Disney Cruise Line embarkation day can be quite hectic if you don’t do a little pre-planning. To make your embarkation day go quicker you should definitely take advantage of online check-in. The less than 10-minute online check-in process will save you as much as an hour at the port. (And don’t forget to save a few minutes to watch the animated short of Goofy’s attempt to check-in at the port.)
Here are the steps required for online check-in:
ONLINE CHECK-IN DAY
Before you get started make sure to have the following items handy: Names, address and birthdates of all passengers, government photo IDs, birth certificates, flight information and credit card number to be used for onboard account.
Guest Information – For each guest in your traveling party, you will need to fill in their address and emergency contact. There is a nice little time saver on this screen where you are allowed to copy the information from Guest #1 to the remaining guests if they have the same information.
Identification – On this screen you will be required to either enter your passport number or select that you will be showing a government photo ID and birth certificate. This is only an option if you are sailing on a ‘closed loop’ cruise meaning you are starting and ending your cruise at a United States port.
Pre/Post Cruise – Here you will enter your flight information (if you are flying), how you will be getting to and leaving from the port and where you will be headed after disembarkation. For example, we are flying in the night before the cruise and heading to Walt Disney World after the cruise is over. By entering your flight information, DCL can keep track of passengers who might be late in boarding the ship. While there is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee the ship will be held for you if there is a flight delay, you have a greater likelihood of that happening if you have entered your flight info.
Onboard Account – This screen is for entering the method of payment you will be using to pay your shipboard account. Your choices are credit card, cash or that someone else will be paying for your charges. (For the record, I tried to enter that Mickey Mouse would be paying for me but it didn’t work.) You should know that even if you put a credit card on your account you will still be able to pay your account with cash once you are onboard the ship by heading to Guest Services anytime during your cruise. After your payment information is entered you will be asked if you will be responsible for charges incurred by the other members of your traveling party or you can enter payment information for them as well.
Port Arrival Time – On this screen you will be able to choose the time you plan on arriving at the cruise terminal. I chose 11:45 a.m. Since we are arriving the night before and taking a DCL bus from Orlando International Airport (MCO) we decided to not try and take the first bus out of MCO figuring it would be packed. Instead we are going to shoot for the 10:30 a.m. bus which will get us to port around 11:15 a.m. this will give us time to complete the short check-in process (since we completed everything else online) and take some pictures with the character in the terminal before boarding at 11:45 a.m.
Review Contract – This is where you get to read all the fun legal language that basically says DCL is not responsible if you fall overboard or if you miss the boat. For those who don’t want to sign your life away, you should know that whether or not you sign the contact it is still legally binding according to the first clause in the contract.
Sue Nowicki is an alumna of the 2014/15 Disney Parks Moms Panel. She used to spend her time being team mom all of her daughter’s sports teams where she filled the roles of secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. Now that she her daughter has gone to college, if you can’t find her, check the closest corner where she is likely crawled up in a ball crying. Just kidding, she is now trying to find her new place in life all while keeping her love of Disney close to her heart. You can follow her on Twitter @MQPodcast.