It’s almost here! You have been dreaming of setting sail on your Disney cruise for months and months, and the time has finally come!
Soon you will be able to complete your online check-in. To keep you from being one of those frustrated sailors in your Facebook group, we are going to prepare you for smooth sailing through the online check-in process by making sure you are armed and ready with everything you need!
Check-In dates vary by your Castaway Cay level or if you are sailing Concierge:
- Pearl / Concierge Level = 40 days prior to sailing
- Platinum Level = 38 days prior to sailing
- Gold Level = 35 days prior to sailing
- Silver Level = 33 days prior to sailing
- First time Disney Cruise Line cruisers = 30 days prior to sailing
Before Your Online Check-In Date:
- Confirm the exact spelling and full name of each guest between your Disney Cruise Line reservation and the government-issued identification you will be using for boarding. (Passport, birth certificate, etc.). They must match exactly.
- Confirm the expiration date of the government-issued identification you will be using for boarding.
- Be sure you have already created your DisneyCruiseLine.com and have linked your cruise reservation(s).
- Download the official Disney Cruise Line Navigator app and checked for any updates.
- Make sure you have linked any other friends’ or family’s reservations to your reservation so that you are seated together at dinner and can book activities together.
- Confirm that you have booked your on-board activities and shore excursions. (The booking window for this also varies depending on your Castaway Club status or if you are sailing in a concierge stateroom. If you are unsure of the date, you can start booking, pull up your reservation on DisneyCruiseLine.com).
You can cancel activities and excursions up until 3 days before your sailing.
Triple check your Online Check-In Date on the app or at DisneyCruiseLine.com. Remember: the check-in time is Midnight Eastern Time on your check-in day. Meaning, if your check-in date is Tuesday April 18, you can start the check-in process at midnight Eastern on Monday night.
Important: Online check-in closes at midnight the day before your cruise. If online check-in is not completed by then, you may be denied boarding.
What to Have Ready at Check-In*:
- A clear photo of each passenger’s passport. Be sure there is no glare and that you can easily read the passport number, name, issue and expiration date, and the photo is clear.
- Passports need to remain valid for a minimum of 6 months after your debarkation date and have at least a few blank pages available. (Requirements can vary by country).
- A clear photo of each passenger. This should be different than the passport photo and should be a solo photo of the guest from the shoulders up. Select a photo that has a plain background.
- Flight information (even if you are not using Disney transportation)
- Pre- and Post-Cruise hotel information
- A credit card to keep on file for onboard purchases
- Name and phone number of an emergency contact not traveling with you
* I recommend having copies of your passports and photos on both your computer and phone in case the website or app is not working for you. This will reduce possible delays in having to transfer the information over while checking in.
At midnight Eastern time on your online check-in date:
Remember: the check-in time is Midnight Eastern Time on your check-in day. Meaning, if your check-in date is Tuesday April 18, you can start the check-in process at midnight Eastern on Monday night.
You will be able to log in to your Disney Cruise Line account (I personally prefer the app), select your sailing, and click on “Begin Check-In.” Click through each step in order. The icons on the right will fill in as each section is completed.
- Guest Information
- Onboard Account
- Travel Plans
- Port Arrival Time
Port Arrival Time (PAT). Most people will select the earliest time available so there is more time to explore the ship before you sail away. You will also be automatically assigned a Boarding Group.
Note: if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel and have booked the Disney Cruise Line transfer, you will not be asked to select a Port Arrival Time.
- Cruise Contract
Once you have completed your Online Check-In, you will see the message “You’re All Set to Sail!” You can check back periodically before your cruise to ensure your documents have been reviewed by a cast member and your check-in has been upgraded from “Pending” to “Complete.”
Be sure to print out (and you can also add it to your digital wallet on your iPhone) your Port Arrival Form.
At the 30 day mark, you will also be able to:
- Book the Princess Gathering. This princess meet-and-greet is included in your cruise fare, but it requires a reservation and is limited due to the popularity.
- Purchase a photo package. Purchasing in advance will be the least expensive pricing available. You can opt to purchase once on-board at a higher price. Disney Visa holders get a discount on-board, but the pre-purchase price that is offered to all guests will be the best pricing.
Make sure to add any special requests which is very easy to do directly in the app. This can include things like: high chairs, bedrails and cribs; dietary requests; celebration planning. This should be done at least 5 weeks prior to your sail date. Additional requests for food allergies and accessibility assistance/medical equipment can be requested on the Special Services Form.
Remember: technology is not perfect. If you are getting an error message in the app, try the website. If you are getting an error on the website, try the app. If neither works, try an incognito browser/window on your device.
Disney Cruise Line can be reached at 800-951-3532, or contact your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist. (Please note - Disney Cruise Line will not answer specific questions regarding your reservation or make any changes for you if you are booked with a travel agent).
- What if we have multiple staterooms to check in?
If you have several staterooms to check in, you can opt to have each stateroom have their own account and try to coordinate as best you can with Port Arrival Times.
Alternatively, you can link the reservations to one account so that one person can be responsible for checking everyone in. That person would need to have all the information ready for each stateroom. They will still need to toggle between each reservation.
With either method, you likely will not get the same PAT. If this is the case, you can all arrive at the latest PAT time to board together.
- What if we do not have passports or are traveling on Visas?
For complete details on proper documentation for sailing on a Disney cruise, please refer to the official Disney Cruise Line website.
I strongly, strongly urge you to have a valid passport for everyone in your traveling party in case of emergency.
Just a few weeks to go!
Now that you're checked in, you can make a packing list, start putting your vacation essentials together, place your travel documents/Port Arrival Form/passports in a folder in a safe place, and look forward to stepping on board your Disney cruise!
Nancy loves sailing with Disney Cruise Line and would love to help your family plan their next adventure!