A First Look at Disney Cruise Line’s Revised Online Check-In Process

August Disney Cruise Line sailings are on the horizon (at least as of publication), and guests are entering the 30-day online check-in window for their scheduled voyages. That’s right, you can check-in for your Disney Cruise 30-days prior which is different from the tiered activity booking window based on your Castaway Club Status… I forgot, and while I was prepared to share my experience last night I was quickly reminded of the 30-days so we booked our onboard activities and called it a night.

DCL Online Checkin 2021 12

Thankfully, a friend was actually hitting the 30-day window last night, and offered to share his experience in the event we had different screens based on our Castaway Club statues… Well, kudos to Eddie for saving the day since I completely forgot about the 30-day window for the check-in process.

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When you hit that 30-day window and you’ve paid in full, begin the check-in process by filling out cruise documents, registering the kids for youth clubs and selecting a port arrival time, as you’ll need one before you make your way to the cruise terminal. The process begins with you completing the guest information details.

DCL Online Checkin 2021 2

This was the only spot where the process had some issues. The upload photo feature was not working, but Eddie reported he was able to use his webcam to take a photos to complete this section. This could be a browser issue specific to Safari, or just one of those things that still needs some work behind the scenes.

Port Arrival Time

The current earliest time to chose for port arrival was 1:00 PM which placed you in boarding group 3. Until we hear from more readers, it is unclear, but I suspect boarding groups 1 and 2 may be reserved for concierge and Platinum Castaway Club members. The time however, will likely stick around for a while as the resumption of cruise operations roll out as there will undoubtedly be extra sanitation measures required between guest debarking and the embarking passengers. Alternatively, with the new online check-in process and the uploading of travel documents and security photos, we may just get to enter the terminal and if all is in order, walk directly on the ship beginning at 1:00 PM.

At the end of the process, you are provided the Port Arrival Form which the ability to add to a mobile wallet.

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Below is a look at the mobile wallet complete with QR code which will surely speed up the port arrival process.

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Following the online check-in, it appears you will receive an email from Disney Cruise Line confirming your completed online check-in with a note that they will review the information and will contact you by email to let you know if you are all set to sail, or if they require additional information.

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Have you gone through the new online check-in process? What did you think?

38 Replies to “A First Look at Disney Cruise Line’s Revised Online Check-In Process”

  1. Ronda

    Our family is checked in the August 9th sailing. We are taking the Disney bus transportation to the port, so weren’t given a time versus picking one. They have assigned us to group 2. Not that we really know what that means at this point, but that is what we were given!

  2. MeMe

    Are you either platinum or concierge status? That may explain your group 2. How exciting to be checked in!

  3. Terry

    Scott – Do you know if you can use a copy of your passport photo to satisfy the photo upload process?

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Based on the the the wording –> “cannot be the same photo used on any of the identification documents”, I’d say no. This is the photo they’d typically take with the hand held web cams at the check-in desk at the terminal. Sounds to me they’d prefer a recent photo.

  4. Brett Bailey

    We wonder if DCL will still mail out the cruise booklets? Perhaps this new process eliminate the booklets, we always look forward to those in the mail.

  5. Vinny

    Thanks for notification new checkin is live, very similar to previous online checkin. Fingers crossed we will be sailing again soon.

    We were on one of the DCL ships when the Captain made the announcement that when we reached port in a few days all cruise including DCL were being suspended. Very surreal experience! DCL had notified us 2 days before boarding that we could cancel without penalty by just calling a number by the day before sailing. The ship seemed to be about 65% full from normal. Several other passengers said they had tried to cancel but the phone line was busy, so they hoped the ship wouldn’t be crowded. Everything went as normal, there was no issues with our ship but news reports said after the fact but there was with the cruise from NO that went thru PC.

    As we lined up to board our ship, they took temperatures and did pull several kids in front of us over for high temps. We had seen them running around while waiting for their time to board. The temp check (contractors) allowed the very distraught boys to wait (under observation) for a few minutes before rechecking their temps. We later saw them on board and all they had needed was a few minutes to cool off after all the running around.

