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Old 02-04-2013, 07:47 AM   #1
AJPPGH
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can I check in earlier than scheduled?

I didn't realize that I had to go online to arrange checkin so for my Feb 21 cruise the earliest I could get was 1. I definitely wanted to get there early so that we could check things out and we will be staying overnight close by so that should be easy. My question is-if we arrive at opening what are the chances of us getting checked in then-or soon after? I don't want to get there at 11 and them say that we have to wait around until 1. If its a thing where we just have to take our chances and they tell us no is there anything that we can do then for 2 hours within walking distance and is there anywhere to store our stuff?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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Hello again. This too will work out. Disney does stick to the boarding numbers. So if the port area is really crowded you could be asked to wait outside till closer to your boarding time( probably won't happen). Once you enter the terminal your boarding number is tied to your PAT (port arrival time). So someone that has a lower PAT then you could arrive after you and get a lower boarding number. But they start boarding people about 11:30-11:45. Once it starts it goes very fast. So by 12:30 ish they have gone to "open boarding". If you plan on getting to the port about 12:00 ( the earliest boarding time is 11:00) by the time you finish checking in you should be able to board with little wait. Just a FYI very seldom the ships arrive late if this happens it backs up the boarding process. Disney is very good at boarding so it shold not be a problem.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
AJPPGH
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Thanks Weedy! So you think that getting there at 12 would be good or should I still shoot for 11? Its presidents week so it might be a bit more crowded.

Also-when and how do I find out what my cabin # is? And can I go straight there or do you have to wait for a certain time?

I feel so clueless...I just have no concept for cruising.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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We've seen people turned away as they didn't have the 'correct' PAT, so I wouldn't turn up too early just incase it happens to you.

That said, even turning up for 1pm will give you plenty of time to explore the ship plus your cabin will be almost ready so you won't have to lug your hand luggage everywhere with you!!

We always get an early PAT and it's not the be all and end all TBH ... we have to queue in the terminal and lug our bags around.

The only positive thing is not queueing for the buffet!
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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When Disney added the Port Arrival Time to their on line checkin we too had not checked an earlier arrival time on line. When we arrived Disney alllowed us in the Terminla and at check in we advised our check in agent of the mishap and they issued us an earlier boaring number. Depending on when the ship is cleared and ready to take on passengers, the boarding processs is very efficient. If this is your first Cruise the Terminal is very nice and worth arriving early in my opinion.
We always had our room number in advance so not sure about when you will get your room #, imagine at check in time. Once on board the rooms are usually ready around 2pm or so. You will not be able to access the room unitl then. Your luggage will arrive between 2pm and 5pm....
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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OP...how did you book your cruise...as a GTY reservation or with one of the restricted but highly discounted fares? That depends on when you will receive your actual cabin number.

If you booked as a regular GTY, then your cabin can be assigned anytime after you book the cruise. If you booked sort of last minute and booked one of the highly discounted IGT, OGT, VGT categories, those cabins are not assigned until about 2 weeks before you sail but up until you check in.

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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DCL had the PAT online for about a year before they started enforcing them. If you show up early now, you MIGHT be able to get into the terminal if it is not at capacity [which at 11 when it is opening is possible since it will be crowded with everyone who is suppose to be there along with everyone who just wants to be there]. If you are able to get in and check in, your Boarding Number will be based on your PAT. That means that you will be waiting in the terminal for a while, watching everyone else who arrives and checks in after you but had a PAT before yours board the ship BEFORE your number is called.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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To check what you cabin assignment ( this is if you made your own reservation) is log on to the Disney Cruise web site. On the top right side click on" planning center" then the pull down for "My reservation". You will put in your email, reservation number, birth date. Then click on "My Reservation Summery". It should list your cabin #. If you did book a special like "GTY" the usually show those 10-14 days prior to your cruise.

Once you get your cabin number you can see where it is by clicking on "Ships and Activites" then the ship you are sailing (Dream?). A movie will start to run at the bottom of the movie is a black bar click in "Deck Plan" you can enter your cabin number and see where it is.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJPPGH View Post
I didn't realize that I had to go online to arrange checkin so for my Feb 21 cruise the earliest I could get was 1. I definitely wanted to get there early so that we could check things out and we will be staying overnight close by so that should be easy. My question is-if we arrive at opening what are the chances of us getting checked in then-or soon after? I don't want to get there at 11 and them say that we have to wait around until 1. If its a thing where we just have to take our chances and they tell us no is there anything that we can do then for 2 hours within walking distance and is there anywhere to store our stuff?

