Other Disney Cruise Posts

Final Thoughts

Review- Disney Dream Food

Review- On-board Activities

Review- Castaway Cay

Review- Family Oceanview Stateroom

Pre Disney Cruise- What to do.

Pre Disney Cruise- SWA flights and Avis Car rental

Planning a Disney Cruise

Check In

The day was finally here. We ate breakfast, we cleaned up our condo and we loaded up our minivan. We had a 12:15-12:30 registered arrival time. As we mentioned earlier we rented a minivan for the week. We  left Orlando around 10am and planned on getting to the port around 11am.  The drive is quite easy and direct. However there are numerous tolls. We ended up paying about $4 over about 4-5 tolls along the way. Once you get a few miles from Port Canaveral, you are driving over water and are getting more and more excited. There were signs for different terminals and we missed seeing which one was Disney and got off the first exit, which was the correct exit and we just followed the signs. There are staff every few feet guiding you along the way. It was now about 11am and there where a few cars in front of us but nothing bad. One checkpoint checked that we had our cruise papers and glanced at all of our ID’s and directed us to drop our luggage off at the curbside porters. We parked next to the curb and a staff member was there to help with a few bags and we kindly tipped him a few dollars. Next they direct you to parking. Our 3 night cruise was $68 in the garage or $88 in the preferred lot. The preferred lot is only like 20 feet closer, so no need for us.

We park and are finally out of the car! You can see the long line of people just waiting to go through security. Sorry I don’t have a lot of great pictures of this process as they don’t like you taking pictures here. We get in line behind everyone else and notice a staff member waiving people around the corner every few seconds. people aren’t paying attention to her but I gladly jump out of line with the family to follow her and go inside a side entrance. I felt like VIP for 2 minutes as we place our bags on the scanner and walk through metal detectors with our carry on bags. At this time we go upstairs to a large area and you can see multiple different lines. Its probably getting close to 1130 now.

check in to the left, line for boat through the ears.

We get into the check in line that verifies you have completed all of your information. This line seems short as they have like 20 or more stations over to review your documentation. During this time they also hand you a health questionnaire for each family to complete.  (I don’t know what happens if you check that you are sick…) If you have already checked in online (which you should) all you need to show them is your printed of form and your passports.  There was no need for the Disney book if checked in online. They saw our kids were signed up for the kids club online and gave them their Oceaneer bands. However you still had to go to the club to get them temporarily clamped on. This is also where they give you your room keys that you must have to get on and off and back on the ship. They inform you that your room wont be ready until 130 so please don’t go to your room before that. As well as bags will be arriving between now and 6pm. Then they give you a card with a position number that relates to your boarding time. Were were number 17 as our boarding time was 1215-1230. This checking process took only about 5-10 minutes. So we had about 30 minutes still. So even if we got there at 9am, we would have been waiting as we still would have received group 17.

Check in line to get your room key and verify all your information.
If you checked in online, you wont need this much.
Your official Key!
Health questionnaire
They give your kids the bands at check in and then you have to return them before you debark the cruise before your last day.

There was a line to get pictures taken with Mickey so we got in that line. This line moved like all the lines and it was 5-10 minutes long.


There was also a nice cutout of another Disney Ship so you can see all the different sections of the ship before your board.


No we had about 20 minutes so we sat on some of the couches they had and had a snack we brought and took a quick bathroom break. There are also numerous TVs throughout playing Disney movies.


Every few minutes they call a boarding number and promptly at 1215 they call number 17. We get up and get in line to get on the ship. After confirming we were number 17 and confirming our passports we were through and onto the walkways. It was a little congested here as there were multiple lines for more photo ops. The really was no way around these so we got our photo taken and back in the walkway line. Next up was finally the stepping over part. They scan your cruise card/room key and then they announce you arriving onto this majestic trip. I will have a video of this posted shortly.

Finally you are on the ship! It was about 1230!





Other Disney Cruise Posts

Final Thoughts

Review- Disney Dream Food

Review- On-board Activities

Review- Castaway Cay

Review: Deluxe Oceanview Family Stateroom

Review Check-in

Pre Disney Cruise- SWA flights and Avis Car rental

Planning a Disney Cruise

What to do before Disney

We landed in Orlando on a Wednesday night and our cruise left on Friday. We had a whole day to spend in Orlando and had to decide what to do. We figured we would have quite a bit of the mouse on the cruise so we decided to skip Disney parks and go to Sea World. We were able to find tickets to Sea World for the 6 of us with all fees for $517. ($79 person for purchasing one day in advance compared to $99 gate price) While not a great deal, that is cheaper that what we could find for Magic Kingdom which was $670. There are much better deals if you plan on going 2 or more days at each park. Not much to be had for just one day though.

