Whether you drive to your destination or fly, I highly recommend arriving the day before you set sail. With flying, there are obstacles that can prevent you from arriving on time; everything from flights being delayed due to weather related issues, mechanical issues or unexpected airport issues. Be stress-free and fly the day before.
Driving can cause it’s own headache. As much as you can prepare, you also have to prepare for the unexpected. It seems there is an endless amount of construction on roadways, accidents, commuter traffic, a flat tire (hopefully not); all adding up to what could be hours of extra travel time. So take your time, enjoy your drive and arrive the day before your cruise so that you can be confident you won’t miss the boat!
There are many options for hotels on or near airport property. However, if you choose, you can stay closer to the port terminal where you’ll find several hotel options as well. Once there, you will get a good nights sleep and be able to get up the morning of your cruise and head to port. Arranging transportation to the port can be done through Disney Cruise Line or you can manage that portion of the trip on your own.
Packing your suitcase is fairly easy with a Disney Cruise trip. For the most part you will live in your bathing suit while on board the ship. Do plan to have a few outfits for dinner; one being formal (meaning a dress for women and a sport coat for men if you are dining in the adult only restaurant). But overall you will enjoy the casual life while on board. Don’t forget the sunscreen; if sailing the Caribbean, that sun gets quite hot and you don’t want to impact your trip with a scorching sunburn. I would recommend a backpack or tote bag to take with you when you get off the ship (for all those souvenirs you may decide to buy!) and also a small cooler if you plan on doing excursions where you may want to bring along some cold water, juice, baby needs, etc.
Disney Cruise Line is very organized with the check-in process. Upon arriving at the port terminal, you will head to a cruise cast member who will assist you with the check-in process, inform you of the ships activities, provide you with your cabin number (if you have not received that information prior to this point), confirm your dining time, and let you know when you can board the ship. As you board, you will be welcomed by several of the ships crew as they announce your arrival. Take it all in, enjoy all the ship has to offer and sail away!
Sheila tells us: I live in Massachusetts with my husband and 2 daughters and was first introduced to Disney over 35 years ago. Having visited many times since, we always found ourselves eager to return because Disney always provided us so many options on things to do. One hot, humid, August day back in 1998, while visiting Animal Kingdom, a gentleman asked if we would like a ride in an air conditioned van along with an ice cold lemonade in exchange for an hour of his time. We took him up on his offer and when that hour was up we wanted to hear more…more about the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). We became DVC members that day and have never regretted our decision – we enjoy amazing vacations.