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 Halls on a Disney Cruise and paid for airfare for four. Bradley and Rebecca took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had and how absolutely wonderful the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to give us their itinerary and some pictures from their amazing trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s vacation.
We were on the ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families for the day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was probably the best experience of the whole trip!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, swam, and hung out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly beautiful.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was incredibly blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course - more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we took advantage of while the kids played with other kids. They had staff everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) relaxed and drank a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the ship – it was all so fun and unforgettable! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were chasing clues all over the boat.
They are constantly showing first-run movies out by the pool so we got to watch Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has other games 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 ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We met about two a day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was incredible! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The stateroom was a really great size and all four of us were cozy and never felt smothered.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors change on the ceiling throughout your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a good selection. My son tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They give you instructions on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! They choreograph them to music and position them in Disney clips. Brooke is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as accomplished
“Our family cannot thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned from the trip. “I get teary-eyed when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the anxious voting round, the big reveal, reading about and selecting which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable trip. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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