When I was invited to attend Disney Cruise Line’s inaugural Star Wars Day at Sea, two things popped into my mind: “That’s so totally wizard! YES!” followed by “But, wait… I don’t have any kids.” That worry was entirely put to rest the second I set foot on the Disney Fantasy. I went to cooking demonstrations, played (and almost won!) BINGO, had wonderfully geeky conversations about canon and costuming, rode water slides, and ate way too much awesome food. All of this, however, was all leading up to the Star Wars Day at Sea: A most impressive production that any Star Wars fan would enjoy for a few reasons. I’ll limit myself to five.
1. Details: Judge Them by Their Size, Do You?
The ship’s halls are always filled with music, which is awesome on its own (and I apologize to anyone who heard me singing along), but I was quite partial to the soundtrack for Star Wars Day. In the grand scheme of the event, it’s the simplest thing, but walking out of your room to the sounds of “Binary Sunset” or “Duel of the Fates” really starts your day off right. Plus, it set the stage perfectly for the many impromptu lightsaber battles I witnessed, and I’m sure made the Sand People feel much more at home on the waves. Between the Star Wars-themed holographic food and drink menus, exclusive merchandise and other little surprises throughout the day, the little things add up to an entirely satisfying experience.
2. Watch Star Wars… at Sea
If you feel so inclined — and you should — you can complete a pretty unique feat: a marathon of all seven Star Wars episodes on a cruise ship. Throughout the week (starting with The Phantom Menace on the first day) each movie is screened in the Fantasy’s two beautiful theaters. I finished off Star Wars Day with an 11 p.m. screening of The Force Awakens, complete with my BB-8 sipper, in Dolby 3D. A tip for those of you without younglings: take advantage of the later show and leave the daytime screenings for families who need more seats.
3. Jedi Training and Trials
Start the day off with Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, or as I like to call it: The Cutest Thing I’ve Ever Seen. Younglings with lightsabers, facing their fears and a certain cape-wearing Sith Lord: What’s not to love? While there are multiple classes throughout the day, I recommend getting to your chosen session early — this is a popular event for good reason. Between trivia challenges for Padawans and Masters alike, Star Wars activities, and character appearances (I met Captain Phasma!), you’ll have plenty of ways to stay busy.
4. Poolside Entertainment
If trivia and craft classes aren’t your cup of blue milk, there is a constant flow of Star Wars awesomeness on the pool deck. The Star Wars Rebels marathon on the ship’s massive Funnel Vision screen is an awesome way to spend your afternoon, but I especially liked the periodic Imperial transmissions kicking off patrols from some newly-enlisted lifeguards and other special guests. I do hope they found those rebel stowaways… The grand finale: a dance party on deck and the Summon the Force stage and fireworks show.
5. The Force of the Fans
Sure, all of the lights and production were amazing in every way, but for me, the absolute most touching element was just how into it the fans were. I packed a lot of Star Wars stuff, and I mean a lot, and I still feel like I didn’t get in the spirit enough! Aside from the can’t-miss Costume Celebration and Summon the Force grand finale on Star Wars Day itself, the sheer amount of Star Wars love throughout the week was incredible. From the second I arrived at the terminal to check in, to the second I got on a plane to head home, it was a sea of Star Wars family. Not surprising as fans tend to wear their fandom on their sleeves, hats, and any other decorate-able surface, but it made me feel right at home.
In short, pack your T-shirts, pack your costumes, pack your lightsaber (I just checked the TSA website, and they’re allowed in your checked or carry-on luggage. SCORE!) and get ready for an awesome week. I was thrilled by how immersive and beautifully thought-out the event was, and hope you have the chance to experience it. Thank you to Disney Cruise Line for letting me tag along!
Star Wars Day at Sea is part of select Disney Cruises through April, and you can still secure passage on the remaining tours. Check back here for more updates!