If this is your first time going on a Disney Cruise, you may be wondering what embarkation day may be like. Below are my tips to make your first day smooth and seamless.
1. Arrive at the port 1 hour prior
Our boarding time was between 1:00-1:30. We were parking right at noon, allowing me plenty of time with little ones to get situated, board the shuttle to the terminal, and go through the various checkpoints prior to our boarding time. We waited only 5 minutes to board.
2. Go Directly to Guest Services
Having booked our cruise only about a month prior to sailing meant that most of the free ticketed events such as character breakfasts and meet-and-greets were not available. However, we were able to get a character breakfast after boarding. We checked back the next day and there was an opening for a Princess meet-and-greet and the Frozen Gathering. Make sure Guest Services is your first stop as you board the ship.
3. Sign Up for Free Internet Offer
Disney offers 50MB per stateroom worth of internet on embarkation day. You must sign up for this on your first day and the data is good for the duration of your trip. If you would like more data, there are different packages based on the amount of data you want. Currently for iPhone users, DCL allows the iMessage service to work WITHOUT the need to purchase an internet package. Just note that on text messages will be sent, a internet package is needed for any photos or videos.
4. Download the Navigator App
This app allows you to see all of the activities on board, has a map of each deck of the ship, and also has a chat feature for you to communicate with others on board. If you do nothing else, this is THE ONE thing you cannot forget. Because of the app, we saw soon after getting on board that there was a Walking Tour of the ship. This was a great way for us to get our bearings and know where some of the key areas were.
5. Check Out the Kids Club
On the first day, each of the clubs have open house hours meaning parents and siblings can join your little one in the Oceaneer Club & Oceaneer Lab. Going together made me feel more comfortable knowing what was offered, but also allowed my daughter to feel things out. She instantly felt comfortable and loved being able to explore and play in the large open areas of both clubs.