By Joel and Traci Elswick
This was a super special trip for us since we were celebrating my son‘s high school graduation. He is an avid Star Wars fan and once he heard about the Starcruiser we started planning his high school graduation present. We booked during pre-booking period and started our planning. From the second we booked our Halcyon voyage we were treated like VIP’s. Yes, it expensive, but we both agree it was 100% worth it. Here’s the first part of our story on why!
Before we boarded the Halcyon, we received several calls from the Starcruiser. Making sure that our data pads were set up and working. Data pads is what you’ll use for missions on the Halcyon and Batu plus it has your custom itinerary. They also called to see if we had any celebrations and even notice a conflicting resort reservation that we had during that time. Of course, that was the rest of our family staying back while we enjoyed the Starcruiser. I thought that showed the level of attention that each reservation was getting, and we appreciated it.
How do you dress? You can come up with anything; a planet that you’re from, cosplay, or you could just go as one of your favorite Star Wars characters, bound, or not dress at all. I highly recommend to cosplay or bound as someone or creature your own character, to feel like you’re a part of the story. I feel like people that were dressed up or more part of the story than the people that wore just regular clothes.
Boarding starts at 1 PM promptly. I suggest that you get there around 12 PM. You of course need your Starcruiser photo in front of the building, right? There is a shady area where they hold you and of course with their VIP treatment bring around cold waters for everyone. Once 1 o’clock comes around, you will go through security then go through a briefing on what to expect in the Halcyon. Then you will board one of the pods to the Halcion. Once you arrive you will be in the Atrium this is where a lot of the action happens, especially in the evenings. Once you enter the atrium a cast member will show you personally to your stateroom. Our luggage was already there waiting for us. He gave us a tour then left.
After that we meet D3-09, our room droid link panel. Of course, I was super excited to chat with it a bit and she talked to us about our journey. Then it was off to the Crown of Cornelia for the lunch buffet. Anyone who knows me knows I am super picky. I was a bit worried about finding food I would eat. That was not the case. I pretty much loved everything I ate.
Plus, who wouldn’t love blue milk on tap right? My son’s favorite was dunking a cookie into the blue milk.
The things that are a ‘do not miss’ the first day is the Muster drill, a night with Gaya and the Captains toast that evening. Of course, check your data pad for other things going on, as it changes, plus your Lightsaber or Bridge training that may be on day one. Trying not to spoil anything but you must be there for the muster drill, or you will lose out on some of the storyline. I felt like it was my job the first day to get to know the travelers (characters) aboard the Halcyon and interact with them as much as possible. You will find the list of people that you need to get to know on your data pad. They will give you a brief description of each of them. My son and myself had already created a backstory with Gaya. Our goal on the trip was to get to know Gaya and make a special connection. Of course, we achieve that goal! More to come on that.
I spent most of my day hanging out in the atrium, of course, shopping. I was told by several people that things do sell out on the Halcyon so if there’s something that you want you need to purchase it the first day. I did notice that the supplies were low, and it was an actually a jacket that I wanted to buy for my son that I wasn’t able to because the only one left was on the manikin, and it wasn’t in his size. I had based my whole outfit for the first night around a cloak from the store I hadn’t purchased yet, so I headed straight to the shop to purchase my cloak. The people working in the store was super helpful and allowed me to try on the cloak to make sure I got the perfect fit. Of course, I found other things that I just couldn’t live without. Keep in mind you are limited to two per cabin of each piece of merchandise. We saved our Disney rewards points for a year to treat ourselves. Be sure you bring plenty of spending money because I know there are things and that you’re not going to be able to live without either.
I spent a lot of time that day in the Sublight lounge. Well, somewhat for obvious reasons, if you’re going to have to be in full Star Wars roll play sometimes you need some spirits to help you along, right? Plus, I was interested in interacting with others and watching Sabbac (card game). There were also key passengers (characters) that came in and out of the Sublight lounge a lot. I was impressed that I ordered a drink and came back a little later and the bar tender waved at me and called me by name. More proof of the personalized experience.
The muster drill started promptly at 4 PM. Some major things unfolded that would go along with the storyline for the next two days. I do not want to spoil anything, but I will say you must not miss the muster drill! Then it was off to our Lightsaber training. I got to tell you as s 49-year-old woman, I was hesitant to do this, but boy I’m so glad I did. We worked together as a group using the saber and shield and really felt empowered once we left there. This is a must do!
Before we knew it time for our scheduled photo shoot that we booked 60 days prior. If you have a travel planner like a travel planner from Middle of the Magic Travel, they will sit on hold and book your photo shoot and other must do reservations on Batu. This for me is a must do if you plan on going on the Starcruiser and investing that kind of money you need these professional photos to prove it! Price is around $100.00 and takes up to 7 days to show up on your My Disney Experience account. They are high resolution professional photos and such a great keepsake of your journey. After our photo shoot we checked out our data pads and we were just in time for the Galactic Fashion Show. We thought ‘why not, we don’t know anyone here’, plus we were in our Galactic best from our photo shoot and ready to own the runway!
Then we spent a little more time in the Sublight lounge before our highly anticipated ‘Night With Gaya’ dinner. We had the late dining at 8pm. I highly recommend the late dining to be able to really enjoy everything fully the first day. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how we scored the best seats in the whole dining room. We were front in center of the first dining room table when I say center, I mean we were looking straight at Gaya. She even remembered Joel the next day, stay tuned for that. This was amazing. Also, the two chairs that should be in front of us were empty, so we had the perfect view. It was meant to be since we were Gaya’s groupies.
During night one’s dinner, Ouannii comes out on stage she provides the accompaniment at Gaya’s performances. Gaya’s manager Raithe introduced Gaya which everyone was so excited to finally get a glance of her. She put on one heck of a show, after all she is a pop superstar on her planet. Sandro an up-and-coming performer also sang some with her as well. You’ll get to know all these characters over your two-day voyage. Gaya brought the house down with her seller performance. There is something very significant that happens towards the end of dinner that follows the storyline so it is a must do to be at dinner the first evening!
The dinner started with some appetizers made up of 3 dumplings beef (Bantha), chicken (Tip-yip) land veggie and Flora Noodle Salad. Honestly, I did not eat it because I have the pallet of a fourth grader. However, my son really enjoyed the appetizer and it looked like most people were enjoying it too. I knew better food was coming, so I was ready. The second course did not disappoint. The second course was a variety of beef, shrimp, chicken, herbed fluffy rice, and spiced vegetables. My favorite was a Bantha meet and veggies. Very tasty. The third course was Jogun Fruit and Caramel Whip. Presentation was cool and it was delicious.
After dinner was time to head off to the captain’s toast for the evening. I don’t want to spoil anything, but you do not want to miss the captains toast at night either. A lot of things play out in the atrium during these times. After the Captains toast, we visited the Sublight lounge where my son ordered off their snack menu plus a mocktail. I Indulged in a snack myself and a Diet Coke. Keep in mind that the food and a Diet Coke were complimentary. All we had to pay for was specialty beverages and alcoholic beverages. The Sabbac table was still crowed so no luck again. Better luck on day two, stay tuned.
We retired to our state room and checked in for the evening with D3-09 our stateroom droid to help them with a mission then went to bed, so we could get rest for our excursion to Batu in the morning. I slept in the bunk. It was comfortable and big enough for a full-sized adult. Standard rooms like ours hold 5 and have great views of space!
Stay tuned for our upcoming write up on our second day which highlights our excursion to Batu, Bridge training, our special meet with Gaya, Captains table dinner and our thoughts on last night activities without too many spoilers!