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Old 05-05-2013, 03:16 PM   #1381
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Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Hi All,

Two questions.

1)Prior to our Med cruise, we've only used Disney transfers for all of our other Disney Cruises, so this will be the first time we are arriving to port on our own.

How does it work with your luggage when you arrive to port on your own? (ie, when do you drop your luggage off with the luggage crew people... I'm assuming you don't carry your luggage on the ship on your own, only because I've never seen anyone carting suitcases around when they board the ship).

2) For those of you who have been to the Barcelona Terminal, how long (from your experience) did it take you from when you walked into the doors at port to when you actually were checked-in and ready to board? We have an 11:30 AM check-in time, but I was reading through all the info online again, and noticed for Barcelona, it says that the port doors open at 11AM and boarding the ship does not begin until 1PM.

Based off of our experience at Port Canaveral and the LA port (when we've cruise with Disney from there), from when we walk in the doors to go through security to when we are fully checked in, I think the max time for us has been 30 minutes... it always seems to go pretty fast and smooth.

But, I'm wondering if the Barcelona terminal is different (ie, less check-in desks, so check-in may take longer, or the terminal is a lot larger, so takes longer time to get from security to the check-in desks, etc. etc.).

We just don't want to get there at 11:30, and then be all checked in ready to go at 12:00, and then we have to sit around for an hour in crowds of people before waiting for them to even open the doors to the ship (and it'll be longer than an hour wait for us because I know concierge, etc board first, and we are not concierge).

I do realize the earlier you get there, the lower boarding number you get, so that will help you get on the ship faster, but even with the boarding numbers, they seem to only be like 5 minutes apart in boarding times, so it seems to go pretty fast. I just don't want to get checked in and then everyone in port is just waiting to board for an hour because the doors at not even open yet. I like to time it where when we are fully checked in the doors are open, and people are already boarding the ship (because then the port is not AS crazy and crowded because people are leaving the terminal to get on the ship).

Just wondering what people's experiences are with port arrival timing in Barcelona... and, at the end of the day, it really isn't a HUGE deal I mean, if we have to wait around in crowds of people at port, so be it. But, just trying to figure this out to get a better idea.

Thoughts??

Thanks!
Yes, you will drop off your luggage with porters when you get to the cruise terminal. Have a few euros ready for a tip.

We have sailed with DCL twice out of Barcelona. The first time we got there around 11 or so (this was before PAT) and I do recall waiting a bit before they started boarding, but it certainly wasn't 1:00. They will have photo opportunities with Minnie, etc., set up to pass the time. The terminal is not as themed as Port Canaveral but it's nice enough. The second time we sailed out of Barcelona we were coming directly from the airport on a flight from Paris and got to the port a little after 1. We walked right on the ship, no lines, and were able to get to our cabin as soon as we got on the ship, so that must have been about 1:30. This time I think we plan to get there around 11:30 (our PAT is 11-11:30) and hope to be on the ship by 12 or 12:30. I would say that if you want to time it so that you can walk right on the ship, aim for 12:30 or 1 to arrive at the terminal.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:39 PM   #1382
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#1 Yes, the first thing we did when we went to Alaska was drop off our luggage. It was outside the cruise terminal even(that made me a little nervous).

Might want to ask #2 in the Med Cruise Planning thread too. I think there are prior cruisers who monitor that one.
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Yes, you will drop off your luggage with porters when you get to the cruise terminal. Have a few euros ready for a tip.

We have sailed with DCL twice out of Barcelona. The first time we got there around 11 or so (this was before PAT) and I do recall waiting a bit before they started boarding, but it certainly wasn't 1:00. They will have photo opportunities with Minnie, etc., set up to pass the time. The terminal is not as themed as Port Canaveral but it's nice enough. The second time we sailed out of Barcelona we were coming directly from the airport on a flight from Paris and got to the port a little after 1. We walked right on the ship, no lines, and were able to get to our cabin as soon as we got on the ship, so that must have been about 1:30. This time I think we plan to get there around 11:30 (our PAT is 11-11:30) and hope to be on the ship by 12 or 12:30. I would say that if you want to time it so that you can walk right on the ship, aim for 12:30 or 1 to arrive at the terminal.
Thanks for the info here.

I thought it seemed strange that the info on the Disney Site (area where you check in for the cruise) said the ship won't be open for boarding until 1 PM, especially since port arrival times are starting at 11AM and also since everyone has to be on board by 4 PM... but then I thought maybe they just do it differently in Barcelona. But, if your experience was boarding began before 1 PM, that will be nice.