    It was hard leaving the ship knowing all the crew members were facing some level of uncertainity. Also there were no people outside the terminal waiting to board the next cruise. We had been notified by our employers the we had to work from home quarteened for 2 weeks because we had “been on a cruise ship!” before returning to the office. Grocery shelves were bare, no toilet tissue, etc. The world had drastically changed while we were on a cruise ship. One year and four months later we’re still working remotely.

    Really looking forward to walking through the cruise ship portal so we can return back to the world we left mid-March 2020. Safe and Happy Sailing everyone!

  6. S

    For those of you going on 8/9 cruise, I am super happy for you! I hope it goes well and that we can safely resume sailing in a way that doesn’t shut the place down again. I am pulling for you as we want to go on our cruise later this year.

  7. Sandy

    They stopped mailing the booklets a while ago. For my 2019 cruise we just got an envelope with our luggage tags

  8. Carrie H

    When signing up for kids’ clubs, is it as it’s always been, or are they requiring you select specific days and times?

  9. Tamie Hollar

    Do we still get to book onboard activities and cabanas at 120 days out for platinum even if we can’t check in until 30 days?

  10. Terry

    Yes. I’m booked on an October cruise and I was able to book onboard activities and port adventures last month (120 days out).

  11. R. Vashko

    So, can you use the mobile wallet card/QR code as your Port Arrival Form, or do you still need to print out, sign and bring the form with the bar code at the top, as you did pre-COVID?

  12. Steven

    Sounds like a very similar check in process as per the UK Staycation cruises. They used a separate company called prenetics to oversee the proof of vaccination (Over 18s), and proof of negative PCR test (under 18s). Though arent I correct in saying that these US cruises dont need proof?

  13. Steven

    It’ll be interesting to see.To me, it makes sense, however It seems to be a more politically sensitive/contentious topic in the states (at least that is how it is portrayed to us Brits in the media)

  14. Scott Weinfeld

    what are the cruise protocols, hope no mask requirements on the ship, compared to Carnival, mask not required

  15. Nick

    We checked in for a Disney Magic At Sea UK cruise last week…. it took 7bhiurs ti check in 3 rooks because of the uploading photo issue. We used chrome,;safari, Samsung Internet and Internet explorer…. it was a long day!

  16. D

    Thanks. I realize I will have to sacrifice getting an earlier time slot for boarding, but I just do not have the ability to upload copies of documents or photos. Someone in a fb group mentioned that they didn’t think there was an option for those in my position. In the past we were able to type in our id numbers.

    Even pre-pandemic I was given the option to not upload documents/photos on RCCL when they had already had the options in place for those who wanted faster check in.

  17. Beth McFarlane

    Do you know someone who could help with that, maybe with a cell phone or with a web cam? Even if they could take the picture and email it to you, it might work that way.

  18. Gayle Hartleroad

    Thank you for posting these screenshots, as they provide far more detail than what Disney is providing to us (even as a TA). I heard the photos have to be JPG; is that true?

  19. Carrie

    Is it possible to upload photos at a later time, or is it required to go to the next step? Looking to focus on PAT and kid club reservations and get that done.

  20. James Curry

    I just checked in for the Thanksgiving week cruise from Miami. The preview was a great help. One item I didn’t have prepared was picture of the passport. The form would suggest it is optional, but the process would not complete without it.
    FYI, I signed in the first hour of 30 days prior and have a 10:30 arrival and group 3 boarding. My daughter completed her checkin about 6 hours later and has an 11:00 checkin and group 6 boarding.
    We received the email and completed onboard activity booking but the status is still pending. I expect they are swamped with everyone signing in at 30 days

  21. Mari

    I don’t have those screens and my 30 day opened today at midnight. I was up until 4am trying to check in and I still cannot check in. It’s been paid in full for months and now I’m on an 81 min. hold with Disney to try and find a solution.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      You may be a day early. This happened to me, and I realized my countdown was showing 30 days, but in reality it was still over 30.# days. At the next midnight, it worked.


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