The Star Wars Day at Sea by Disney Cruise Line’s was a magnificent first foray into theme cruising, but the Marvel Day at Sea kicks it up a notch.
There are another three sailings featuring the special programming in 2018 before it returns for an additional ten in 2019.
Like all things Disney, Marvel Day at Sea voyages do a fine job of offering something for everyone, but they will most appeal to existing fans of the comics, animated television series and Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU. Still, it’s worth noting that passengers who have never even heard of Groot or Loki can quickly get their feet wet thanks to the Marvel Comic Vault primer which is offered several times.
While the bulk of events are scheduled within a single sea day during the five-night Caribbean and Bahamian cruises, MCU film screenings and shopping opportunities extend beyond. Guests can catch up on the likes of “Black Panther” and “Thor: Ragnarok” for free and pay for special merchandise in the time before and after the designated Marvel Day at Sea.
Agents should mostly promote it for the added-value set of special activities, dining, and entertainment the day itself is though. In short, think of it as Comic-Con International meets Disneyland on a cruise ship.
Setting the scene, are fun PA announcements about the evening’s impending Stark Expo and onboard porters requiring Thor’s help with his heavy hand luggage—in reference to his hammer Mjolnir, which only he can wield. Wandering throughout might even be characters such as Star-Lord and Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy” for photo-ops.
Making the most of meet-and-greets are actually ticketed reserved ones with Spider-Man, Black Panther, Iron Man and more in front of dramatic backdrops for perfect professional images to buy digitally or printed.
Panels such as Meet the Marvel Masters featuring Marsha Griffin are comparable to conventions. The Vice-President of Current Series and Development was on hand for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the story process behind the animated television shows before previewing the exciting “Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.”
Cosplay is another counterpart, and guests are encouraged to don their wardrobe at the Marvel Costume Celebration in the ship’s atrium. Even Mickey, Minnie and the classic gang of Disney characters get in the action to dress up as their favourite superheroes on deck.
Of course, there’s also the chance to learn how to draw your favourites as well as test your knowledge with multiple levels of trivia, escalating to the Marvel Super Fan Challenge game show. A break for dinner replenishes guests’ brains with themed cuisine including Hulk green bread and later adult-only cocktails at the Ravagers Club.
The absolute best the day has to offer is in the way of entertainment, however. “Journey Into the Mystic Arts with Doctor Strange” is an interactive performance that invites children to the stage to learn directly from the superhero. The show’s production quality involving the kids varies, but visual effects with the cast alone astound.
On a much smaller scale but just as delightful, is the vintage “Star-Spangled USO Show” in honour of Captain America with big band-style numbers sung and danced in the Fathoms cabaret lounge. It’s effectively an old-school cruise review that’s not to be missed.
The ultimate performance worthy of the entire Marvel Day at Sea program is easily the “Marvel Heroes Unite” deck show. The aforementioned Stark Expo swiftly dissolves into a dazzling battle of the Avengers against not only Loki but also Red Skull to regain control of the ship. Every character shows up—even Black Widow and Hawkeye—to take down the villains all across the vessel.
Disney’s expertly produced prerecorded and live performances and special pyrotechnics craft a believable fantasy that seamlessly puts guests in the middle of a Marvel movie.
It’s clear Marvel Day at Sea is Disney Cruise Line at its very best.