Imagine this: You’re on a Disney cruise ship enjoying your vacation when suddenly the lights dim. John Williams’ famous “Imperial March” starts playing and Darth Vader looms above you.
(If you’ve been living under a rock for 40 years and are divorced from popular culture, the “Imperial March” is Darth Vader’s theme. You know the one: dun dun dun dun-DUN-dun, dun-DUN-dun.)
“I warn you that anyone who is part of the rebel alliance will be considered a traitor,” everyone’s favorite dad says.
The media tour of the Star Wars Day at Sea had begun aboard the Disney Fantasy. And for this Star Wars fan, it was out of this world.
"There are moments throughout the cruise that lead up to that Star Wars Day at Sea...we have a few things that get you excited for that day. And that day itself is full of everything Star Wars exclusive for us," explained Cruise Director Trent Hitchcock.
And, boy, is it full of Star Wars. You may be setting sail to the Caribbean, but you'll be in a galaxy far, far away in no time.
With so much to be jazzed about, here are the things that will wow you when you board the Disney Fantasy for a Star Wars Day at Sea Adventure:
DUH. ALL THE STAR WARS STUFF
Star Wars moments begin as soon as you board. Want to snap a selfie with Han Solo frozen in carbonite? You got it. Want your picture taken in front of a huge lighted sign that reads Star Wars Day at Sea? Check.
You can participate in a scavenger hunt for porg nests throughout the ship.
Porgs are the little bird creatures featured in the latest Star Wars movie, "The Last Jedi." They're adorable. By the end of the cruise, you’ll end up with a porg toy. Especially if you have kids. If you don’t have kids, and you buy a porg, this is a judgment free zone. You’re cool with us.
Speaking of movies, you can catch Star Wars films and shows in the Buena Vista theater throughout the cruise. Of course, if you're going on a Star Wars cruise, you're probably watching these for the 100th time.
And just when you think you can’t get any more Star Wars out of this trip, the whole thing crescendos with a huge show on the deck of the ship that includes heroes from the Rebellion and the Resistance, villains of the Empire and the First Order, the iconic music from the saga and fireworks. It’s, unfortunately, something that we didn’t get to see because, well, Disney isn’t allowed to shoot off fireworks while docked in port. For obvious reasons.
But, we know what it looks like. Check out the video below!
Star Wars fans will be bubbling with excitement over a whole day devoted to Star Wars. But the first thing that will knock their socks off is the Disney Fantasy.
This 130,000-ton city on water is, according to Disney, decorated in the art nouveau style. True, but one can also say that the ship has the feel of a modern resort with that unmistakable Disney fairy tale aesthetic throughout the vessel. You know the one: Gilded accents with mosaics depicting Cinderella's fairy godmother and the iconic castle at the Magic Kingdom.
This vessel has 14 passenger decks featuring theaters, boutiques, shops, cafes, restaurants, kids play areas, bars, and more. Once on board, have fun getting lost.
Having what you see on screen come to life is what every Star Wars fan wants. The best way to make that happen is with getting to meet the characters themselves.
"You get to experience a lot of what you see on the films and in the Star Wars universe and the saga. We have a lot of characters walking around. The iconic characters, be it from Star Wars: Rebels or the movies as well. You can have those interactive experiences," Hitchcock said.
You can make an appointment to have your picture taken with fan favorites Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2 and, of course, Chewbacca. But don’t be surprised if you come face-to-face with the characters they have roaming around too, such as Kylo Ren, Jawas, and Imperial Stormtroopers.
THE KIDDOS GET TO BE JEDI AND RACE DROIDS
At Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, kids get to train as future Jedi knights with the help of some surviving Jedi, following Order 66. That experience is brought onto the Disney Fantasy as well. In "Jedi Training: Trial of the Temple," kids don Jedi robes, wield lightsabers and square off against Vader and his grandson, Ben Solo, better known as Kylo Ren.
Sure, kids will love this, but parents will also go bananas seeing their little padawans feeling the Force flow through them going against the Dark Side.
It's just also darn cute when a three-foot tall kid defeats a six-foot tall Sith Lord.
There's also BB-8 racing. That's right, kids get to take the lovable soccer ball droid from "The Force Awakens" and "The Last Jedi" and go head-to-head with other BB-8 drivers.
BIG KIDS GET TO HAVE FUN, TOO
Don't worry, adults, you can also get in on the Star Wars fun.
"You can draw the characters in our animation classes. You can test your knowledge," says Hitchcock. "We have what's called a super fan challenge and this is hardcore. These are very hard questions and these are true super fans that come along." All that “useless” Star Wars trivia that your friends and family said would never help you? Now you can show them what’s up.
There are also guest presenters on board who discuss their experience with Lucasfilm and what it's like to be a part of the Star Wars universe. This ranges from folks like Ashley Eckstein, who was the voice of Ahsoka Tano on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars: Rebels" to Pablo Hidalgo, the Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive.
IT'S A CRUISE, SO, OBVIOUSLY, FOOD
It's a cruise. It's Star Wars. You know there's going to be a special menu for the day.
Among the delicacies we tried were marinated shrimp and gooberfish caviar (Marinated Opee Sea Killer, on the menu), a marinated chicken salad (billed as the Sand People Salad), and a small brioche filled with ham and an orange marmalade (Mos Espa grand Arena Tailgate Sandwich).
What we didn’t get to try, but apparently exists, are the Bantha Burgers, which are on a black bun, so it makes is way exotic. You know there’s a Death Star pizza because this is a Star Wars cruise and if it’s round, it’s a Death Star. Go big or go home.
AT THE END OF THE DAY IT'S A STAR WARS FAMILY THING
We'll let Cruise Director Trent Hitchcock have the last word on this one: "It's seeing the other fans that come on board and dress up and their stories as well that's kind of unique. So, if you're a fan or if you're a super fan or you just like Star Wars and you want to have some fun with it, everyone embraces it on the day and everyone dresses up. It's pretty cool, whether it's just a t-shirt or little Kylo Rens or Chewbaccas...people go all out, I've seen Mandolorians, I've seen everything here on board."
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY