After a bit of a hiatus, it finally became time to book logistics for our trip! In my previous articles, I covered booking, research, and keeping up the excitement. In this article, I will go over my hotel and flight decisions, and explain my online check-in and activity reservation process for our upcoming Very Merrytime Bahamas cruise out of Miami.
As advised by every Disney Cruise Line tip article, we planned to get to Miami the day before the sailing date to ensure we avoid all issues and don’t miss our sailing. So with that, the first thing I booked was our hotel. We had considered booking an Airbnb and use Uber/Lyft to get around because we wanted to save as much as possible. However, after a ton of research on different hotels in the area, we went with the Comfort Suites Miami Airport North. This hotel offers complimentary transportation to and from the airport, transportation to and from the Port of Miami, and complimentary breakfast! We booked a 1 King Bed Suite for a very generous $130 (be aware that I did receive a discounted AAA rate).
We waited quite a while to book our flights because a flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Miami (MIA) seemed to be extremely expensive. We looked at our option to fly into Fort Lauderdale (FLL), and while slightly cheaper, paying for transportation to Miami wouldn’t make much of a price difference. I’ll be honest, the endless checking of prices for flights everyday was tiring and, as soon as I found flights in the $400 range, I went ahead and bought them. I completely understand that waiting closer to the flight date will show the cheapest prices, I unfortunately just didn’t have the time to have the need to book the flight in the back of my mind.
Now for the fun part: online check-in and cruise activity reservations! Funnily enough, we were at dinner with friends when my reminder went off to get online and do the online check-in. I immediately scrambled to grab my phone and get on the website. It was a surprisingly simple process. The process begins with entering the guest information such as address, phone number, and an emergency contact. The next step is identification, where you will input your type of identification (passports, etc.) and the information that follows with it. Next, we had to input the pre/post cruise information, which basically just consists of your flight information. We actually didn’t yet have our flight information, so we were able to input random flights, and it let us continue the check-in process. Following that, we put in the credit card we wanted to link up to our onboard account for onboard purchasing. Now for the big one: choosing our port arrival time. From endless research, everyone recommended that we get on the ship as early as possible, and our earliest option was 12:00pm, which made us really happy. Lastly, you will review the contract and print out your port arrival form.
Knowing we were the last group to make activity reservations, we zoomed through the check-in process and proceeded to make our reservations as quickly as possible. As first timers, we were booking at 75 days before the sail date compared to the 90 days for Silver Castaway Club members, 105 days for Gold Castaway Club members, and 120 days for Platinum members and Concierge, so we expected reservations to be limited. The first thing we tried to get was a Palo Brunch reservation on our anniversary date, which unfortunately was completely sold out. We then moved on to book some liquor tastings, and we were able to snag a champagne tasting and a wine tasting. Lastly, we booked the one excursion we planned on which was the Blue Lagoon Island VIP Beach Day – Adults Only for when we are docked at Nassau, Bahamas.
Having everything booked and ready was extremely relieving, and now I feel myself getting restless to leave since we have everything ready! I will say that I am a little disappointed that we were not able to get a reservation for Palo Brunch, but I did read that they save reservations for guests to reserve when they board so we’re hoping for that. Needless to say, we are extremely excited and looking forward to all the magical memories we are going to make on the cruise! We’ve even decided to buy a photo package and an in-room gift! Only 34 (technically 33 since we fly out the day before) more days!
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