Disney Cruise Line News — Week of December 14, 2019

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Ahoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world!

Disney Cruise Line: In The News

The terminal at Port Canaveral that DCL currently calls home will close temporarily for a refurbishment. Starting in June 2020, berthing operations will shift from terminal 8 to terminal 10. During this time, terminal 8 will receive an upgrade in advance of the arrival of the Disney Wish. Terminal 8 is set to reopen in October 2020.

The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2020 is now shipping! Head here to get your copy ordered and on your way to you now!

Here’s this week’s special offers. Most every week of the year, Disney Cruise Line releases special offers for Florida Residents and U.S. Military Personnel.  There are also frequently IGT/OGT/VGT rates available for all guests to book.  These offers are extremely limited in availability, and all come with certain restrictions, but the prices are amazing! You can book these online, on the phone, or with your travel agent. These are the current offers available this week:

Upcoming Entertainment

The following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:

  • Captain Marvel
  • Dumbo 
  • Disneynature: Penguins
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Aladdin 
  • Toy Story 4 
  • Lion King
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 
  • Frozen 2
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PremEAR December 20)

For future reference, films debut on Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Films do vary by ship. Show times are available in your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.

Captain’s Log: Important Tips and Information

Port arrival time vs. boarding time. I’ve seen this commonly confused, especially for new cruisers who may be unfamiliar with the process, so here’s a quick explanation of the difference!

For simple starters, port arrival time (PAT) is not the same as boarding time. The clue is in the names! PAT is what time you will arrive at the port to begin the check in process. Boarding time is when you physically board the ship.

When your online check-in windows opens, once you’ve gone through all the pages of pertinent personal information, the last step of the check-in will be selecting a port arrival time. Perk for Platinum Castaway Club guests, and those who are taking official DCL transfers to the port – there’s no need to race to pick a PAT as one is not necessary. Just get there when you get there, or when Disney gets you there!

Once you are at the port and you check in, you’ll be assigned a boarding group – not a time, just a group number! The boarding group number you receive will be based on your port arrival time and when you check in. If you have a high boarding group, don’t fret! They move along at a good speed – you’ll be enjoying Cabanas lunch in no time! Likewise, if you are only able to select a later PAT, chances are good that by the time you arrive it will be open boarding – no waiting in the terminal, full speed ahead onboard! Your actual boarding time can vary from cruise to cruise, depending on how long it takes the cruise before yours to arrive, clear customs, and be ready to accept new people on board. If you have an early port arrival time, you likely will not be able to board right away and will wait in the terminal for the ship to be ready (or in rare occasions outside the terminal or in the parking garage). But as long as you arrive at the terminal in plenty of time to get on the ship before it sails, no worries–after all, you’re on a Disney cruise! 

Special thanks to Scott Sanders of the Disney Cruise Line Blog for assistance on this article.

Thanks for joining me again this week. “Sea” you next time!

The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.


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Heather Keller, Storybook Destinations

If it's vacation, it's for Heather! When she is not on vacation (usually someplace with a big Mouse) or planning her own vacations, she is helping clients plan their own trips as a travel agent with Storybook Destinations. See the theme? She is lucky to have a husband that accepts her travel addiction, and two daughters who are already following in her wanderlust footsteps. Heather can be reached at Heather@StorybookDestinations.com

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