Making preparations for going on a Disney cruise or any cruise for that matter is important. It consumed me for a few weeks prior to boarding the ship one because we had never cruised before and two because I mean -I was thinking of nothing else! LOL But if you have never cruised or cruised a Disney Cruise Line ship I wanted to help you prepare. Here’s everything you should know about debarkation from the Disney Cruise Line.
It’s a scary word debarkation. Ok, maybe it’s not but when you are on a cruise and you see the debarkation paperwork you know the fun is about to end. Wah! But it has to right? And you can always come back! As a first time cruiser I was not sure about what happens when you walk off the ship.
Do you walk off with your luggage? Does Disney “magic” get it placed into your car or will I be able to bring things off the ship that I purchased? Customs anyone?
First off you have two options when leaving your cruise:
You can walk off of the ship with your luggage
This by far is the quickest way to head back to reality. When we cruised the second time on the Disney Wonder- the boys and I totally walked off the ship, zipped thru customs and before we know it we were driving away from the ship. Not a favorite moment by far, but I was impressed at how easy it was to debark.
You can have your luggage brought down and placed in the terminal
When choosing to have your luggage brought down for you the prepartion begins the night prior to debarkation. YES! Get your suitcase ready, tagged and outside your stateroom door by 10pm so that it is grabbed by your stateroom attendant and organized to be waiting for you at the terminal prior to hitting customs.
The first time we cruised in August 2016 I was completely green as to what we needed to do. Of course it was a mad dash to get everything packed and deciding what I needed and didn’t need. I ended up keeping a suitcase and setting two outside to be picked up. Wouldn’t you know the one left to be picked up also contained my passport! Yeah! Folks always keep your passport with you. Luckily I didn’t have any issues because we grabbed our luggage before going thru customs, but I did have to open my luggage and dig thru to grab our passports. It was not pretty friends, keep your passports! Please! And your Key to the World card. Keep it around your neck for easy access until after you are off the ship. You’ll get one last scan as you walk off the ship to make sure everyone in your party is with you. Accountability to the max friends!
Not sure where you’re luggage will be? In your stateroom with all of the debarkation information, you’ll receive a tag with a cute Disney character telling you which section your luggage will be waiting for you at. During our first cruise our luggage would be waiting for us at the Tinkerbell section. We had our breakfast, Ezra a meltdown and we walked off the ship into the terminal to find our luggage. Besides the meltdown, the process was simple.
Is it just me or has that word just become a lot more scary? Ok maybe it’s just me. But if you have nothing to declare – you didn’t purchase any high dollar items and you aren’t bringing anything back you shouldn’t be- again it’s an easy process. You can’t bring back any food from the boat and if you purchased alcohol and high value items you’ll have to pay a tax. So be prepared! Make sure to have your passports handy.
Either way you decide to go it was an easy process. In the end to avoid having to drag your suitcase to breakfast I’d go with it being taken to the terminal for you. If you decide to forgo breakfast, take your own bags for a quicker trip off the ship.
I cannot say enough about the Disney Cruise Line Terminal in Port Canaveral. Compared to another port it was very easy to get in and out of and I can’t really say we “waited forever” for anything. The onboarding and off boarding is executed very well and I would give it 5 stars.
And you get one final wave from those big white gloves to send you on your way. Ok so Mickey isn’t waving you off, but the awesome castmembers that you get to know are among those waving. It’s so hard to say goodbye to Mickey and the gang! I should have taken a picture but I was too sad!
Have you been on a Disney Cruise before? Share your favorite memories from your cruise!