 
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Thank you! Very helpful!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:25 PM   #5
lanejudy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrizJen View Post
We just booked this weekend on the June 8th Fantasy.
We haven't cruised since 2005, and it seems EVERYTHING about port arrival has changed since then!

Could someone give me a brief rundown of port arrival/embarkation?
And what about online registration/check-in? We're Silver level, so all I'm aware of is that I can get online at 90 days out and sign up, but for what? LOL...Does this help with the check-in process the day of the cruise?

Also, what about signing up DD for Oceaneers Club? I assume that still has to be done onboard?

Any little bit of help is appreciated. I feel a little lost since I haven't kept up with these changes since we cruised last! We feel like brand new cruisers again!

Thanks!
-Christal
Port Arrival Time is roughly when Disney expects you will arrive at the terminal. It is not your boarding time, though depending on how busy the terminal is it could be close. The larger ships have so many more passengers that DCL has to limit building occupancy in the terminal until boarding begins and the crowds thin out. Port Arrival Time is their answer to that. Boarding has generally been starting around 11:30am or 11:45am, so that initial rush is cleared by shortly after 12noon anyway. Though if boarding were to be delayed, those with later Port Arrival Times might be denied early entrance to the terminal, so it's a good idea to choose a time that is close to when you really plan to arrive. All that said, Port Arrival Time is a moot point if you are using DCL transport from MCO or WDW as you'll be allowed entrance to the terminal as soon as the DCL bus arrives.

On-line registration gets your infomation into the system. Not required (you won't be denied boarding) but highly recommended and will speed up the process in the terminal. This is also when you can make reservations for port excursions or onboard activities (dining, spa, etc.). Your reservation must be paid in full to begin making reservations even if your online registration starts at 90 days (and PIF isn't generally until 75 days). You can also pre-register kids for the kids clubs at this time, so then once at the port or onboard all you need to do is confirm your identity and get the wristband.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
kcashner
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Actually, very little has changed. You choose the terminal arrival time when you do your on line check in, but then you can ignore it if you wish. It is intended to spread out when people arrive at the terminal to avoid lines, etc. If you arrive any time after boarding starts, there is no wait, no worry. If you arrive at 10:30, you may be required to wait outside so that they don't exceed the fire regulations!

Security is now at the entrance to the terminal, as it has been for a long time. Go thru security, at the top of the stairs, escalator you'll get in line for check in. Do that...then if you wish, you can check in the kids for the OC in the terminal or wait and do it on the ship. The lines are non-existent on the ship and can be long in the terminal. When you check in, you will be given a boarding card with a number on it. You wait in the terminal until either your number is called or they announce "open boarding" and then you board.

If you get an arrival time of anything after noon, you can ignore it and arrive at noon or any time after that. IMHO, the "sweet spot" is still about 12:30 unless you have an earlier arrival time. If you arrive at 12:30, the lines are gone, boarding is well underway, and you won't have to wait. At 1:30, the buses from WDW will arrive and you'll have a bit of a rush again!
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
ChrizJen
I am not a Koala Bear at the zoo!!
Sorry about the lack of linkage
Oh, I can't believe what I let you people rope me into!!
 
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 4,649

Thanks everyone! Definitely helpful!
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