The 2022 Disney Cruise Trip Report continues! After the introduction and travel to Florida in the first part, it is time to finish our journey and board the ship!
A note about photos in this part: I did not have any photos up until we got into the terminal building. Rather than put all of those together at the end in a brief moment of photo overload, I scattered them through this part of the report. After all, by this time it isn’t exactly a spoiler that we actually got in and then boarded the ship. Starting with the next part, photos will probably be near the text that goes along with them.
Saturday, June 4
Although it was not popular with the other people in our hotel room, I had set my alarm to go off relatively early, just to make sure that we would have enough time to get to the ship. A quick look at the weather showed that they were still expecting a lot of rain in the afternoon at Port Canaveral, but it was not yet raining where we were.
We went down to breakfast to see what we could find. Sure enough, they had the same pancake machine that we had found at other Holiday Inn Express locations, and Laura and I knew what we were having for breakfast. Jaylin decided to skip the pancake machine for whatever reason. Our plan was to eat enough breakfast so that we could wait until we were on the ship to eat lunch, whenever that might be. While we ate, the television nearby was showing the Weather Channel. It looked like Miami was getting hit pretty hard by all of the rain from the tropical depression. However, it was still not a tropical storm yet. (I found out later that it did finally become Tropical Storm Alex late that night, well after we had sailed away. Not to give away too much of the plot.)
I checked Find My Friends on my phone and saw that my parents were at a hotel near the Orlando Eye, and the Luttrells were at a hotel near Disney Springs. We had a little farther to go than the rest of them did, but I did not think that would be a problem.
We packed all of our things back into the car, and we headed out on our journey. Instead of going back to I-75 to get to Florida’s Turnpike, it was closer to just drive down US 27 for a while, so we got to see some scenery that we had not seen before. It was nice, but then it was good to get to the highway and move along, too. Thanks to our SunPass, tolls on the toll roads were already taken care of, so we did not have to worry about that.
The rain finally found us right when we got to Orlando. But it was a light rain, and mainly scattered showers, so that it did not affect our driving at all. I was relieved, and it looked like we would get there in plenty of time. Along the way between Orlando and the coast, we checked out the progress of the new rail line they are building, seeing how it had changed from our visit in 2021.
Not actually our ship. Ours was much bigger than this.
We reached Port Canaveral around 10:30 AM, but our port arrival time that we had gotten from the online check-in was not until 12:15, so we had some time to pass. Ron Jon Surf Shop was our unanimous choice of somewhere to go. About that time, my Dad called and said that we were close to them (I am not the only one who checks Find My Friends). I told him where we were going, and they decided to meet us there. We found a parking place rather close to the door, which was good because the rain was a little more steady. And my parents found a parking place close by, too.
It is difficult for us to go in Ron Jon without finding something to buy, and this time was no exception. Plus, we knew that we did not have to hurry, because we had plenty of time. Jennifer texted while we were in the store to let us know that they were running a little late. But they had an earlier arrival time than the rest of us, so that would not be a problem. We would all probably get there around the same time.
When we had finished shopping, my parents went to get a quick snack, and we went across the street to the Bealls Outlet, because Laura wanted to check that out. After that, it was time for us to head to the port and begin our adventure!
Four of the five Burnses (the fifth was behind the camera) waiting our turn to board the Disney Fantasy.
We knew our ship had come in (literally) because we had seen it when we drove past going to Ron Jon. But it was still cool to see it when we arrived this time. Those ships always look so big compared to our relatively small car. We drove up and dropped off our luggage before heading on to our one remaining obstacle.
Ours was one of the last Disney Cruises where mandatory COVID tests were given at port arrival. A few days later, they changed to testing on your own; a negative test was still required, but it was at the passenger’s expense after our cruise. For our cruise, Disney was still paying for it and providing the testing. I was fairly certain that we would all be negative, but there was still that slight doubt. What if one of us were positive? Or my parents, or the Luttrells?
We drove to the garage and encountered what looked to be a long line of cars in the testing line. After probably less than 10 minutes we got inside the garage, although it seemed like a long wait at the time. We got checked in by someone scanning the QR code on our port arrival form, and then were directed to a parking space where our tests were administered. We swabbed our noses ourselves, and fortunately, it was not a deep swab. And then we drove off to find a parking space and wait for our results.
My parents were getting out of their car as we drove past them, and we had gotten a text from Jennifer that they were waiting for their results, too. The Luttrells came up negative first, followed by my parents. We waited for what seemed like an eternity, constantly switching between email and the Safe Passage app to see our results. One by one, they started coming up, and we celebrated that we were all negative. We could indeed cruise!
Even the benches in the terminal area are cool. Or maybe they have that logo just in case you forget where you are for a moment.
After getting our things out of the car, we made our way to the elevator. The custodian emptying the trash said that only one elevator was working, so we decided to take the stairs since it was just going down one level. My parents were waiting for us at the walkway to the terminal. The rain and wind were blowing pretty hard at that point, so even though the walkway was covered, we couldn’t help getting a little wet as we crossed. But just imagine how wet we would have been if it had not been covered.
The security check went smoothly and quickly, except that the x-ray lady lingered on my camera bag for a moment. “What kind of electronic equipment do you have in this bag?” she asked. “A camera and lenses,” I replied, and that seemed to satisfy her. And with that, we were in the terminal building!
Waves on the ceiling. Not real water, of course.
One of the changes from before was that at that point, we did not have to wait in a long check-in line like before. We were already checked in. Our boarding group number had already been assigned, we had uploaded photos of our passports and of ourselves, and everything was already set up. Our key cards would be waiting for us on our stateroom door. So that change made the whole arrival process much faster and easier.
It was almost our time to walk through the Mickey Portal and board the ship!
We found the Luttrells, who were in boarding group 12. My parents were 17 and we were 18. They were already calling group 14. So a stranger took a group photo of us with Jennifer’s phone, since we were all wearing matching shirts, and then the Luttrells got in the boarding line. My parents waited on us, but it was not a long wait because they were calling groups rather quickly. Soon, it was our time, and we were ready.
Another change was that the boarding photos had moved to before you go through the Mickey arch. We got a photo with the five of us in our matching shirts, and then we walked through the gangway. Jaylin gave the host our family name, and then the Burns Family was welcomed aboard the Disney Fantasy! We had made it. After three long years of waiting, after passing our COVID tests, and after the threat of a tropical storm, we were on board. Our Disney Cruise was about to begin! To me, everything after that would just be icing on the cake.
Proof that we made it onto the ship! And proof that we wore matching shirts! Our first photo from the ship photographers.
Things are just getting started, and there is plenty more to come! Check back soon for more from our 2022 Disney Cruise!