Did you book a trip on the Halcyon? Do you want to? I was gifted a trip by family members and sailed to a galaxy far, far away. Of course I read about it before I went, but I was surprised by some of the things that really helped me have a great trip. Here are my tips for anyone looking to make the most of their own voyage on Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser.
1. Go All In the Right Way
No, I don’t mean constructing a complicated backstory, obsessing about the perfect costume, or making sure you interact with all the characters. I think you don’t need to do that if it’s not your style, because the environment is so immersive. It really is true that you can participate or just watch.
What I mean is that you should actively silence the “real world” so that you can sink yourself into the environment. Put your phone in airplane mode, if you can. Silence notifications from email and social media. If you bring a laptop on board, leave it in your bag if possible. Taking away those reminders of your day-to-day life will help you to fully believe.
2. Try All the Food
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, the food is strange. Some things will look familiar and taste different; some things will look different but remind you of dishes you already know.
If you’re traveling on the Galactic Starcruiser, the food is strange. Some things will look familiar and taste different; some things will look different but remind you of dishes you already know.
I thought that the culinary team did an excellent job designing food that helps create the experience of exploring a strange place with other cultures. Don’t let the “starving children in Africa” deprive you of the opportunity to fully embrace it. For this one trip, throw away your feelings about food waste and try everything, or as much as you can.
If you’re with a large group you can minimize uneaten food by sharing one to taste and going back for seconds of the best items. And if you’re one person, know that you can get more back to your seat in one trip than it looks like because some of the dishes will stack 2- and 3-high on your tray.
If, after a few meals, you find yourself craving the familiar with the passion of Americans who seek out McDonald’s when visiting other continents, take advantage of your trip to Batuu. A small detour will net you Chicken Strips instead of Fried Tip Yip, and you’ll come back ready to continue food-adventuring on the rest of your cruise. Pro tip: you can have lunch both planetside and onboard on the second day if you time it right.
3. Do the Little Things
Many people will recommend that you Do. All. The. Things. They may not be talking about the things I’m about to recommend.
I’m a fairly detail-oriented person. Within about 10 minutes of getting into our cabin, I’d pushed every button I could find, including some that were only made to look like buttons and didn’t actually push. I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing the word “immersive”, so I’m going to haul out a few others here. The Starcruiser as an environment is rich, deep, and complete. There are so many little, well-done details that keep up the illusion even when you haul out your metaphorical magnifying glass.
Spend some time on the little things that aren’t front and center. I know it’s the wrong franchise, but did you ever watch an episode of Star Trek (TNG or later) and wish that you had access to a holodeck? Being on the Galactic Starcruiser is a bit like being in a holodeck program of the Star Wars universe. Don’t be so focused on the story that you miss the opportunity to appreciate how marvelous that is. Here are some examples of things you should make some time for.
Talk to D3-09
Your in-room communication panel comes equipped with a link to D3-09, your personal droid … concierge? Don’t link up to D3 once during the room tour and then forget about it. Come back a few times and see what they have to say. If they offer to tell you a bedtime story, take them up on it.
Pro tip: D3 can’t tell you anything about how to set the lights in your room so that everything is off except for the bedside reading lights. If you need to know that and you’re in a hurry to go to bed, use the phone in the middle – it goes to the hotel “front desk” where real people can answer your question. But if you’re not in a hurry, consider asking D3. It was … entertaining.
Learn to Play Sabacc
OK, this one is a bit of a catch-all. It means learn to play Sabacc, or take the Ryloth dance lessons, or sit in on a session of Sector Set (a bingo game by any other name … ). Your cruise will have cruise activities; take in a few for the atmosphere. Once you’ve learned to play Sabacc, you can hang out at the holo-Sabacc tables in the Sublight Lounge and speculate as to what other guests are doing in this hive of scum and villainy.
Learn to Read Aurebesh
I admit, this will not be for everyone. But if you love word games of any kind, it won’t take you long to notice that the Aurebesh translations of English words always have the same number of letters.
Turns out, the Aurebesh alphabet is a direct mapping to the Latin alphabet that we use in English. Spend a bit of time matching up the letters on the signs that you’ll see everywhere, and you can get pretty good at translating without the help of your Datapad. It’s fun to be able to read the signs on the ship and especially on Batuu without holding up your phone and scanning everywhere to translate. Once you’ve gotten good at it, make sure to read the plaque on the inside of the stall doors in the public restrooms.
4. Bring USB Adapters
This was one of those headscratchers. Like, a “Seriously, Disney???” headscratcher. The Starcruiser experience requires you to spend lots of time on your datapad (i.e., your phone), but we found only one USB outlet in our cabin. Seriously Disney?? Seriously??!!!
OK, to be fair, I think this might have been a little attempt at engineering the humans. There are USB ports in the bases of every seat in the atrium. Maybe the thought process was like … “These people paid $5,000 to get on board, but they’re going to spend too much time in their room and miss out on the story. Wait!—I know what to do! If we put the chargers in the atrium and none in the rooms, they’ll have to venture out into the public spaces in order to get their phones some juice.” As if!
Bring a few USB adapters with you, and you’ll have a much easier time getting everything charged at night. If you forget, I suspect that guest services gets requests all the time and can loan you some. But seriously. What were they thinking??!!
5. Take Some Downtime
I’m a massive extrovert, but even extroverts need a little alone time. Cosplay, strange environments, strange food, new people, puzzles and problem solving … it’s all very stimulating. Don’t feel like you’re going to miss out on something if you seek out a quiet space for some downtime when the schedule seems open to it. Your cabin is an obvious choice, but the Climate Simulator can also be a great place to hang out that feels sort of familiar and not very busy.
Day 1 moves along at a pretty snappy pace, but on Day 2 you won’t need the whole day to finish your missions on Batuu. If you feel like you could use it, head back to the ship when you’re done instead of hanging out in Galaxy’s Edge. Grab a couple of hours lying down or sitting quietly somewhere, and you’ll be at your best for the evening when the story comes to a climax.
Have you traveled on the Starcruiser? What advice would you give someone who hasn’t been before? Let us know in the comments!