Sea World Pricing for 6
Disney Pricing for 6

Sea World was only about a 15 minute drive from our Condo. We left at about 9am, payed the $20 parking and was in our spot by 9:20. We put on sunscreen, packed our water bag, and was in the in the security line by 930. We were the second family in line. Sea World allows water and snacks, but not full lunches. Although I did see some families bringing in full lunches.

The Huge Long Line 🙂

At about 945 they let you through the gates to go visit stores and take pictures. You can only go a few hundred feet until the rope. Even by 10 o’clock when the rope dropped, there was probably only a 100 people in that area. Knowing that this wasn’t a full day since the park was only open from 10-6, I wanted to hurry up and get as many rides as we could in. According to SeaWorld, my son was just over 54 inches and could ride everything, and my daughter was just over 48 inches which meant she could do quite a few things. (on the cruise they shrunk to 53 and 46 inches- more on that in an upcoming post)

When its not busy, its not a very exciting rope drop

We first decided to do a ride all 6 of us could do, which was the Empire of the Penguin. This line was about 5 minutes. We also did it in the afternoon when the line a lot longer, i think we waited 6 minutes then. They have a spin version and a non spin version. Its a fun little ride good for all ages that lets you out in a penguin exhibit where you can get up close to them.  It is very cold so this is great on a hot day or if you have a jacket on.


Then my wife and son and I all headed over to ride Kraken. You can put on virtual reality glasses for this, but we decided to do it all natural. Its a fun intense roller coaster with flips. Again, less than a 5 minute wait. We then decided to rush over and do Manta. Manta is a newer ride where you get strapped in and feet and arms dangle like you are flying. you do an inverted flip that is just crazy. Again less than a 5 minute wait. Our grandparents were able to watch and entertain my daughter and she had several snacks while we were gone for 10 minutes.

This is how you start Manta!

We then went over to the Dolphin Theater and watched the Dolphin Show.  Getting there 15 minutes before the show started, there was plenty of seats. Of course my daughter wanted to sit in the front row when its 60 degrees outside…. This show is very entertaining as the dolphins get very high. The trainers are also in the water and the way the dolphins push and flip them is amazing.

It was getting close to noon by now and I couldn’t believe how empty the park was. It was a 6 on undercover tourist’s crown calendar, but so far we have not had more than about a 5 minute wait. We hit up Shamus Happy Harbor where my son and wife did the Shamu ride a few times. My daughter wasn’t feeling it yet and just decided to play on the big playground. I eventually talked her into it and she had a good time. Such a good time that I think her and her brother rode it like 4 times without even getting off. We also ended up doing the Carousal which again had no line.

My daughter “this is so much fun” as we go up the hill.
“I want to get off now” as we go down the hill.
Just look at how many empty seat there are. My kids rode this like 4 times in a row before they had to get off.

It was now time for the Famous One Ocean with Shamu show. We arrived about 15 minutes before the show and could pick our seats. Again my daughter wanted to sit in the front row. She got soaked and I decided to sit about 5 rows behind her and still got plenty wet. Its amazing what 6 whales can do. While the trainers are no longer in the water, its a great show.


About this time we decided to get a late lunch. Often this is the worst part at a theme park. And it was for us as we just hit up a fast food style restaurant and it took about 10 minutes. This is quick, but literally our longest line all day. There was also plenty of seating around the restaurant. The food was OK and about what you would expect from Sea World.

My son and daughter then decided to hit up Manko which is an old school no flips roller coaster. I didn’t really feel like doing this coaster after eating. They had a great time though and my son said it was his favorite.

We then decided to hit up the Sea Lion Show. Its an entertaining show with some bad slapstick comedy.  My kids enjoyed it, i thought it was okay, and grandpa didnt get it.


After the show we went back to Manko where I got on it. No line and I agree with my son that its the best coaster there.

Walking around the park we ended up petting the stingrays, seeing the manatees, and then the turtles. There was a few dolphins in dolphin cove but at about 530pm, they weren’t very active.

IMG_4518 (2)

We did everything we wanted to do in about 7 hours and called it a day as the park was closing in about 30 minutes.

Bottom line is a Wednesday in January is an awesome day for Sea World!