In a galaxy not so far, far away, Disney Cruise Line launched into hyperspeed with Star Wars Day at Sea sailings. The Disney Fantasy is the “space SEAship.” No need to use the Force: the 2017 and newly announced 2018 itineraries are out. Padawans and Jedis, we’re sharing our sneak peek at our Star Wars Day at Sea experience. (As if you needed convincing.) Cue the Star Wars music!
Just this week, Disney Cruise Line announced their itineraries for the 2018 Star Wars Days at Sea exclusively onboard the Disney Fantasy. If you’re more about hyperspeed, then you can still book a Star Wars Day at Sea for select sailings in 2017. We chose the April 2nd Western Caribbean sailing because it lined up with our Spring Break week, and the Star Wars Day at Sea fell on Day 5. Our family was excited to see what Disney Cruise Line had up its sleeve for this dedicated day which turned out to be quite the Star Wars celebration in theming, character meets, decor, food and entertainment.
Let’s break down all the details about the 2017 and 2018 itineraries, what this special day at sea offers, and my family’s impressions of our April 2016 Star Wars Day at Sea.
Star Wars Day at Sea 2017 and 2018 Dates and Itineraries
2017 7-Night Western Caribbean sailings
January 21, 2017
February 4, 2017
February 18, 2017
March 4, 2017
March 18, 2017
April 1, 2017
April 15, 2017
2018 7-Night Western Caribbean Sailings
January 6, 2018
January 20, 2018
February 3, 2018
February 17, 2018
March 3, 2018
March 17, 2018
March 31, 2018
April 14, 2018
2017 7-Night Eastern Caribbean sailings
January 28, 2017
February 11, 2017
February 25, 2017
March 11, 2017
March 25, 2017
April 8, 2017
2018 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Sailings
January 13, 2018
January 27, 2018
February 10, 2018
February 24, 2018
March 10, 2018
March 24, 2018
April 7, 2018
Here’s what Disney Cruise Line News promises for 2017
New immersive encounters with favorite Star Wars characters
- New to the Dark Side of the ship is Kylo Ren.
- Sabine and Ezra from Star Wars Rebels make appearances alongside Ahsoka Tano in an all-new base location.
- Feel fully immersed in the Star Wars galaxy as roaming characters patrol the ship, including more Imperial Officers and Stormtroopers.
Younglings summon their inner Jedi
- Young guests harness the power of the Force in “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.” New to the training this year is the addition of the Seventh Sister, more performances and a greater number of Padawans participating in each training.
- Even more Star Wars-themed activities and programs for kids to enjoy in all youth spaces.
Celebrate Star Wars with a new deck celebration spectacular…
- The epic adventures at sea conclude with the enhanced “Summon the Force” deck celebration spectacular featuring the newest additions to Star Wars Day at Sea: Kylo Ren, Ezra and Seventh Sister.
- The “Summon the Force” deck show is accompanied by John Williams’ epic score, now including theme music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
- In 2017, there is a new story, with more pyrotechnics, special effects and stunts.
Watch the latest films
- The latest Star Wars installment, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is shown at sea.
- The most recent Lucasfilm Ltd. fan film winners showcased onboard.
- Exclusive to Star Wars Day at Sea 2017 sailings is an assortment of new merchandise including drink ware, apparel and Star Wars
Surprises from stem-to-stern
- New upper deck games and activities, including showings of Star Wars Rebels season three on Funnel Vision.
- Virtual porthole surprises, including new exciting visuals, transport guests to a galaxy far, far away from their stateroom.
- Hear Star Wars music like never before… through the horn of a cruise ship. New this year is the inclusion of the iconic “Main Title” in addition to the “Imperial March.”
- A special lineup of guest speakers is sure to surprise and delight guests when they receive an inside look at the Star Wars This year’s speakers include:
- Jan. 7: Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Jan. 14: Leland Chee, manager of the Holocron, Lucasfilm Story Group
- Jan. 21: Hal Hickel, animation director, Industrial Light & Magic
- Jan. 28: Matt Martin, creative executive, Lucasfilm Story Group
- Feb. 4: John Goodson, texture artist, Industrial Light & Magic
- Feb. 11: To be determined
- Feb. 18: Dan Lobl, visual effects digital asset supervisor, Star Wars franchise
- Feb. 25: Shawn Kelly, lead animator, Industrial Light & Magic
- March 4: Hannah Gillis, producer, Industrial Light & Magic and xLab
- March 11: Pablo Hildago, creative executive, Lucasfilm Story Group
- March 18: Diana Williams, producer, Franchise Synergy-Games, Industrial Light & Magic, xLab and Lucasfilm Story Group
- March 25: Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge, Industrial Light & Magic and xLab
- April 1: Jason McGatlin, executive producer, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Star Wars: Episode VIII.”
