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 Halls on a Disney Cruise and paid for airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise earlier this summer. This was Korbin and Brooke’s first cruise and Rebecca and Bradley had not been on a cruise in nearly 10 years.
“I cannot begin to describe all the fun we had and how seriously wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to show us their itinerary and some photos from their amazing trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We were on the ship for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it may have been the best experience of the whole trip!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, got to swim, and hung out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly incredible.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was so blue and had amazing visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also have an 18 and older beach which we took advantage of while Korbin and Brooke played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had staff everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Mom and Dad) laid out and drank a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and amazing! 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 record all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it springs to life – it talks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are always playing first-run movies out near the pool so we got to watch Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and they 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 meet characters on the boat – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We got to see about two per day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! Ours came with an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really good size and all four of us were comfy and never felt squished.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors while you eat and Royal Court was really elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a great variety. 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 sketch a figure. They give you instructions on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. You have no idea it’s coming! They put them to music and place them in Disney movies. Brooke is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“We cannot 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 the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting stage, the big win, reading about and choosing which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an incredible trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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