Thanks!!
When you physically arrive and check-in has no impact on when you can board the ship. Your boarding group is tied to your PAT. Your only option to change your boarding group is to try to get a concierge room, either online or via an onsite upgrade.

My understanding is that PATs are generally only enforced at the entrance to the terminal if they are nearing capacity inside. Otherwise you can get inside, check-in immediately and wait for your boarding group to be called. If you have kids sailing with you, check-in for youth activities can be done in the terminal. Depending on the line, sometimes it's easier to wait and do that onboard.

If you wanted to look into onsite upgrades, your best bet is to be at the port early as they are 1st come, 1st served.

Boarding begins 11:30-11:45. They call a group every 2-3 minutes to the gangway, but there are still lines on the gangway for KTTW scanning and boarding photos. These lines are pretty quick.

Once onboard, staterooms aren't available until 1:30. So you'll have to schlep anything you carry on until then. Lunch is served in Cabanas and Enchanted Garden throughout the afternoon.

Unfortunately, once you get to the terminal there's nothing within an easy walk and there is no place to store your stuff. There's plenty to do close by, but the terminal is situated in a manner that walking anywhere is all but impossible.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
AJPPGH
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you guys are great-nort sure what would happen to me without all this great info I am getting on here! So I guess I will just get there 12:30-12:45 then and just enjoyt teh morning in cocoa beach.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
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Some FYI's

Pack a bag to carry on swim suites. The pools and slides are open and you can swim first thing. You luggage may not get to your cabin until later in the day. You can also carry on beer, wine and booze

When you check in you will get your room key card (KTTWK) under your name will be printed 3 letters AER. These letters stand for your dining rotation. So this rotation would be Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace. To me the rotation doesn't matter. I just like to know.

You can eat lunch ones you board the ship. Two restaurants will have a buffet. One of the more formal ones and Cabanas which it located on the pool deck. I suggest Cabanas because you can go through the buffet and get lots of good food and then go sit out by the pool deck and let your kids swim. There is also fast food available by the pools. Hamburger, pizza, chicken fingers. Soft drinks are at the drink station and are free!!!.



If I were you I would try and get there a little early 12ish before the Disney buses start dropping off.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:38 AM   #12
AJPPGH
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so when we check in they will then take our luggage and we won't have to schelp that around? thats what I though everyone was talking about...seemed strange to do that :-) I got the kids swimsuits that look like shorts so they will be already to go as soon as they get on board! Now-how cold is it to swim on board-are the pools heated? And out to sea is it warm or is it so breezy from the ship cruising that it feels cold?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJPPGH View Post
so when we check in they will then take our luggage and we won't have to schelp that around? thats what I though everyone was talking about...seemed strange to do that :-) I got the kids swimsuits that look like shorts so they will be already to go as soon as they get on board! Now-how cold is it to swim on board-are the pools heated? And out to sea is it warm or is it so breezy from the ship cruising that it feels cold?
People are referencing carrying their carryons, beverage luggage and other totes with them until they are able to get to their rooms at 1:30.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJPPGH View Post
so when we check in they will then take our luggage and we won't have to schelp that around? thats what I though everyone was talking about...seemed strange to do that :-) I got the kids swimsuits that look like shorts so they will be already to go as soon as they get on board! Now-how cold is it to swim on board-are the pools heated? And out to sea is it warm or is it so breezy from the ship cruising that it feels cold?
The pools are fresh water and were warm in January, but I don't know if they are heated. The air temp is the X factor when cruising in the winter months. Highs were in the low to mid 70s, but with a steady breeze in mid January. It was chilly when you got out of the water. I don't know what your tolerance to cold is, but keep that in mind. It was perfectly pleasant to sit out on the pool deck in your swimsuit while you were dry, but it was definitely a different experience when wet.

It can be much warmer, but it can also be a little chillier. The temps aren't as stable when you go cruising in winter months. They are warmer than anywhere north of FL in the US, but it's not necessarily hot.

You will check your bags with the porters upon arrival at the terminal. You should only have to schlep your carry on bags with you after that. Your checked bags will be delivered to your stateroom sometime during the afternoon.
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