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Old 10-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #16
kdecroo
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On 10/06/12 we went on the Dream 4 day Bahama cruise.

We had a scheduled port arrival time of 1:30 p.m.

We arrived at the port by private Limo at 10:20 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m. we were the second persons let into the port terminal.

Went to the first available window, checked in within 5 min. and was told that we have boarding number 17.

My whole purpose for arriving early was to get a port upgrade, so the gentleman that checked us in sent us straight to the supervisors window.

we were the first person at the supervosors window and upgraded from a 4A to Cat T for $700

Just a side note, I paid for DCL Transfer from Disney World to Port Canaveral, but cancelled and booked private so that I could dictate my arrival time. If I stayed with DCL Transfer and their 11:30 - Noon pickup times, I would not have gotten my upgrade.

I would not have cared if they wouldn't have let us board the boat untill our 1:30 alotted time, but they will still check you in and process all of your paper work as soon as you make it to an available window.

But once we did the upgrade to Cat T Concierge, we were the fourth famile on the boat, well ahead of my Number 17 boarding number.

Hope this helps..

KD..
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:15 PM   #17
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thanks for the info!
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:58 PM   #18
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Very helpful. Thanks!
Would love a little more info about DCL transfers from resort vs. MCO.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:36 AM   #19
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In May, we were on the first bus from MCO. We were allowed into the terminal at 10:25, and were literally the first family in. As soon as everyone from our bus was thru security, they opened the terminal to the line of people waiting.

My only correction to the above is that no one paid for Magical Express to the terminal. ME is a free service that runs between MCO and the various WDW resorts. If you paid, you would have booked DCL transfers--for $35 per person each way you can book transportation from MCO or WDW to the cruise terminal.

The buses depart from MCO beginning about 9:30 am and operate every 20 minutes or so depending on how rapidly they fill up. A full bus is not kept waiting based on a schedule--it departs as soon as it is full. Similarly, no one is kept waiting more than 30 minutes. If a bus has not filled in that amount of time, it will depart with those guests who are on board.

From the WDW resorts, the buses have ONE scheduled departure time for each resort. It will be between 11:30 and 12:30. Each bus may pick up at as many as 3 resorts depending on the number of guests departing from each. There is no way to predict the departure time in advance because the schedule changes based on the number of departing guests. Example--we rode from AKL where about 3 people got on, to POP where lots of people boarded (maybe 60), then headed out. Another time the bus served Saratoga Springs, OKW, and ? Port Orleans, with 20-30 guests boarding at each stop. They look at the numbers booked and arrange the buses in the most efficient way possible.

Costs of upgrades--prior to late 2009, it was reasonably possible to guesstimate costs based on length of cruise and type of cabin. Now, all bets are off. It appears that they have thrown in a "fudge factor" perhaps based on the actual number of upgrades available. For example, if there is one suite available, it may be more costly than if they have 7 available. They know that SOMEONE will bite at the higher cost. We've seen upgrade prices that were a great deal and some that we declined. DCL has some sort of algorithm to determine the cost of the upgrade, but it is far more complex than it used to be.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:39 PM   #20
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Related port upgrade question...

We initially had a category 8C GTY reserved for our upcoming 12/8 Fantasy cruise. We were fortunate to get a pixie dust upgrade to a 5A.

IF there are port upgrades available, is the price calculation based upon our original (paid for) 8C, or will they base price on our current 5A?

TIA!

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Old 10-21-2012, 12:41 AM   #21
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Based on your original booking 8c.


By the way, the same thing happened to us in August in the Dream. Pixie dusted from 8c to 5 something. Nice veranda!!!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #22
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I have a question I'm a little confused on. Do you have to register before you go to see if you can get an upgrade?? Or can you go right to the upgrade desk?
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmangus View Post
I have a question I'm a little confused on. Do you have to register before you go to see if you can get an upgrade?? Or can you go right to the upgrade desk?
You need to checkin first, then they will direct you to the supervisors desk.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:08 PM   #24
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Did anyone ever get upgraded if they pay the cruise with DVC points?
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:03 AM   #25
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Honestly, if you want on the boat first, get there early, we arrived at 11:00am in Galveston and there was no wait...it was fast, we waited about 10 minutes and boarded by our boarding number we were given when we checked in at the desk...no one asked for our port arrival time, I am sure that port arrival time works for the most part as a minority of people on cruises are on these forums and will just do what they are told..show up at 1:00, they show up at 1:00
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyMom

You need to checkin first, then they will direct you to the supervisors desk.
Thank you! We go in may and I want to make sure I will do it right lol!
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #27
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This is a great thread, full of info. Thanks OP.

Regarding #2- The CMs at the gate can check your arrival time. When I showed my ID at the gate I noticed the CMís computer showed my arrival time when my room was brought up on their system. I donít know if the CMs are actively checking the arrival times and just not saying that they are, or just when the terminal is full.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zstyles View Post
Honestly, if you want on the boat first, get there early, we arrived at 11:00am in Galveston and there was no wait...it was fast, we waited about 10 minutes and boarded by our boarding number we were given when we checked in at the desk...no one asked for our port arrival time, I am sure that port arrival time works for the most part as a minority of people on cruises are on these forums and will just do what they are told..show up at 1:00, they show up at 1:00
Out of Galveston you were cruising on the Magic. While DCL's online check-in site makes all cruisers choose a port arrival time, it is mainly utilized for those cruising on the Dream or Fantasy out of Port Canaveral. These newer ships are considerably bigger than the Magic and Wonder, with considerably more passengers, and as such there is concern about occupancy limits (fire regulations) at the PC terminal before passengers are boarded on the larger ships. If cruising on the Magic or Wonder, port arrival times aren't likely to be enforced; if cruising on the Dream or Fantasy, it likely will depend how full is the cruise whether or not they need to limit entry to the terminal based on port arrival time.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:16 PM   #29
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If you are booked on the DCL transport from WDW to the port, what arrival time should you book when you do online check in?
If you want the opportunity to upgrade, do you ask what is available when you arrive at the port?
Thank you so much
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:06 PM   #30
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Great info!
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