Does DCL hold you to your boarding time?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by AnnaS, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. AnnaS

    AnnaS DIS Sponsoor/Veteran

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    Does DCL hold you to your boarding time?


    We have not cruised since 2007. This is the first time I checked in on-line and picked a boarding time. Are they pretty strict with the time chosen?

    We are a group of 18 and we are all beginning to check-in on-line and we all seem to have different boarding times. This is fine but curious if we get there a bit earlier or if we need to be all together to check in (which is crazy).

    TIA>
    _
     
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  3. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

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    The busiest time at the terminal is opening. Everyone (well it seems that way) wants to be first onboard, so they all want to be there when the terminal opens.

    The terminal doesn't open until 11:00 (sometimes a bit earlier). If you have a, say, 1:30-2:00 PAT, and arrive at 11:00, most likely you will asked to wait until either your selected PAT or until the terminal is less busy.

    Your boarding number, which you receive when you checkin at the terminal, is tied to your PAT. Earlier PAT = lower boarding number; later PAT = higher boarding number.

    Actual boarding generally begins around 11:45 with boarding number 1 (Concierge) then #2 (Platinum CC members), #3, and so on. The time between number announcements is about 5-10 minutes, depending on how quickly each succeeding group gets through the door to board.

    Once the boarding number being announced catches up with the boarding number being issued at checkin, Open boarding is announced. This generally happens in the 12:30-1:00 area. At this time any boarding number may board.

    It's possible that you can enter the terminal and checkin earlier than your selected PAT, but the boarding number will be the same. You may see others arriving after you (at their correct PAT) boarding before you do. The "sweet spot" is usually in that 12:30-1:00 window. That's after open boarding has been announced and before the busses from WDW begin arriving with more people.
     
  4. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    The time picked when doing your online check in is not your boarding time but your Port Arrival Time (PAT).

    PP has explained it nicely!!

    MJ
     
  5. AnnaS

    AnnaS DIS Sponsoor/Veteran

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    Thank you so much. This explains it pretty well. Good to know it's also PAT and not boarding time.
     
  6. the_bUg

    the_bUg Mouseketeer

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  7. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    General rule is with multi parties wanting to board at the same time is that you board with the group that has the latest time.

    If there are people in your group with a #9 boarding number and people with #14 boarding number everyone should board with the later number. They may not let you all board with the earlier boarding time.

    MJ
     
  8. TCrawford095

    TCrawford095 Earning My Ears

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    Disney used to let groups board with the earliest time. Is it the latest time now?
     
  9. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    This is no longer true - they now request that all wait to board with the highest boarding number. Whether or not they will actually check that you all have the same number seems to be hit-or-miss, but the policy is to board with the highest (later) group. Primary exception seems to be if a child is booked into a different room than the parents, the child may board with the parents if they have a lower number.
     
  10. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    Since the new PAT has been implemented, DCL started saying to board with the largest number.
     
  11. elemusing

    elemusing <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Our boarding time online was 12:30. Our flight got to MCO around 10 and we got to port around 11. We checked in. Our boarding number on our KTTW card was 22, but we were assigned #20 at check-in. We boarded around noon. (Fantasy June 1, 2013)

    HTH!
    Angie
     
  12. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    PAT will not particularly matter if taking DCL transfers to port; you will be allowed into the terminal whenever the bus arrives. However, your actual boarding number will be directly tied to the PAT, so one could wait longer to board than others on the same bus.

    I wasn't aware boarding numbers are printed on the KTTW card, maybe that's new?

    Boarding moves fairly quickly once it begins, typically around 11:45am. Open boarding is often called by 12:30pm, meaning all may board regardless of assigned boarding number.
     
  13. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    12:30 wasn't your boarding time, it was your port arrival time.

    The number on your KTTW card isn't your boarding number. Last cruise we had boarding #3. The number on DD's card was 12. She was 12 on that cruise but IDK if that was specifically for her name. I checked my DS's KTTW card and it doesn't have a number in that spot, but his was a Vibe KTTW card. Last year our boarding number was #5. The number on my KTTW card is 25...but that was not my age at the time. ;)
     
  14. tweis

    tweis DIS Veteran

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    I was curious what that number meant. We had a PAT of 11:00 and we had boarding #3 but the number on our KTTW was 39.
     
  15. elemusing

    elemusing <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    We specifically asked the CM at check in what the number was (it was on all of ours - same number) and he said that was our boarding number originally based on the time we checked online.
     
  16. sarabeth10772

    sarabeth10772 Earning My Ears

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    In April 2013 we traveled as a group of 3 cabins. Each of us had a different PAT.
    We are Silver members and PAT was 1:00. (arriving by Disney Transfer)
    In-Laws are Gold members and PAT was 2:00 (arriving by Disney Transfer)
    Brother-in-law 1st time and PAT was 2:30. (arrived by personal car)

    We (myself and in-laws )arrived by transfer around 12:30.
    Brother and Sister in-law arrived around 12:00.

    We all boarded around 1:00. My brother and sister in-law had to stand in line for about 20 minutes and the rest of us just walked right on.

    I did find out that you do not need PAT if you are using Disney transfers. We are going to Alaska in July and when it got to the PAT on the check in it said we don't need to select a time because we are using Disney Transfers. Not sure if that is just for Alaska cruises???
     
  17. tweis

    tweis DIS Veteran

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    Hmmm.....that seems odd that we would originally be given a boarding # of 39 with an 11:00 PAT. That seems more like a boarding # for a 2:00 PAT. :confused3
     
  18. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Might be specific to the Vancouver port. When using DCL transfers to Port Canaveral, while PAT is not important regarding being allowed into the terminal, it will impact your boarding number. For example, you arrive at MCO at 9:00am and catch a bus arriving at port around 11:00am, if your PAT is 1-1:30pm you will likely sit for quite a while watching other passengers board but if your PAT was 11-11:30 you'd be in one of the earliest groups called to board the ship.

    Other ports may work differently.
     
  19. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    I was told on two different cruises that the number on your KTTW was actually the number of the check in "station" that you checked in at. One long counter but numbered for each of the check in stations. Just going by what I was told.

    MJ
     
  20. cruisecrasher

    cruisecrasher DIS Veteran

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    It is the station you check in. The couple cruising with us last February had the adjacent check in agent and we figured that out.
     
  21. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    Another example of a CM making something up. ;) I checked with my TA because this simply didn't make sense based on when we did our online check in. She asked the supervisor at the port about the number and was told it indicates the CM who checked you in at the terminal.

    Yeah, we were gold and got our 11-11:30 time at the 105 day mark so a 25 definitely doesn't work as a boarding number for that. ;)
     

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