Disney Cruise Line Embarkation Day

Disney Cruise Line Embarkation Day

Embarkation day for your Disney Cruise is an exciting day indeed! The first day of your cruise is sure to be a whirlwind, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. We are here to help you figure it all out.  Learn all about Embarkation Day on Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Cruise Line Embarkation Day

What is Embarkation Day on a Disney Cruise? 

You’re checked in, packed for your cruise and ready to sail. Embarkation day on a Disney Cruise is just the term for the day you embark! It’s the first day you board the ship. 

What to carry on the ship for Embarkation Day on a Disney Cruise 

Since your room and luggage are generally not going to be ready until afternoon, usually between 2-3pm, you’ll need a carryon for your Disney Cruise. This includes things like medications, cruise documents and maybe a swimsuit. Check out what to pack in your Disney Cruise carryon here

What time does Disney Cruise Line leave on Embarkation Day

The ship usually leaves between 4 and 5pm, depending on your itinerary. When you book your Disney Cruise, you’ll be able to see the sail away time in the itinerary. It is extremely important to make travel plans that allow for some wiggle room, in case there is something to delay you. The ship will not wait if you are late. So if you’re flying in, we always recommend flying in the day before. 

What time can I board the ship on Embarkation Day?

Boarding times change depending on which port you are sailing from. But most of the time, you can board as early as 11am. To get this early time slot, you will need to check in right around midnight of your check in day, because the earliest port arrival times go the fastest.  If you’re not looking for the earliest time, just choose a port arrival time that will work with your traveling party’s schedule for the day. If you arrive too early before your arrival time, you will have to wait to board. 

Learn more about the Check In Process for Disney Cruise Line here

Embarkation Day Process for Disney Cruise Line 

UPDATED SEPT 2022: As of Sept 23, 2022, testing is no longer required to board a Disney Cruise ship. However, we have kept this section here as we understand the current travel climate is fluid and health and safety protocols can change at any time, per Disney Cruise Line’s website.  At this time, you can start your embarkation day process by arriving at Port Canaveral, which is just a few steps below. 

The Embarkation Process for Disney Cruise Line has changed during the ongoing pandemic. Prior to Embarkation Day, make sure you have all documents required for everyone traveling with you. Be sure to bring your passports, the QR code for your port arrival form and the QR codes for Safe Passage. If you had to apply for 90 day recovery status, we recommend bringing that paperwork with you as well. 

These QR codes will be scanned several times throughout your journey to the ship, so keep them handy and easy to reach. And yes, you can even just keep them on your phone. 

testing at Port Canaveral Disney Cruise Line


testing at Port Canaveral Disney Cruise Line

Testing at Port for Embarkation Day on Disney Cruise Line

When you arrive, if you opted to test at port, you will be directed to Inspire Diagnostics Tents. There you will be given a swab and a test tube and be directed to a lane. You’ll be called into a private screening area where the health care provider will instruct you on performing the test. After that, you’ll be directed to another tent where you will await your results. This can take anywhere from 25-60 minutes depending on how many people are testing at the same time as you. We waited about 25 minutes, but it felt like an hour. It’s very stressful testing at port and not knowing if you’ll be able to board the ship or not.  But when your results are ready, the Safe Passage website will update to read “Clear to Sail” and then you’ll be on your way! 

Alternatively, there is also a large TV screen in the middle of the tent that updates your status. Don’t worry, they don’t use your names. You are given an ID code to identify your party.  This will be displayed on the screen. And will say either “Proceed to Terminal” or “Inspire Consult Area”.  Proceed to Terminal means just that! Inspire Consult Area means someone in your Party tested positive and you’ll need to see an Inspire Diagnostics CM.  At the time of publishing this, if you test positive, you are able to take another test to verify the positive result.  But we recommend having a backup plan, including transportation and lodging in place in case you are denied boarding. 

We also recommend bringing snacks, activities and maybe a small drink for while you wait, because it can take over an hour at times. 

To see all information about testing at port with Disney Cruise Line, click here

Testing Prior to Embarkation Day with Disney Cruise Line

As of June 7, 2022, Disney Cruise Line also gives guests the option to test two days prior to arriving at Port instead of at port. This must be a PCR. We know this is not possible for everyone, but it will eliminate some of the stress of embarkation day.  Once you receive your negative PCR test, you will upload it into Safe Passage, and when you’re “clear to sail”, you can skip the testing process at port. 

