How to get an early boarding time?

The Sneaky family finally drank the kool-aid and we are going on our first Disney cruise. Being from Miami I seriously can’t recall why I kept putting it off given that we have access to so many promos and we don’t have to add lodging or travel like other families.

Anyways, we would really like to be there early to get to know the ship. How do we do this? I know that we should finish the check-in process and then select an arrival time.

Do the times go out quickly, like Slinky LL fast?
At what time does the checking in window open?
Is there a detailed list of the info that I need? I don’t want to be waking my wife at 12:01am to get a photo of the back of her Covid record if you get what I mean.


After you get a cabin assignment you’ll be able to log into the app and select an arrival time. That’s all you can do. So watch for that.

I got my cabin assignment on 7/12 for a 7/28 sailing, for your reference

The Covid instructions are emailed to you at 14 days out and is not part of your boarding time selection process


Cabin assignment? I don’t understand. Isn’t that selected when booking? I got it as soon as I clicked pay.

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Ah oops I forgot we were booked as GTY

Edited: I just went back and reviewed my notes. We were able to choose port arrival time on 6/28 - so 30 days out.

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This is great. Awesome. How big is your family/travel group? Do you have a lot of flexibility? There are good rates to be had. And if I didn’t need two connecting rooms, I’d have been able to go more often with GTY rates. Any room ON a ship is better than every room OFF a ship.

If I could strongly encourage you to lean toward a 4-night or more, please allow my input. It takes a while to get “sea legs” and the first 24 hours can be wholly chaotic just taking so much in.


Which ship are you cruising on?

Disney Dream Nov 21st-26th

It opens at midnight 30 days out.

I don’t think you need the COVID card before Safe Passage opens at like 14 days before.

You’ll need passport pics (or if you like gambling, DL and birth certificate), a headshot with a plain background that is different from the ID picture, and how you want room charges to be handled for online check-in. Just get them (all - vax cards, passport, etc.) before - no waking someone up to do it when it’s very simple to get them in advance.

Enjoy! That should be a nice size for your first DCL cruise. Our first-ever cruise was on the Magic.