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Disney Cruise Boarding Process for Port Canaveral

Disney Cruise Boarding Process for Port Canaveral

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If you are taking a Disney Cruise more than likely it will be out of Port Canaveral. You might find the entire Disney Cruise Port Boarding Process a bit overwhelming if you haven’t been to the terminal before.

There are a lot of lines, a ton of people and the last thing you want to do is be stressed out as you are embarking on your magical vacation because you don’t know what to expect.

Being prepared is one way to make the Disney Cruise boarding process a little easier.

Disney Cruise Boarding Process at Port Canaveral

Disney Cruise Boarding Process for Port Canaveral

Disney Cruise Port Canaveral Parking

If you are planning on parking your car at Port Canaveral, you are going to want to make sure that you are prepared for the cost and factor that into your cruise budget. Cost is $17 a vehicle per day.

You do not need to pay in advance of your trip, just pay to park at the cruise terminal’s designated parking area.

Other Options for Parking for a Disney Cruise

If you don’t want to pay the hefty fee for Port Canaveral Parking another option is to park off-site and be shuttled to Port Canaveral. This is a much less expensive method and the one we personally use EVERYTIME we cruise out of Port Canaveral.

  • You can park your car at ParkPort Canaveral, located at 500 Thurm Boulevard, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. If you park for the duration of your cruise, you can receive shuttle service to Port Canaveral and pay $9.95 per day.
  • Just on the other side of the bridge is Port Canaveral is Park n Cruise at 1700 Sea Ray Dr. Merritt Island, FL 32952. This is perfect for those who are driving into the Cruise port the day of their cruise. It is $10.95 per day.

Disney LuggageLuggage Collection at Terminal Gate

Once you park or are transported to the Cruise terminal, you will unload your luggage and hand them over (if you choose) to a luggage attendant.

When you received your cruise documents, you would have been given paper luggage tags for your belongings. Be sure to tag each of your bags and make sure that your cabin number is visible.

Make sure all your bags are securely fastened so the contents don’t fall out.

Want to bring your own alcohol on board?

You can bring alcohol with you, but be sure you following the Disney Cruise line Alcohol policy. If you don’t, you might be wasting money having it thrown away before you even get to enjoy it!

Can you carry your own luggage on board?

Yes, you may carry your own bags. We found that if you are arriving after 1pm that you are better off bringing your luggage on board with you.

This way, you can go straight to your room with your bags rather than waiting (sometimes hours) for your bags to arrive.

Entering the Disney Cruise Terminal

Once you approach the terminal, you will have to show documentation. Make sure that you have your ID, Passports and Cruise Documents handy. I usually keep all of my cruise documents in a folder so that I can keep up with everything I need.

Once you enter the actual terminal building, you will find that the Disney Cruise Terminal is sectioned off into different areas and you will want to make sure you take your time when you arrive to familiarize yourself with where you are and where you need to go.

The first line will be for the check in process.

Keep your family with you as each person in your party will need to be photographed.

The check in process is relatively painless. You will be given your stateroom keys, lanyards, and a Cruise Navigator that gives you show times, activities on board the ship and other information.

You will then wait until your cruise boarding time is called to leave the terminal and get on the ship!

While you are waiting to Board your Disney Cruise

If you have your camera, there will be an opportunity for your family to take a picture with Mickey before boarding. This line will form in the center of the terminal.

There will be plenty of times to pose with Mickey on the ship, so if you don’t have time, don’t worry. Mickey is on the ship and there will be MANY times available for you to have your picture taken with everyone’s favorite mouse.

Pressed Penny Machine at the Disney Cruise Terminal

There is a Pressed Penny machine in the terminal if you want a cute, cheap souvenir. We loved those pressed pennies and this is the only place where you can get a Disney Cruise pressed penny!

If you have children and are planning to use the Oceaneer Lab/Club or Disney Edge, you will find a registration station located on the far right corner.

Here, you will register your children for the kids programs and they will be given a MagicBand similar to the ones you get at the Disney World parks.

This can also be done aboard the ship, but some find it nice to go ahead and get it out of the way.

If you are in need of a bathroom or area to change into your swimwear before boarding the ship, you will find restrooms located to the right as you enter the terminal area.

Walking onboard the Disney Cruise Ship

Boarding your Disney Cruise 

Once you pass through the large Mickey Mouse ears, you enter a hallway with another picture opportunity.  This isn’t a picture with Mickey, but with a backdrop showing the Disney Cruise ship. 

Here is a little Disney Cruise Secret: The line for this is LONG. If you move to the right, you will be able to bypass this completely and go straight to the ship!

When you board the ship, a cast member will greet you and ask for your party’s name and if you are celebrating a special event. They will announce your event and your families arrival once you board.

Boarding Disney Cruise

Once on board your Disney Cruise

Depending on the time you board your Disney Cruise, you have a few options.

If it is after 1:30, you can go straight to your room and change. If not, you can go straight to the lunch buffet. 

You can also go to the pool and have lunch and start enjoying your cruise!

If you didn’t already wear your swimsuit or change at the terminal, you can change in the bathroom.

There are bathrooms located by the pool. 

Later in the day (usually around 4pm), there will be a Sailing Away Party and you will want to make sure that you attend!

Overall, the boarding process for Disney Cruise is pretty basic, but when you walk in, you can very easily get lost in all the lines. I hope these little pointers help to make your transition from terminal to ship a little easier!

Need a Place to Stay in Port Canaveral Before Your Disney Cruise?

Those looking for a hotel to stay the night before (or after) your cruise, consider the Radisson in Cape Canaveral. Not only is it a nice hotel that is close to the port, it has on site cruise parking through ParkPort Canaveral mentioned above!

You can book a Cruise package where you can stay at the hotel and then leave your car during the cruise (and get a shuttle to Port Canaveral).

Have you taken a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral? Do you have tips on the boarding process for Disney Cruise Line?

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Bob

Monday 27th of November 2017

3 families going on the Dream. Nana and I are platinum castaway club members. Kids families are first time cruisers. Can they check in with us at the platinum desk?

Gretchen Schott

Sunday 18th of June 2017

Thank you for this! We leave in 4 weeks for our first cruise and I was a bit apprehensive about what to expect. This was clear and made me feel excited to go.

Kristi

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

Yay! I am so glad to hear this. Have a magical trip!

Holly

Thursday 18th of August 2016

I have ordered for a motorized wheelchair to be delivered to the ship I'm just not sure what to get at once I get in the terminal

Kristi

Thursday 18th of August 2016

When you check in, let the agent know that you have one reserved and she should be able to tell you where to go or they will bring it to you.

Dyanna

Monday 17th of November 2014

Are the ID bands used on the ship the Magic Bands? We are doing land and sea so we have ordered customized Magic Bands. I am just unsure if they will be used both places or just on land.

Kristi

Wednesday 19th of November 2014

MagicBands are only good at the park.

Angela @Little Blue's Room

Monday 21st of July 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this information! My family will be going on the Dream in October and this is our first cruise so this information is a diamond jewel! :-)

Kristi

Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

You are going to have a fantastic trip! We just love the Dream!

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