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. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. 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 how much fun we had and how seriously wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were kind enough to send us their itinerary and some photos from their awesome trip. If you want to 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 docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with a few other families for the day. It was my son and daughter’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it may have been the best experience of the whole cruise!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, got to swim, and hung out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was so blue and had amazing visibility below, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also had an adults-only 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 (Bradley and Rebecca) laid out and drank a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! The cruise has 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 place the card up to a painting, the painting springs to life – it talks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the cruise ship.
They are constantly playing first-run movies out by 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 above the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and they also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts 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 saw about two a day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was amazing! Ours came with an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a perfect size and all four of us were comfy and never felt squished.
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 while you eat and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a great variety. Korbin 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 directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. It’s completely unexpected! They put them to music and place them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on 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 whole experience. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the stressful voting round, the big win, planning and choosing which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an incredible vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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