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Old 10-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #1
onemaybaby
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Questions about timing embark/debark day..

I hope I am placing this question in the right area! I've tried searching but can't find anything similiar. I'm trying to plan out the first and last days of the cruise.

We will be at WDW for four days before the cruise. (12/1 Fantasy) I was thinking of having an early reservation at Kona in the Poly that morning at 8:45 am and then proceeding to the Port. I am assuming if breakfast is completed by 10:00am, arrive at the Port by 11:30am, then will need to park the car and then proceed to check-in. As much as I would like to board the ship as early as possible, I don't want to sit in the port terminal either. And then once onboard the ship I've read that the rooms are not ready until 130, lines are long for this and that etc. I guess my questions are:

1. Is it crazy to do a WDW breakfast that day? (I was considering doing 1/2 day at one of the parks, instead of breakfast )
2. Realistically, how long from WDW to the Port terminal, including parking the car and getting a shuttle to the Port Terminal)
3.Should I skip my morning activities and just aim to get on the Ship? I guess I am picturing chaos and long lines everywhere that first day, and having to lug all the carry on's, and standing in lines doesn't sound like fun

My next set of questions is regarding the day we arrive into the Port. We have a 5:22 pm flight from MCO/BUF. I will have to drop off the car at the airport. How long of a drive is it from WDW to MCO, and what time should I aim to arrive at MCO? We were hoping to spend some time at a park that day as well.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemaybaby View Post
I hope I am placing this question in the right area! I've tried searching but can't find anything similiar. I'm trying to plan out the first and last days of the cruise.

We will be at WDW for four days before the cruise. (12/1 Fantasy) I was thinking of having an early reservation at Kona in the Poly that morning at 8:45 am and then proceeding to the Port. I am assuming if breakfast is completed by 10:00am, arrive at the Port by 11:30am, then will need to park the car and then proceed to check-in. As much as I would like to board the ship as early as possible, I don't want to sit in the port terminal either. And then once onboard the ship I've read that the rooms are not ready until 130, lines are long for this and that etc. I guess my questions are:

1. Is it crazy to do a WDW breakfast that day? (I was considering doing 1/2 day at one of the parks, instead of breakfast )
2. Realistically, how long from WDW to the Port terminal, including parking the car and getting a shuttle to the Port Terminal)
3.Should I skip my morning activities and just aim to get on the Ship? I guess I am picturing chaos and long lines everywhere that first day, and having to lug all the carry on's, and standing in lines doesn't sound like fun

My next set of questions is regarding the day we arrive into the Port. We have a 5:22 pm flight from MCO/BUF. I will have to drop off the car at the airport. How long of a drive is it from WDW to MCO, and what time should I aim to arrive at MCO? We were hoping to spend some time at a park that day as well.
As to arriving at the port at 11:30 and boarding as soon as possibile, are you concierge? or a Platinum CC member? If not, you will be selecting a Port Arrival Time when you do your online checkin. That's the time you should aim to be at the port.

It's about 1 hour from WDW to port (same for port to MCO) in drive time. How long dropping the car and getting a shuttle to the port can take, it can vary wildly, depending on how many people are attempting to use the shuttle.

If you arrive prior to your PAT, and the terminal is busy, you will be asked to wait until either the terminal is less busy or your correct PAT. I will point out that your actual boarding number (which you receive when you check in at the port) is tied to your PAT. So, even if you are allowed in early, you will receive the same boarding number that you would have received had you arrived at your correct PAT. You will see others arriving after you (at thier correct PAT) boarding before you.

All that said, once boarding starts (usually about 11:45, sometimes a bit earlier) the terminal starts to clear fairly quickly. By about 12:30 or so the number being announced for boarding catches up with the number being handed out at checkin and Open Boarding is announced. At this time anyone may board, regardless of boarding number or PAT.

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Old 10-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
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subbing... I'm still trying to determine the "right" combination of how to do WDW and DCL too, then I need to throw in that on some cruises we have concierge booked, so that changes some of the dynamic.

