Florida Guide > Cruising
Embarking on a Disney Cruise – Part 1
Combining a cruise on a Disney ship with a villa holiday giving you time at the wonderful theme parks in Orlando is really easy, as the Disney cruise ships depart from Port Canaveral on the east coast. Port Canaveral is extremely convenient from Orlando, and it is close to the Kennedy Space Centre, so you could always overnight and visit Kennedy before you embark on your cruise. From the 192 you join the Greeneway Toll road going north towards Orlando International Airport, before joining the Beachline (SR 582) to Port Canaveral.
Many cruise ships do not allow boarding until midday at the earliest, but you can arrive at the Terminal around 11. 00 am if you want to be one of the first to board the ship. Being early gives you time to look round the ship before everyone arrives, and you can also make any changes to your dining reservation. Apart from which, you get to start your holiday earlier!
If you are driving to the ship then allow time to drop off your car. You can drive to the terminal first (don’t forget photo ID) to drop off your luggage first before finding your car park. If you are hiring a car then they will offer a free shuttle to the port, after you have dropped it off.
At the port you will find porters ready and waiting to take your luggage. Make sure you have labeled it up properly, with the luggage tags you will have been provided with, as this will inform the staff of which cabin to put the suitcases in. Expect to offer a tip, usually $1 per case.
Before you enter the terminal you will have to show photo ID, and you will then pass through security screening, much the same as at an airport. Your hand luggage will be scanned and you will walk through a metal detector.
Then it’s upstairs to the second level of the terminal where you will do check in – most cruise lines now offer online check in prior to your departure, so this much reduces the time you spend in the terminal on sailing day. You must show your passports, and also your check in details – if you have already completed online check in then you will have printed out your boarding pass etc. You will be asked if anyone in your party has shown any signs of illness, such as cold or flu symptoms, or sickness and diarrhoea, in the past 48 hours, and have to fill in a form. Like other cruise lines, they will not accept anyone on board who is showing signs of illness.
Formalities completed, you will be given your key card, one for each person in the cabin. Those who have previously sailed with Disney will receive a Castaway club lanyard and card holder. Do try to do online check in before you arrive as this can speed up the whole procedure.
With check in completed it is then time to board your Disney ship.
For what happens next, see Part 2
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