- April 8: Janet Lewin, vice president of production
- April 15: To be determined
As for 2018, guests can expect more of the same intergalactic entertainment. Expect more details to be announced as it gets closer.
What You Can Expect Onboard Disney Cruise Line’s Star Wars Day at Sea
The Star Wars spirit
Seeing so many fans who were dressed up in some hardcore Jedi or C-3PO costumes was contagious fun. Music was changed out from the usual Disney fare to the Star Wars music we all know and love by legendary composer John Williams. The atmosphere was festive and you could overheard people chatting about their plans and bubbling up with enthusiasm.
You could rank your preferences on meet and greets and submit your vote to Guest Services. Then you were issued tickets for your meet and greet location. The choices were Dark Side, Tattoine, and Bespin.
My only complaint-we got Darth Vader for our Dark Side character (alternating with Captain Phasma) and Darth Maul for our Tattoine tickets. Darth Maul was creepy and his eyes-AAH! Had to be colored contacts but still very unnatural! Both our character interactions were Dark Side in my mind. Bespin characters were Boba Fett and Chewbacca. I would have loved to get Chewie! As if to accommodate all the requests for character meet and greets, we also got tickets for the next day but were unable to use those because the time slots overlapped our son’s Sports Simulator appointment. But kudos to DCL for adding an extra day and more chances to interact with beloved characters.
Out of this galaxy food
Disney Cruise Line really nailed the Star Wars themed food. Our favorite was the frozen Han Solo for the Han Solo Frozen Carbonite Sundae.
There were even custom dinner and dessert menus with Tie fighters and X-wing holograms. All the dishes were named after characters and locations from Star Wars.
The late night buffet in Cabanas looked amazing!Any time you can get a Darth Vader cupcake made of chocolate, it’s a great day!
Watching Newly Released Star Wars movies
I’ll admit, it was fun watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens as part of the 2016 Star Wars Day at Sea. And there were ample opportunities to watch since it was shown three times that day, including in both theaters (one in 3-D and one without). So I would bet that the new 2017 sailings would include Star Wars: Episode VII and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and for 2018 sailings Star Wars: Episode VIII which is slated to be released December 15, 2017.
The ship will have TWO Star Wars horns!
Changing the ship’s horn to play the “Imperial March”? Brilliant! We loved hearing that one. But new this year is the inclusion of the iconic “Main Title” in addition to the “Imperial March.” Two special horns? Even Jedi and the Dark Side can agree that this is very cool!
There’s just something about watching fireworks out on the open sea. They aren’t nearly as ornate or as lengthy as the Walt Disney World and Disneyland fireworks, but all 3 1/2 minutes of this fireworks show are showstoppers. Maybe it’s because they are synchronized with Star Wars music. And it’s something different from the pirate fireworks.
More “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” slots
Kids who have their hearts set in participating in the “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” will have more opportunities to participate. This is great news! Selection is random. Previously, only 16 were chosen at each of the 5 shows. Too many kids, not enough space. So Disney Cruise Line listened to feedback and has added more slots for participants and more shows.
Special Guest Speakers
During our 2016 sailing, Tom Kane, the voice actor for Star Wars: The Clone Wars was featured. He’s voiced Yoda and C-3PO. I didn’t get to see this one but my teen daughter did with her friends and they loved hearing him voice Yoda and explain how he got his start. The list of tentative guest speakers for 2017 is listed above.
“Summon the Force” Deck Party
The “Summon the Force” show at 10:30PM gets Decks 11 and 12 crowded with anticipation for the forthcoming fireworks. Clips from the movie were interspersed with characters on stage. There’s nothing like seeing the Star Wars clips on the gigantic Funnel Vision screen!
Summary: The Disney Fantasy 7 night cruise with Star Wars Day at Sea was definitely our family’s favorite cruise to date. All the Star Wars Day at Sea touches enhanced our enjoyment and made the day really stand out as unique. I would recommend you summon the force and choose a 2018 sailing (or 2017 if you want to go sooner).