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Old 12-27-2012, 09:02 PM   #16
kfamilylovesdisney
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Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
What you had was a Port Arrival Time. That PAT is tied to your boarding number that you receive when you check in at the port. You arrived earlier than your selected PAT, so you had to wait until the boarding number tied to your correct time was being boarded.

Next time, I would suggest that you plan on arriving at the time you select and not earlier.

Yea I definitely did not research that well. So, I am hoping to get that straight this time

So I should arrive at the time they give me? And not expect to board at that time? How do you get an earlier arrival time if the one they give you is later than you would like? Is it based on first come first served on the online check-in?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kfamilylovesdisney View Post
Yea I definitely did not research that well. So, I am hoping to get that straight this time

So I should arrive at the time they give me? And not expect to board at that time? How do you get an earlier arrival time if the one they give you is later than you would like? Is it based on first come first served on the online check-in?

Thanks for your help!
During the online checkin process you select your PAT. The windows are in 1/2 hour increments: 11:00-11:30; 11:30-12:00, etc. I've never had my PAT assigned.

When you get to the page to select your PAT time, any windows that are filled will be greyed out.

As a CC member you have an earlier online checkin date than a first time cruiser, so that means you can select your PAT before they do.

You can keep checking after you've completed the online checkin, if you were not able to select the PAT you really wanted. Sometimes people change their selections.

All that said, generally, once the boarding number being announced for boarding has caught up with the number being issued at checkin at the port, Open Boarding is announced (somewhere in the 12:30-1:00 area). At that time everyone can board, regardless of boarding number.

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Old 12-27-2012, 09:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kfamilylovesdisney View Post
On our first cruise (a 3 day on the Wonder), we arrived at the port at 12:30 and walked right on the Wonder. It was amazing. No wait at all.


On our third cruise (a 5 day on the Dream), we arrived in port at 11:30 with a 12:30 boarding time (we were like - what is this time thing?) and we did not get on the ship until at least 1 PM. So many people got there ahead of us. I was very disappointed at the chaos at the terminal. Obviously we weer spoiled before, but this was total chaos. No one was boarding at their allotted time. It was a madhouse. I had a spa treatment scheduled at 2PM so this was incredibly stressful for me.

I am hoping that they stick to the scheduled boarding times. Our next cruise is scheduled for July 2013. So, we shall see
First, as above, your time is a scheduled terminal arrival time, not a boarding time. Times are given out well before boarding even begins! (like 11:00)

Secondly, no one has a single time, they have a window. So you had a 12:30-1:00 window and arrived at 11:30. And you were on the ship about 1. That sounds pretty much right on time to me! The fact that you arrived an hour before your scheduled time was your choice and did not influence the boarding number you were given. The "chaos" at the terminal was largely due to people arriving before their scheduled time.

When you arrive, you will need to get in line to check in. This, obviously, takes a little time. 30 minutes is a reasonable expectation. 12:30 is a really GOOD time to arrive--the "early birds" are on the ship and the bus transportation from WDW has not arrived yet. This is a great time to avoid crowds and board with minimal lines.
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