What is going to look different for you while doing your online check-in?

Since the return of cruising things are being done a little differently.

As the cruising industry has come back as a top vacation choice, many things have changed in how things are done. At first, it seemed like every week/day/hour, something new was adjusted/modified to meet the current requirements.  I had decided to wait and see if things would settle down, and it seems that we might have reached that point. At least as far as the online check-in procedures go.

If you have cruised before with Disney, you know that most of the check-in was done at the port before the shutdown. That is not the case anymore; they are trying to limit the amount of personal contact with cruisers and port services. As I prepare for our first cruise back since pre-Covid, I feel like I am learning everything all over again. Since we will go out of Port Canaveral on the first cruise back, I am focusing on it, but it seems that everything involved with online check-in is the same no matter the port. So I thought that I would share what I am seeing as far as changes in online check-in.

Online check-in is done 30 days out for everyone! Before online check-in was staggered by the number of cruises, you completed. But now everyone can do it at midnight (EST) of the 30-day mark till your cruise. Port adventures, adult dining,  onboard fun, and spa and fitness are regularly scheduled for booking times. At this time, the nursery has not returned; the Oceeneers club is available for reservations at the 30-day mark.

Everyone has to pick a port arrival time! If you are a non-concierge cruiser, you must choose a port arrival time (PAT). Before, platinum cruisers could come whenever it best worked for them, but now they need a PAT for everyone on the ship. This includes cruisers that have decided to take the DCL transportation.

Port Arrival Time is no longer flexible! Pre-covid, you could come early, and as long as the port was not full, you would be able to check-in early. That is no longer the case; everyone has to stick to their PAT, or they will be asked to return to their car until their allotted window opens. Since I have been using the DCL bus since the return of cruising, I cannot expand on how the PAT works. I have been informed that you will be able to check-in at the port when the bus arrives no matter your PAT because they are aware of the bus arrival times and have factored that in to the plans.

There is an additional website to log into! After you have done everything on the Disney cruise line website you have to log in to the Safe Passage website and set up an account for everyone (5+) that will be on the cruise. You will need a photo and information on their vaccination card. All under 5 will need to follow the current rules in order to go on the cruise. This is as of right now I know that there is talk of vaccines for under 5 and that may change the requirements to go on the cruise.

Upload Photo of Citizenship Documents! We used to just fill in the information on the website, and they would look at it at the port. Now, since there is no port check-in, you have to upload a photo of your documents (Passport or Birth Certificate) to be reviewed. You will still need to bring them with you on the cruise.

Upload a Picture of Yourself! This used to be done at the port, but now you need to take a photo, preferably one with a solid plain background, with no glasses or hat, and looking straight on; think passport photo style.

Print out your Port Arrival Form! It didn’t take me long (first cruise) to realize that I didn’t need to print out the form. BUT THAT IS NO LONGER TRUE! It has a QR code that you will need to enter the terminal. I will need to make sure that I have printed this out and bring it with me. I love saving paper but have had problems with my connection when I needed it most, so I will be printing everything out as a backup to my digital forms. You just never know, and I do not want to be told we cant board because I didn’t print out something.

Port arrival form has Muster Station and Boarding Group Number on it! In the past, you couldn’t do the muster drill until you got on board and checked into your room. Now they have this information on your forms, and you can do the drill on your app; this makes it much more manageable.

Safe Passage QR Code! You can access the Safe Passage QR code from your phone, but I recommend you print it out and save a digital copy. This is proof that you are cleared to board the ship.

When everything is all said and done, do not be alarmed! Your account will show as pending, and it will not be cleared until all items have been reviewed. Not sure on the timeline for that, but it has concerned a few, so I wanted to pass that along.

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