You might recall the sweet Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Bradley and Rebecca took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. Korbin and Brooke had never been on a cruise before and Rebecca and Bradley hadn’t been in about 10 years.
“I cannot begin to describe all the fun we had and how truly unbelievable everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was nice enough to send over their itinerary and some snapshots from their incredible trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We were on the ship for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We reserved a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families for several hours. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably the most fun experience of the whole cruise!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, swam, and bummed around on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly beautiful.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was incredibly blue and had perfect visibility beneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18+ beach which we enjoyed while Korbin and Brooke played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had employees everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Mom and Dad) laid out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps thinking about everything on the cruise ship – it was so much fun and extraordinary! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are continually showing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to enjoy Finding Dory, Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Jungle Book. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s very easy to meet characters on the ship – you only have to wait a few minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We saw about two per day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The actual room was amazing! Ours came with an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our room was a really good size and all four of us were cozy and never felt squished.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has neat flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors change on the ceiling throughout your meal and Royal Court was extremely elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a great selection. Korbin tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He told us it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They offer a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They put them to music and position them in Disney clips. Our daughter is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime experience,” Rebecca said after they returned from the trip. “I get emotional when I think about it all. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the stressful voting stage, the big announcement, planning and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing a sensational trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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