Disney Cruise Line Returns to the High Seas {Disney Dream: Pre-Arrival and Embarkation}

Disney Cruise Line has returned to the high seas and it is an AMAZING comeback! I had the great pleasure of sailing the Disney Dream last week and it was a spectacular experience. It felt safe, magical and special to be back onboard and I don’t hesitate to recommend taking an unforgettable vacation at sea with Disney Cruise Line!

Disney Cruise Line Returns to the High Seas
Pre-Arrival And Embarkation
Embarkation, Ship & Stateroom Tour, Palo Dinner
Castaway Cay, Ship Life & Remy Dinner
Castaway Cay Cabanas, Ship Life & Debarkation
Palo Adult Dining Review
Remy Adult Dining Review
Everything Disney Cruise Line

Over the coming days, I will take you through all aspects of my cruise experience so you can see all of the details from pre-arrival to ship life to Castaway Cay to debarkation.

Disney Cruise Line Pre Arrival

Precautions and requirements to sail are ever evolving.

  • At the time of this post, and for sailings through November 1, it is required that ALL guests ages 12+ are fully vaccinated to sail. This announcement made me nervous for some clients but everyone is able to carry forward with their vacation plans, to my relief. In fact, I’ve had a good amount of new interest for clients wanting to sail ASAP with this extra layer of security in place!
  • All guests under the age of 12 must take an approved PCR test 5 days before sailing and another test at port.

There is a new Safe Passage website where you load your documentation and stay on-track with these measures. As your travel advisor, I am in touch and on deck through every step of the process. Now, more than ever, you want a trusted, professional, and experienced partner on your side! Booking a Disney Cruise Line vacation with me does not cost one penny more than doing it on your own.

Here is a video explaining the pre-arrival measures. I will be the first to admit – it seems like a lot. It can be stressful at times. I will also be the first to exclaim – it is SOOOOO worth it to get back on board!! The moment I entered the cruise terminal lobby via escalator I welled up with tears. Disney Cruise Line was back and I was sailing!!

Disney Cruise Line Embarkation Process

The embarkation process has been honed to flow efficiently. Some rules that were previously in place but not enforced are now important to follow.

If you are arriving from Orlando International Airport or a Walt Disney World Resort and taking the Magical Express, you do not need to pick a port arrival time. One will be assigned to you. Simply follow those instructions and you will be set.

If you are driving or taking a private transfer to port, you will need to choose a port arrival time at the time of online check-in 30 days before your departure. This has always been the case, but I found everyone just showed up when they showed up and boarded the ship at arrival. The port arrival time is now strictly enforced and you will not be permitted to so much as enter the parking deck before the exact minute of your arrival time.

Face coverings are required indoors at MCO, on the Magical Express and at Port Canaveral. Once you board the ship, face coverings are required indoors only, except when dining, drinking or posing for a photo with characters. I found that we barely wore them, with so much time spent outdoors! Indoors they were easy to wear as it is nice and cool.

When you arrive at the Disney Cruise Line terminal, you will show your port arrival forms and Safe Passage “clear to board, clear to sail” documents.

  • If everyone in your travel party is vaccinated (meaning you are all 12+ in age), you go to an express line and will be sent directly up to the terminal.
  • If you are sailing with anyone under the age of 12, you will be directed to health screening tents for the at port covid test. Once cleared, you are directed to the terminal.

I stepped out on the viewing platform and was thrilled to see the sister ships – Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – docked along side one another. The Fantasy sets sail next month!

Inside the terminal, boarding groups are called just like before. They are smaller, with about 10 parties in each group. They still do the family of the day, which is always so sweet. They also have the Disney Cruise Line coin press machines in the terminal so if you collect pressed pennies, have that change on hand!

Tip: Be sure to eat a hearty breakfast or lunch before heading to the terminal. Lunch is available as soon as you board, but I know many of my repeat guests are used to dining on ship day 1. Your port arrival time may necessitate you eating earlier before you arrive!

Here is a short video explaining my embarkation experience:

Tomorrow I will share a ship tour and all of the details from our first afternoon onboard the gorgeous Disney Dream.

Let’s Sail and My Services

With the reopening after covid-19, some aspects of planning a Disney Cruise Line vacation will look different and the experience itself may be different too.  You can book with confidence, knowing that your deposit is completely refundable up until the final payment deadline. Now, more than ever, it will be crucial to have the most current, up to date information based on personal experience to plan your vacation! 

I can hardly find the words to convey how special it felt to be back at sea with Disney Cruise Line. Extensive thought and planning went into reopening in a safe and comfortable way, while keeping the magic and wonder that Disney is known for. All of the activities, dining, shows, characters and more are here. Magic is here.

While I charge for my concierge vacation services at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, ALL of my services for Disney Cruise Line are complimentary.  The cost of the cruise will not be any more expensive than if you booked it on your own!

Learn more about the reopening here: Disney Cruise Line Know Before You Go

See ya real soon!

As Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise LineDisneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to over 40 countries on 7 continents through Adventures by Disney® and National Geographic Expeditions.

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