Boarding Disney Cruise Line-The First Things You Should do When You Board Your Disney Cruise Line Ship

Boarding your Disney Cruise Line ship is such an exciting experience! After booking your cruise, and through the entire planning process, the moment has finally come! With so much ahead of you, how do you know the first things to do when you board your Disney Cruise Line ship? I am excited to share my best tips with you today so you can sail away and make amazing memories with your family!

Boarding the Disney Cruise Line ships is nothing short of a magical experience. As you step across the threshold, and they welcome your family onboard over the loud speaker, you know you are in for an amazing experience. Before you sail away to a magical time at sea, there are some opportunities to take advantage of after you board.

What do Do As Soon as You Board Disney Cruise Line #disneycruiseline #dcl #disneycruisetips

Book Onboard Activities or Reservations

When your booking window opens before you sail, sometimes your activities or specialty dining are unavailable. No worries! People change their plans often, and you are likely to score some great reservations and activities when you board the ship. What can you book pre cruise?

  • Adult Only Dining at Palo, Remy, or Enchante
  • Liquor or Other Beverage Tastings
  • Spa Experiences
  • The Rainforest Room
  • Olaf’s Picnic {if sailing the Disney Wish}
  • The Royal Gathering
  • Port Adventures

Perhaps you were not sure if you wanted to enjoy one of these on your Disney Cruise, or it just wasn’t available when your window opened. Now could be you chance! For spa experiences, visit the Spa itself onboard. This is where you can book spa experiences for yourself during your sailing. If you need to book or change a Port Adventure, the Port Adventures desk is where you want to go.

If you’d like to check availability for Royal Gathering, Olaf’s Picnic, or beverage tastings you will want to visit Guest Services.

Another thing to check when you board is your dining rotation. If you are assigned a dining room you are not super keen on for two nights, or you want Animator’s Palate for Pirate Night, visit the Dining Team. They can work with you to try and switch things around so you are happy with your rotation. This is also the time to try and change your dining time if you are unhappy with what you were assigned. Crew members will do the best they can to make these changes for you.

The Dining Team is typically found in a lounge on the ship. For example, they are typically in the Luna Lounge on the Disney Wish or the French Quarter on the Wonder.

Have Lunch with Your Family

After traveling to the port, making any changes or bookings, you are likely ready to eat! When you board the ship, there are several options for meals. We personally go right to Cabanas-the buffet on most Disney Cruise Line ships, as well as the drink stations to fill our cups. If that does not appeal to you, the options are as follows:

  • One Main Dining Room will be open on embarkation for a sit down meal
  • The Pool Deck Walk Up Windows
  • Order Room Service
  • Concierge guests can get a yummy lunch and snacks in the Concierge Lounge!

While it is very convenient and will have a variety of options, the buffet can be busy. If you prefer a quieter area for lunch, visit the main dining room that is open on embark. There will be one dedicated to lunch for guests on embarkation day. For example, on the Wonder, it is usually Tiana’s Place. Or, you can always get lunch from one of the walk up windows on the pool deck, find a nice place to sit and take in the scenery as you prepare to sail away!

Go for a Swim

Packing your swimsuits and sunscreen in your carry on bag is a fabulous idea. This gives you access to your items before your room is ready. Some people will even wear their swimsuits under their clothes or a cover up when they embark the ship! This is a GREAT time to visit the water slide on the pool deck. Each Disney Cruise Line ship has an amazing water coaster!

  • Disney Wish: AquaMouse
  • Disney Dream & Fantasy: AquaDuck
  • Disney Magic: AquaDunk
  • Disney Wonder: Twist and Spout

These will be VERY popular on the cruise, especially on sea days. So, if you want to enjoy them when it’s less crowded, hop on right away when you embark!

Visit Your Disney Cruise Line Stateroom

Your stateroom will be ready around 1:30PM. Sail away is typically around 3:30PM, so you have time to visit your room and then head to the deck for the Sail A Wave Party and an ice cream cone!

This gives you time to set up your door decorations, settle in with your carry on bags-or possibly unpack if your checked baggage has been brought to your room. While in your room, check your Disney Cruise Line Navigator and make a loose plan for what you want to experience while onboard. On the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App, you can “heart” next to the activities you want to experience. It’s the perfect way to keep track of the activities so you do not miss anything.

Check Out the Kids Clubs on Disney Cruise Line

On embarkation day, anyone can visit and check out the kids clubs. They host an Open House, and this is a great time to see all the magical fun your kiddos and teens will be having on Disney Cruise Line! Also, if you have not registered your kids for the clubs, you can so so now. This is also a good time to talk with the counselors and share any concerns you have or details they need to know about your child. Also, it gives you and your kids time to explore together before they venture in without you during your sailing.

Before you know it, you’ll be back on the pool deck with an ice cream cone in your hand and ready to enjoy the Sail a Wave Party as you pull out of port and are truly on your way to a magical time on the high seas!

Carrie Hurst

Not only do I love sharing all my vacation tips and ideas here on A Princess and Her Pirates, but I also work alongside families to create magical vacation memories year after year! Email me at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com to begin the planning process, and join hundreds of families on my current guest list.

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