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Old 07-20-2014, 12:25 AM   #1
LisaT91403
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Getting an Early PAT

From reading the boards, I see that many people want to get the earliest PAT possible (or the first bus from MCO). I don't understand why. Is there some actual advantage to being at the port early, or is it just that people are anxious to spend every minute they possibly can on the ship?

We are coming in from CA late the night before the cruise, and will still be on PST. We don't really want to be up at what would be 4:00am for us just to be on a 9:00am bus...unless there is something we are going to be truly missing out on.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:32 AM   #2
storknurse13
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Sleep in! Many people like to get to the ship early. You must be on board by 3:45 pm eastern time though so plan accordingly.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:42 AM   #3
LisaT91403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storknurse13 View Post
Sleep in! Many people like to get to the ship early. You must be on board by 3:45 pm eastern time though so plan accordingly.
We wouldn't plan to be on that late, but I wouldn't mind arriving at the port around 1:00pm or so. I'm fine with missing lunch on board or extra pool time...I just want to make sure I'm not missing out on something important that everyone else knows about :-)
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:46 AM   #4
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Nothing important really. My group likes to board as early as possible only because the one time we had a late port arrival time (non-dcl cruise) we almost missed the boat due to traffic and other issues. So now for piece of mind we like to be at the port and on the boat asap.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:50 AM   #5
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Cabanas and the pools are less crowded if you are able to board very early on in the process. We arrived around eleven last time and felt like we were one step ahead of the crowd until the Sail Away Party.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:11 AM   #6
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My vacation starts when I get on the ship, so I want to get on as early as I can, especially since we usually do 3-night cruises. The time just flies by. It's also much less crowded when you get on early. We plan it so as soon as we're done checking in we can board and go right to lunch in Cabanas. No waiting around.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:14 AM   #7
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Early boarding has the advantage of lower crowds, more room in the pools, shorter lines voor the Aquaduck, lunch buffets and guest services. At boarding day there are possibilities to visit the Spa, Fitness and have a look around.
Also if you wish to make on-board reservations for Palo, Remy, Spa or tastings or want to change your MDR time (from late to main) they are on a first come - first serve basis, meaning that boarding early gives you more chance of getting the time you wish.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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For us, it's mostly just about getting to eat lunch on the ship. After all, you're paying for it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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Though we usually like to get on the ship early, last cruise we came from the resort, so we had a later bus. We didn't get on until 1:30 ish. We went straight to cabanas for lunch, no dreaded lines that I had heard about. Then we went to the pool and found lounges so the kids could do the aquaduck, no problem getting lounges, aquaduck lbe was about 1/2 an hour. It was general boarding (so no waiting fir that either) on a full Easter week cruise & I didn't notice any issues about getting on later, so sleep in if you prefer, the crowds were there somewhere, but I didn't notice them!
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:42 AM   #10
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Just like the old Disney commercial says, "I'm too excited too sleep!" Maybe it's just me, but after paying that much money for a cruise, I want to take full advantage of everything I can, as soon as I can. Too each their own.

There is no wait for the AquaDuck if you board at 11:30am. It's great and all, but I'm not standing on those stairs for 30 minutes to do it. If you know when to go, you never have to wait more than 10 minutes for the Duck.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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Also, if you weren't able to book some things ahead of time (Palo, Remy, spa treatments, tastings) or you would like to try and move your dinner seating time, you'll want to be on the ship early. We take the DCL bus in from WDW, so we are not in a hurry either
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:01 AM   #12
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We prefer the earlier PAT time because I'm fanatical about getting places early... I'm that person at the airport 3 hours before flight time... so I also arrive at the port as early as I can get us all there, and being able to board vs. standing in the port is a good thing! Why wait in port if you can wait on board!

However, a note of caution to those hoping to get on early in order switch their dining time/rotation/etc... the "dining line" (usually held in one of the MDRs) typically does not open immediately when guests start boarding and on one of our cruises, we had to wait 'til 1 or 2pm for them to open... so that should not be a driving force to board at 11:30!
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:15 AM   #13
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Does it seem that they are sticking to the PATs? Like I have 12:30 - if I arrived at 11:30 or 12:00 will they shoo me away
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:51 AM   #14
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oops.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi1313 View Post
We prefer the earlier PAT time because I'm fanatical about getting places early... I'm that person at the airport 3 hours before flight time... so I also arrive at the port as early as I can get us all there, and being able to board vs. standing in the port is a good thing! Why wait in port if you can wait on board!
Agree 100%
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