You might remember the precious Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Roland J. Down Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the winners 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 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 explain all the fun we had and how truly magnificent everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to give us their itinerary and some photos from their incredible 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 experience.
We were on the water 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 my kids’ first time snorkeling and they loved it. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it may have been the best experience of the whole trip!
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 truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly picture perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was incredibly blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while the kids played with other kids. They had staff everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Mom and Dad) hung out and drank a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can record all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it comes to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are always showing first-run movies out near the pool so we got to watch Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. We also got to go on the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with things 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 a couple minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We saw about two each day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, such as 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 comfortable and never felt smothered.
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 put me in mind of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. My oldest tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They provide a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the very end of 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 films. Our daughter is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We can't thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime vacation,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from their cruise. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting phase, the big announcement, reading about and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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