PC terminal questions

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by LAX, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. LAX

    LAX Mouseketeer

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    Never cruised before and have never been in a cruise terminal before. What's there to do prior to boarding a DCL cruise? I have read that some Disney characters might be there for pictures, but is there anything else? I am trying to decide whether we should arrive early to maximize our first cruise experience. TIA.

    LAX
     
  2. Neptune's Fork

    Neptune's Fork DIS Veteran

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    I would suggest arriving early because there will be a lot more to do aboard the ship than elsewhere, and probably better food too. You will probably see sailor Mickey and maybe Minnie and Goofy in terminal.
     
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  4. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    That's pretty much it. No real reason to get there early since you can't board until your group number is called. We aim to arrive at the port about 11:30, which usually has us going directly from check-in to boarding without having to wait with the crowds.
     
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  5. dad of 3 addicted to DCL

    dad of 3 addicted to DCL Waiting for December

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    Prior to boarding there's not much to do. There's a few TVs scattered about showing disney shorts and whatnot, and there's a large model that's entertaining for 5 minutes. sometimes there's a character appearance. Bring a book and/or a battery charger for your phone :) That being said, we always arrive early to the terminal (port Canaveral and in Manhattan).
     
  6. LAX

    LAX Mouseketeer

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    One decision I am struggling with is whether to use DCL transfer from WDW. From what I have read in other threads, with the DCL transfer, you won't get there until later in the boarding process. While the idea of not having to haul our luggage around is enticing (albeit more expensive for a family of 5), I certainly don't want lose out on any worthwhile terminal-related experiences if there are any (especially for the kids).

    LAX
     
  7. beachdrmn

    beachdrmn Earning My Ears

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    There is at least two penny stamp machines that make cool souvenirs and a replica of the ship that is cool to check out. And you can take care of getting your kids club bands while you wait. Saves having to do it onboard so you have more time to explore. We always get to the port around 10:00 and visit with others in line while we wait to get into the terminal. Everyone is so excited and like sharing it with others!
     
  8. tigerchic89

    tigerchic89 Mouseketeer

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    for 5, I'd skip the Disney transport and get there earlier (while saving some $$$). The terminal is busy, but exciting
     
  9. Weedy

    Weedy DIS Veteran

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    You can check all your bags. You only need a small carry on bag with things you need before your cabin is ready (sunscreen, bathing suits) You should also keep any RX’s with you.
    The only thing that can be a pain is if you carry on water, beer or wine. But put these in a small roller suitcase.
     
  10. Laundress

    Laundress DIS Veteran

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    After you have checked in there is not much to do. But we enjoy soaking up the ambiance. Reveling in the moment.... we are finally here. And taking lots of photos since my memory fades long before my next trip.
     
  11. Trera

    Trera DIS Veteran

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    You can walk around and hope you are selected as family of the day!!!:mickeyjum
     
  12. Capt_BJ

    Capt_BJ So Many Times

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    the other opinion ....

    I don't like to arrive b4 noon. If you get there early you just join the 'me first' crowd and that leaves an impression of lines and unhappy folks in my mind.

    Arriving noon or after, all the folks in a hurry have moved out of the way and made their first sweep thru the buffet for lunch. As soon as the rooms are available they move out to put their stuff in their room. When I arrive the terminal is nearly empty and the lines short if they even exist. By the time I complete the check in process I typically can go straight to my room, put down stuff, freshen up then enjoy a late uncrowded lunch which is fine since we ALWAYS request second seating dinner (in the old days of cruising called MAIN versus early)

    I'll admit that our first time was a long time ago and we cruise a bit so we're kinda over the excitement of seeing Mickey in the terminal as the angry crowd waits for the gates to open and they can rush the door!!!!

    I look at it this way, arriving at EPCOT I can stand in line for Soarin' and wait for an hour or more .... or pick up a FASTPASS that says come back at noon ..... I come back at noon .... (altho the waiting area for Soarin' IS a better than average one ....)

    just my 3 cents ....
     
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  13. Deaconfan

    Deaconfan Earning My Ears

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    Others have covered what can be expected in the terminal pretty well.

    If getting there early is important, you might consider getting a price on private transportation from WDW to PC. Might be cheaper than DCL's transfer for your traveling party. They'll pick you up at the time you choose and will load your luggage and drop it off right at the porter station at the port.
     
  14. AndreAggie

    AndreAggie Mouseketeer

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    One thing to note, if you use private transportation or a rental car, there are porters that will take your luggage. You do not take your luggage into the terminal and don't have to worry about lugging it around. You just have to get it to the port. It'll get taken, scanned and delivered to your room sometime that afternoon/evening. The only thing you need with you is your carry-on bag with necessary meds, passports/cruise documents, swimsuits and possibly a change of clothes for dinner in case your luggage doesn't arrive until the evening.
     
  15. CamperMomma

    CamperMomma Mouseketeer

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    How late is the buffet open on embarkation day for lunch? We are going next February (two couples, no children this time) and have the late dinner seating. We are staying in PC the night before, so could really arrive at any time we'd like. I can certainly see the perk of getting on the ship just a bit later when the crowds have thinned out and are exploring their rooms. For both us and our friends, we have recently sailed on the Dream, so we won't have that first day newbie "figure out where things are". :)
     
  16. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    If you’ve ever waited in a doctors waiting room, the terminal experience is much like that. They bring out a character but the lines are really long because there’s nothing else to do. You will be able to meet the same character in the same outfit on the ship.
     
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  17. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    They start putting stuff away around 3pm
     
  18. LAX

    LAX Mouseketeer

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    The bolded may be enough to get us arrive early. While waiting around at the terminal doesn't sound like fun, saving time to do other things after boarding during the wait may make it worthwhile though.

    LAX
     
  19. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    You can pick them up at the kids club where there are shorter lines
     
  20. beachdrmn

    beachdrmn Earning My Ears

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    Yeah that wasn't our experience. We had no wait. Breezed right through the line in the terminal. But like I said we like to arrive around 10 so we are fairly close to the front of the line. If you arrived at 10:30 I could maybe see there being a longer line. Plus we fill out all the paperwork for the kids club ahead of time online so it makes it really quick to get the band.
     
  21. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    That is completely different than my experience. The kids club line was twice as long as the line for mickey and that line was at least 30 minutes. We were there when they opened the terminal too. As were hundreds of other cruisers. You must’ve really gotten lucky.
     

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