Are you ready for your Disney Cruise? Embarkation Day is an exciting part of the Disney Cruise Line vacation with a lot of things you need to do to start right. Although that sounds stressful, the day is very easy, and you can take advantage of the ship before it sails away. Here are some key things to know about Embarkation Day ahead of time.
You Should Check In Online
Checking in online is going to help you get ahead on things. Embarkation Day is not a stressful experience, but there is a lot that needs to happen before you relax. Get the trip started right by checking in securely online. Online check-in excursion booking dates are determined by how many previous cruises you have with Disney. This will occur anywhere from 75 to 120 days prior to sailing. Keep in the mind the system locks three days prior, so don’t plan o being last minute.
One of the highlights for us is being greeted as we board. Be ready. you will be met at the door and asked for your name. Be traditional or be fun….’the Jersey Girls’. ‘The Vacationers,” “Mickey’s Friends”, etc. They are happy to say more than one family name but sometimes a fun name can be just as good. Your group will then be announced into the atrium “The Disney Dream welcomes the Jersey Girls”!
You Can Start Vacation Early
Depending on your boarding time, you may have a lot of time on your hands to start enjoying your vacation. Your boarding time also know as your Port Arrival Time (PAT) is something you select during online check-in. Early times to fill up so just another reason to get that online check in out of the way early. That means you can start enjoying the food that’s included in the price of your cruise. When you arrive on Embarkation Day, consider wearing your swimwear underneath your clothes. That way, you can hit the pool before you even go to your room. Embarkation Day is also an excellent time to get a quick tour of the ship and learn where everything is. It is also “open kids club time” so take advantage and have some fun being a kid again. Keep your carry on light if possible. It will become your “carry around” as boarding starts around 11 and stateroom are not accessible until between 1:30-2pm typically
You Can BYOB
Alcohol is one thing on your cruise that is not included in the price. However, Disney Cruise Line has one of the most lenient policies on bringing your alcohol on board. You are allowed a standard six-pack, or two bottles of wine in your carry on luggage every time you board the ship (sorry no hard liquor). Keep in mind, if you buy duty free on the ship, that is held for debarkation and is not allowed for consumption during the trip. Alcohol is not permitted in your checked bags, though. You can even bring your wine to dinner for a corking fee. Your stateroom host is happy to provide an ice bucket, glasses and a corkscrew. The allotment of carry-on containers is per person, not per stateroom which gives a lot of leeway. There is no restriction on other beverages though they must be in your carry on. I personally like to bring a few bottles of water (which I refill onboard as the ship water is ultra purified). On board there will be ample opportunity to purchase drinks if you didn’t bring your own. You can charge it to your stateroom and use your shipboard credit from the travel agency to pay!
Luggage will not be delivered to your room right away. At the earliest, you can expect it at 1:30, but it may be later. Don’t rely too much on getting your luggage back quickly. Instead, keep essential items in a day bag that you carry with you on Embarkation Day. If you have main/early dinner a small percentage of guests may not get their bags in time to get dressed. The Crew will take your luggage before you board, and it is customary to tip $1-2 per bag.
One thing to do as soon as you board the ship on Embarkation Day is to make any reservations you have not been able to get. If you dropped the ball or were closed out on getting Remy or Palo reservations, you could try immediately upon arrival. These restaurants save a few tables just in case, so don’t be afraid to work for something at the last minute. One great reason to use an EZ Dis agent is we will make the reservations for you as soon as the system opens for you!
If you have kids enrolled in evening youth activities, consider that when choosing when to have dinner. There are two times on the rotation. 5:45 is more common for families with small kids, but 8:15 dinners are quieter and allow you to see a show beforehand. Counselors for kids’ activities show up at the restaurant to take the children away during the dinner service only for second/late dining.
The Muster Drill is a mandatory safety assembly. There are specific places to go for the drill based on the location of your State Room. The Muster Drill happens around 4:00. Plan to arrive at your room by 3:45 to get your bearings on where your drill station is. There will be a diagram on the back of your door. Your key card will also have a large letter in the bottom right hand corner. There are plenty of crew stationed in the halls to help. Keep in mind, the elevators are not operational during the drill, so if you need one, set out early.
Finally, kick things off on the top deck with a huge celebration featuring the most famous Disney characters. The party is a celebration that involves music, dancing, and lots of entertainment. We personally love to bring bubble for the party. If you have young children and are ok with crowds, get to the deck early for them to dance in the kid zone. Be prepared to watch them from a very short distance away. If you are adults only we love to go up one deck and look down on the party, missing a lot of the crowd. Did you leave family at home? Unless you wear super bright colors and stand in the right spot, they will have trouble spotting you but most ports have a sail-away camera that can be fun to watch. It’s fun for grandparents and other relatives to see you sail of into the sunset!
Here are a few of our favorites
Port Canaveral: https://www.portcanaveralwebcam.com/
Port of Galveston: https://www.galveston.com/cruisevideocam/
Port of Miami: https://www.portmiamiwebcam.com/
Port of New York: https://www.portnywebcam.com/
The best part of being ready for embarkation day is you are ready to relax and take in all the magic! Share with us your favorite part of a Disney Cruise in the comments below, we can’t wait to hear!