Star Wars Day At Sea 2018
You know those Disney Bucket List memes that circulate on social media? The ones where you have to count how many things you haven't done yet?
Disney Cruise is always one of mine. *Forlorn sigh.* Maybe if we cancelled our Annual Passes for a year... or two... we could afford to go on a cruise, but... it just hasn't been in the cards for us. So needless to say, when I got an email inviting us to check out the Star Wars Day At Sea offerings on board the Disney Fantasy? There might have been screaming involved. Even if we didn't get to go on an actual cruise, this little offering might be the closest I ever come to doing so.
[We were invited to sample the Star Wars Day at Sea offerings and were provided with lunch gratis. I was not obligated to write this, and all opinions contained herein are my own.]
Our invite encouraged us to get involved by wearing costumes. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. D had been asking for Padme's lake dress from Episode II for weeks.
We checked in bright and early in the morning at Disney's private cruise terminal at Port Canaveral. The waiting area is very open and there are TV's all around showing Disney movies (Dumbo was on while we were waiting). Star Wars music was, appropriately, piped in through the speakers. The Imperial March rang out and some Storm Troopers and an Imperial Officer came out to mingle with guests.
D mostly hid from them ("I don't want them to step on my dress!").
On a side note, my kid has never been to the ocean or the beach. I know, we live in Florida. Closest she's been is Titusville. So this boat was pretty awe inspiring up close.
D was a little put off by the wobbliness of the boarding ramp (which is all covered and shielded from any weather), but the CM at the boat entrance helped D scan in her own ID card. She was tickled.
The main lobby in the Disney Fantasy is nothing less than regal. There are gorgeous sparkling chandeliers, shiny gold railings, a sweeping blue-carpeted staircase, fantastic little art neuveau inspired architectural and decor elements. There were photo ops set up, but I'll give you one guess where D wanted to go first.
The kid who had been fighting me on letting me get a picture of her new costume the whole morning was suddenly ready for her photo shoot.
Now her highness was ready to explore the photo ops with us.
The Imperial March began playing, signalling us back into the lobby. While the Star Wars "Day at Sea" is just that (a day that's part of the longer cruise), that "day" actually starts the night before when Darth Vader and his troopers take over the ship. Like so...
They began herding us down a corridor toward their main theater. This was when we had one of the highlights of our entire day:
JAWA REUNION!! Excuse me while I cry; me miss seeing these guys at Launch Bay so much.
Once inside the theater, a Jedi came out to tell us more about what is entailed in a Star Wars Day at Sea (in other words, the stuff we wouldn't get to see on our little mini sampler). We were all given these awesome Porg masks when we came on board; it was explained to us that this was an interactive scavenger hunt where you track down Porgs that are hiding all over the ship (sort of like the painting hunt at the Festival of the Arts).
Honestly bummed we didn't have time to do this; y'all know how we feel about scavenger hunts. There's also Jedi Training Academy (not unlike at DL and Hollywood Studios), character interaction opportunities, a Star Wars restaurant menu takeover (keep reading, I have more info later), Star Wars fireworks on the top deck, the Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique is taken over for the day with Star Wars themed makeovers (this is exclusive to Disney Cruise Line - I cry - Hopefully when Star Wars Land opens in 2019, it will get added to the parks), and THEY EVEN HAVE MAKEOVERS FOR ADULTS OMG...
After this little presentation, a video played (that reminded me a LOT of the Galaxy Far Far Away stage show finale video), and a massive amount of characters made an appearance on the stage. During the actual cruise, this is very similar to the presentation they do on deck called the Summon the Force Show.
There ended up being a pretty good spread of characters from all the movies and tv shows.
The characters exited and some of the kids got to participate in the ship's version of Jedi Training Academy (the temple is created in the theater, kids face off against Kylo or Vader, there's only one main Jedi and two non-speaking Jedi assistants, otherwise it's mostly the same as the offering in the parks).
