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Old 05-15-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
Krs1300
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Question What time does boarding start?

If Departure from Port Canaveral is at 3:45pm, what time can we start to board? We live about 2 hours away and will be driving in that day so I'm trying to decide when we should leave. We'd like to get onboard as early as possible and we don't have any kind of special "perks" being that we are technically first time cruisers.

Help?

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Old 05-15-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Krs1300 View Post
If Departure from Port Canaveral is at 3:45pm, what time can we start to board? We live about 2 hours away and will be driving in that day so I'm trying to decide when we should leave. We'd like to get onboard as early as possible and we don't have any kind of special "perks" being that we are technically first time cruisers.

Help?

Thank you!!
What is your PAT? That will give you an idea as to when you should leave.

Typically boarding starts around 11:45 (sometimes earlier).

Your PAT is tied to the actual boarding number you get at checkin.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
gcoolie
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When you check in online, you will be able to select a boarding time. Online check in is a set amount of days out from your cruise depending on previous cruises- 120 days, 90 days, etc. Not sure when that is for a first time cruiser.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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ohh ok! I was going to ask... what is a PAT?! We haven't checked in yet... we don't even leave until September. I just figured if somebody knew, this would be the place to ask!

Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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When you check in online, you will be able to select a boarding time. Online check in is a set amount of days out from your cruise depending on previous cruises- 120 days, 90 days, etc. Not sure when that is for a first time cruiser.
Actually, what you select is a Port Arrival Time. Your boarding number will be given to you at checkin at the port.

Online checkin/excursion booking windows open dependent on Castaway Club status:

Concierge/Platinum CC members - 120 days out
Gold CC members - 105 days out
Silver CC members - 90 days out
First time cruisers - 75 days out.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #6
gcoolie
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Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post

Actually, what you select is a Port Arrival Time. Your boarding number will be given to you at checkin at the port.

Online checkin/excursion booking windows open dependent on Castaway Club status:

Concierge/Platinum CC members - 120 days out
Gold CC members - 105 days out
Silver CC members - 90 days out
First time cruisers - 75 days out.
Wow. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Krs1300 View Post
ohh ok! I was going to ask... what is a PAT?! We haven't checked in yet... we don't even leave until September. I just figured if somebody knew, this would be the place to ask!

Thanks for the info!
PAT = Port Arrival Time. You select it when you do your online checkin.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
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this may be a silly question... but how strict are they with the PAT? Do they not let you in until that time? What if you are late? Or is it just an "ish" as to when you should be there to prevent everyone showing up at once?
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:11 PM   #9
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this may be a silly question... but how strict are they with the PAT? Do they not let you in until that time? What if you are late? Or is it just an "ish" as to when you should be there to prevent everyone showing up at once?
It's really a "no earlier than" time. They do it to spread out the numbers of passengers arriving at the same time.

If you arrive earlier than your PAT, you may be allowed to enter the terminal (depending on the crowds inside) to checkin. However, your boarding number will be the same whether you check in early or later. You may see others arriving after you (at their correct PAT) board the ship before you do.

If you arrive after your PAT, you'll have a minimal wait to board once checked in.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:13 PM   #10
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Your boarding # is tied to your PAT. So if you have a PAT time of 2:00 and show up at 11:30, people who arrive after you but have an earlier PAT will get an lower boarding #.
Disney starts boarding the ships about 11:45 AM. It takes until around 12:30-12:45 until they go to "open boarding". At that time you should be able to walk onto the ship. even if you have a 2:00 boarding time.

Be advised if for some reason the ship boards late, people who arrive after you but have an earlier PAT will be able to board before you.

Fire codes only allow for so many people in the terminal so if for any reason it's really!! crowded (i have never read of this happening) you could be asked to wait outside until the terminal is safe for fire codes.

There have been time when the ship has arrived late or customs has cleared the ship late( so those on board can get off). This backs up boarding the ship. Disney states on their website that boarding does't start till 1 PM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krs1300 View Post
this may be a silly question... but how strict are they with the PAT? Do they not let you in until that time? What if you are late? Or is it just an "ish" as to when you should be there to prevent everyone showing up at once?
It depends... It's done to help with the limited capacity that the port has. So if the sailing is full, they will more than likely deny you entry to the port until your PAT.

If it's off season, less chances of this to happen. You still won't board any earlier anyway.

But note that approx 12:45 in general they allow boarding to anyone.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for all of the info! I'm just trying to determine the best way to do this with a toddler in tow.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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If you are early and the terminal has reached capacity per fire code, then yes they will ask you to stay outside until your PAT or the terminal has emptied out some. If you arrive late, you just go in and if your boarding number has already been called, you get in the line to board.
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