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Florida Guide > Cruising



Having driven down the Beachline SR 582 Expressway to Port Canaveral, and having completed your check in, you are ready to embark on your wonderful Disney cruise ship.

At check in you are given a numbered card which indicates which group you are in for boarding. The lower the number, the earlier you will board. There are chairs for you to sit on if your group has not been called. To pass the time you can have your picture taken with the various Disney characters who walk around the terminal. You could even take a look at the model ship in the centre of the terminal.

When your number is called you will proceed to the walkways that lead onto the ship. This is the most exciting time, as you prepare to be blown away by your ship. There are staff members waiting to greet you and you will be welcomed on board with a smile. Cabins will not be ready yet, so you will be directed to one of the restaurants where a buffet lunch will be waiting for you. Now you can sit and relax and eat a spending lunch, until the announcement that the cabins are ready.
Staterooms normally become available at around 1. 30 pm, and if you arrived early then your luggage could be on its way soon after. It is always a relief when your suitcases arrive, but this can take place at any time during the day, even after the ship has sailed – and some will not arrive until 6. 30 pm. or later.

Of course the swimming pools will be open so you could always take advantage of a quick dip before the rest of the passengers arrive. If you have children then they could always have their swimwear underneath their clothes so that they can save time.

Once your cabin becomes available you can go down and check it out. You will find the daily newspaper waiting for you – the Navigator – which will tell you what is happening during the rest of the day. This will be delivered to you each night. Your dining tickets should also be there, and this is important to show you your dining time and restaurant rotation. If you have pre-booked shore excursion tickets they should be there, too.

As with all ships, there is a compulsory muster drill, or boat drill, around 4. 00 pm. Guests are advised not to wear their lifejackets until told to put them on but be careful not to trip over the straps as you carry them to your muster station. Information about where your muster station is will be posted behind your cabin door.
When the alarms sound you need to go to your muster station and listen to the instructions for what to do in an emergency. After that your time is your own. Return your lifejackets to the cabin and then find a place to watch the sail-away. Servers will walk around with trays of special drinks. They will probably offer you one in a special souvenir glass – these are more expensive as you are paying for the glass, too, so don’t forget to take it with you – or ask for it in a normal glass.

As the ship casts off around 5. 00 pm the ship’s horn will sound ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ and as she moves quietly away from the dockside you know you are on your way!
Rita Fraser

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Page added on: 11 January 2013
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