I grew up in Florida, and will admit I’m a total Disney nerd. And a Star Wars nerd. Maybe just a nerd. When Disney Cruise Lines announced a Star Wars themed sailing, I knew that I had to go. So, magically, I convinced my family (all 9 of us) to pack our bags, put on our mouse ears and head to Port Canaveral.
As we checked in and boarded the ship through the giant mouse ears, it was easy to let reality slip away and all become kids again. My niece’s favorite thing was the water park complete with giant tube slide that circled the ship high above the seas; my husband’s favorite was the authentic Irish Pub with trivia and drinks every night; and my favorite was the Ice Cream Parlor and candy shop. Yes, I had mint chocolate chip ice cream every day- with gummy bears. My mother’s favorite was the spa, complete with a juice bar, heated lounge chairs, and ocean view hot tubs.
Our cruise sailed the Caribbean, and made stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico, and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. There was something for everyone. Tequila shots in Mexico? Check. Swimming with dolphins in Jamaica? Absolutely! Jet-ski tour of clear Bahamian water? Sign us up.
Disney characters all roam the ship constantly. Every day is a different theme, and the characters have costumes to match. On formal night, Donald and Daisy were in their finest attire. On Pirate night, Mickey in bucaneer regalia, Captain Hook, and Jack Sparrow were all on deck. On Star Wars day, the First Order takes over the ship and stormtroopers go on pool patrol. Everyone on the ship is dressed in costume, young to old, even menus are themed. These were honestly my favorite pictures we took, not because we all had ridiculous costumes (which we did) but because we all were so happy and laughing together.
On port adventure days, we would get up and have a ridiculously large breakfast (we’re on vacation ok?) and set out to explore. We could head to the beach, we could swim with dolphins or rays, walk around town, or go on various tours. It was usually a combination, we could climb the waterfalls in Jamaica, then head back to catch the latest Disney movie release in their full size theater complete with popcorn, sodas, and candy. We could drink all morning at Senor Frogs in Mexico, then hit the spa on the ship. At night we all reconvened to eat dinner and talk about our respective days. Our serving staff was amazing and always remembered everyone’s favorite beverage of choice and had it waiting for us, including my 9 year old niece with a special surprise for her.
Occasionally, however, we needed a break from the kiddos and several adult beverages. The adults would convene at the Serenity Deck or at one of dozen or so bars for a frozen concoction that helped us hang on. Every night the adults played trivia before dinner, usually in our costumes. If you’ve never seen a large group of adults dressed like pirates arguing over 80s trivia, then you’re just letting the best in life pass you by.
It was easy to find something for everyone, but I also can’t remember the last time I had so much fun just hanging out with the family. No one was on their phones (unless it was for a photo), no one was running late for work, no one complained about homework. Everyone was relaxed, and having a great time. If Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia can have a magical family trip, then there’s hope for everyone….