Cruising Disney: embarkation day

If you’re a cruise newb like me, here’s a quick run-through of embarkation procedures. First of all, when you do your pre-cruise Online Check-In, you will select a Port Arrival Time. We selected the earliest time available (which was 11:30am) to maximize our time onboard. When you get to the port (we took a taxi from our pre-cruise hotel), you’ll leave your luggage (with its DCL luggage tags that will ensure it’s delivered to your stateroom) with a curbside porter. Keep a carry-on bag with your passports and cruise documents, any valuables and medications, swimsuits, and sunscreen – basically, the stuff you’ll need before you’re reunited with your luggage.

As you enter the cruise terminal, you’ll be asked to show your party’s passports. You then go through security (which was quick and easy) and go up to the counter to hand in your cruise documents and have your family’s ID photo taken. If you’re not sure where to go, don’t worry – there are lots of DCL Cast Members there to help. At the counter, you are given a card with your stateroom number and boarding group number on it.

ED boarding card

Find a spot to sit, check out the embarkation day Personal Navigator (the plentiful DCL Cast Members are handing these out), and relax until your group is called.


When first onboard, go to Guest Services in the lobby and sign up for any seminars or special meet-and-greets in which you’re interested. Many of these are free, but some (such as the mojito tasting we attended) charge a nominal fee.

the lovely lobby

the lovely lobby

Your stateroom won’t be ready yet, so either change into your swimsuits and hit the pools before they get crowded, or grab something to eat.

Deck 9 circa noon on embarkation day: the only time it won't be mobbed.

Deck 9 circa noon on embarkation day: the only time it won’t be mobbed.

We opted for the Beach Blanket Buffet. As we entered the buffet line, I mentioned that we had a gluten-free eater. A manager was called over, and she was very helpful in finding us safe food.

Our room was ready by 1:30pm. We loved it!

ED stateroom 1

ED stateroom 2

ED stateroom 3

The split bath was great – two of us could get ready at the same time each morning!

ED split bath 1


ED split bath 2

Also waiting for us at our room was our dining and reservation schedule:

ED dining schedule

After the muster drill (which was also quick and easy), we headed up on deck for the Adventures Away party. The view of Miami and South Beach as we sailed away was quite lovely!

ED view


About Heather Brainerd

Intuitive healer + meditation guide
This entry was posted in Disney, Disney Cruise and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cruising Disney: embarkation day

  1. Heather, your room was beautiful. Was this a suite? I’m going to check out your others posts again for rides, restaurants, etc. We have a list already of everything we want to see, ride, and where to eat, but I want to triple 🙂 check it out again with your posts. I may even have them memorized. Thank you for posting everything in great detail.

  2. Great idea to check Guest Services in the lobby and sign up for any seminars or special meet-and-greets. I never even thought of this.

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