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A lot has changed in the 12 years since I last put together a guide for checking-in for a cruise and felt it was a good time to revisit the subject. In 2021, the online check-in process was revamped, and after some adjustments here and there, the process seems to be holding course. In this article, I am going to share an overview of the process and include a video where I take you step-by-step completing the Disney Cruise Line’s online check-in process.

Once you’ve paid in full for your upcoming cruise, you may begin checking in online on 30-days before your departure date. During the check-in process you will need to provide citizenship documents, have the opportunity to register kids for youth clubs, and select a port arrival time.

Start by visiting the My Reservations area on Disney Cruise Line’s website at https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/my-disney-cruise/my-reservations/

If you are redirected to login, you may need to navigate back. If you are not returned to My Reservations, look at the top of the page the main menu, hover over Already Booked and select My Reservations.

On the My Cruise Reservations page scroll down and look for the Online Check-in heading under the Cruise Details tab and click the Check In link.

The Online Check-In page loads with an overview section showing your current check-in progress. There are 6 sections to complete:

Guest Information
Onboard Account
Traveling with Children
Travel Plans
Port Arrival Time
Cruise Contract

Follow the prompts and work through each section.

Below the status area, you will find optional forms: an EPI Form to authorize DCL Crew Members to administer epinephrine injector medication should the need arise, and an Authorization form for Minors to travel without a parent or legal guardian.

Here is a video tutorial of the complete Disney Cruise Line Online Check-In process and a summary of each section following the video below.

To start the online check-in process, click the Begin Check-In button at the top of the page next to Goofy. 

You are not required to complete all the steps in one sitting, but the all-important Port Arrival Time is locked out until prior steps are completed.

Guest Information

This is the pivotal section where you provide Disney with your contact details, travel documents, and photos for your travel party.

The section starts with your home address, email, and phone number. You can add a secondary phone and even pick your preferred language. Additionally, you will be asked to provide an emergency contact that is NOT traveling with you which can be quickly applied to all or select members of your traveling party.

I highly recommend you have pictures/scans of your travel documents and security photos for each member of your party at the ready and utilize the upload option. Before I start, I have the most updated documents ready in a folder.

This makes the process flow much quicker, especially if you plan to stay up until midnight (eastern) to complete the process and other members of your sailing party are fast asleep unable to take a selfie in real time.

Disney Cruise Line has a handy FAQ page on the required citizenship documentation based on the type of cruise by destination. It is important to read over this to ensure you and your travel party have everything in place well before online check-in begins. I personally recommend sailing with a Passport for every member of your traveling party. Having a passport prepares you to travel to any destination should the need arise and more importantly, in the unlikely event that you experience an emergency during your cruise that requires you to fly home from a foreign port, your passport allows you to board the flight without delay. We cruised closed loop cruises from Port Canaveral for years with just Birth Certificates, until one 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy where we witnessed 4 separate passengers medi-vacd during the sailing. Passports are valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children 15 and under at time of issuance. You can learn more at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html.

You will are promoted to select the type of citizenship document and upload or take a picture with a webcam. In my case when I upload a copy of my Passport the site processes and automatically populates the required information into the form fields.

Then yo move on to provide the cruise line with a security photo which is used for identification purposes on board such as when you go ashore or return from shore in a port of call. This helps speed up the embarkation process as Cast Member will not need to take photos of every guest unless there is an issue with your photo upon arrival. Please note, you need to use a different photo from the one that is on your travel document.

Depending on the guest, there may be additional questions under an important information section such as “Will the guest be pregnant 24 weeks or more at any point during the savings?” Or in the case of a minor, asking if “the parent or legal guardian of this minor is sailing on the cruise.”

Onboard Account

This is where you choose how you will pay for additional charges during your cruise. You can enter a Credit/Debit Card, select cash, or choose to have another guest pay for your charges!

Once a payment method is selected you will be able to assume responsibility for other members of your traveling party including those in other staterooms if you are linked. This is also the spot where you can extend charging privileges. There is flexibility here if you want to set up a unique payment method for select members of your stateroom such as in the case of sailing with a friend who will pay separately.

Traveling with Children

In this section, you are providing Disney with important debarkation information and can register kids for youth clubs and childcare.

By default, children under 18 are prohibited from debarking the ship unless accompanied by an adult in the same stateroom. Parents/Guardians may authorize children to go ashore unaccompanied, or with an adult from another stateroom.

In this section you can find a link to the My Disney Cruise Adventure printable booklet (Spanish Version) with information and activities to complete before and during the cruise.

Travel Plans

This section is where you can provide pre-/post- cruise travel details to keep Disney Cruise Line informed of your arrival and departure plans. This page is dynamic based on your selections so take the time to complete the information as best as possible. You can always return to update this information if you change plans.

If everyone in your party shares the same pre/post-travel plans you are given the option to check the names so you are not required to enter the same information for each person.

Port Arrival Time

Port Arrival Time you go to is the time period that reflects when you will arrive at the cruise terminal. Depending on your Castaway Club status you may not be required to select a port arrival time and may arrive at your leisure. However, the typical screen presents you with a selection of available times based on availability.

Port Arrival TimesPort Arrival Times Not Needed Pearl & Concierge

Consider the selected time as the time when we may enter the terminal. You can arrive after your selected time up to no later than one hour prior to the all-aboard time for the voyage. For the longest time, these times were not enforced, but since the restart, port representatives and terminal Cast Members are enforcing the port arrival times.

Guests will not be permitted at the terminal or in parking areas before their scheduled arrival time. Guests who arrive early will be asked to return at their scheduled arrival time, and Guests arriving after their scheduled time may be delayed and asked to wait behind those arriving at their scheduled time.

Cruise Contract

The final step in the online check-in process is to review and accept the terms and conditions for sailing with Disney Cruise Line. This is what is referred to as the Cruise Contact which you can print or send a copy to a specified email address. To complete this step, you will need to scroll and scroll and scroll some more then click the box next to the “I have read and understand the cruise contract and agree to the provisions of the cruise contract on behalf of myself and the members of my travel party” then and only then can you click the COMPLETE CHECK-IN button.

Port Arrival Form

The last order of business is to print your port arrival form and keep this paperwork with your required travel documents as you will need these to enter the terminal. The port arrival form includes QR codes for each guest that a Cast Member will scan upon arrival at the terminal.

You can add these QR codes to your mobile wallet or email a copy of the form and pull it up on your device. However, Disney recommends, and I highly recommend printing a copy as the paper version has never failed to work for me at any embarkation port of call.

And with that, you will have your printed port arrival form in hand, mobile boarding passes added to your smartphone.

The online check-in process is complete (pending identification documentation and security photo verification)!

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