Star Wars Day at Sea Brings the Force to Your Disney Cruise

How Disney Cruises brings a galaxy far, far away to the water.
Star Wars Day at Sea Disney Cruise Line
Matt Stroshane

Star Wars fans have been living on cloud nine these past few months. There was the blockbuster success of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a film that surpassed the billion-dollar mark 28 days after its release. Fans who want to experience the galactic universe can now do so at the immersive Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland in Southern California and Disney World in Orlando. But the Star Wars galaxy extends even further than most realize—far, far out to sea, in fact.

Sailing with Disney Cruise Line is an experience in itself. Beyond the destinations—including a private island in the Bahamas—you're getting the the exceptional service and character-driven entertainment you also find at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, on what is essentially a floating resort. But the line also offers the exclusive Star Wars Day at Sea, now in its fifth year and available on select seven-night January and February sailings on the Disney Fantasy.

Created for Star Wars fans of any age, it's an entire sea day dedicated to all things galactic, with events and themed menus from sunrise into the night. Everything is included in the price of the sailing. I experienced it with my 11-year-old-nephew Charlie, a mega Star Wars fan, this year.

The cruise cabins on Star Wars Day

Matt Stroshane

In order to keep track of all of the activities, we logged into the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app on our phones regularly. The app connects to the ship’s onboard Wi-Fi, free of charge, and is constantly updated. Many of the Star Wars Disney Cruise activities were offered more than once throughout the day, and we could "favorite" the ones we wanted to do. The app notified us 15 minutes before that activity's start time, so we could arrive on time even when distracted by the stormtroopers, jawas, and Boba Fett wandering the ship—not to mention countless passengers, young kids to adults, in costume, too.

Our day began with meeting some of the films’ most beloved characters, including Chewbacca, Darth Vader, R2D2, and C3PO. Afterward, I brushed up on my trivia, and added to it, at Star Wars 101. Together, Charlie and I learned to draw BB-8 and a porg at Drawing Academy; tested our recall at a movie quote challenge; made Yoda out of origami; and watched the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) condensed into 20 minutes by live actors during Star Wars at Lightspeed, new to the programming this year, and one of our favorite events.

Fireworks over the ship on the Star Wars Day at Sea

Matt Stroshane

Because Disney owns the Star Wars universe, we also nabbed seats in the ship's movie theater, slipped on our 3-D glasses, and watched Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker while it was still in theaters. (Throughout the week, each of the Star Wars movies, including Rogue One, Solo, and even The Mandalorian TV show, were screened, too.) At dinner, the menu featured dishes from the Dark Side and the Lighter Side, and afterward we made our way to the top deck for “Summon the Force,” a themed stage show, followed by fireworks and a Galactic Dance Party.

While we embraced the Force and were game for it all, there are alternate experiences for anyone sailing who may not be in touch with their inner Jedi, like wine and cocktail tastings, chef presentations, an on-board spa, pool, and AquaDuck, a "water coaster” that's a big hit with kids.

The remainder of the 2020 Star Wars Day at Sea sailings depart Port Canaveral, Florida, on February 15, February 22, and February 29, with itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. You can also book now for 2021 sailings, which depart Port Canaveral January 2, January 16, January 30, February 13, and February 27 for the Western Caribbean; and January 9, January 23, February 6, and February 20 to the Eastern Caribbean.