Ok it’s 15 minutes until the midnight eastern standard time check in time. Since it’s our first cruise we have to wait until 75 days at midnight to check in. The stress/excitement for this day has been high. We want to get a good Port Arrival Time(PAT), and we want two popular with limited space port adventures.
We know the Disney Cruise Line website can be bogged down and slow right at midnight, so we are prepared to slog through it.
We pull out our passports for the check in process. We pull out our piles of port adventures. Top picks on the top. One is a float plane and lodge lunch. Easy. Second one is not in the order we thought we put it. It had the canoe adventure to the glacier(a high contender) first, the helicopter/train ride second and the helicopter to walk on a glacier third. We thought it should be helicopter to glacier first, canoe second, helicopter to train ride a distant third( it didn’t include any glacier time, which we wanted some up close and personal time near one).
With like 15 seconds to go we are frantically trying to remember that we did in fact want the helicopter to glacier as first choice.
We were already signed into the site, hit refresh at midnight est and boom the page says we can check in and also pick port adventures.
I know you’re supposed to do either one first. I’ve heard sometimes if you pick port adventures first online check in( this should read the scramble to get a good PAT because no one cares if their passport number is in there yet…..) sometimes doesn’t work after that. It will probably work later the next morning, if not you get to call Disney. Fun. We really wanted an early PAT, but we figured getting on the ship at 11am verses 1pm or missing out on a helicopter to a glacier wasn’t much of a choice there. Off to pick port adevnetures we go. Oh ya, and one of us is frantically trying to figure out that yes we did want the helicopter to the glacier as first choice even though no it’s in the magical pile at third choice…………
The most important number one pick for us was float plane to lodge. Ok scrolling through the port adventures list….ok it’s listed still. (Remember we printed everything out, on those printed pages it lists the name, description and the ordering number on them, which made it super easy to find in the list of actives not to mention helpful when we suddenly had to re-decide that yes we wanted to go on helicopter to a glacier, because yes we picked that cause yes we said it was too cool to pass up) . Awesome really ok. Click, yes select both of us to go on that adventure. Ok check avalilbity. Oh man it might not be avaliable, watch spinning mickeys with held breath. Boom yes you can go on that!! Add to activies card, yes plead done. Ok on to the helicopter to a glacier that yes we did want first. Ok looking down the Port Adventures list ….Helicopter, it’s there. Oh man it has 4 time listed and we have to pick one. Do we want the earliest at 7:45 am or the latest at 1pm. Early seemed better for weather, also for the do something else ability. We want time to just explore the town a bit. Walk around and wander, do some shopping etc. so ugly (auto correct here read ugg and put ugly, I think that’s accurate) 7:45am it is. We’re sure we’ll be having a room service breakfast and meeting our touring group so early we want to vomit but hey it’s a helicopter ride. We also figured if the weather sucks and we can’t go, atleast we know early enough in the day to try to plan something else, and also maybe reschedule if the weather clears.
Done. Amazing. All that stress, all that worry and we got it. We got both of what we wanted. Amazing! On to getting a good PAT.
Back to my cruise reservations, now click on my activities. Wait where is the online check in button? Ugg it’s not there. Ok use the drop down menu under my Disney cruise, online check in. Nope it just keeps taking us back to the same my reservations page. Ugg. No picking at PAT tonight. After trying on another computer, signing in and out, a little googling, and clicking on a few random things,(as a note – modify cruise lets you pick a different state room, it was rather scary to click on that and then click cancel changes……which we made none off…. But no fear our cruise was still there) we gave up. It was rather sad not to do the final step. We knew we could call Disney first thing in the morning and get it fixed. But it just wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted to be done and tie a ribbon on it. We sat there and continued to press the same buttons to just see if we our online check in would suddenly pop up…. It didn’t……. Let’s hope in the morning it will just work…..
Oh and here is a tip they forgot to mention, when you put an activity in your cart to the right there is a small tab that says confirm and a check out button. You have to click this to actually save it. Don’t worry paying comes later, but click that button and you’ll get an instant email saying you made plans for your cruise. Yeah!
For those who are worried about being last to pick, every single port adventure had availability. Except one. The Bering Sea Crab Fisher and tour and dinner with crew was sold out. That’s it. There were tons of Palo avalibilities, spa treatments, everything. Now granted we were on the first cruise of the season before most schools are out or people on vacation. 75 days before we sailed all the rooms on the ship weren’t even sold out yet. So that may have helped. Still worth doing a midnight EST check in. But was so glad to see options. Maybe tomorrow we can get a PAT.
Follow along from the beginning: Disney Cruise Alaska Part 1.