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 Canaveral 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 boarding process a little easier.
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.
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).
Disney Cruise Port Canaveral Boarding Process
Prior to departure, you will be given tags for your luggage. Be sure to tag your bags with your room number. Make sure all your bags are securely fastened so the contents don’t fall out.
When you arrive at Port Canaveral, you will be able to either have your luggage taken on the ship for you or bring it on board yourself.
You will want to decide this prior to getting there. It is a personal choice and will depend on how much your bring as well as the time you arrive.
Each guest is given a check in time. While you may check in after that time, understand that your room will not be ready until 1pm or later. This gives you time to walk the ship or go to the pool. If you need swimwear, make sure you carry it on the ship!The Disney Cruise Line 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.
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 I would avoid this opportunity if you can.
There is a Pressed Penny machine in the terminal if you want a cute, cheap souvenir.
If you have previously sailed with Disney Cruise Line, you are in luck. You are now considered a Silver Member. This gets you a much shorter wait in line! Gold and Platinum Members will also have an even shorter line!
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.
Upon registration, you will be given a boarding number. This number will be called over an intercom and all people with that number will be allowed to board the ship.
Again, there will be another picture opportunity.
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.
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!
Have you taken a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral? Do you have tips on the boarding process for Disney Cruise Line?