DCL-Check-In

GUIDING YOUR CLIENTS THROUGH CHECK-IN

While we are travel professionals, you will undoubtedly book and send your clients somewhere you have never been.  Here is your guide on getting your clients checked in on Disney Cruise Line.

CREATING A SMOOTHER CHECK-IN PROCESS FOR YOUR CLIENTS

You will want to have all of your client’s documents and information ready beforehand.  By the end of the process, you’ll know what time your clients can arrive at the port to start boarding their Disney Cruise.  (We’ll also explain why that Port Arrival time is important.)

⭐️ PREPARING FOR DISNEY CRUISE LINE CHECK-IN

Check-in opens to passengers a minimum of 30 days before embarkation. It must be completed by one day before your sail date. Only guests in good standing, who have paid the balance of their cruise booking, can proceed with checking in.

Castaway Club Perks: Earlier Check in

If you are a member of Castaway Club, which you are automatically enrolled in for free, after your first Disney cruise, you can check in according to the following:

  • Silver: 33 days before the cruise
  • Gold: 35 days before the cruise
  • Platinum: 38 days before the cruise
  • Pearl: 40 days before the cruise

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WHAT YOU NEED TO HAVE ON HAND AND READY TO UPLOAD

  • Photo of every traveler’s passport.
  • A clear photo of each passenger, solo.
  • Proof of vaccination.
  • credit card that you’ll use for purchases while you’re on the cruise.
  • Flight information (if you’re flying to the port) .
  • Hotel information for before/after your Disney cruise (if applicable).

CHECKING IN MORE THAN ONE STATEROOM

You can check in more than one stateroom at a time.  You will have to go through the process for each stateroom.

Link all the reservations into one account so you can change between them easily. Then make sure the one person checking everyone in has EVERYTHING needed to do it, which is referenced in this post. (Security photos, passports or birth certificate info, etc.)

PHOTO OF PASSPORT

You’ll need a photo of every traveler’s passport, taken one at a time (not a group photo of the passports). It has to be a clear, unobstructed, glare-free photo. Alternatively, a Passport Card may be acceptable if you travel between the United States, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.

While we recommend a passport for every traveler, your clients can travel with an original birth certificate if the cruise is a closed loop cruise leaving and returning from the same port in the United States.

INDIVIDUAL PHOTO OF EACH PASSENGER

Disney wants a photo of each passenger for their onboard account. It should be taken from the shoulders up, looking straight at the camera.

It cannot be the same exact photo as your official ID. (In other words, you cannot simply take a photo of the image in a passport.) However, use that photo as guidance for what they want.

Think of your passport or driver’s license photo. This is the type of photo DCL is looking for of each passenger to identify him/her upon check-in/out of the ship at ports.

The photo should be against a solid background.  If the client sends you a photo without a solid background, you can remove the background in Canva, and it should be acceptable.

CREDIT CARD

You’ll input the info of a credit card your client wants to use for purchases while onboard during online check-in. 

Alternatively, your client can choose to pay for cruise expenses in cash. If they want, they will have a credit limit depending on the length of your cruise. If the limit is reached, your client will have to go to guest services to pay off the bill (in cash) before they can charge more to your account.

Pro-Tip: You can go back and fix credit info later.  You can choose pay cruise expenses in cash to get through the process faster if you have several check-ins or if you have credit card info that is expired.  Don’t panic, just choose cash and fix it after. 

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Have your client’s flight info ready to input so you don’t have to search for it. If they are driving to the port, then you do not have to enter this info. (You simply check “No” when they ask, “Are you flying in for your cruise vacation?”)

Pro-Tip:  If you are checking in several staterooms, you can click no and go back and fill flights in later. 

HOTEL INFORMATION

This includes any hotel suggested by Disney or hotel near the port, Air BnB, VRBO, etc. that you may be staying at before or after your cruise.

If this does not apply to your clients, then you do not have to input this information.

⭐️ CHECK IN TO YOUR DISNEY CRUISE LINE SAILING 30 DAYS PRIOR TO EMBARKATION: TIME ZONE INFO

Online check-in is available for your sailing 30 days prior to the day you board the ship. It is at midnight EST, regardless of where you are or what time zone you’re sailing from or what time zone you are physically located in when you are completing check-in.