To see all of your testing options for your Disney Cruise vacation, click here

Port Canaveral Disney Cruise Line

Arriving at Port on Embarkation Day

When you arrive at Port Canaveral on Embarkation Day, you will either be dropped off by the Disney Cruise Line bus, private transport or ride share, or park your car in the parking garage. If you arrive via Disney transport, they take care of your luggage for you. If you are being dropped off, there are porters to help you with your luggage. And the same goes for if you park a car at port. 

Once your luggage has been handled, you will see a Cast Member, who will guide you to the correct line based on your port arrival time. Don’t plan to arrive too early, because you will just be standing there waiting until your port arrival group has been called for check in. 

This does not apply to concierge guests, who do not have to abide by a certain port arrival time. 

Checking in at Port for Disney Cruise Line 

Once you’re clear to sail, whether it’s thru testing beforehand or at port, you’ll head to the line for check in.  They’ll scan your Port Arrival form again, check your passports, and you’ll be on your way to security and one step closer to boarding the ship. You can also inquire about cruise upgrades at this point as well. 

Going thru Security for Disney Cruise Line 

Security at a cruise terminal is much like going through security at the airport. Whatever you’re bringing must fit through the scanner and you’ll have to walk through a metal detector.  You’ll also have to empty out any drinks, so try to finish them before you get to security, or they’ll tell you to empty them. Just like in the TSA lines.  After you’ve cleared security, you can go up the escalator into the terminal and you’re there! 

For a list of prohibited items onboard a Disney Cruise Ship, check here

Boarding a Disney Cruise Ship

Once you’ve passed security and are in the terminal, you will either wait for your boarding group number to be called, or head right on in through the Mickey shaped entrance! You’ll walk the length of the gangways, and then you’re there! There is also a photo opp before you enter the ship, and this is optional. 

When you get to the entryway, they’ll announce your arrival and then you are free to do what you wish! We always love grabbing lunch first, and if you’re there early enough, you can enjoy whatever sit down restaurant is open without having to wait. I will say, if you board after 12:30ish, you’re likely to have to wait to be seated. Cabanas is also open for lunch as well, so you don’t have to eat at a sit-down restaurant. And really, you don’t have to eat at all! Some people like to head straight to the pool before it gets busy. And that’s the best part about embarkation day. Being able to do whatever you want once you’re onboard! 

Muster Safety Drill on Embarkation Day 

The only thing you absolutely must do on Embarkation Day is the Muster Drill. This currently offered in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator and is completed on your own. You’ll find your designated station on the app, proceed to it and a Cast Member will help you complete it. This only takes a few minutes, so we recommend getting it done early to get it out of the way. 

If you don’t complete this before the ship sets sail, they will come find you to make sure it’s completed.  So just make sure you get it done. 

Disney Cruise Key To The World Card

Get your Key to The World Cards

Another process that may change is how you receive you Key To The World Cards. The KTTW card is basically everything you need onboard. Your payment, your room key, it’s all there. These used to be given at check in. And now they are instead placed outside of your stateroom for you to collect them. 

Sailing away on Embarkation Day

You’ve gotten through the arrival process, had something to eat, completed your muster drill, and likely checked out your room, it’s probably time to sail away! The Sail Away Party varies from ship to ship, but it’s a super fun little party that takes place on the top deck, near the pool and Funnel Vision.  It’s about 15 minutes, and the time it takes place will be in your Disney Cruise Navigator.  And after that, the ship is all yours! Check out the activities, the Broadway shows, your dinner rotation, the layout of the ship, and enjoy your vacation!

Sail Away Party on Disney Cruise

If you’re a Disney Cruise Line newbie, check out our Disney Cruise Line tips for beginners! This will give you a lot of helpful information to make the most of your cruise. 

Happy Sailing and Bon Voyage! 

Sail Away on a Disney Cruise with ease, with everything you need to know about Embarkation day with Disney Cruise Line. From documents, to check in, to lunch and the sail away party. Here's everything to know before you go.



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