First, no matter how you arrive at port, there are people waiting to assist you with luggage. These folks will take all of your checked bags to the ship and all you have to worry about is what you are carrying on. MAKE SURE that you have your passports or travel documents with you and not in the checked luggage. This would make getting through security much quicker and easier. Speaking of security, that's where you head next. Usually there are several lines open to make this quick and painless. It is somewhat like airport security but you get to keep your shoes on ;).
Now, up the escalators! Wow, the room is packed! Head over to the desk and find a cast member to get you checked in. All members of your party will need to be with you to get photos and key to the world cards. This is also where you will be assigned your boarding group number. After you are checked in, you can sign the younger kiddos up for the youth activities. There are TVs playing various Disney shows or movies, Disney music is playing on the loud speaker, characters to meet and bathrooms are available if needed too. When I looked around, I saw lots of excited people playing on their phones to get in their last moment of wi-fi.
Listen closely for your boarding number to be called and that's when you line up. As you enter the ship, there are usually a couple of lines. There is one with a photo op and one to go straight in. This decision is totally up to you, but there will be many more photo opportunities throughout the week. Once you are at the entrance, a cast member will ask your family name and you will be royally welcomed onto the ship into the gorgeous Fantasy lobby! Choosing what to do next is up to you. If you are boarding before 1:30PM, chances are your room won't be ready. You can do a ship tour, set up activities at customer service, don your bathing suit and hit the Aquaduck or grab some lunch at Cabanas buffet and wait for the Sail Away Party with your closest friends.