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It was Saturday, April 25, 2009 and we were on our way to starting our second cruise. The Disney Cruise Line motorcoach pulled off the highway and soon we could see Disney Magic in view, docked at Port Canaveral. The excitement really starts to build when you see finally the ship with your own eyes!
We arrived at the DCL terminal in Port Canaveral at 10:35 am. There are separate lines for first-time guests and Castaway Club (returning) members. Since this was our second Disney cruise, we got in the Castaway Club line and got to the desk pretty quickly.
At check-in, we presented our cruise docs, passports, and the health survey they provide when you enter the line. They also take take your photo using a small webcam. This photo shows up on the computer screen whenever they scan your key card while exiting and boarding the ship. They will print your key cards and if you are a Castaway Club member (cruised at least once with Disney), you’ll also get a lanyard for your key card. Lastly, we were given a small card with our room number and Boarding Group #8.
Boarding started at 12 pm but we had to wait until our boarding number was called. Even though we couldn’t board right away, the giant cutaway model of Disney Magic is super impressive and characters drop by to take photos as well.
Finally, they called Group #8 and we made our way to the ship! Before boarding the ship, we had our Welcome Aboard photo taken!
I made “Pirates of Tortola” shirts for us to wear on Embarkation Day! “Pirates of Tortola” was the name our DISboards group gave our cruise because this was the inaugural cruise of Disney’s first time visiting Tortola!
UPDATE: We sailed on Disney Cruise Line from Port Canaveral as recently as November 2018 and found our experience is still accurate. However, if you do arrive at port after 12 pm, you may miss the characters. Bon voyage!