It sounds like the boarding process is similar or the same as Port Canaveral... the last cruise we went on when we were at Port Canaveral, we didn't arrive to port until 1:15 PM or so, and there was hardly any passegers in the terminal and we got through security, checked in and boarded the ship (we just walked right on... didn't have to wait) literally in about 20 minutes total. It was great!

Well, since our port arrival window time is 11:30 - 12:00, we'll probably show up at 12:00.... or maybe 12:30. Checkout of our hotel (Le Meridien) isn't until 12:00PM anyway, so that makes it easy if we want to arrive to port after 12:00 if we don't want to wait around the port terminal waiting for boarding to begin...

Thanks again for the info!!
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:25 AM   #1383
Y-GRO-UP
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So how or why is ours a GTA booking? Is it because we used a travel agent?
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:36 AM   #1384
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When we took the Baltic, the arrival & boarding times were similar if I recall. We were very early, about 10:30 am, and boarding wasn't scheduled until 1pm at Dover. (We used DCL transportation). They were still bussing passengers out when we arrived. We checked in, they had photo ops with Mickey & Minnie & other characters. I think they had some lite refreshments around & the CMs were very friendly. I don't remember a huge crowd waiting around. I think we were allowed to start boarding about 12:30.

DS & I are getting ready for his French class trip to Montreal & Quebec next week. 8 hours on a bus both ways, for 3 nights with 8th graders...yikes! What was I thinking??
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #1385
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So how or why is ours a GTA booking? Is it because we used a travel agent?
(I think you meant GTY, not GTA). I'm not sure when you booked your cruise, but GTY is when they are still allowing someone to book a certain category of room (ie, inside cabin, oceanview cabin, veranda cabin), but when you book, at that time, there aren't any cabins in that category available, so they do GTY (which means you are Guaranteed that category or Better). This means all of the cabins in that category when you booked have been currently booked, but it's almost a given that people will cancel, so anywhere from 4 weeks - literally sometimes the day before the cruise, Disney will assign your stateroom because they wait to see which cabins open up in your category you have booked from cancellation.

Now, if it turns out no cabins open up from cancellations in the category you have booked, OR some cabins have opened up, but there are more GTY bookings than available cabins in that category, then Disney will upgrade you for free to a better cabin category that does have open cabins. So, from what I've heard, people who book GTY have a higher chance of getting a free category upgrade than people who are not GTY (ie, they know their cabin number from the day they book). This happened to us! We had booked on our 2nd cruise a GTY Oceanview category, and Disney upgraded us for free to a Category 5A Veranda Cabin! We were SO excited.... But, we decided this was more of a marketing ploy on Disney's part () because ever since we were upgraded on our 2nd cruise to a Veranda cabin, we've never been able to go back to a lower category! So, we've always booked veranda categories since then!

So, to sum this up, GTY has nothing to do if you used a TA or if you booked directly through Disney. It has to do with the time when you booked your cruise, and the fact that when you booked your cruise, the cabin category was fully booked, but Disney is banking on cancellations happening in your category for cabins to open up and then Disney will choose your cabin for you 4 weeks - 1 day out from the cruise.

Hopefully I explained this right!! Anyone can correct me if I didn't!


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When we took the Baltic, the arrival & boarding times were similar if I recall. We were very early, about 10:30 am, and boarding wasn't scheduled until 1pm at Dover. (We used DCL transportation). They were still bussing passengers out when we arrived. We checked in, they had photo ops with Mickey & Minnie & other characters. I think they had some lite refreshments around & the CMs were very friendly. I don't remember a huge crowd waiting around. I think we were allowed to start boarding about 12:30.

DS & I are getting ready for his French class trip to Montreal & Quebec next week. 8 hours on a bus both ways, for 3 nights with 8th graders...yikes! What was I thinking??

Thanks for this info on your experience from the Baltic cruise you took. Well, I guess when we get to port, we'll just see what is happening! I do think we will wait to arrive until like 12:00 - 12:30. Figure if our hotel checkout time isn't until 12:00, we might as well spend our time out and about Las Ramblas or just relaxing at our hotel until check-out and then head to port. But, you never know... maybe the excitement of getting on the ship will kick in and we'll show up at 11:30 sharp (our port arrival time) even if we have to wait around...

Good luck with the 8th grade trip!! Believe me, I've committed to things that my kids are involved in, and at the time it sounds like a great idea to be the parent volunteer/chaperone, but when the time gets close, I do the "what was I thinking" thing. LOL!! But, at the end, it was always totally worth it (even though I was completely exhausted and wiped out afterwards!!)

Good luck!! What an amazing experience for the kids!! Hope the adults all survive.

