You might recall the sweet Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and paid for airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise earlier this summer. Korbin and Brooke had never been on a cruise before and Rebecca and Bradley hadn’t been in about 10 years.
“I can’t begin to describe all the fun we had and how absolutely amazing the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to show us their itinerary and some snapshots from their incredible trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We were on the ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families all day. It was my son and daughter’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the coolest experience of the entire cruise!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, went swimming, and hung out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was so blue and had clear visibility beneath, so of course we had to do more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also have an 18+ beach which we lounged around on while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had employees everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) hung out and drank a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps remembering everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and extraordinary! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you select the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it talks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were chasing clues all over the boat.
They are continually running first-run movies out by the pool so we got to see Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that takes you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s so easy to find characters on the boat – you only have to wait a few minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We met about two per day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was incredible! Ours came with an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a perfect size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt smothered.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change during your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have an awesome selection. Korbin tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They provide a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney clips. My daughter is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this amazing trip,” Rebecca told us after they returned from the trip. “I tear up when I think about the experience as a whole. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the anxious voting stage, the big announcement, researching and choosing which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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