If you’ve never sailed on Disney before, they you are able to do your online check in 75 days prior to your sail date.
Those that have sailed 5 times and under (silver status) can log in at 90 days and those that have sailed 5-10 (Gold status) are at 105 days and 10+ (Platinum status) can complete their check-in at 120 days prior to sail date.
Here is what you need to know to get your check-in done.
Midnight EST of the day you CAN check-in opens up the excursion/Palo booking window. 3AM the check-in opens.
WHY check-in early?
1. Early Passenger arrival time. Meaning you can board sooner than the other thousands who book late or don’t check-in on time. Meaning, you get on the ship to EAT, PLAY and HAVE FUN sooner. The sooner, really the better!
2. Secure Palo/Remy/Nursery/Spa/Cabanas. Cabanas, probably not, I doubt if this is your first sailing there will be any cabanas left, but you won’t know unless you log in at midnight! Palo and Remy are specialty dining rooms for adults only. Fine and scrumptious dining. However, if you are on your 1st sailing, I say pass on this unless you are doing a 5 night or more because the main dining rooms are superb.
3. Excursions. Dolphins! The dolphin excursions sell out quickly. Be the 1st of the last group to try to grab that memory of a lifetime.
OK, Now let’s chat HOW to do it!
1. Go to DisneyCruise.com
(Make sure you have an account as soon as you book your trip. That way you can play around with the system and see all the fun choices on your sailing. UPPER RIGHT/REGISTER)
2. Upper right under planning center, hit “My Reservation”. Enter your reservation number along with your password and anyone’s birthday in the cabin.
3. You’ll be directed to a page with 13 animated pictures, which are pretty self explanatory. Look for My Online Check-In.
4. There are 3 mandatory forms you need to fill out here.
a. These forms are: Guest Information Form (legal names, birthday, address, citizenship and emergency contact)
b. Payment authorization form. Choose the way you want to pay on the ship. We usually choose cash and pay it the last night. If you choose cash, you can only spend so much before you get cut off and have to pay that balance. BUT if you have giftcards etc…it may be best to choose cash then head straight to Guest Services on the ship and add those.
c. Online check-in and signature form. Read, Sign and Print. IF You don’t bring these, then you have to fill it all out again AT the port.
Other important things under this online check-in process is:
1. My Cruise Activities. This is where you can do the excursions, specialty dining, nursery and spa. You can also see the ship’s itinerary and special events (like pirate night) they are having.
2. Fun Aboard. Register your kids online. Chose a password, fill in their nickname, list any allergies or issues etc. This saves some time at the port or on the ship. DON’T forget that password! They ask for it in 75 days when you check your kids in and out!
3. Onboard App. Download it. I love it. It works on the ship’s wifi, which I actually found sorta hard to work last time on my iphone but I did manage to do it. Shows the daily navigators, movies, shows etc
4.Character Calls. Schedule a free call to your kiddos!
5. Packing List. Things you can and cannot, yada yada. I personally like my own packing list better. See it here: http://magicalmemoryplanners.com/2014/02/2562/
5. Air and Ground Transportation. Guidelines, approximate times etc.
6. Passport and Travel Documentation. Make sure you have the right docs or they will leave you behind! Closed-looped (start and stop at same US port) cruises only need a birth certificate and adult’s need a driver’s license. You may want to consider a passport in case you get stuck in another country.
7. Stay Connected. Enter your email address and you will get some fun reminders and tips from the cruiseline.
8. In-Room Gifts and Shopping. You can pre-buy wine and drink packages (soda and coffee ARE free and you can bring all your own alcohol on board as well). You can also grab birthday gifts, cakes, flowers, trinkets, and more.
9. Driving Directions. The address and parking information you can find here. I recommend parking off-site if you want to save lots of money although having a car at the port when you disembark is totally awesome.
10. Pre-Arrival Guide. Inside this guide that you can either print or have them email to you is a summary of your reservation and everything else you’ve done so far! It’s like a print out of ALL that I’ve just gone over!!
Now, start packing!!