We finally made it onto the Disney Fantasy! Now what? Here is what happens after you embark including the new protocols for the Muster Drill.
If you read my previous article on this series you remember that I provided information on the new Disney Cruise Line protocols on Embarkation Day. Click HERE to read about the day of in-port Covid testing and what else is needed before placing foot on a Disney Cruise Line ship at the current moment.
The last article came to a close as I mentioned that we upgraded to the Concierge Level at the port and that guests traveling with Concierge are the first to embark when the ship is ready for guests. By 11:33 am, we were told that it was time to board and we we were on the walkway headed towards placing foot on the ship.
Setting Foot on a Disney Cruise Ship
The first magical moment of the cruise is when you literally step foot inside the ship, and you are asked for your family name. The red carpet is pulled out for you as your family name is announced for everyone in the atrium to hear. It felt so good to walk through that Mickey tunnel from the terminal into the ship, and to hear our family announced again!
Situated on both sides, you will find Cast Members cheering and waving as you walk into the beautiful atrium. Previously, guests could then go about their business and begin to seek adventure once on the ship.
Later in the day when the ship was pulling out of port, there was none other than the “Sail Away Party” featured on the pool deck.
Presently, due to the new protocols, guests now receive the “Welcome Aboard Show” immediately upon embarking on the ship inside the atrium. In the middle of the atrium, there are many big gold circle stickers on the ground. A Cast Member will direct you to your circle and when enough guests have filled up the circles, who comes out on the balcony? None other than Captain Mickey and Captain Minnie!
The “Sail Away Party” is right in front of you! It was really cute even though I do miss the traditional sail away party on the pool deck while actually sailing away. I appreciated and enjoyed every moment of the new show.
The Muster Drill used to be very different than it is now. In the past, on the first day of the cruise (typically around 4 pm) all passengers were required to attend a 10-minute muster drill and learn what to do in case of an emergency.
Your “Key To the World Card,” shows which station you attend for the drill. More details on what the “Key to the World Card” shortly! You can also find your station number and location on the DCL Navigator app.
Presently, the Muster Drill is virtual! You are instructed to go to the location/letter that is assigned to your stateroom. There was a cast crew member present and they instructed us to pull up the Emergency Drill on our DCL Navigator app. We were the only family at our station at that time.
You take a photo of the letter above your assigned location that records and proves that we completed the drill. There is also a safety briefing that is aired on the screens around the ship and in your stateroom. This happens around 5:15 pm.
Immediately after our “Welcome Aboard Show” a Cast Member asked us to complete the Muster Drill before returning back to the atrium to attend the Concierge lunch.
After completing the virtual Muster Drill, we walked back to the atrium where we were greeted by Kenan, one of three members of the Concierge team. We were asked if would like the luggage we carried on with us to the ship to be taken directly to the room or into the dining area for lunch.
We opted to keep it with us as we had our swimsuits in our bags and were hoping to get into the pool before retreating to our stateroom. However, we were quite hungry and ready to indulge in our first of many, many, many food options that we would enjoy throughout the next seven days.
One of the benefits is that after boarding, concierge guests can choose to go to a special lunch, just for Concierge guests.
The menu is very similar to the one served in whichever restaurant onboard is open during the a la carte lunch on embarkation day. Our lunch was located inside Royal Court located immediately outside of the atrium.
After we finished enjoying our sit down lunch it was time for the pool! We headed to the restroom that is closest to the pool deck and we changed into our bathing suits. By 1:02 pm we were walking up the stairs to ride the Aqua Duck, which is a water coaster that is located on the pool deck of both the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream cruise ships.
There was no line at all that we rode it twice in a row! This water coaster is not one to be missed as it is so much fun to ride! Vacation had commenced and I was all for it!
Key To the World Cards
Upon walking up to our stateroom door, I quickly noticed that outside the door our Key to the World (KTTW) cards were held in our starfish extender in an envelope. So, what exactly is the Key to the World Card? It is essentially the most important item that you will carry with you throughout the cruise. Every family member sailing with you will receive one.
It includes the dates of your cruise, your name, your muster drill location, and the name of the ship you are sailing on. It shows whether you are an adult or minor, and your Castaway Club membership number and club status (if sailing for the first time this item will not be on your card). If there is a minor you can determine whether you would like them to be able to charge to your account, if not, it will indicate NC (no charge).
Lastly, there is also a space that lists transfers that you have pre-arranged with Disney Cruise Line.
An asterisk * means no transfers have been arranged with the cruise. PA means Port and Airport. P stands for Transportation to the Port, A to the Airport, R for Disney Resort, PR for Port and Resort, and RPA for Resort to Port to Airport.
You will need your Key to the World card to open your stateroom door, to be able to get off and on the ship at ports, and make purchases on the ship.
Previously, Key to the World Cards and lanyards (only those who have sailed on Disney Cruise before receive lanyards) were provided at the check in counter inside the terminal prior to boarding.
On the bed inside our stateroom were our Gold lanyards to hold our Key to the World Cards as well as our Castaway Club gifts for being in the Gold tier. We received two luggage tags and a sling backpack.
Remember the wonderful days at Walt Disney World Resorts when your luggage magically appeared at your room? Well, those days are gone for now, but it continues to occur while sailing on Disney Cruise Line with some exceptions.
Guests can no longer check their bags all the way through from their home airport as they did pre-Covid. Disney Cruise Line is currently not collecting bags from baggage claim. Therefore, if you check your bag from your home airport, you will need to pick up the bags before heading down to the transport check in.
Our luggage was delivered to our updated room within the first hour that we were in our stateroom around 3 pm.
Dinner and Evening Entertainment
Before heading to dinner, we were able to attend the “Family Game Show” which placed three different teams head to head to find out who knew their family member the most. My husband and youngest daughter were selected to play and even won the gameshow! They were proud to wear the coveted Disney Cruise WINNER Medals around the ship and to dinner the first night!
Even Goofy and Donald came out to take pictures with guests after the gameshow had ended. You never know when you will encounter Mickey and his friends!
Disney Cruise Line is known for their rotational dining and for the first night we were assigned to the Royal Court restaurant. More on how dining works in another article!
After dinner, we headed back to the room where we took everything out of our luggage and placed in the closets as well as in drawers. There is ample room under the main bed for luggage to fit so that it does not take up space in the stateroom.
The girls and I also decided it was a good time to decorate both inside our stateroom as well as our door with the various Christmas décor I had brought from home.
One can not wake up on Christmas morning without hanging stockings, décor and a Christmas tree!
After decorating, my oldest daughter and I walked down the stairs to the Walt Disney Theatre where we enjoyed the 8:30 pm showing of Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular.
Outside the theatre, was the perfect photo op complete with a magic lamp! After the show ended at 10:00 pm, we were all exhausted from everything we had experienced on the first day of our cruise.
What was on tomorrow’ itinerary? Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, located in the Bahamas! My next article will be solely dedicated to Castaway Cay and why it is our favorite place to visit while sailing on Disney Cruise Line!