Disney cruises are so exciting! While you may be anxious to set sail and arrive at your first destination, the magic really begins the day you board the ship. There are tons of things to see and do onboard, so here are 8 ways to make the most of your check in day:
#1: Get to Port the Night Before
I strongly recommend arriving in port the night before you set sail. If you travel to the port the day of departure, there’s a chance of your flight being delayed and (literally) missing the boat. Spend the night before in a hotel and give yourself peace of mind that you’ll make it on time.
#2: Check in Early
If you booked your cruise with a Disney travel agent (which I highly recommend), ask your agent to arrange for your check in time to be as early as possible. This is definitely key to making the most of your day.
#3: Register at the Oceaneer Club
Disney cruise ships have a wonderful kids’ club that will keep your children entertained while you grab an adults-only dinner or some quiet time at the pool. During the registration process, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork and your children will be given a magnetic arm band that grants them access to the club. If you’re working with a Disney travel agent, they can pre-register your children so you complete this process during embarkation rather than on the ship, where there are sure to be long lines.
#4: Bring a Carry On Bag
You will surrender your luggage during the embarkation process and your bags will be delivered to your state room later in the day. Bring a carry on bag with your essentials, including a swimsuit (see #7).
#5: Book Any Excursions, Tastings or Dining Reservations
If you need to make any changes to your existing reservations or if you want to sign up for other events onboard (such as wine tastings), be sure to stop by appropriate desk (Port Adventures Desk for excursions and Guest Services Desk for reservations) immediately upon arrival. This will give you the best chance of getting your favorite activities booked at your preferred time slots.
#6: Eat Lunch
Take advantage of Disney dining as soon as possible upon your arrival. There should be an option of a buffet or a sit down lunch. Enjoy the great food and familiarize yourself with the restaurants and their menus.
#7: Ride the Waterslide
Once you’ve had something to eat, be sure to change into your swimsuit (see #4) and check out the pool. I recommend riding the waterslide as soon as possible. If the ship you are cruising on has an Aqua Duck, it’s sure to become one of the most popular attractions of the cruise. Even if it’s a regular slide, enjoy it now before the lines get too long.
There is so much to see and do on a Disney cruise. Have fun exploring the ship on your own, or take an organized tour. You’re going to have a wonderful time, so enjoy and take it all in.
I hope these tips make your embarkation day smooth sailing (pun intended). If you’re a veteran cruiser with other tips on how to make the most of your check in day, please share in the comments!