I don't foresee us being able to do a park the day of the boarding (WDW then DCL), but perhaps the day of disembarkation (DCL then WDW), but I like the idea of not having to touch my luggage, at all, once I put it outside the stateroom door (WDW then DCL). I suppose it's a trade off. I have to take into account the ages of the kids, how much I want to deal with luggage/transfers/etc.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:51 PM   #4
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subbing... I'm still trying to determine the "right" combination of how to do WDW and DCL too, then I need to throw in that on some cruises we have concierge booked, so that changes some of the dynamic.

I don't foresee us being able to do a park the day of the boarding (WDW then DCL), but perhaps the day of disembarkation (DCL then WDW), but I like the idea of not having to touch my luggage, at all, once I put it outside the stateroom door (WDW then DCL). I suppose it's a trade off. I have to take into account the ages of the kids, how much I want to deal with luggage/transfers/etc.
can you clarify the luggage thing? You put your luggage outside the stateroom door and where does it go? I will not be using Disney transportation so where do I collect it? Or do they take it right to MCO? I never thought of this actually until you pointed it out.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by onemaybaby View Post
can you clarify the luggage thing? You put your luggage outside the stateroom door and where does it go? I will not be using Disney transportation so where do I collect it? Or do they take it right to MCO? I never thought of this actually until you pointed it out.
The last night you put your checked bags outside your door by 10:30 (or so) and they are collected and transported to the baggage claim area in the terminal for you. You must claim your bags to take through customs.

If you are using DCL trasportation (which I know you're not), or flying with DCL arranged flights you can have your bags checked straight from outside your door to your home airport (you don't see them again until then).

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Old 10-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemaybaby View Post
I hope I am placing this question in the right area! I've tried searching but can't find anything similiar. I'm trying to plan out the first and last days of the cruise.

We will be at WDW for four days before the cruise. (12/1 Fantasy) I was thinking of having an early reservation at Kona in the Poly that morning at 8:45 am and then proceeding to the Port. I am assuming if breakfast is completed by 10:00am, arrive at the Port by 11:30am, then will need to park the car and then proceed to check-in. As much as I would like to board the ship as early as possible, I don't want to sit in the port terminal either. And then once onboard the ship I've read that the rooms are not ready until 130, lines are long for this and that etc. I guess my questions are:

1. Is it crazy to do a WDW breakfast that day? (I was considering doing 1/2 day at one of the parks, instead of breakfast )
2. Realistically, how long from WDW to the Port terminal, including parking the car and getting a shuttle to the Port Terminal)
3.Should I skip my morning activities and just aim to get on the Ship? I guess I am picturing chaos and long lines everywhere that first day, and having to lug all the carry on's, and standing in lines doesn't sound like fun

My next set of questions is regarding the day we arrive into the Port. We have a 5:22 pm flight from MCO/BUF. I will have to drop off the car at the airport. How long of a drive is it from WDW to MCO, and what time should I aim to arrive at MCO? We were hoping to spend some time at a park that day as well.
When we arrived at the Terminal @ 11:15 on September 29th, the only long line was for photos with Mickey and Minnie. We walked right up to check-in at the counter and boarded at 11:50 - our port arrival time was 12:00 and we had Boarding Group #14 - boarding was a few minutes ahead of the arrival time scheduling.
Realistically on embarkation day, you could go into the parks, park at the Terminal, unload your carry-ons in your stateroom and then eat before the muster drill.
On disembarkation day, if you chose to walk-off with your luggage, you could disembark around 7:30 a.m. and then be on your way to WDW. We had the late breakfast @ 8:00 and the Atrium was super crowded at 9:00 so we went up and toured the Walt Suite and still had to stand around the Atrium until closer to 10:00 a.m.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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It cost about $120 to park for the week. Just a suggestion about your car. Are you renting a car? So are you paying for it to be parked at the port for a week while your gone? You may want to see if you can return the car in Port Canaveral and then rent another one when you get back.

