Mom And Daughter Laughing together on Hammock at beach
  • On Apr 5, 2009
    Kerryann from NV Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We"re new to cruising. It says boarding time is 4Pm. Does that mean not to come to the dock before that time? If not, what time do we leave WDW to get to the ship? Should I get a park hopper pass for that morning? I am not clear on any of this.

    All Aboard is 4:00 p.m. Port Departure is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

    If you are traveling to Port Canaveral via Disney Cruise Line’s ground transportation service, your family will be given a designated meeting time and location for the morning of your departure. If you are staying at a resort with a DCL desk, I would suggest stopping by there. The DCL representative will help with any questions as well as instruct you as to when to have your luggage ready for Bell Services. You may also bring your luggage to the meeting location and DCL will load your bags on the bus.

    If you are getting to the port on your own via personal car, rental car or a town car service, then depart by Noon.

    It takes approximately one hour travel time from Walt Disney World to Port Canaveral. The Port opens approximately 10:30 a.m. when you’ll be able to check-in. Official boarding time is 1:00 p.m. However, DCL will begin boarding as soon as the ship is cleared. Many guests have boarded as early as Noon.

    I prefer arriving around 12:30-1:00 p.m. as the lines are shorter, the terminal is less hectic and staterooms are ready at 1:00 p.m. I enjoy going directly to my cabin to drop off my carry-on bag before heading to lunch. I also like arriving the Port at this time when traveling with my family. Less wait time for anxious kids makes for a more stress-free embarkation.

    If you want to be on board earlier in order to secure dining changes, spa reservations, etc., then I would suggest arriving around 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

    DCL buses from Walt Disney World begin arriving around 1:00 p.m. so it’s wise to arrive prior to this time to avoid long lines at security and check-in.

    I would sleep in a bit, relax at your hotel and just head to the Port rather than touring WDW on the day that you are heading to Port Canaveral.
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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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