Last edited by LovesToRun; 05-06-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:20 PM   #1386
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LoverToRun...thanks a bunch

great information. I am still reading through the thread...i never knew how much i didn't know.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:42 PM   #1387
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great information. I am still reading through the thread...i never knew how much i didn't know.
Yes, I know! Something that seems so simple as a cruise can actually be very complicated, until you figure it all out (which I still learn new things with each cruise we go on!).

You are in a great place here on these DisBoards.... There is a wealth of information here & the main DisBoards!
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #1388
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Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
(I think you meant GTY, not GTA). I'm not sure when you booked your cruise, but GTY is when they are still allowing someone to book a certain category of room (ie, inside cabin, oceanview cabin, veranda cabin), but when you book, at that time, there aren't any cabins in that category available, so they do GTY (which means you are Guaranteed that category or Better). This means all of the cabins in that category when you booked have been currently booked, but it's almost a given that people will cancel, so anywhere from 4 weeks - literally sometimes the day before the cruise, Disney will assign your stateroom because they wait to see which cabins open up in your category you have booked from cancellation.

Now, if it turns out no cabins open up from cancellations in the category you have booked, OR some cabins have opened up, but there are more GTY bookings than available cabins in that category, then Disney will upgrade you for free to a better cabin category that does have open cabins. So, from what I've heard, people who book GTY have a higher chance of getting a free category upgrade than people who are not GTY (ie, they know their cabin number from the day they book). This happened to us! We had booked on our 2nd cruise a GTY Oceanview category, and Disney upgraded us for free to a Category 5A Veranda Cabin! We were SO excited.... But, we decided this was more of a marketing ploy on Disney's part () because ever since we were upgraded on our 2nd cruise to a Veranda cabin, we've never been able to go back to a lower category! So, we've always booked veranda categories since then!

So, to sum this up, GTY has nothing to do if you used a TA or if you booked directly through Disney. It has to do with the time when you booked your cruise, and the fact that when you booked your cruise, the cabin category was fully booked, but Disney is banking on cancellations happening in your category for cabins to open up and then Disney will choose your cabin for you 4 weeks - 1 day out from the cruise.

Hopefully I explained this right!! Anyone can correct me if I didn't!





Thanks for this info on your experience from the Baltic cruise you took. Well, I guess when we get to port, we'll just see what is happening! I do think we will wait to arrive until like 12:00 - 12:30. Figure if our hotel checkout time isn't until 12:00, we might as well spend our time out and about Las Ramblas or just relaxing at our hotel until check-out and then head to port. But, you never know... maybe the excitement of getting on the ship will kick in and we'll show up at 11:30 sharp (our port arrival time) even if we have to wait around...

Good luck with the 8th grade trip!! Believe me, I've committed to things that my kids are involved in, and at the time it sounds like a great idea to be the parent volunteer/chaperone, but when the time gets close, I do the "what was I thinking" thing. LOL!! But, at the end, it was always totally worth it (even though I was completely exhausted and wiped out afterwards!!)

Good luck!! What an amazing experience for the kids!! Hope the adults all survive.

Thanks for posting this - I had no idea what it meant either. We are booked for a 9C Deluxe Oceanview GTY...So I guess we'll get at least that. Now I'll be checking obsessively in the weeks before we sail, LOL.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #1389
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DS is 6 1/2. He has seen Episodes 4 & 5 (the original and Empire Strikes Back). He's done JTA twice now - last Oct and back in Jan. Loved it. Both times got to play one of the "extra" roles. One he was last and the other he got to "use the force" on DV.

This is a special Mami/Son trip...DH is staying home. I think it will be a blast.

DS just turned 6 in March - maybe they will become friends. I'm sure he will be thrilled to find another little boy his age AND a Star Wars fan. I've been a little worried that there wouldn't be a lot of kids his age since it's a Med cruise...it seems that a lot of the ones being added here are older.

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We too got our bookings done last night! Finally!!

The only two DCL excursions we did were the Ephesus w/ Terrace Houses & Pisa & Lucca for DH & DS. And we managed to get Palo for the last night at sea. I've already done Pisa and Lucca on another trip and really want to visit Cinque Terre - which I am probably going to do on my own. I really want to just see the villages and take photos. If anyone else is planning to go and wants to meet up, take pictures and wander the villages let me know!

I'm disappointed there weren't many options left for Athens. With three ships in port that day its going to be a zoo so we are thinking about what our options are for that day.

I'm glad we were finally able to get at least this part of the trip settled. Now its time to really get the planning together. DH and DS are going to S America in June for 10 days so that will likely be when I get most of the shopping done for the trip! And then I'll start packing.

