You might recall the charming Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. This was Korbin and Brooke’s first cruise and Rebecca and Bradley had not been on a cruise in nearly 10 years.
“I can’t even begin to tell you all the fun we had and how truly amazing the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were sweet enough to send us their itinerary and some photos 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 experience.
We sailed for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was probably the best experience of the entire cruise!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, got to swim, and laid out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was very blue and had perfect visibility beneath, so of course we had to do more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also had an 18 and older beach which we lounged around on while our children played games. Castaway Cay had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Mom and Dad) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – it was so much fun and extraordinary! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you select the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually comes to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were running all over the cruise ship.
They are always running first-run movies out by the pool so we got to watch Finding Dory, Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Jungle Book. We also got to go on 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 Disney Cruises also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s really easy to see characters on the ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We met about two per day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was incredible! Ours came with an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a really great size and all four of us were comfy and never felt squished.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome 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 food is very gourmet and they have a great selection. My son tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can draw a figure. They provide directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. You have no warning! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney clips. Our daughter 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 incredible opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the stressful voting round, the big win, reading about and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an incredible trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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