What I think would work would be to drop everyone and the luggage off at the port. You can pull up right in front and they will take the luggage right out of the car. Be sure to have your luggage tags on your bags. Then have one person return the car. Make sure she/he has a credit card and a drivers licence with him. While that person returns the car you can start the check in process.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
The last night you put your checked bags outside your door by 10:30 (or so) and they are collected and transported to the baggage claim area in the terminal for you. You must claim your bags to take through customs.

If you are using DCL trasportation (which I know you're not), or flying with DCL arranged flights you can have your bags checked straight from outside your door to your home airport (you don't see them again until then).

Soooo..if you use DCL transportation you don't have to schlep your bags thru customs? DH is very interested in this, as he is the DBS. (designated bag schlepper).
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by flyersfan1129 View Post
Soooo..if you use DCL transportation you don't have to schlep your bags thru customs? DH is very interested in this, as he is the DBS. (designated bag schlepper).
When we did it, as long as you are using DCL transfers to MCO and do the onboard checkin for your flights, you won't see your checked bags from the time you put them out the last night until you get to your home airport. This is only for Port Canaveral/MCO.

I don't know for sure if this is how it works for transfers from port to WDW or if you have to claim your bags in the terminal.

Likewise, if you're on an airline that doesn't participate in the onboard checkin process, I think you have to claim your bags in the terminal, take them through customs, give them to the bus person, and claim them again at the airport to check in for your flight.

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Itinkso View Post
When we arrived at the Terminal @ 11:15 on September 29th, the only long line was for photos with Mickey and Minnie. We walked right up to check-in at the counter and boarded at 11:50 - our port arrival time was 12:00 and we had Boarding Group #14 - boarding was a few minutes ahead of the arrival time scheduling.
Realistically on embarkation day, you could go into the parks, park at the Terminal, unload your carry-ons in your stateroom and then eat before the muster drill.
On disembarkation day, if you chose to walk-off with your luggage, you could disembark around 7:30 a.m. and then be on your way to WDW. We had the late breakfast @ 8:00 and the Atrium was super crowded at 9:00 so we went up and toured the Walt Suite and still had to stand around the Atrium until closer to 10:00 a.m.
So you have a choice, either leave your luggage outside your stateroom and collect from the carousel, or carry it with you? Which is faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedy View Post
It cost about $120 to park for the week. Just a suggestion about your car. Are you renting a car? So are you paying for it to be parked at the port for a week while your gone? You may want to see if you can return the car in Port Canaveral and then rent another one when you get back.

What I think would work would be to drop everyone and the luggage off at the port. You can pull up right in front and they will take the luggage right out of the car. Be sure to have your luggage tags on your bags. Then have one person return the car. Make sure she/he has a credit card and a drivers licence with him. While that person returns the car you can start the check in process.
Great point! Right now I do have a car rental for the entire rental time, but that is because I have one for $235. The cheapest I could find for the 4 days was $149, plus another $50 for the one way rental. I would have to cost out parking to see if the extra cost is worth it. I am travelling alone with DD's this time, so if it is easier and not too much more money, I'm in
I guess this is where I am going to have to research some cruise parking and see how much cost is/ difficutly getting shuttles etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
When we did it, as long as you are using DCL transfers to MCO and do the onboard checkin for your flights, you won't see your checked bags from the time you put them out the last night until you get to your home airport. This is only for Port Canaveral/MCO.

I don't know for sure if this is how it works for transfers from port to WDW or if you have to claim your bags in the terminal.

Likewise, if you're on an airline that doesn't participate in the onboard checkin process, I think you have to claim your bags in the terminal, take them through customs, give them to the bus person, and claim them again at the airport to check in for your flight.

Can you do onboard check in with Southwest, does anyone know? And will they take your luggage even if you are not using Disney Transportation, like they do at WDW? This would be awesome!!
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #11
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So you have a choice, either leave your luggage outside your stateroom and collect from the carousel, or carry it with you? Which is faster?