In the meantime I have to prep for mine & DS's upcoming trip to WDW and plan some fun stuff for my niece and nephew for their trip in Dec. I'll likely end up making some things for them and ship them to their resort to be waiting for them. I did a lot of fun stuff last year for DS's birthday trip with his friends. So I have some ideas. Also need to try and get some character photos this upcoming trip so I can make an autograph book for my niece.
We are also planning to do Cinque Terre on our own. Our plan is to take the train out, and work our way back through probably 3 of the towns. I'd like to walk the Lover's Walk portion if it is open.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #1390
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Couple of questions about transfers:

1) We are taking DCL transfers from the Hilton Diagonal Mar. Does anyone know what time they leave and when you will get to the port?

2) We have an early departure flight and need to book a private car/van for 4 people with luggage. Can anyone recommend a safe private car company?

Thank you!!
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #1391
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DS just turned 6 in March - maybe they will become friends. I'm sure he will be thrilled to find another little boy his age AND a Star Wars fan. I've been a little worried that there wouldn't be a lot of kids his age since it's a Med cruise...it seems that a lot of the ones being added here are older.



We are also planning to do Cinque Terre on our own. Our plan is to take the train out, and work our way back through probably 3 of the towns. I'd like to walk the Lover's Walk portion if it is open.
My son would probably like to be involved as well. Big Star Wars fan and 7 1/2 years old.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:06 PM   #1392
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My son would probably like to be involved as well. Big Star Wars fan and 7 1/2 years old.

Excellent!
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:56 PM   #1393
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So for future knowledge how does one actually book with DCL and get a room number? Vs GTY which is what we have been on both of our cruises now...?
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:16 PM   #1394
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So for future knowledge how does one actually book with DCL and get a room number? Vs GTY which is what we have been on both of our cruises now...?
You book your cruise plenty of months in advance of the cruise departure date, especially if it's a popular cruise. If it's a popular cruise (popular = new itinerary, or school vacation times), the staterooms will sell out faster than if it's a low-season cruise.

The only time they sell GTY status is when that category has no more staterooms available.

You can look on the Disney Cruises website before you book your cruise and see what categories are already sold out on a particular cruise, and which ones are available on a particular cruise, and if you really want to choose your stateroom number, then you'd have to pick a category that still has stateroom availability, if you book closer to the cruise departure date.

From my observation (and I could be wrong) it seems like the inside cabins (lowest priced categories) tend to sell out the fastest (and Concierge sometimes sells out pretty fast, but I don't think they do GTY for Conceirge). So, if you really want to pick your stateroom number, but you book closer to the cruise departure date, you might have to book a higher (more expensive) category that still has open staterooms. (But, this isn't always the case.... I've seen other cruises where the veranda category sells out faster than the inside staterooms, like the Panama Canal cruises, where people really want a Veranda, etc).

Or, you can ask your TA and tell your TA you don't want GTY status, but you want to select your specific stateroom, and he/she should be able to figure that all out for you.

But, your best bet is booking far in advanced of the cruise.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:31 PM   #1395
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So for future knowledge how does one actually book with DCL and get a room number? Vs GTY which is what we have been on both of our cruises now...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
You book your cruise plenty of months in advance of the cruise departure date, especially if it's a popular cruise. If it's a popular cruise (popular = new itinerary, or school vacation times), the staterooms will sell out faster than if it's a low-season cruise.

The only time they sell GTY status is when that category has no more staterooms available.

You can look on the Disney Cruises website before you book your cruise and see what categories are already sold out on a particular cruise, and which ones are available on a particular cruise, and if you really want to choose your stateroom number, then you'd have to pick a category that still has stateroom availability, if you book closer to the cruise departure date.

From my observation (and I could be wrong) it seems like the inside cabins (lowest priced categories) tend to sell out the fastest (and Concierge sometimes sells out pretty fast, but I don't think they do GTY for Conceirge). So, if you really want to pick your stateroom number, but you book closer to the cruise departure date, you might have to book a higher (more expensive) category that still has open staterooms. (But, this isn't always the case.... I've seen other cruises where the veranda category sells out faster than the inside staterooms, like the Panama Canal cruises, where people really want a Veranda, etc).

Or, you can ask your TA and tell your TA you don't want GTY status, but you want to select your specific stateroom, and he/she should be able to figure that all out for you.

But, your best bet is booking far in advanced of the cruise.
Also, to add to this... the earlier you book, especially if you book right when itineraries are released (typically 12 - 14 months in advanced), the better price you get, too, and you get to pick your stateroom number. But, for some people it's hard to plan that far in advanced, so it is not always possible for everyone to book a cruise this far in advanced.
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