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Old 10-13-2012, 06:49 PM   #16
Itinkso
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Originally Posted by onemaybaby View Post
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!!
Because you are flying on Southwest and cannot do onboard check-in, you are responsible for your own luggage. You can't send it on through Disney Transport because there is no way to tag it with flight info and destination if you haven't checked-in. We've used Magical Express a number of times and all Southwest passengers had to get their luggage to and from the resorts. They were not allowed to send it ahead because Southwest does not participate in the program with Disney.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #17
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Because you are flying on Southwest and cannot do onboard check-in, you are responsible for your own luggage. You can't send it on through Disney Transport because there is no way to tag it with flight info and destination if you haven't checked-in. We've used Magical Express a number of times and all Southwest passengers had to get their luggage to and from the resorts. They were not allowed to send it ahead because Southwest does not participate in the program with Disney.
Well this is strange, I have flown Southwest before, used ME while staying at WDW and been allowed. Do you mean just the ME while cruising?
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #18
Itinkso
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Well this is strange, I have flown Southwest before, used ME while staying at WDW and been allowed. Do you mean just the ME while cruising?
Not sure about the cruise. Probably be best to call DCL to ask especially because you won't be using DCL transportation.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:46 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by onemaybaby

Well this is strange, I have flown Southwest before, used ME while staying at WDW and been allowed. Do you mean just the ME while cruising?
I think SW was added at some point. We flew SW to WDW last Oct and did not have to collect our bags. Magically appeared in our room; same thing for departure. Checked in at resort, saw bags in Philly
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:15 AM   #20
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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.
Silly question I'm sure, but: could you explain the "stuck waiting around until 10:00" part? Is it that if we want to walk off with our luggage, we better be ready to go as soon as they announce because the lobby gets filled up with people right away??? Just thinking we might not want to go the minute they announce, but don't want to be stuck there until 10:00 either... Thank you!
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:42 AM   #21
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First to clarify some things. There have been many changes in the last couple years about baggage handling and DCL and WDW. So info that was absolutely correst a couple years ago is now outdated. It used to be that you had to claim your luggage and take it through customs yourself (or have a porter). But that is no longer true -- if you are able to take advantage of the Onboard Airline Check-in Program (of which SW is not currently a participant). In all other cases, including going from the cruise to WDW, you have to either carry off all your luggage or have DCL take it the night before and claim it in the terminal and take it through customs (or again, have a porter help you). Some of the confusion comes in that SW is now a participant for Magical Express (the service between WDW and the airport) but not for the cruise line (which are DCL transfers, not ME).

DCL does have a service from the resort that you can pay a fee to have them take your luggage to the cruise even if you are not taking their transportation. But this does not work after the cruise to the airport. They cannot check your luggage to a non-participating airline so where would they put your luggage once it arrived at the airport?

Now to the original question -- embarkation day. I believe in relaxing that first day rather than rushing to the terminal just to wait around. So I think your plan to go to breakfast then to the terminal would be a good option. I think trying to do a park for half a day would also make it rushed in both the park and then drive to the terminal. As far as time to the port, it's about an hour from the airport. About another 15-20 minutes from WDW depending on traffic. If you are renting a car, look for discount codes for the rental car. We usually use Budget because the cars are right in the airport and there isn't a drop fee to drop in Port Canaveral and we can usually get a good rate. (We just booked for Thanksgiving week and thought I'd be paying through the nose and the rates were really steep. But I was able to dig and find a discount code that worked that saved me more than 50%.)

As far as disembarkation day, I think what the PPs were trying to say is that if you walk off with your bags, you are usually one of the first groups of people off. After that, the lines get long and they occasionally hold up disembarkation while the terminal and customs lines clear out a little. I don't think your options are either 7:30 or 10. I think if you go somewhere in the middle, you should just be prepared to wait -- both getting off the ship and getting through customs. It's usually the only line we deal with on a cruise so far better than the lines you have to content with constantly in the parks!

Remember when planning your last day, they recommend getting to Orlando airport 2 hours before your flight. You don't always need all that time but there have been times that it has taken a good part of an hour to get through the security lines when they are long. The drive to the airport from WDW is around 1/2 hour without traffic. Add in time to get gas (if you have to) for the rental car and time to get from the rental place to the airport if it isn't on-site.

Have a great trip.

Last edited by clten; 10-14-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:07 AM   #22
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Silly question I'm sure, but: could you explain the "stuck waiting around until 10:00" part? Is it that if we want to walk off with our luggage, we better be ready to go as soon as they announce because the lobby gets filled up with people right away??? Just thinking we might not want to go the minute they announce, but don't want to be stuck there until 10:00 either... Thank you!
We had late seating for dinner so our departure breakfast was at 8:00 in AP. We finished breakfast at 9:00 and went to the Atrium which was totally packed with people. We then went up to tour the Walt Suite and took pics and then went down to wait. We disembarked just behind some guests who were waiting in the Atrium @ 9:00. Because we used the Aft elevators to get to AP @ 8:00, I don't know how crowded the Atrium was at that time. Early breakfast seating was at 6:45, so if you left the ship before they finished breakfast you may not have to wait very long, but, that still puts you at around 7:30. Some of the CMs noted that there were 3200 guests onboard - considered to be a light number but disembarking was still lengthy. We weren't bothered by it because I was staying in Orlando for a few more days and we really hated to have to leave the Fantasy!
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #23
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Of course I come to the Disboards for all my answers....I was just reading the most recent edition (10th) of Passporter's Disney Cruise Line book and on page 73 it states that anyone can use onboard airline checkin and baggage service and I quote, "whether or not you purchased Disney ground transfers and/or Disney Air." It goes on to include SWA as a participating airline.
Where are their fact checkers.
Why did I waste my money on this book, when all the information I need can be found here.
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