Great point! Right now I do have a car rental for the entire rental time, but that is because I have one for $235. The cheapest I could find for the 4 days was $149, plus another $50 for the one way rental. I would have to cost out parking to see if the extra cost is worth it. I am travelling alone with DD's this time, so if it is easier and not too much more money, I'm in
I guess this is where I am going to have to research some cruise parking and see how much cost is/ difficutly getting shuttles etc.



Can you do onboard check in with Southwest, does anyone know? And will they take your luggage even if you are not using Disney Transportation, like they do at WDW? This would be awesome!!
Southwest is not a participating airline.

I think you can send your bags to MCO via DCL transport, but it must be arranged in advance. I think is $25 for up to 6 bags. Call DCL to set it up.

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:46 PM   #12
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So you have a choice, either leave your luggage outside your stateroom and collect from the carousel, or carry it with you? Which is faster?
Yes, you can keep all your luggage with you and then walk off with it as soon as it is announced. The announcement came at 7:30 for us but we were in no hurry to leave and we wanted to eat in Animator's Palate one last time. If you want to spend a few hours in the Parks, do the early walk-off or you could be stuck waiting around until 10:00 just to leave the ship and then you would have to retrieve luggage and exit through customs.

You can eat in Cabanas on your last morning and bypass eating in the Main Dining Room. Or, just walk-off as soon as you can and then eat in or near the Parks. We ate at Wawa near Sea World on our way back...had breakfast @ 8:00 in Animator's Palate and it was 12:00 when we reached Wawa.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:05 PM   #13
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When we did it, as long as you are using DCL transfers to MCO and do the onboard checkin for your flights, you won't see your checked bags from the time you put them out the last night until you get to your home airport. This is only for Port Canaveral/MCO.


ummmmmm .. not my experience

IME you must accompany your bags thru Customs .. period ... immediately after Customs you can turn them over to another handler

you claimed your bags .. went thru Customs ... then turned your bags back to DCL or who ever . . .

but is has been a year since my last cruise . . . at Port Canaveral

and by law, I was a Customs agent
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Capt_BJ View Post
When we did it, as long as you are using DCL transfers to MCO and do the onboard checkin for your flights, you won't see your checked bags from the time you put them out the last night until you get to your home airport. This is only for Port Canaveral/MCO.


ummmmmm .. not my experience

IME you must accompany your bags thru Customs .. period ... immediately after Customs you can turn them over to another handler

you claimed your bags .. went thru Customs ... then turned your bags back to DCL or who ever . . .

but is has been a year since my last cruise . . . at Port Canaveral

and by law, I was a Customs agent
From the DCL website:

Onboard Airline Check-In

Enjoy the comfort and convenience of Onboard Airline Check-In when you purchase air or ground transportation through Disney Cruise Line.

When you register for Onboard Airline Check-In, you are entitled to:

Receive your boarding passes and check your luggage for your return flight before you disembark the ship.
Skip luggage claim at the port terminal.
Bypass the airline check-in counter at the airport.
Here's how it works:

Reserve air or ground transportation through Disney Cruise Line and sign up for Onboard Airline Check-In when you check in for your cruise at the port.
On the day prior to disembarkation, your airline boarding passes and valet luggage tags will magically be delivered to your stateroom, along with a letter answering common questions you may have.
Attach the tags to your luggage and leave your bags outside your stateroom on the evening prior to disembarkation. Disney Cruise Line will collect and deliver your luggage to your airline.
When you arrive at Orlando International Airport, proceed to security with your boarding passes already in hand and continue on to your scheduled departure gate.
Available to Guests flying out of Orlando International Airport on domestic flights (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) on AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and US Airways.

Pre-registration is required and scheduled flights must be after 11:25 a.m. On the day your cruise ends. Guests are limited to 2 bags per person and each piece must not exceed 50 lbs. Additionally, some Guests may be selected to check in at the airport and will be unable to use this service.



http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/pl...ian-caribbean/

We've only sailed into PC once, but this is exactly how it happened. We put our bags out the last night and did not see them again until our home airport.

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Old 10-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #15
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maybe it was BECAUSE he was a customs agent that it was different... think of the "known" crew line at the airport... different rules.
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