Traveling on the Disney Dream speaks for itself — it was a dream! But how was it actually getting on the ship? I have been on other cruise lines but have never been on a Disney Cruise Line cruise, nor to the Bahamas as a matter of fact. So, I was really excited for my trip and curious on how Disney ran their operation for embarkation day.
When Tyler and I checked in online a week before the trip we were a little late to the game, and the earliest check-in time was 1:30 pm. We decided to get to Orlando one day before the cruise so we had time to relax and go to Disney World for a day. We decided to hire a driving service to pick us up at our hotel in Disney World and drive us to Port Canaveral instead of taking the Disney Cruise Line bus.
The traffic going to Port Canaveral was smooth and relaxing, and we arrived at 1:15 pm. The porters were friendly and helpful. We didn’t receive our luggage tags in the mail and asked the porters for tags. They were helpful and wrote out new tags for us! Is it customary to tip them? I usually do, because they are hauling my bags to the ship and they wrote out new luggage tags for me, but the amount is up to you.
After saying goodbye to our bags we headed to security in the cruise terminal. It is similar to airport security where you go through a metal detector and they screen your bags. Our wait was not long at all; it took us about 5 minutes to get through security.
When we were done with security, we proceeded up the escalator to the check-in line. In the terminal there were two lines: first-time cruisers and a Castaway Club/Concierge line. Since I have never cruised with Disney Cruise Line before, I proceeded to the first-timers line. I waited for about 10 minutes in line. The cast member checking me in was so nice and helpful, and checked my documentation and confirmed the onboard account was up to date. Lucky for me, my room was ready as soon as I checked in! I met up with Tyler, because we parted ways since he has cruised with Disney before and went in the Castaway Club line.
We thought there would be a line to get on the ship because they handed us our boarding numbers, and to our surprise it was empty. The only line was for the embarkation group photos that guests can purchase later that evening on the ship. Tyler and I bypassed that line since we didn’t need that photo. We headed right on the ship — I do love how Disney announces your arrival when stepping on the ship! Even though no one was watching, we waved and thanked the crew for the royal announcement.
This whole process getting on the ship only took us about 30 minutes — it was quick and painless! We headed up to our room to drop off our carry-on bags and to check out our stateroom.
I was curious to see the kids' club area, and we knew that this would be our only opportunity since it was an open house and will soon be closed off to adults. If I was a kid, I would want to go play in here all the time! You can sit in the pilot seat of the Millennium Falcon and take a drive into hyperspace; it’s a great picture opportunity for Star Wars fans like Tyler and myself! The video that takes place while you're "driving" is the same video that one would see while riding the Star Tours attraction in the Disney Parks.
The Toy Story play area was really cool to see up close, because I have only seen it in pictures. You can get up close and become toy-sized yourself in Andy's room.
The Muster Drill was quick and didn't take too long. Word to the wise, if you are able to take the stairs after the drill, please do or you will be waiting forever for the elevator. We headed up to the pool deck to watch the Sail Away Show. People told us this is a cannot miss show, and they are right! This is a great way to meet the cruise director and get excited to start your vacation. Just seeing all the little ones dancing around and their eyes lighting up when Mickey and the gang come out, and seeing happy parents ready to enjoy their long-needed vacation, was more than enough for me to get a smile on my face. While the show was going on, we slowly started to set sail for the Bahamas. Can I mention how amazing the tune from the blow horn was when we were setting sail? It was “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio! How amazing is that?
It was a fun-filled first day! Getting to the pier was painless, checking in and getting on the ship was a breeze. I was expecting an hour to get on the ship, but it only took us 30 minutes from curb to ship. Don't miss the Sail Away Celebration because it is seriously the cutest deck party to kick off your vacation!
Check out the video below of the Sail Away Celebration that we were able to enjoy when we went on the Disney Dream.
If you want to see it in person, visit official DIS sponsor Dreams Unlimited Travel and request a no-obligation quote.