Planning for a Disney Cruise is an exciting experience. The commercials, the online ads, the endless Youtube videos – they all spur the imagination, find you reaching for the calendar, and have the entire family dreaming of stepping into Mickey’s nautical world. Putting down that deposit is the first step to walking onboard and hearing “Disney Cruise welcomes aboard the <insert your family’s name> Family!
Yet as exciting as it all is – there are questions aplenty that create stress in the run up. A lot of this is due to dipping one’s toe into the countless online forums and Facebook pages where first timers are overwhelmed by veterans. Having just returned from my 22nd Disney voyage, and having participated in a Facebook group dedicated to my particular cruise dates in the run up, I spent months watching many anxious first time cruisers posting questions and trying to decipher responses and acronyms that are now second nature to a vet.
As such, I decided to bring many of these questions to the fore and begin breaking them down here. This entry will cover one of the most basic acronyms you will encounter as a new cruiser: KTTW card.
KEY TO THE WORLD CARD
Most travelers are familiar with key cards. In hotels they are the credit card sized, coded way you enter your room, gain access to locked outer doors, fitness centers, etc. On a cruise ship, they are your stateroom key, your charge card, your ID. With Disney, they contain even more information. So let’s break one down…
When you check in at the cruise terminal, once your documents have been verified, your payment method set, and a photo taken, each person in your stateroom will be issued a Key To The World Card – yes, even your children. YES, even babies. Again, these serve as identification as well as the means to track you as you leave the ship at ports and reboard the ship to head to the next destination.
Your KTTW card will look similar to this. (This is a Concierge colored card. Regular staterooms receive a light blue card)
- Your sail dates – pretty simple.
- A = Adult M = Minor This is a quick way for cast members onboard, especially bartenders, to know who is over 18 and who is under. Please understand, however, that if you look young, they may also ask for another form of ID. My kids, all over 21, carry their licenses with them to verify their ages to the bartenders.
- PR or PA – This designates if you have purchased Disney Cruise Line bus transfers post cruise. PR means Port to Resort (a Disney property), PA means Port to Airport. Upon disembarking and clearing customs, you will show your card to the people outside who will direct you to the appropriate bus. (Here’s hoping it says PR, and your Disney fun is continuing on dry land!).
- This area indicates your current Castaway Club status. CC is Disney’s form of frequent traveler club. Silver is gained after completing your first cruise. Gold after completing your fifth cruise. Platinum is gained after cruising 10 times. This area will also indicate your CC ID#.
- This is an internal identifier that tracks your check in area at the terminal.
- What IS that string of letters??? This confusing series details your dinner rotation while onboard. As Disney rotates you through all of the main dining rooms during your cruise, this is an easy way for you to remind yourself of where you eat each night. For example, on my card above, our rotation on the Fantasy was: Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, Royal Court, Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, Enchanted Garden, Royal Court.While it is possible to contact DCL in advance to request a rotation, it is not guaranteed and you will not know for sure until you check in and receive your KTTW cards.
- This large letter is an important one. This indicates your lifeboat station. Once onboard there is a mandatory lifeboat drill for everyone. The diagram on the back of your stateroom door will remind you of your letter and show you the path to take. While most stations are located on Deck 4 where you will see these large letters on green signs above the deck, others are located indoors in the restaurants or theaters.
- This indicates your dining time as well as your table number that is the same throughout each restaurant. Please be mindful of your dining time. There are two seatings per evening and if you come in late to the first seating, you are in for a fast dining experience as your server team must feed you and reset the room before the second seating.
- Finally this indicates which of the four beautiful Disney cruise ships you are on. And let’s be honest, ANY Disney ship is a PERFECT Disney ship.DCL is a largely cashless cruising experience. While you may apply cash to your account at Guest Services, or settle your account in cash at the end of your cruise, your KTTW card is how you charge items while onboard. Adult dining, cocktails, gift shops, specialty drinks at dinner, Cove Cafe (coffee shop), Vanellope’s and Sweet On You (ice cream sops on the Dream and Fantasy, respectively), popcorn and treats at the movies – all are paid for by presenting your card and signing. Items will be added to your onboard account to be settled to your credit card on file or by cash.When disembarking at ports of call and embarking at the end of the day, each passenger must scan their KTTW card. This system insures all passengers are accounted for before setting sail. That being said, if you are late to All Aboard, the ship cannot wait very long for you. One quick Google and you can read for hours the stories of passengers who watched their cruise ship sail away without them. Tick, tock – schedules to keep! On the final morning, scanning your card is how they insure the boat is clear of passengers so they may prepare for the next excited traveler who will board in just a few hours. (So any dreams of stowing away? They’ll find you.)If you lose your KTTW card, Guest Services will replace it for you. Also, if your sailing party includes additional staterooms, you may request additional cards so that you can access Grandma’s room, or your older kids can open both their stateroom and yours, and vice versa.So now that we have removed the mystery from KTTW, come back next time and we will discuss the difference between PAT and when you actually board the ship, as well as what a closed loop cruise means.
No matter where your daydreams may take you – Archer Luxury Travel can turn them into reality. Your imagination is the only limit. Whether it’s cruising with Captain Mickey, skiing the highest slopes, luxuriating at an all-inclusive resort, or indulging your inner child with an incredible package to Magic Kingdom, let DeeAna help you plan your next great escape. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org