Very soon, our family will be setting sail on our second Disney Cruise! We first experienced the magic and absolute pampering that comes with a Disney Cruise when we embarked on the Disney Wonder in 2011. Since that date, we had promised the kids we would return on another Disney Cruise, our target being 2015. We waited until 2016 and are reaping the rewards. How? We’re setting sail on the first ever Disney Fantasy Cruise featuring Star Wars Day at Sea!
This interstellar occasion marks the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship.
(info from DisneyCruise.Disney.go.com) Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney—for an out-of-galaxy experience unlike any other! You’ll be transported to “a galaxy far, far away”—in the Western Caribbean, that is—for an entire day of fun, including:
- Deck party featuring a Star Wars-themed show, plus music, dancing, lasers and fireworks
- Meet-and-greets with Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other Characters from the Star Wars galaxy
- A shipboard version of the Jedi Training Academy where Jedi hopefuls can learn lightsaber maneuvers
- Star Wars-themed games and activities at Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab
- Out-of-this-world food and beverage offerings
- Screenings of the Star Wars films—including the only at-sea screening of Episode VII—plus episodes of Disney’s animated series Star Wars Rebels
- Guest speakers will share stories and behind the scenes information
- Exclusive themed merchandise
The highlight will certainly be the deck-party where I can’t imagine how many Princess Leias will be in attendance, not to mention hopefully a bounty of Luke Skywalkers (just sayin’.) In our family, we’re embracing the Dark Side! I’ll be dressed as Darth Vador (swoon!) and my three kids will be my loyal Stormtroopers (my husband is still undetermined and will be shopping at Walt Disney World like the last-minute man he is.)
Beyond that very special day, there’s so much more I’m looking forward to on our Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Cruise – just look at our ports of call!
Here are the top 7 things this mom is looking forward to on our Disney Fantasy 7-Night Cruise:
1) The Food
Those who know me know this is of course one of the highlights of my trips! If the food isn’t good, this mom isn’t having a good time, so it’s important that when booking a vacation we’re not just ‘tolerating’ the meal service. On Disney Fantasy, guests experience Rotational Dining for dinner, meaning you rotate to 1 of 3 different restaurants on the ship on each night of your cruise as assigned, but your servers also rotate with you. What this means is that while you and your family are experiencing different menus and tastes, your servers get to know you well – even which child prefers milk to start her meal and that you love a coffee when the meal is complete. You can eat as little or as much as you like (love the appetizer? Order 2!), and the service is something I still talk about 4 years later after our first experience. One night, our server cut up my steak for me while I was busy feeding our 8 month old a bottle in my arms. I still tell my friends that story.
Breakfast and lunch gives you the opportunity to try your favorite restaurant from the night before, or a buffet at one of the many quick-service locations on the ship. Hungry after the kids have fallen asleep? Order 24-hour (!!!) complimentary room service.
Finally, if you want to experience an adult night out, and a dinner rivaling that found in the largest cities on the map, book a date at Palo or Remy on the Disney Fantasy. Yes, the dinner is above your all-inclusive cruise fee but it’s actually quite minimal. This is an opportunity to dress up (at Palo where our reservation is waiting, dress-pants and shirt are required for men and a dress or pantsuit is required for women) and experience a delicious dinner and of course impeccable Disney service.
2) The Kid’s Clubs
We have positioned this vacation as carefree or as structured as the kids would like – it’s entirely up to them. The kid’s clubs on Disney Cruise Line are such a hit with kids that it’s pointless to try and convince them to come play with mom and dad when they’re having so much fun, and it’s much easier, I’ve learned, to go with the flow and allow them as much autonomy as they’d like on their vacation as well. The Youth Clubs as they’re called are divided by age, so that younger children, tweens and teens all have a place to call their own. My son is looking forward to hanging out at at Edge (for ages 11-14) while my daughters have their choice between Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lounge (ages 3-12).
3) The Aqua Duck
While roller coasters like Rock ‘n Rollercoaster at Disney Hollywood Studios and California Screamin’ at Disney California Adventure have my heart, this mom is ready to experience the Aqua Duck Water Coaster. 765 feet of tubes, both open air and closed, whisk you away and at some points over the ocean, until you plummet on a 4-deck drop to the lazy river at the end. I am so ready for this!
4) Quiet Cove Pool
Remember those kid’s clubs? And how the kids will be entertained for hours? What’s a mom and dad to do with all that time? Well, one thing that is beckoning me is the Quiet Cove Pool – an adults only area where you can relax and sunbathe, swim, read a book or just, you know, sleep. I anticipate spending a great amount of my cruise in this area (when I’m not sampling the food on the rest of the ship, obv.)
5) The Live Shows
If being at the pool all day or eating to your heart’s content has tired you out, your family can relax and take in one of the many Disney Live shows on the ship, or a movie in the theater (yes, we’re told Star Wars The Force Awakens is showing in the 399-seat capacity theater!) Every night a Navigator is left in your stateroom, giving you all the information about the following day’s events on the ship including live entertainment and movie showtimes (I’ve already packed my highlighter!)
6) Nightclubs & Lounges
After the pools, after the meals, after the shows – there’s the nightclubs and lounges for adults 18+. In my day-to-day life as a wife and mom, I can’t think of the last time I actually went to a nightclub, but I’m determined to check it out on the Disney Fantasy. An online review mentioned sometimes it’s just fun to people-watch. Think about it, these (mostly) parents are just like you, they haven’t cut loose for a long time, and perhaps this is the one time they get to. That spells fun to me, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. If a lounge is more your style, there’s several of those too (including the Cove Cafe which is adjacent to the Quiet Cove pool, you’ll find me there a lot!)
7) Castaway Cay
I saved the best for last for good reason! Port excursions at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay are all things we’re looking forward to on our cruise, but Castaway Cay is the stand out. Why? It’s a Disney exclusive! That means no one else will be on the island but the Disney guests on your cruise, because Disney literally owns the island! It’s true! If you’re a bit of an introvert, a cruise can definitely test that because it’s a busy place, however you can determine how much or how little you want to be a part of the action on the ship. Once at Castaway Cay, you can take time for yourself and your family. There are even kids clubs at Castaway Cay so mom and dad can have a little R&R time that day as well. I’m so looking forward to our visit to Castaway Cay on the 6th day of our cruise (they save the best for last too!)
I’ll be checking on the blog from time to time on the cruise (yes, there’s wireless access on the ship!) but won’t be around much starting next weekend. I will, of course, be reporting back on all the fun and my experience at all 7 of the things I’m most looking forward to! I know this won’t be our last Disney Cruise, so I’ll be making notes for myself as well!