What do I need to have prepared for online check-in?

ghtx

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2012
I am staying up late tomorrow (Wed) night to do online check-in or our cruise right at midnight Thursday morning at our 30-day mark, since I want to snag an early port arrival time.

What all will I need to have prepared with me to complete the check-in and get the arrival time? I read somewhere that I will need scanned images of everyone's passports, plus photos/headshots of everyone (not just their passport pictures). Is that right, and anything else I should know? I want to make sure I can finish it ASAP, and I don't want to have to wake anyone up at midnight!

Thanks!
 
If you have multiple staterooms, you have to do them one at a time. You can do it from one log in, just switch reservations.

Preparation:
1. have downloaded to your device 1) a clean headshot of each person (straight on, no sunglasses, hats or hair accessories, shoulders included, cannot be the same as passport photo), low resolution and 2) passport photo. You do not need the signature page of the passport, but make sure your photo has all the edges of the main page, including the string of information on the very bottom. DCL uses this to digitally input the information into the checkin—if they can’t read it, you have to manually type it in which will slow you down and you risk them rejecting the photo on review.
Jpeg/Jpg file types work best.
2. a document with each passenger's birthdate, address, cell phone, email address, passport number, passport expiration, safe word for kids club, emergency contact name, emergency contact phone number, credit card information
3. Flight information for all legs -- date, airline, airport from, airport to, confirmation number/record locator number, flight number, time departure, time arrival

For speed:
1. Upload photo and if it says it doesn't meet the criteria, click SAVE and move on. Deal with it after you get your PAT.
2. For Onboard account, select Cash to get through it quickly
3. For Travel Plans, select Driving to get through it quickly. I just used home address for the return.
4. Finish each stateroom then go back and fix photo, add credit card, add flight information.

You can change PAT times, so keep checking to see if any better ones become available closer to the cruise.

You can edit the Online Checkin information as much as you want (at least I have so far), until that piece of it goes under review and can't be modified.

ETA: Make sure everyone has at least six months remaining on passport at the time of the trip. If not, check in and get the passport(s) renewed and update to the new one. If you are not from the US, be sure to research any VISA requirements.
 
Last edited:
If you have multiple staterooms, you have to do them one at a time. You can do it from one log in, just switch reservations.

Preparation:
1. have downloaded to your device 1) a clean headshot of each person (straight on, no eyeglasses, hats or hair accessories, shoulders included, cannot be the same as passport photo), low resolution and 2) passport photo
2. a document with each passenger's birthdate, address, cell phone, email address, passport number, passport expiration, safe word for kids club, emergency contact name, emergency contact phone number, credit card information
3. Flight information for all legs -- date, airline, airport from, airport to, confirmation number/record locator number, flight number, time departure, time arrival

For speed:
1. Upload photo and if it says it doesn't meet the criteria, click SAVE and move on. Deal with it after you get your PAT.
2. For Onboard account, select Cash to get through it quickly
3. For Travel Plans, select Driving to get through it quickly. I just used home address for the return.
4. Finish each stateroom then go back and fix photo, add credit card, add flight information.

You can change PAT times, so keep checking to see if any better ones become available closer to the cruise.

You can edit the Online Checkin information as much as you want (at least I have so far), until that piece of it goes under review and can't be modified.
Do you recommend doing your online check in on the Disney app on your phone or on an ipad or on a computer?
 
Do you recommend doing your online check in on the Disney app on your phone or on an ipad or on a computer?

I was successful with my iPhone one cruise. Then my last cruise my PC worked better. I keep pictures on my iPhone, iPad and computers in case one gives me trouble. I’ve had to do it this way for my last few cruises and it’s always a real PITA, esp if you have multiple cabins.
 
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Do you recommend doing your online check in on the Disney app on your phone or on an ipad or on a computer?
I used computer, because it was easier for me to have two monitors for looking up information. But I was ready on a mobile device with the files saved and ready to upload, just in case. Sometimes the computer gets overwhelmed and then you have to use the app.

I think a key is to make sure the photos are low resolution so they are smaller files. When you save the files, check out how big they are. I was able to significantly reduce the size by taking a screen capture (Snipping Tool) and saving it as JPEG. I edited my original post to note that the file must be JPEG.
 
I had no idea I had to have a photo to upload!

And, passport photo?! Does that have to be uploaded, too?

I have to prepare a document to upload with all the info mentioned above? This is very confusing since the last time I cruised.
 
Last edited:
If you have multiple staterooms, you have to do them one at a time. You can do it from one log in, just switch reservations.

Preparation:
1. have downloaded to your device 1) a clean headshot of each person (straight on, no eyeglasses, hats or hair accessories, shoulders included, cannot be the same as passport photo), low resolution and 2) passport photo. Must be JPEG file!
2. a document with each passenger's birthdate, address, cell phone, email address, passport number, passport expiration, safe word for kids club, emergency contact name, emergency contact phone number, credit card information
3. Flight information for all legs -- date, airline, airport from, airport to, confirmation number/record locator number, flight number, time departure, time arrival

For speed:
1. Upload photo and if it says it doesn't meet the criteria, click SAVE and move on. Deal with it after you get your PAT.
2. For Onboard account, select Cash to get through it quickly
3. For Travel Plans, select Driving to get through it quickly. I just used home address for the return.
4. Finish each stateroom then go back and fix photo, add credit card, add flight information.

You can change PAT times, so keep checking to see if any better ones become available closer to the cruise.

