Potential ‘Arrive Anytime’ Port Arrival Time Perk Quietly Rolled Out for Pearl Castaway Club Members

Ok, this is what has been going on for the last few weeks – Pearl Castaway Club members checking in for an upcoming cruise are discovering they are no longer required to select a Port Arrival Time. That being said, it appears that Disney Cruise Line discovered another treasure which was once an exclusive to the Platinum level which they are currently extending to Pearl Castaway Club members in the form of a new benefit for guests who have sailed on 25 or more Disney cruises.

According to various reports from Pearl Castaway Club members, Online Check-In indicates they can now arrive anytime on embarkation day (at least 1 hour before all aboard time) without the need to pick a port arrival time!

The arrive anytime benefit began to appear quietly on guests accounts in July. Additionally, Pearl Castaway Club members began to notice their previously assigned boarding group number was lowered to boarding group #2. Over the weekend of July 15th, Pearl Castaway club members with upcoming cruises (even those already check-in) received check-in reminder emails. Upon logging into to Disney’s website they discovered the following message:

You are not required to select a port arrival time. Please arrive anytime during the Embarkation period, at least one hour prior to all-aboard time at the latest. Once you are fully checked in and boarding has begun, you may make your way onto the ship at your leisure.

DCL Castaway Club Pearl Online Chekcin PAT 20230717

The privilege to arrive at anytime with out a selected port arrival time was once a Platinum Castaway Club benefit before the industry shutdown in 2020. With the return to cruising in 2021 the cruise line required and enforced all guests regardless of Castaway Club status to select a Port Arrival Time (PAT) with the exception of guests booked in a concierge level stateroom (who may also arrive at anytime regardless of Castaway Club status) to manage guest arrival at the embarkation terminals to reduce congestion in the terminal as well as reduce the traffic in and around the port area.

As of this morning, Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Club page continues to state “Select port arrival times and complete online check-in 40 days prior to sailing” under the Pearl overview.

DCL Castaway Club Benefit Overview 20230801

Moving forward, I would say enjoy this perk until it shimmers away, or becomes an official Pearl Member benefit. Either way, this is a potential perk/benefit Pearl Castaway Club members are noticing during recent check-in experiences.

9 Replies to “Potential ‘Arrive Anytime’ Port Arrival Time Perk Quietly Rolled Out for Pearl Castaway Club Members”

  1. Jo

    There is no reason to not bring this perk back for Platinum members. When we cruised out of Miami the terminal was packed! Everyone there had given an arrival time to DCL, but that did NOT help at all with overcrowding. In fact, it seemed to make the situation worse. DCL has brought back the old muster drill where we are all squeezed together. If they are so concerned about overcrowding, give us back the e muster. They cannot say it is because of government regulations because other cruise lines have kept the e muster. I am not surprised they rolled this out quietly; they must have realized their Platinum members would not be pleased.

    1. James

      I suspect there’s a large number of Platinum members now. So the old platinum is the new pearl.

      I do wish DCL would switch to nights sailed instead of # of sailings.

  2. Marsha

    You said it well, Jo. As a Platinum cruiser, I’m unhappy this perk was removed. Some cruisers dismiss early boarding as unimportant, (“we’re all going to the same place.”) but there are opportunities for bookings, dining changes, etc. that go to those who board early.

  3. Brenda

    We finally made Platinum level in January 2020 right before Covid hit and had multiple cruises cancelled. We will be sailing for the first time (as Platinum) next month and this was the one perk we were most looking forward to. I am so upset that it was taken away before our first cruise as Platinum Castaway Club. It took us 18 years to get to there so it is doubtful we will ever make Pearl (we had to start cruising RCCL every other cruise as DCL has priced us out). Taking away a perk that we have been working towards is a huge disappointment to say the least.

  4. Doug Rubin

    This is a nice benefit and as a 1x-time cruiser (mostly longer, more ambitious trips, but never Concierge), I do not begrudge Pearl benefits.
    Guessing they can extend to Platinum . .. sometimes.

    Alternatively, I am guessing our next cruise from Hawaii back to Vancouver will probably be 50% Platinum, so I understand DCL conserving the Mickey-RiceCrispy treats.

  5. Jo

    Doug, I think you misunderstood. Platinum guests do not begrudge Pearl members their benefits. It would be unfair to Platinum members to take something away from us. I am happy to hear that Mandy got that nice news for her cruise! As for the Mickey-Rice Crispy treats, I think they got a new vendor because they are not as good as they used to be (in my opinion). I actually think Pearl members should get more than just that photo deal. By the time you have reached that many cruisers, the photos are not that important anymore. Brenda, we too are happy about all the other options out there; especially now in Port Canaveral! Bon Voage to all:)


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