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Old 12-22-2012, 12:02 PM   #16
kcashner
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What they were doing last week...

Yes, you can get on a bus based on when you arrive at the desk at MCO, regardless of your designated arrival time.

Yes, you can enter the terminal when the bus gets you there.

Yes, you can get in line to check in when you get to the terminal.

NO, you will not get an earlier boarding card regardless of when you get there and check in. You get the boarding card number that is attached to your scheduled terminal arrival time regardless of when you actually arrived.

Fine print on the above--if you have a 2 pm terminal arrival time, you are not going to be sitting around till 2 pm waiting to board the ship. At some point (usually about 1 pm), they announce open boarding. That means anyone can board at that time regardless of boarding card number. Yes, you might wait from 10:30 till 1 if you were on the first bus (arriving about 10:30) with a scheduled arrival time of 2! However, on our recent cruises they started boarding about 11:30, again, moving everything us by about 15 minutes.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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I agree - if the MCO/DCL transfer does not you get into the port earlier and get an earlier boarding time/number, then not really worth the extra $$.

My next problem is that tonight starts my on-line check in and reservations (and we are only silver so lots of people have done this before us (: So, do I do my on-line check in first (to try to get the best port arrival time) or do I try to get my reservations for Remy and Palo first (hubby and I really want to do these on this cruise)? I thought that on-line check-in/advance PAT would be a moot issue since taking DCL transfers, so I could do this at my leisure and just go for the ressies first, but now this is not a sure thing. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:05 PM   #18
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Thanks kcashner...that info helps a lot! I don't necessarily care about the boarding number. I want to try to do a category upgrade as a surprise for my family. We are already in a category we would be happy with regardless, but I'm planning to try for a concierge upgrade.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzzelady
Thanks kcashner...that info helps a lot! I don't necessarily care about the boarding number. I want to try to do a category upgrade as a surprise for my family. We are already in a category we would be happy with regardless, but I'm planning to try for a concierge upgrade.
Well that makes sense then. Seems like renting a car and controlling arrival would be the best way to go. I was really confused on this issue in general and it's importance. I drove myself to port to ensure a port upgrade. I'd be stressed waiting on someone else to get me there if I was worried about the time.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calidoc2006 View Post
I agree - if the MCO/DCL transfer does not you get into the port earlier and get an earlier boarding time/number, then not really worth the extra $$.

My next problem is that tonight starts my on-line check in and reservations (and we are only silver so lots of people have done this before us (: So, do I do my on-line check in first (to try to get the best port arrival time) or do I try to get my reservations for Remy and Palo first (hubby and I really want to do these on this cruise)? I thought that on-line check-in/advance PAT would be a moot issue since taking DCL transfers, so I could do this at my leisure and just go for the ressies first, but now this is not a sure thing. Any thoughts?

Reservations will open just after midnight, Port Arrival time opens at 3am. You won't be able to change that. Since you are on the DCL bus, it won't matter what PAT you get, but the earlier the PAT, the lower your boarding number will be. So stay up and get your Palo and Remy, if available, then wake up and to the rest.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mickeyfan1 View Post
Reservations will open just after midnight, Port Arrival time opens at 3am. You won't be able to change that. Since you are on the DCL bus, it won't matter what PAT you get, but the earlier the PAT, the lower your boarding number will be. So stay up and get your Palo and Remy, if available, then wake up and to the rest.
Reports here indicate that both windows (excursion reservations & online checkin) are both available at midnight now.

