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, A Service Experts Company sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) 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 can’t even begin to explain how much 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 Hall family was sweet enough to send us their itinerary and some photos from their incredible trip. If you’re interested in taking 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 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 for the day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. 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 were able to snorkel some more, 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 Private Island. The water was so blue and had perfect visibility beneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we took advantage of while our children played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had people everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Mom and Dad) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps thinking about everything on the ship – 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 alive – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were running all over the cruise ship.
They are constantly running first-run movies out near the pool so we got to see Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. 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 they 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 so easy to see characters on the cruise – 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 got five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was amazing! We had 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 colors on the ceiling change while you eat and Royal Court was really elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a good selection. 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 meal, 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 worked really hard on hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“We 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. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the stressful voting round, the big win, planning and selecting which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an incredible trip. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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