The group was split in half, and we were taken to separate areas of the ship. Inside one of the areas that serves as a club/lounge, our group got to have some special character interactions. We made a beeline for one particular pair we'd been dying to meet for ages (and don't really get the opportunity to in the parks).
D got to hug some of her favorite droids. Chewie and Vader were also there. If you opt to do the Day At Sea, you can sign up in advance for a set time when you and your family can have your own photo op with these characters. Other characters such as Boba Fett, the Jawas and First Order Storm troopers plus some of your favorites from Star Wars Rebels, including Sabine, Ezra and Ahsoka Tano might be roaming the ship for "surprise" encounters.
If you follow our adventures, you know D has... reservations about Darth Vader. With that said we wanted to give it a shot. So we promised her we'd hold her if she got scared and that Darth Vader would be on his best behavior.
Look at that grin!! :D
Hey, Furball! Everyone got a chance to have all three interactions. D enjoyed lounging in the... lounge chairs.
Time for a new adventure! Here's my kid being very extra walking around the ship.
Our second stop was Disney's Oceaneer Club. It's the kids' club. Surprise Surprise... I was obsessed with it. During Star Wars Day At Sea, there are special offerings for kids including a puzzle based game where you defeat the First Order or get recruited for the resistance with BB-8.
But seriously, you guys... the Oceaneer Club is one of the coolest places I've ever seen. While the above two activities are exclusive to SWDAS, the rest is always there. The central hub room has a massive interactive light up floor and TV screen, then other themed rooms spoke off from the center. The first themed room is Andy's Room.
This room is perfect for little ones with giant plush blocks, a TV, and interactive character props from the Toy Story franchise. I had to drag D out of this room, because I was WAY TOO EXCITED for the other rooms. For example, PIXIE HOLLOW!!!
The room is beautiful, full of fairy houses. There's a wall of IPads loaded with interactive games as well as a drawing/ coloring space.
The Star Wars themed room, in addition to BB-8, also has a video game where you can fly inside a rebel fighter ship and test your joystick skills on Hoth as well as other interactive stations.
But... I've saved the best room for last you guys. SUPERHERO ACADEMY!!!!!
At first D was content to talk to a CM while the hubby and I went all googly-eyed over all the displays.
The majority of the room was themed around Dr. Strange (BE STILL, MY HEART).
But once D discovered the Dr. Strange video game? We were all done in.
D's only seen Dr. Strange once, but she instantly mimicked the portal-opening pose and hand movement. It was too fun.
Eventually they dragged us away from the Oceaneer Club (I could have stayed there the whole time... even though it's "for kids" or whatever). Lunch time! We got to have a sample version of the Star Wars menu takeover that occurs at the Artist's Palette Table Service restaurant. We were the first family seated, and D got quite the regal welcome from the staff.
The restaurant is super charming with its Mickey chairs and collectibles all over the walls.
The menu that appears on the cruise itself for the Star Wars takeover is huge and beautiful with holographic print (I heard our server mentioning to the table next to ours that it's the most costly menu they've ever had printed). We got to have a little sampler of some of the offerings.
I'm not sure what I was expecting from the food itself... Yoda shaped fruit? Chewbacca face pancakes? A black bun imperial burger like at Hollywood Studios? But all the food LOOKED.... normal. The menu names were all very clever and Star Wars-y, but the food itself was pretty non-galactic. The biggest hit for us and the tables around us was the Vegetarian Mushroom Steak dish with the curried rice.
D's waiter DID make her a ketchup Yoda for dipping her chicken strips, though.
Lunch marked the end of our little cruise ship adventure (families that were going to ACTUALLY take a cruise were being announced in the main lobby). D stopped at every porthole window along the way to lounge dramatically.
D was pretty bummed that we had to leave (but Mommy... it's a boat... AND a hotel!). Maybe we'll have to save up to make a Disney Cruise a possibility down the line. We sure had a blast with our Star Wars (half) Day (not really) At Sea, at least. If you're looking for more info about the offerings of the cruise, prices, or booking info, you can find it here.