You can edit the Online Checkin information as much as you want (at least I have so far), until that piece of it goes under review and can't be modified.
I agree 100% with this procedure!! Did the same thing for our check in last week.

MJ
 
I had no idea I had to have a photo to upload!

And, passport photo?! Does that have to be uploaded, too?

I have to prepare a document to upload with all the info mentioned above? This is very confusing since the last time I cruised.
You don't need a separate document with the info to upload...just have it for reference so you can add the info along the way during the check in.

Yes, you need an ID photo for each person which is different than the passport photo. The passport photo is actually a pic of the entire photo page from your passport.

MJ
 
Posted in another thread but last week, I completed the online check in. Received the email saying “Thank you for choosing a Disney Cruise Line vacation! Attached is your Port Arrival Time Form.” Downloaded pdf with port arrival form, QR code, boarding time etc. Today I go one and my check in has disappeared and states it needs to be completed. Anyone have this happen to them?
 
I had no idea I had to have a photo to upload!

And, passport photo?! Does that have to be uploaded, too?

I have to prepare a document to upload with all the info mentioned above? This is very confusing since the last time I cruised.
Upload photo and upload signature page of passport. Both should be JPEG files.

Document Is just to organize information so you can get to PAT selection quickly,
 
Posted in another thread but last week, I completed the online check in. Received the email saying “Thank you for choosing a Disney Cruise Line vacation! Attached is your Port Arrival Time Form.” Downloaded pdf with port arrival form, QR code, boarding time etc. Today I go one and my check in has disappeared and states it needs to be completed. Anyone have this happen to them?
I am guessing it is a Disney IT issue. You can call and pick the website trouble option or just wait a day to see if it comes back.
 
You don't need a separate document with the info to upload...just have it for reference so you can add the info along the way during the check in.

Yes, you need an ID photo for each person which is different than the passport photo. The passport photo is actually a pic of the entire photo page from your passport.

MJ

Upload photo and upload signature page of passport. Both should be JPEG files.

Document Is just to organize information so you can get to PAT selection quickly,
Thank you both.
 
I checked in Sunday night. I had all of my documents ready, but it was a mess anyway:
  • At midnight, I logged into my DCL account from Chrome on my desktop and tried to start online check-in, but was shown a "cannot retrieve reservation, try again later" error.
  • Switched to the DCL app on my phone, which gives a pop-up saying it's going to open the browser, but clicking "okay" did nothing at all.
  • Tried refreshing in Chrome for a few minutes. No change.
  • Decided to try Safari, where I was able to retrieve the reservation and start check-in (Chrome still failing.)
  • Entered all my own information and clicked save. Was shown a "spinner" that went on and on, until I finally gave up and reloaded the page, which meant I had to start over.
  • Eventually managed to enter information for our party of four, but not before reloading and restarting individual passengers multiple times. The photos would either load almost immediately, or get stuck on the spinner indefinitely. The size of the file wasn't a factor. The same file would spin forever on the first attempt, and then upload in a second or two after reloading the page and trying again.
  • Out of four passport photos and probably at least ten total attempts, it managed to autofill the passport information exactly once, on arguably the least clear photo (but they were all easily readable.)
  • Nothing was rejected, but the whole process took nearly an hour. I ended up with an 11:30 PAT and boarding group 8, which is not awful, but not awesome either.
  • Throughout all of this, periodically I retried on Chrome. Eventually my login timed out and I had to sign in again, and after that it "worked" (but no better than Safari.)
So all I can say is good luck. Maybe I was just unlucky. Hopefully you won't run into any IT issues, but if you do, be prepared to reload if the page gets stuck uploading photos or saving a profile, and if you see the "can't retrieve reservation" error try signing out and back in or changing browsers, or maybe clearing cookies.
 
Last edited:
If you have multiple staterooms, you have to do them one at a time. You can do it from one log in, just switch reservations.

Preparation:
1. have downloaded to your device 1) a clean headshot of each person (straight on, no eyeglasses, hats or hair accessories, shoulders included, cannot be the same as passport photo), low resolution and 2) passport photo. Must be JPEG file!
2. a document with each passenger's birthdate, address, cell phone, email address, passport number, passport expiration, safe word for kids club, emergency contact name, emergency contact phone number, credit card information
3. Flight information for all legs -- date, airline, airport from, airport to, confirmation number/record locator number, flight number, time departure, time arrival

For speed:
1. Upload photo and if it says it doesn't meet the criteria, click SAVE and move on. Deal with it after you get your PAT.
2. For Onboard account, select Cash to get through it quickly
3. For Travel Plans, select Driving to get through it quickly. I just used home address for the return.
4. Finish each stateroom then go back and fix photo, add credit card, add flight information.

You can change PAT times, so keep checking to see if any better ones become available closer to the cruise.

You can edit the Online Checkin information as much as you want (at least I have so far), until that piece of it goes under review and can't be modified.
Thank you for this. My type-A self just saved it into my 30 days calendar reminder so I'll have it there as reference.

Does anyone have the exact file size/resolution max for the photos? Does the file size limitation apply to both the headshot photos and the passport photos?
 
Thank you for this. My type-A self just saved it into my 30 days calendar reminder so I'll have it there as reference.

Does anyone have the exact file size/resolution max for the photos? Does the file size limitation apply to both the headshot photos and the passport photos?
I don't know that there is a specific resolution, just that smaller files tend to load faster. You can always go back and reload if your photo is rejected.
 

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