Are you looking for tips on navigating the Disney Cruise Line online check in process?
The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App really comes in handy while sailing, but it also simplifies the registration and planning process before your trip even begins!
In addition to displaying the really exciting cruise countdown, the Navigator App allows you to view the details of your reservation and book activities for your upcoming Disney cruise.
In this post, I will walk you through the Disney Cruise Line online check in process using the features of the Navigator App.
Once you download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App, you will be prompted to log in to your DCL account. Create an account or type in your log in information, and the screen should display the reservation for your upcoming cruise.
After clicking on the reservation, you will see a countdown calculator similar to the one pictured above.
Once you scroll down below your stateroom information, you will find actionable steps you can take for planning your Disney cruise.
Here you will find your balance and reservation information. You will also see the online check in button.
If you are a first time cruiser with DCL, you may check in 75 days prior to your sail date.
In this section, you will see some of the options that were available during your Disney cruise booking.
This includes your dinner seating time, trip insurance, Disney ground transfers, and special requests.
The next section of your Navigator App displays the itinerary for the cruise you booked.
This is where you will see your cruise broken down by day. Some of the important events available onboard will be listed here.
Once you book activities during online check-in, you will see them listed here as well. You can also click on the “Add Activities” button on your itinerary to add certain items to your plans.
Registration for Activities
If you have reached the online check in date for your cruise (75 days before sailing for first timers), you can book some activities ahead of time.
Under your cruise itinerary on the app, you will see a section that looks like this:
You can click on each of the categories listed to book activities offered. I will walk you through each of these below.
Disney Port Adventures
When you click on the section for port adventures (aka excursions), you will again see your cruise itinerary.
Here, you can click on the ports you are scheduled to visit on your cruise. The app then takes you to a page that lists all of the available Disney port adventures at that location.
For example, if your cruise is visiting Castaway Cay, you will see excursions like bicycle rentals, parasailing, fly fishing, etc.
After clicking on the port adventure that you want, you will be able to choose the family members that want to take part in that excursion.
Most of the options for port adventures have age restrictions. If you are cruising with a toddler, your available excursions will be narrowed down quite a bit.
The age restrictions are prominently displayed, and you won’t be able to click on the name of any family member not meeting the requirements.
Next, you will see the available times for the excursion that you want to select. Choose the time that works best for you, and you’re finished!
Disney Spa & Fitness
When you click on the “Spa & Fitness” tab, you will be directed to your cruise itinerary. You can then select the day that you would like to book a spa or fitness appointment.
Disney offers many activities in this section including facials, massages, manicures, personal training, etc.
Just choose the activity and time that works best for you!
Under “Onboard Fun” you will find Activities you can book like wine tasting, Royal Tea, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
The princess meet and greet and the Frozen Gathering are also located in this section.
These two events are free on your Disney cruise, but you must book a time to attend the character meet and greets because they are so popular.
After clicking on the activity, it’s super simple to choose a day and available time to attend the event. It will then show up in the itinerary section of the app.
When you get on the ship, you just show up at the meet and greet during your scheduled time slot. The cast member at the character meet should have your name on the list.
Adult Dining and Nursery
These two sections work the same way as the above activities. Here, you can select the date that is appealing to you.
You will then be directed to choose a time for your specified activity, but note that you do not pay ahead of time.
So, once you book your appointment, it should show up on your itinerary without any further steps.
Online Check-in Process
If this is your first cruise with Disney Cruise Line, you are able to check in 75 days before sailing.
What time does online check in start?
I will go over each section of the check-in process, which opens at 12:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time).
I have recently read several reports that Disney was allowing guests to begin online check in as early as 7:00 pm (EST) the night before the 75 day mark.
However, this was NOT the case for me on my most recent cruise. My options did not open up until precisely midnight (EST).
Once your booking window opens up, your online check in screen will look something like this:
You will then need to go through each of the tabs to fill out the relevant information.
This can be a tedious process; however, once you complete it, Disney saves your information for your next cruise.
I will explain each section below:
Guest Information and Identification
These are the sections where you fill in your contact information and your passport/identification info.
If you have previously sailed with DCL, the top two tabs asking for guest information and identification will already be completed for you.
If your contact information or your passport information has changed, you will need to update it, though.
Pre and Post Cruise Information
The “Pre/Post Cruise” tab asks for very specific information about your pre/post cruise plans. This includes the name of your hotel, flight information, etc.
You can fill this out to the best of your ability during the check-in process. If you don’t yet have all of this information, you can always go back later and correct it.
You will need to add a credit card to the “Onboard Account” section. While on the cruise, DCL charges gratuities and anything special you choose to purchase to your account.
In this section, you can also choose whether or not to grant charging privileges to your family members.
Since my kids are currently 6 and 1, they are not allowed to charge anything to the onboard account.
If you have older kids, you can change this option to meet your needs.
Port Arrival Time (PAT)
Next, you will choose your Port Arrival Time. Once you click on this tab, you will see a list of times available for you to ARRIVE at the port.
This is NOT the time that you will board the ship.
For example, if you select a Port Arrival Time of 10:30, that means you plan to show up at the cruise terminal at 10:30.
It has been my experience that boarding does not typically begin until at least 11:30, so don’t expect to be on the ship immediately after arriving for your 10:30 PAT.
Also, if you purchased Disney Cruise Line ground transportation, you will not be prompted to choose an arrival time.
Traveling with Kids
After choosing your PAT, you can register your child for the youth club appropriate for his/her age.
You may also note special needs or dietary restrictions for your child here.
Additionally, you will need to choose who your child is permitted to disembark with.
Children are not allowed to get off the ship without an adult. However, there may be an adult in a different stateroom with whom your child is permitted to debark.
For example, you can choose to allow your child to get off the ship with a grandparent staying in a different stateroom.
You may choose to allow this at EVERY port, at just Castaway Cay, or not at all.
Cruise Contract and Port Arrival Form
Once you have completed online check in for your Disney cruise, you will be prompted to review the cruise contract.
Then, your last step is to print the Port Arrival Form in the bottom tab. You will need this form on embarkation day when you arrive at the cruise terminal.
Final Thoughts on the Check in Process
The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App is a really helpful tool to use for online check in.
It allows you to easily access your reservation and book cruise activities. Once you are on the cruise ship, the Navigator App has even more helpful features, including texting!
Do you have any tips for the Disney cruise online check in process?
Comment below and share!