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Old 01-09-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
Chloe's mom
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Port Arrival Time is 2:00-2:30. Any benefit to going earlier?

So excited that I just booked a last minute 4 night Dream cruise for Jan 20! The documents say we need to arrive at the port between 2:00-2:30. We'll be driving in from TN the day before. Should we go to the port early and take chances on getting on board sooner? Or just wait it out in Cocoa Beach until 2:00?

Don't really want to sit around for hours in the terminal if they really stick to the time-frames assigned.

BTW, this is our 2nd Disney cruise ever. The first one was 3 years ago on the Wonder, so I'm sure a lot has changed with the addition of the Dream and Fantasy.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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A little early--yes. A lot early, no. If you show up about 1, you'll get to check in and board with little or no waiting. At some point, they will call "open boarding." At that time you can board regardless of your number. This typically happen about 1:00...so if you show up then, you're golden.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:12 PM   #3
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The PAT is actually the time the will let you into the terminal. You would probably be allowed in earlier; however, your boarding number is directly linked to that PAT. People with earlier PATs get lower boarding numbers. Open boarding is usually called around 1:00, so arriving then would minimize your wait in the terminal. The terminal doesn't open until 11:00 now.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe's mom View Post
So excited that I just booked a last minute 4 night Dream cruise for Jan 20! The documents say we need to arrive at the port between 2:00-2:30. We'll be driving in from TN the day before. Should we go to the port early and take chances on getting on board sooner? Or just wait it out in Cocoa Beach until 2:00?

Don't really want to sit around for hours in the terminal if they really stick to the time-frames assigned.

BTW, this is our 2nd Disney cruise ever. The first one was 3 years ago on the Wonder, so I'm sure a lot has changed with the addition of the Dream and Fantasy.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
While it may be possible to arrive earlier, I will point out that your actual boarding number when you receive when you checkin at the port is tied to your Port Arrival Time.

Boarding generally begins about 11:45, with boarding #1 (Concierge), #2 (Platinum CC member), then #3, 4, and so on. Usually, the number being announced for boarding catches up with the number being issued at checkin around 12:15-12:30. At that time, Open Boarding is announced, anyone holding a boarding number may board.

I would suggest arriving around 12:30-1:00. At that time the terminal is less busy, Open Boarding is usually in progress, and the busses from WDW haven't arrived yet, filling up the terminal again.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:19 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the great advice!
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