My family was hosted by Disney Cruise Line to experience the inaugural Star Wars Day at Sea sailing on the Disney Fantasy. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.
Okay, so you’ve seen my (many) Tweets and Instagram posts. And, you’ve come to the conclusion that Star Wars Day at Sea is the coolest. thing. ever. (You don’t have to convince me… I was there!) However, you have questions – which is expected. After all, Star Wars Day at Sea is a brand new offering by Disney Cruise Line, and there is limited information available online. Until now!
Today, I’m here to divulge everything you want to know about Star Wars Day at Sea, based on my first-hand experience during the inaugural sailing on January 9, 2016. I’ll go heavy on the high-level details and light on the spoilers, because I never like to ruin a good surprise. So grab a coffee – and your calendar – because once you go through my Q & A, I promise you’ll be ready to book your own Disney Cruise.
Q: Where (and when) is Star Wars Day at Sea offered?
A: Star Wars Day at Sea is exclusive to the Disney Fantasy on select Western Caribbean sailings from January through April in 2016. The exact departure dates from Port Canaveral are January 9, 2016 (my cruise!), January 23, 2016, February 6, 2016, February 20, 2016, March 5, 2016, March 19, 2016, April 2, 2016 and April 16, 2016. Currently, all Star Wars Day at Sea sailings for 2016 are sold out; however, never underestimate Disney’s ability to spread a little pixie dust… NEW sailings have been added for 2017! Check online for all the details.
Q: So, is the entire cruise dedicated to Star Wars?
A: The operative word in Star Wars Day at Sea is… DAY. That’s right – the entire immersive experience is compressed into about 24 hours of intergalactic fun. For the remainder of the voyage it’s business as usual and guests can look forward to a fun-filled itinerary of exclusive Disney entertainment and activities. And, even on Star Wars Day at Sea, there’s plenty to keep non-diehards happily entertained! From live performances and sports deck fun to scavenger hunts and craft classes, the only caveat for a non-fan is that they may share an elevator with a gaggle of Jedis or Jawas. Or, you know, a Sith Lord or two.
Q: What can I expect on Star Wars Day at Sea? What’s on the agenda?
A: In my humble opinion, Star Wars Day at Sea is the perfect fan day! It offers guests a chance to revel in the light (or dark) side of the force, and highlights include:
– A shipboard version of the Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple. Here, Jedi hopefuls (specifically, younglings) learn lightsaber maneuvers and then have a chance to put their skills to the test! The academy takes place five (5) times throughout the day (all activities subject to change), so there are many opportunities to participate.
– Screenings of the Star Wars films, including the ONLY at-sea screening of Episode VII! My boys had the opportunity to watch The Force Awakens for the very first time at sea – how cool is that? The cruise also featured screenings of Episode I-VI, allowing even Star Wars newbies a chance to get caught up on the fandom.
– An out-of-this-world deck party, featuring a Star Wars-themed show, “Summon the Force,” plus music, dancing, lasers and fireworks! The deck party is definitely the highlight of the day, but as it starts at 10:30pm, an afternoon nap is necessary if you’re travelling with younglings. You don’t want them to miss the intergalactic fireworks spectacular!
– Character meet-and-greets (more to come) and out-of-this-world food and beverage offerings (I’ve got that covered, too). Plus, Star Wars-themed games and activities at Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab for young Padawans!
Q: We’re sailing without kids. Is there anything specifically for adults on Star Wars Day at Sea?
A: Of course! Star Wars Day at Sea caters to fans of all ages, and for the adults on board, there are special activations just for you! Boogie on down at the Galactic Dance Party, which commences directly following the fireworks at 11:00pm. Most of the younglings will have made it back to their rooms by then, leaving you to party into the night with your favourite Star Wars DJ. You can also participate in the Padawan Mind Challenge after dark or the Star Wars Superfan Contest (an adults only event).
Q: Which Star Wars characters can I meet and greet on Star Wars Day at Sea?
A: This is likely the biggest win for fans of all ages – the chance to get up close and personal with favourite characters from the Star Wars universe. The meet and greets are well organized (guests are offered a chance to create a wish list and reserved times are subsequently scheduled and distributed), and Star Wars characters also pop up throughout the ship all day long.
Now, if you read my recent post, Welcome to the Dark Side: The Christening, you’ll know that Darth Vader is definitely on board the Disney Fantasy. You’ll also have a chance to meet Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers, R2-D2 and C-3PO and more! Even Captain Phasma, clad in her distinctive armour, is on board, marking her first official appearance for Disney!
Q: Tell us about the food! Is Hoth Chocolate on the menu?
A: Alas, my dream of having a “Hoth” Chocolate at sea was not realized (executive chefs, take note!) but I nevertheless indulged in galactic fare! From buffet hall surprises to a very special “Voyage Through the Galaxy” dinner, Star Wars-inspired touches grace every menu on Star Wars Day at Sea. Of note:
Sand People Salad – Chopped Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, avocado, bacon, chicken, tomato and red onion with a red wine vinegar dressing.
Lord Vader’s Nerf Steak – Grilled, marinated beef rib-eye steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, collard greens and sweet baby carrots service with dark side red wine truffle juice.
Princess Leia’s Warm Apricot Pudding – I can’t even. One of my favourite desserts on the entire cruise. Just look at the photo below; the rest is self-explanatory.
Q: Should I geek out and pack my Kylo Ren costume?
A: Um, yeah, you should. Or pack your Queen Amidala costume. Or your Obi-Wan costume. The point is, you’ll be in great company. And while approximately one third of the guests go out full “force” with cosplay, others are content to simply don their favourite Star Wars tee – like my husband, who wore a Droid t-shirt to complement my R2-D2-inspired costume.Bonus: this is one of the few times that Disney permits adults to get dressed in full costume – masks included. In fact, some of the Star Wars costumes we encountered were so elaborate, it was hard to separate the official characters from the fans geeking out!
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: Visit Disney Cruise Line online or for assistance with your Disney Cruise, call (800) 951-3532.