Port Canaveral times

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by DCLCrazy64622, Sep 13, 2018 at 9:20 PM.

  1. DCLCrazy64622

    DCLCrazy64622 Mouseketeer

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    What time does PC open? I see that it starts being manned at 10:30, but will they let you in that early? We usually come around 12:30, but have decided to come as early as possible, now that we are platinum and don’t need a PAT.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. Sytrace

    Sytrace DIS Veteran

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    The port opens at 10:30 AM. You can arrive then or slightly after but will wait until they start boarding at around 11:15 to 11:30 AM. You will be boarding group 1 though and they will call that group after Family of the Day and Concierge board.
     
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  4. DCLCrazy64622

    DCLCrazy64622 Mouseketeer

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    Family of the day? What in the world is that? I’ve been on 12 dcl cruises and have never heard of that before. ‍♀️
     
  5. Sytrace

    Sytrace DIS Veteran

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    They randomly select a family to board first and introduce them to the waiting crowd. You missed it all those times because you got there at 12:30 :)
     
  6. DCLCrazy64622

    DCLCrazy64622 Mouseketeer

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    Lol that’s awesome. Thanks for educating me.
     
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  7. apathetic

    apathetic Mouseketeer

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    Getting there at 1030 it is pretty packed. Expect to stand in lines that stretch to the parking garage and down the drop-off curb. It moves steadily, but it is still a long wait. Most of it is getting through the security checkpoint. However, you will still have plenty of time to check-in before they start calling groups.
     
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  8. Marc D

    Marc D DIS Veteran

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    There is a table setup next to the Concierge waiting area in the terminal for that family. Kids get crayons, they are announced then board first. They also get some gifts in the stateroom. A different CM is designated each cruise day to choose the family, so you can't play the system. They seem to choose families that arrive early with a positive attitude and, often, matching shirts or Disney outfits.
     
  9. kiford

    kiford DIS Veteran

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    Our last cruise we showed up about 10:15 because we were staying at MCO Hyatt and friends were picking us up (local Florida residents). I don't recall why they wanted to get there early - I think there was potentially some issue with their room as they booked late but never turned out to be an issue. We were able to park right away but then had to stand for about 15 minutes in line in the parking garage. Lines weren't too long for checking in and we were able to get a seat at one of the very few places at a little table. By the time boarding started (we boarded at Platinum time), there were people pretty much leaning up against my chair and me; I don't even want to tell you what kind of views I had of people's lower parts from my seat. Once they called boarding, we had to literally push our way through people who didn't want to let us through. I got shoved back a few times and had to use elbows to get through and kept getting jostled even more as we neared the entrance. And the looks we got! As though somehow we were doing something wrong. Not pleasant. We usually show up about 1-ish except for our European cruises. I'll NEVER do early again.
     
  10. Weedy

    Weedy DIS Veteran

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    At Port Canaveral typically (when we’ve cruised).
    9:30 Parking garage opens
    10:30 Terminal open
    11:15-11:30 boarding starts
    The security line can be long but moves quickly. I feel the one on the ground floor moves better than the one on the third floor.
    The terminal does get very crowded but I don’t feel it’s that bad to move around when your boarding number is called.
    It’s like boarding for Southwest Airlines people will line up so you just have to weave your way through. I’ve never had people given me a bad look.
    The check in area for Platinum/Concierge is in the top right side of the terminal. There are couches (this area is for Platinum cruisers only there is another area for Concierge) and then the line is right there.
    If you’re driving or taking private transportation I feel it’s best to get there about 10:45 because the security line has started moving but the terminal isn’t really backed up yet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 12:25 PM
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  11. DCLCrazy64622

    DCLCrazy64622 Mouseketeer

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    Well that’s certainly fun!
     
  12. ScooterScott44

    ScooterScott44 Mouseketeer

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    As Kiford mentioned, too many people crowd the boarding entrance. We are doing cruise 14 in a few months and I am hoping to not even be there before 12:30 - 1. We have been there earlier even before we were Platinum and there are many anxious people trying to board. The Platinum benefit of checking in at concierge will help but you still have to struggle to get in the boarding queue. You can not get into the garage until 9:30 or so and will have to line up in the garage. They will start checking boarding docs at the bridge and let you across to the security line. You will then have to hold there until the port officially opens. That is the limiting step in the whole process. Actual clock times may vary a little.

    At this point, unless DCL creates a boarding line or area for the Platinum CC folks, the no PAT benefit is nice but could really be improved. On the thread about CC perks I stated this is an easy fix for DCL. All they need are a couple of ropes to create an “express” lane for Platinum sort of like TSA pre-check.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 9:56 AM
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  13. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    I have to agree with Apathetic. We just sailed on the Fantasy on the 8th, & it was my 1st official "Platinum" cruise. Plus we were doing concierge for the first time so I couldn't WAIT to get to PC as early as possible. We arrived a bit before 10am to the garage which was still quite surprisingly packed. There really were not a lot of spaces open. We got a place on deck 3 and took our carry-ons to get in the line which was already snaking around from the elevator area in the garage, out to the edge and about 1/2 way down the side of that deck. :scared1: It was very close to 10:30 before they started letting any of the line onto the Deck 3 walkway across to the upstairs security. It took FOREVER. Literally it took us close to an HOUR to get into the terminal from the time we arrived. I have never had that much trouble getting into the terminal in any of our previous cruises. I do not know WHAT the issue was. And from where we were on the elevated walkway, I could not tell if the ground level was having the same issue.

    There was no wait for checking in at the Concierge/Platinum desks at the back, but I was surprised to see about 5 parties already in the concierge waiting lounge since we had arrived so early. Weird..... it all worked out fine, as we were literally the 2nd couple to board the Fantasy but I wish I knew what took SO long to get us into the terminal after 10:30am..... hope you have a lot better luck with that! :thumbsup2
     
  14. Dug720

    Dug720 DIS Veteran

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    At a bit before 10am, there is a good possibility that some of those cars were people still clearing customs from the previous cruise PLUS people on the Dream cruise out at sea would have parked there too. Also, if it took that long to get people in, there is a possibility that it took longer to clear the ship for whatever reason and that delayed admission of people to the terminal - inspection or something else.
     
  15. Marc D

    Marc D DIS Veteran

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    That’s the main advantage of taking the DCL shuttle from MCO instead of a private transfer: the right-side entrance to the terminal. And if you take the first two or three busses, you get to enter at 10:15, before the left side is even open. If we had been been on your cruise, we would have been one of those 5 parties.
     
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  16. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    It was pretty obvious that a lot of those cars were definitely from people either still clearing Customs or straggling off the Fantasy as we saw a good number of them while still in the garage, coming off with their Disney hats/tees and the porter carrying off their baggage. :cutie:

    The actual boarding time started pretty much on time with us boarding right at 11:30am, so I don't know what was the hold up for the Deck 3 walkway thing....

    We live an hour tops from PC so we drive our own car. :flower:
     
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  17. kiford

    kiford DIS Veteran

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    Probably B2B cruisers. That's where they put us when we did our B2B although they allowed onto the ship just as people were coming into the terminal at 10:30.

    Same experience (although about 10:15). It looked quite full so we just parked in the first spot we found near the ground entrance. We figured it was best to take what we knew was available rather than trying to drive up higher and find something just in case it turned out to be even worse. My assumption was that cruisers coming back hadn't yet got to their cars and/or there was another cruise that was still at sea.
     
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