First Time Cruise: Concierge Question

My family is going on a cruise, we booked concierge. I know that includes getting to board the ship first, which I find to be one of the most important perks. My question is about my stay and transportation. I’m debating between the Hyatt MCO and Riviera. When they assign bus pick up times from Riviera, do they take into account if someone has the first boarding group, and would like to board right at 11? Or will I run the risk of getting picked up late and miss this perk?

Any tips would be appreciate. Traveling with 3 kids all under 10.





can you friends help with this?


I have never used Disney transportation to get to the port. I always rent a car or a limo service (not an actual limo but it’s via an official limo service). I am way too much a control freak to leave my port arrival time to Disney and it’s transportation LOL. But yes you get to board first and you have your own waiting area. We often run to the slide, swimsuits on and prepared.


Never done concierge but our experience taking the bus from MCO Hyatt was that by getting to the lobby early enough to get booked on the first shuttle we were at the port before boarding started. That was December 2022. Our only experience with the shuttle from a WDW resort was pre-Covid. That time our bus didn’t pick us up until much later and we arrived at the port well after boarding started.


If your priority is to get be very early and making use of your concierge privileges to board first, the DCL shuttle may (but also may not quite) get you there that early. So if it were me, I would arrange for transportation that will aim to arrive by or just a few minutes before your concierge boarding time (If going out of Port Canaveral I would guess that would be 11am).

We used the DCL shuttle to get to Port Canaveral from MCO in February and had a low boarding group (3) and early end port arrival time (11:15am), and this was our timing for the shuttle:

  • 10:35am shuttle left MCO (we were on the 2nd bus with the first having left by 10:20am)
  • 11:23am arrived to port
  • 11:34 through security
  • 11:39 BG 1 & 2 called
  • 11:40 BG 3 called
  • 11:55 aboard

There were a handful of other DCL shuttles pulling up after ours did and I imagine they were some/most of the resort shuttles, and being a non-concierge guest, we were very pleased with the process & how quickly we got on compared to our previous 2 cruises. But if I had concierge, I would want to be ready & waiting in the terminal by 10:45am/11am.


I have seen circulated along various social media channels a list of priority for those taking a shuttle from Hyatt MCO and if you have status that gets you boarded earlier, they do have shuttles that leave earlier for those groups BUT they also make sure to fill a bus before they send it off so they won’t necessarily guarantee any particular time. Also more recently, the shuttles can’t arrive to the terminal before a certain time (I believe it’s 11:15am) since the port opening time got adjusted back earlier this year, so another reason I would arrange for a private transfer aiming to get me to port between 10:45-10:55am so you can be all queued up to get in for that early perk.

And if the ship isn’t quite ready for you yet, concierge does have a very nice lounge in the terminal too (at least in Port Canaveral) with plenty of seating (more comfortable than the regular terminal) and even a few tables and a door to the outside overlook where you can step out and get fantastic photos of the ship while you wait. (We got to see the lounge briefly when we were doing back to back cruises and they used that as a holding area for back to back cruisers after taking us off the ship but before the terminal was quite ready for us to be sitting in & obviously before any concierge had arrived).


My concierge guests are booking private transportation options through DCL. Shuttle is not the only option, you just have to call and get a quote. From either MCO Hyatt or Riviera would work!
You will love concierge. Make sure you know when you’re able to send in your requests, etc, because it’s first come first serve