Disney’s Starcruiser is wide open despite Bob Chapek’s predictions | Wender Mind Kids


Star Cruiser review


Disney upper management needs to “drive” Starcruiser themselves for a few days, incognito if possible, and understand what’s going wrong, and there are a lot of things that are very wrong. Launched with too many inexperienced staff, Starcrusier does NOT meet the standards for a premium Disney experience and is exceptionally overpriced.

I did the Galactic Star Cruiser 2 months ago with 3 friends. The vast majority of the “crew” are exceptionally young, inexperienced, college-aged employees who are forced to act for extended periods with individual clients as highly exposed “face” actors (think Hollywood Studios street scene). Unfortunately, most of them aren’t even as experienced and skilled as ordinary cast members at other Disney parks and resorts, much less experienced character actors who can spend hours at a time holding characters and improvising lines with clients and other cast members. I heard the same 20-30 phrases from Halcyon crew members hundreds of times in just 2 days and “Never heard of that…” in response to any discussion about Earth quickly became a sad, repetitive, irritating joke.

Worse, I spoke to several (10+) experienced and accomplished (and very good) performers at other Disney resorts and parks after my “cruise” on Starcruiser who said they were all turned down when they volunteered reported to the “crew” of Halcyon, saying that the crew’s work schedule was too many hours part-time and too few hours full-time. That sounded like total BS, which Disney used as an excuse to hire low-paid, inexperienced college interns for most positions instead of experienced staff.

The Imaginators did a great job composing and implementing the “space” elements and adventure effects as if it were all part of a good ride. Unfortunately, the quality control and final build quality (blue painter’s tape, exposed wires, streaks of light falling out of the fixtures) fall well below normal Disney standards, let alone the standards of a special $1.65/minute adventure. If I had found these issues with my room at Pop’s, 2 months into a major remodeling project, I would have spoken to an engineer. If it had happened at the Yacht Club or the Grand I would have spoken to a senior manager.

Aside from the excellent dinners, the daily meal is only slightly above the level of quality and “happiness” of a budget resort or quick service menu. And is hit and miss on the quality. The kitchen staff are excellent but seem limited in what they can offer or even what words they are allowed to speak. The dining room-style of takeaway is just plain cheap, and the lack of basic items like hot water for tea or cold bottled water to take to the room (among other things) is ridiculously silly.

The rooms are unnecessarily and restrictively small, especially considering Disney wasn’t subject to the same space constraints as a real ship, where space is extremely expensive in cubic centimeters. That’s foolish when the reality is that as a concrete building (that looks like a law enforcement facility from the outside) there’s no real need to make the rooms small at over $3,000 a night while billed as suitable for 5 people . Please note that I have served on both Coast Guard cutters and Disney cruise ships and have stayed at almost all of Disney’s premium resorts. To make matters worse, there isn’t enough space (drawers, closet space, etc.) to unpack and very little room to put luggage. The Starcruiser crew don’t take empty bags to stow like they do on some actual cruise ships, and under-bed storage is tiny and limited by height and depth.

Finally (last but not least, I have many, many more) the arrival experience is sub par even compared to arriving at a 1 star hotel. The shipping containers look horribly ghetto-like while driving, as if an abandoned (but brightly painted) dumpster partially blocks the hotel. The unfinished concrete overhang area for vehicle unloading is not large enough to accommodate enough vehicles or provide adequate shelter from wind, rain or sun. Reception staff were efficient but obviously inexperienced and understaffed and guests have nowhere to go to escape the heat etc. There are only 2 concrete benches to sit on (maybe 2-3 people each) and that’s it.

The only 2 restrooms in the arrivals area are single occupancy and can only be accessed after passing security metal detectors. The walkway to the elevators is a claustrophobic, unfinished, unpainted, undecorated, no-frills concrete tunnel that feels like Disney is jailing you through the “Utilidors” rather than a luxury cruise experience. Waiting in line for Star Tours, Mine Train, Space Mountain, or checking in at Pop Century is more enjoyable and more Disney than waiting to book a two-day, $6,000-$7,000 Star Wars experience on the Halcyon start.