Mickey and Donald On beach at Castaway Cay; ship in background; family flying with characters
  • On Jan 24, 2024
    Diane from MD Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi, I'm going on a cruise in March. What information do I need to submit in order to obtain my port arrival time? Also, will everyone in my family be assigned the same time? Thanks

    Welcome back to planDisney, Diane! As the calendar days march forward, your cruise will be here so quickly. You'll be saying "next month" in a blink of an eye. I am so glad you came to us with this question so you can be prepared for check-in to be a breeze!

    If this is your first Disney Cruise, you will be able to complete check-in online or on the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App thirty days before your sail date. The check-in date varies based on your Castaway Club level. Luckily, you don't have to count backward: you can find the precise date on the app or online. On the app, open the reservation and scroll down to "My Online Check-In." You can find this online under "Already Booked" and the drop-down selection "Online Check-In." Once your date opens, you will be able to click on these check-in links and begin the magical process of getting your port arrival time.

    Check-in opens at midnight Eastern, so if your date is February 1 and you want to check in as soon as it opens, stay up late on January 31. It's a several-step process, and since it requires uploading photos, I find it easier to do on my phone. I stay up for that midnight opening, so it is also helpful to get organized early so I am not scrambling in the dark for anything. 

    For check-in you will need:
    • Required travel documentation - You can see what is required by your cruise destination. Typically, this means passports or birth certificates and government-issued photo identification. Children 15 and younger do not need a photo ID. These requirements are set by the US government, so it is always advised to double-check for current and accurate requirements. For check-in, you will need photos of these documents AND you will need to take these with you to board the ship. I travel with passports which makes everything easy for us, except preparing for online check-in: make sure your photo does not have a glare, which may take a few tries with those shiny pages. 
    • Photos of each member of your stateroom - These photos are used on board to verify your identity for things like making purchases in a gift shop and getting off and back onto the ship at ports. For these, think passport style: facing forward and headshot/shoulders up.
    • Credit card information - You will add the credit card you would like to be used for expenses onboard.
    • Travel information - You will be asked for flight information (even if not using Disney transportation) and your pre- and post-cruise travel destinations. 
    As you complete check-in, you will get to select your Port Arrival Time. Getting the earliest boarding time available is the real reason for staying up like Cinderella and paying attention to the clock striking midnight. The time you select applies to everyone in your stateroom, so you will all board together.

    After check-in, your status will show as "Pending." It may be in pending status for a while as Cast Members review all the passenger information as the cruises get close. Worst case, it is pending on your sail date, and still no worries at all! They will complete the process at the port. Just make sure you have your travel documents in your hand at check-in (not in your checked luggage), which everyone needs to do.

    SEA ya real soon!

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Meet the Panelist: Jana, Georgia

Hi, everyone! I’m Jana, a Disney-loving wife and mom from Atlanta. My boys (my husband and sons) are the greatest joys in my life. We have so many magical memories from our vacations at Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line. I welcome the chance to share my knowledge and advice in helping you plan your visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth. Learn More About Jana

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