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Old 12-22-2012, 01:47 PM   #22
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I just checked in for our next cruise. The excursion and dining reservations were available at midnight. The online check in wasnt available for several hours after that.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyfan1 View Post
Reservations will open just after midnight, Port Arrival time opens at 3am. You won't be able to change that. Since you are on the DCL bus, it won't matter what PAT you get, but the earlier the PAT, the lower your boarding number will be. So stay up and get your Palo and Remy, if available, then wake up and to the rest.
At the 105 day mark for the 3/23/13 cruise the PAT was available right after midnight ET as well as the regular Palo & excursions.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #24
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Have you gone online to see what the earliest PAT you can get. For those of you waiting to see what will happen you should go ahead and pick a PAT as back up in case they change this.
The earliest PAT online will be 11-11:30 when booking initially opens at the 120 day mark.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by calidoc2006 View Post
My next problem is that tonight starts my on-line check in and reservations (and we are only silver so lots of people have done this before us (: So, do I do my on-line check in first (to try to get the best port arrival time) or do I try to get my reservations for Remy and Palo first (hubby and I really want to do these on this cruise)? I thought that on-line check-in/advance PAT would be a moot issue since taking DCL transfers, so I could do this at my leisure and just go for the ressies first, but now this is not a sure thing. Any thoughts?
Right now not many people know this is happening so I would still go to Palo first. Honestly, the 3/23 cruise is the first time in 10 cruises there have been so many reservations open and I forgot to stay up until midnight. At 2 pm the next day it still showed practically every single time available each day for brunch and dinner. I had never seen a 10 a.m. brunch time before!!! Every other time it sold out after 5 minutes. You should have a good chance of getting what you want. Also, easier to get a reservation changed so if you don't see what you want, take what there is and ask to have it changed.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #26
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The earliest PAT online will be 11-11:30 when booking initially opens at the 120 day mark.
I guess I did not make myself clear. I was suggesting they go online and and book what the earliest PAT still available for their cruise. That way since they will need a PAT regardless if they take Disney transportation or not they can decide if they want to rent a car or still take the bus.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #27
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Thanks for all the input! I am hoping that there are still lots of times open for Palo for the 3/23 cruise since that is the one we are on as well!! I think I will try for Palo/Remy first, then PAT based on everyones' answers. Thanks so much!
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:05 PM   #28
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We're staying at the Hyatt MCO next month the night before the cruise simply for the ease of it. Just ds and I flying in with an evening flight, and I love the idea of being at the hotel so quickly and just hopping on the bus in the morning and heading over to the port. I'm secretly hoping lots of folks decide to drive themselves to the port or make other arrangements so that I'm not fighting tons of people in the morning to get on the bus... Is that wrong?
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #29
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We're staying at the Hyatt MCO next month the night before the cruise simply for the ease of it. Just ds and I flying in with an evening flight, and I love the idea of being at the hotel so quickly and just hopping on the bus in the morning and heading over to the port. I'm secretly hoping lots of folks decide to drive themselves to the port or make other arrangements so that I'm not fighting tons of people in the morning to get on the bus... Is that wrong?
Other than the fact that I've never seen "tons of people," no, it isn't wrong. Most I've ever seen was the TA in 2010. We were there before 9, and were still on thr 4th bus. Of course, the buses were departing as soon as they could get them loaded!

We did the overnight at the Hyatt in March, 2012 and EVERYONE who had checked in at the welcome center by the time the 9:30 bus was ready to depart was on that bus, whether they came from the Hyatt, another hotel, or a plane...and there was still space on the bus.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:57 PM   #30
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Other than the fact that I've never seen "tons of people," no, it isn't wrong. Most I've ever seen was the TA in 2010. We were there before 9, and were still on thr 4th bus. Of course, the buses were departing as soon as they could get them loaded!

We did the overnight at the Hyatt in March, 2012 and EVERYONE who had checked in at the welcome center by the time the 9:30 bus was ready to depart was on that bus, whether they came from the Hyatt, another hotel, or a plane...and there was still space on the bus.
OK...maybe "tons" was a stretch! After reading all the posts on here, I felt like there were quite a few people who either stayed at the Hyatt MCO or at surrounding hotels (or even WDW hotels just wanting early port arrivals) and all came pouring in at 8:01 to be in line to catch the first bus and that if I wasn't in line at 8:01 I was going to be on bus #5 to the port and have to sit around for a while just waiting for a bus!

I'd much rather roll downstairs at 9:00 and still be on a bus fairly soon. Sounds like from your experience in March that I'll be OK!

I don't need the first bus! Is it similar to ME in that they'll roll out pretty quickly? I mean bus #5 isn't TWO HOURS later than bus #1, is it??
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