Looking to keep the onboard experience fresh, a number of cruise lines have partnered with celebrity chefs for unique at-sea dining. Branded entertainment options bring the familiar to sea and go a long way to setting passenger expectations, even before they board their cruise ship. Royal Caribbean has associated itself with Broadway. Carnival Cruise Line has Food Network star Guy Fieri and the Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown. Norwegian Cruise Line has Iron Chef and Michelin Star winner, Geoffrey Zakarian.
And then there is Disney.
Other cruise lines rushed to add branded content in advance of Disney Cruise Line doubling the size of their fleet recently, hoping to at least not be blown away by Mickey, Minnie and their gang of adorable kid program-busting thugs. Still, Disney prevailed and remains the number one choice of families. Now, taking their film-to-toys-to-theme parks success formula one step further, Disney Cruise Line will gain two powerhouse brands as sci-fi miracle Star Wars and big screen blockbuster Frozen go to sea.
This summer, Disney Cruise Line guests can immerse themselves in the animated hit “Frozen” with brand-new experiences inspired by the film, including a Frozen-themed deck party, a three-song stage show production number, storybook adventures ashore and of course: character meet and greets.
Just how good is Disney at this?
On one special morning of their Disney cruise, guests will awake to discover a magical freeze has overtaken the atrium lobby with sparkling icicles adorning the grand staircase, resembling the majestic mountain-top ice palace of Queen Elsa.
Bounce that around in your head a while Spongebob.
Icy adventures and fun for the entire family throughout the day include all-new meet and greets and themed experiences:
- Memorable moments with Anna, Elsa, and for the first time in forever, Kristoff and Olaf
- “Anna’s Chase for the Chocolate” scavenger hunt for those who share Anna’s sense of adventure, with a special surprise for finishing the game.
- “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” activity where kids take on Elsa’s magical powers to make snow and ice.
- “The Maypole Swirl and Twirl” for families to learn a traditional Scandinavian dance spinning and braiding giant ribbons.
- “Frozen” themed dining experience, including a menu inspired by traditional Nordic fare and special dishes inspired by the film.
A Lovely Day At Sea For Passengers And The Cruise Line
A day at sea on any ocean cruise line allows passengers to sleep in, relax, enjoy top deck features, engage onboard programming aimed to occupy their time or simply enjoy the solitude of being completely surrounded by ocean in all directions. That day at sea also allows cruise lines to capitalized on that captive audience with on-ship shopping, drinking and casino events aimed to maximize onboard revenue. I say that with no underlying tone of negativity, that’s just the way it works and part of the deal. Hold that thought for a moment, we’ll be coming back to it shortly.
One Of Our Favorite Central Florida Attractions
At Disney World here in Orlando, Star Wars Weekends bring Star Wars celebrities and characters for special shows, exciting presentations and more. From Friday to Sunday each weekend, park guests immerse themselves in the beloved saga that takes place in a galaxy far, far away. Disney Cruise Line guests won’t have to go quite that far.
More Than A Diluted Version Of The Real Thing
Coming up in 2016, Disney Cruise Line guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during a day-long celebration aboard eight select sailings on Disney Fantasy.
Marking the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising for an out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other, on any cruise line.
The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, special merchandise, at-sea screenings of the Star Wars films and new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.
Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other characters from across the Star Wars galaxy will be onboard for scheduled meet and greets, as well as roaming on deck and elsewhere around the ship. Like Pirate Night, Disney guests will also be encouraged to dress up in their own stellar costumes.
- Jedi Training Academy- A shipboard version of the popular Jedi Training Academy experience invites young Jedi hopefuls – known as “Padawans” – to learn lightsaber moves from a Jedi Master.
- Jedi Training Put To Test– They can then use the Force and face off in a final test against the evil Darth Vader.
- Star Wars Buffs, Here You Go- Kids and families enjoy friendly competition during Star Wars trivia games, covering fun facts from the film and television sagas.
- Tiny Jedi’s-For Younglings, Star Wars-themed arts and crafts, games and activities will be offered throughout the day in Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab youth clubs.
- Step Into Star Wars- In the evening, adults entering the night club will feel like they stepped into the Mos Eisley cantina scene. Characters and cantina music set the mood as Star Wars-themed specialty cocktails are served.
- Film Screenings and Celebrities– Guests can watch the first six Star Wars films and follow Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke and Leia along their epic journey.
Sound like a fun time Star Wars fans? It gets better
On each of the special sailings, celebrities and insiders from the Star Wars galaxy will share their experiences, meet fans and sign autographs.
Move Over Pirates, Here Come The Aliens
Reading through information about all this, the thought occurred to me “I wonder if they will do something amazing with the fireworks that blast off one night of every sailing”.
During the Star Wars Deck Party and Fireworks, Star Wars characters converge on the deck stage for a celebration of the Star Wars saga in a show featuring special effects and guest participation. The deck party culminates in a spectacular display of themed pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects, lasers and Star Wars.
The Real Magic Here
Back to that earlier thought of how other big ship cruise lines capitalize on a day at sea sourcing a considerable amount of income off the captive audience. Again, this is not some sneaky thing they do to fleece their guests, it’s more a result of the old saying ‘be careful what you ask for, you might just get it’ and a direct result of insanely under-priced fares offered by other cruise lines. They have to make that up somewhere.
Disney Cruise Line ships have no casinos, a major source of cruise line income. Staterooms are a bit bigger to allow split bathrooms, a big plus for families cruising together. There are no soda cards for sale, that’s included in the price. As mentioned, a signature event on any Disney Cruise Line sailing is the Buccaneer Blast, a pyrotechnic spectacular choreographed to songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, “Peter Pan” and the (personal favorite) “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction at the Disney theme parks. They could stop right there and have plenty to back up their higher-than-average fares.
But they didn’t.
Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy cruises sailing on Jan. 9, 23; Feb. 6, 20; March 5, 19; April 2 and 16, 2016. Departing from Port Canaveral, the seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
Photos- Disney Cruise Line