Sample Boarding Plan
There's so much to do when you first board the ship, it can be very overwhelming and confusing, especially for first-timers. Advance planning is key to getting the most out of your first day. Here is a sample plan for embarkation day, that can be adjusted to suit.
Try to arrive at Port Canaveral as early as possible. Check-in usually opens between 10am-11am*, so if you're there for that time you'll be one of the first to check-in and board. If you've done online check-in, you won't be held up long here, and will have some time to explore the Terminal building.
While waiting to board, study the "Welcome Aboard" information sheet that is printed on the back of the ship map you were given at check-in. Any of the times below are subject to change, so it's best to double check against that list.
Boarding usually starts between 11am-12pm*, sometimes a bit later. If you have time, go for a quick look around the ship to get your bearings. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll find your way around, and don't worry, as there are directions displayed so you can't get lost!
It's best and easiest to make any reservations you require beforehand, using the Disney Cruise website, or getting your travel agent to do them for you. But if not you will have to visit the different areas of the ship to get them done. Some of the timings are offset, so if you're onboard early enough you should be able to get to each one as it opens. If not, split up and send different members of your party to book different things.
Vista Spa Reservations start upon boarding in the Spa.
Registration for Disney's Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab starts upon boarding.
Palo Reservations and changes in dining reservations start upon boarding, in Wavebands / Rockin' D Bar, deck 3, forward.
There is an open house for teens at Aloft / The Stack, starting soon after boarding.
The Shore Excursion Desk is open for business from 12:30pm*, deck 3, midship (deck 5, midship on the Dream).
Once you've made all your reservations you can grab some lunch from Parrot Cay (Magic & Wonder) / Cabanas (Dream), or one of the buffet restaurants.
Staterooms are usually ready after 1:30pm, so now might be a good time to find your room. Luggage is delivered throughout the afternoon until 5:30pm.
The Quiet Cove pool and Mickey pool are open, and if you want to have a swim that afternoon before your luggage arrives, be sure to pack swimwear in your day bag.
The mandatory lifeboat drill takes place at around 3:45pm-4pm on deck 4, and every passenger must attend.
Once that's done you're free to do whatever you please! The Sailaway Celebration is fun, and can be viewed from decks 9 or 10. It normally starts at 4:15-4:30pm, although the ship doens't usually depart until 5pm.
Your luggage should be at your room now, so time for a quick unpack before getting changed for dinner and the show.
There are plenty of entertainment options for the first night, whether it be family fun in Studio Seas / D Lounge, adult time in the entertainment disctrict, or just exploring the ship and relaxing in your stateroom.
There ends a busy and exciting first day!
* All times are given as examples and are subject to change.