Check-in, and any modifications to your check-in, must be completed by the day before you sail.

⭐️ DISNEY CRUISE LINE ONLINE CHECK-IN PROCESS
BEGIN CHECK-IN

When you can check in, you’ll see that a little button that says “Begin Check-In” appears in the app (screenshot below, right). This button will not appear until 30 days before your cruise, at midnight EST.

You can do this from the computer from the computer or your phone.  If you use the app on your phone, when you click check-in, it will take your to the web browser on your phone. 

⭐️ Complete Check-In Items on the Overview List

You will see a checklist for what you need to do to complete check-in. The icons, which are silhouettes of the faces of classic Disney characters (like Goofy, Donald, and Minnie) are not filled in if you haven’t completed the task.

But as you fill in the information, you’ll see the faces start to fill in with more graphic and colorful drawings. So cute, right?  It will show the guest information as “Pending Approval”.  This is normal and takes time to get approved.  The other sections will have a green check mark and say complete. 

MOVING THROUGH THE STEPS OF DCL CHECK-IN

You’ll be glad you will have already gathered what is recommended above to have on hand, ready to go, as you move through the Disney Cruise Line check-in steps. Things will move as efficiently as possible this way.

Each step is sequential. You cannot jump ahead to the Port Arrival Time, for example, then go back to filling in your contact information. You must fill in your contact information first before it lets you move to the next step.

All DCL guests, including Platinum Castaway Club members, need to select a Port Arrival Time. Guests using Disney transportation also do not need a Port Arrival Time.

PORT OF ARRIVAL TIME

We’re highlighting this because it’s incredibly important. If you’re able to, given how you’re client is arriving at the port (especially if they are driving) you’ll want to select the earliest available arrival time unless your client has expressed otherwise.

This is the time your client can arrive at the port and drop your luggage off, curbside. (The luggage is delivered to cabins later in the day.) Then your client will go inside the terminal to continue their check-in, in person. The earlier your client gets on the ship, the longer their cruise is, even if that’s just hours longer.

Disney has a lot of shorter cruise itineraries that are three or four days. This Port Arrival Time particularly matters for shorter cruises. Why not maximize your time onboard a Disney ship if you can?

If you want one of the earliest arrival times, it’s imperative you check in for your cruise at midnight. Being one of the first to check in means you will increase your chances of being able to select an early arrival time.

DISNEY CRUISE LINE WEBSITE DELAYS

We’re not going to sugarcoat this: Disney websites are notoriously slow and buggy.

It’s not uncommon to get an error message that the website is experiencing complications during check-in. This is very frustrating when you feel like you’re racing against the clock to get your earliest Port Arrival Time and have to do the steps sequentially as presented.

Trust us, we know, and we can relate.  It isn’t what you want to deal with, but you are at the mercy of Disney.

The good news is that Disney periodically saves your work. If you need to reload check-in, simply re-open the app. Log in again. Then click “Complete Check-In,” and it will take you back to the check-in website.

You may lose some check-in work, but not all of it. It usually doesn’t take much time to re-enter the info.

⭐️ CONFIRMATION YOU'RE CHECKED-IN FOR YOUR CRUISE

When you have successfully completed the online check-in process, you’ll see the message in the screenshot below, that says, “You’re All Set to Sail!”

An important note is that while it says you’re set to sail, your online check-in may still show as “Pending Review“. This is because a Disney Cruise Line cast member has to check the photos you submitted (a real human, from what we understand), and it’s a long process.

It could potentially say “Pending Review” until your client sails. If it does, don’t worry.   It is likely that your client will be approved just before they sail. 

As long as your client brings all the documents with them that you uploaded, they should be golden when you arrive at the port to embark on your Disney Cruise. (Remember to remind your client that they must keep all of these documents in a carry-on bag with you at all times during embarkation.)

If your client is not approved they may need to submit a document again.  Security photos get rejected often. 

YOU DID IT!
YOUR CLIENT'S CHECK-IN SHOULD BE GOOD TO GO!