A Disney Cruise is a lot more relaxing than a Disney World vacation. There isn’t as much go-go-go, and you really can take it at a slow pace and just be zen for the duration of your sailing. Because of that, a Disney Cruise is a bit easier to plan, yet there still are things that you need to know about during the online check-in process. There are things that you can completely miss out on if you are not in the know.
If this is your very first Disney Cruise, then you will be able to do your online check-in 75 days before sailing. The window opens up at midnight online and I strongly suggest being ready to check-in as soon as it opens. Make sure that you are logged in to your disneycruise.com account before it hits midnight and be ready to go!
What you’ll need in hand:
- your disneycruise.com login and password
- passports for all cruisers
- flight information
- pre and/or post hotel stay information
- credit card
The very first thing you want to do before you click on Online Check-In is book the onboard activities. Those book up very quickly and if you don’t do it quick enough, you could end up with no available times to book. Decide which ones are the most important to book and then go to book them in that order. You’ll find the booking for those when you look at your daily itinerary. You can go to each individual day and then select “Add Activities”.
Here are the FREE activities that you need to book a time slot for (these ones go fast!):
- Princess Gathering – you’ll get the opportunity to meet and take pictures with 4 different princesses. You need to have a time slot booked to participate in this activity.
- Frozen Gathering – you’ll get to meet Anna & Elsa and get your photo taken with them.
- Character Breakfast – this is a breakfast in one of the dining rooms that features characters. Very similar to a character meal that you would do at Disney World. The type of characters that appear will vary depending on which sailing you are on.
- Star Wars or Marvel Character Meets (only select sailings) – these character meet & greets are only for select sailings. If you are doing a Star Wars Day at Sea or Marvel Day at Sea, then there will be special themed characters to meet on a select day.
- Jedi training (Star Wars Day at Sea sailings only) – on the Star Wars Day at Sea sailings, you can also enroll your little ones in Jedi Training so that they can learn to train in the ways of the force. They then get to test their skills against Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.
Here are activities and/or experiences that you can book that are an additional cost:
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – there are a variety of different makeovers you can choose for children aged 3-12. They have several princess packages, some prince packages, and if your sailing has a pirate night, then you can also get a pirate makeover. If you are doing a Star Wars Day at Sea sailing, then they will even offer Galactic transformation packages. Prices range from between $65 and $600 USD.
- Royal Court Royal Tea – princesses and princes ages 3-12 will have the opportunity to have tea with royalty. The experience includes storytelling, dancing, sipping on tea, singing and meeting some of your favourite princesses. Every child also leaves with a special gift. If you plan to do Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, then you might want to try and get your makeover appointment just before the tea so that your little one will be all dressed up and ready! This activity costs $220 USD per child and $69 USD per adult.
- Sports Simulators – on Goofy’s Sports Deck you can book a time slot for a virtual reality sports experience. You can book a 30 or 60 minute package and get to experience golf, basketball, football, hockey, soccer and baseball. Prices range from $13 to $49 USD per session.
- Palo/Remy – these are special fine dining experiences that you can book for adults-only. If you are on the Dream or Fantasy, then you will have both Remy and Palo to choose from. If you are on the Magic or Wonder, then they will just have Palo. You’ll have the choice of booking dinner or brunch. The cost for Palo is $40 per person for both dinner and brunch. The cost for Remy is $125 per person for dinner and $75 per person for brunch.
- Spa Appointments – there are a wide variety of different treatments that you can get at the spa onboard. From massage to facials to manicures to cellulite reduction treatments. They even have a spa called the “Chill Spa” dedicated to teens only. Make sure to book your appointments in advance and you may want to save them for a sea day.
- Tastings – for adults-only, you can partake in some fun drink tastings around the ship. You must book these in advance and they offer tastings for wine, beer, whiskey, rum etc. You’ll need to check what is being offered on your sailing and book it quick. These fill up fast!
- Port Excursions – Make sure you do some research about which excursions are offered at your ports before the online check-in opens up. There is a lot to choose from, so you’ll want to know in advance exactly what you want to try and book. The most popular times for the excursions book up quick, so if you go for them as soon as online check-in opens up, you’ll have the best chance at getting a good time for your preference of excursion.
Once you’ve got all your activities booked and secured, you can move on to complete the online check-in. This is an important step as it will give you your port arrival form that you will need to print out at the end to bring with you to the port. Completing the online check-in will make your arrival at the port a lot smoother and quicker to get on the ship.
Here is what you will be expected to complete during the Online Check-In:
Personal and Passport Information
You will be required to complete the personal information for each guest and provide passport information for everyone. They also have an option to sail with a birth certificate however a passport is strongly suggested given that you will be visiting other countries.
On the first page they will ask you if anyone sailing with you is 24 weeks pregnant or more. It’s very important to pay attention to that piece of information because they do not allow anyone to sail if they are over 24 weeks. DO NOT book a cruise if you think you will be that late in a pregnancy.
Pre/Post Cruise Information
Disney does need to know where you will be before and after the cruise for transportation purposes. If you are flying for the cruise, then you will be required to provide your flight information. If you are at a hotel before or after, they will ask for that information as well. Make sure to have that all handy.
Set up Payment for Onboard Account
When you are on the ship, everything is cashless. If you do an activity/experience or purchase something, it gets charged to your onboard account. You will need to set up how you would like that onboard account handled. You can set up a credit card for the account and even choose different payments methods for different members of your traveling party.
The different payment methods you can choose from are credit, debit or cash. If you select cash, then you will have a certain limit that you can charge before you will have to pay the balance at Guest Services.
Port Arrival Time
This is also an important piece of the process that you want to complete early. The earlier you complete it, the earlier boarding time you’ll get. Try and get the earliest time available, which only means more time on the ship for you on your first day! Make sure you pack light with your carry on though because staterooms are usually only available after 1:30 PM, so you’ll have to keep your carry on luggage with you until then.
If you are using Disney transportation, then you will not have to select your port arrival time. Disney will advise you on what time you will be picked up to be taken to the port.
Youth Activity Registration
If you have children that you plan on sending to the kid’s clubs, then you’ll want to make sure you complete this section. In this section, you’ll indicate who can pick up your kids, if they can check themselves in or out (only 12 and up), and you will also set up a Secret Word that adults must know if they are going to pick up your child at the kid’s club.
Traveling with Minors
If you are traveling with other adults, then you will want to pay attention to this section. If you are going to allow your children to go ashore with other adults, then you need to grant permission for that in this section.
This is a chance for you to review the full cruise contract and you will have to agree to the terms at the end of the contract. You have the option to either print the document or send it to yourself via email.
Print Port Arrival Form
This is the final step, which is very important. You will need to print your Port Arrival Form, and make sure you pack this along with you to bring to the port. This is what you will present when you arrive at the port.
Once you’ve completed all those steps, you will be set to sail! Make sure to install the Disney Navigator app on your smartphone as that is where you will keep track of your schedule during your sailing. You’ll also be able to message with family members to keep in touch on the ship. Make sure everyone downloads the app BEFORE you get on the ship as internet access is limited and very expensive once you board.
Our preferred travel agency is Click the Mouse. They specialize in Disney destinations and will help you plan out all the little details. Best part is that their services are FREE when you book your vacation with them. Personalized service at no extra cost to you! To get a quote from a Click the Mouse travel agent for a Disney Cruise, simply fill out the info below and they will be back in touch with you:
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 10 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!