You may recall the charming Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Neal Harris Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing sent the family on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest youngsters, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I can’t begin to describe the amount of fun we had and how truly wonderful the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to give us their itinerary and some snapshots from their incredible trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s cruise.
We were on the ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with four different families for the day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the most fun experience of the whole cruise!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, swam, and laid out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly incredible.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was incredibly blue and had perfect visibility below, so of course we had to do more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also had an 18+ beach which we enjoyed while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) relaxed and had a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps thinking about everything on the ship – it was all so fun and extraordinary! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can keep track of all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it springs to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are always playing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to see Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s very easy to meet characters on the boat – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We met about two per day, and one day we hit 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 large porthole and window seat. Our room was a perfect size and all four of us were cozy and never felt squished.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors throughout your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a good 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 leave markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They provide directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney films. My daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as talented
“We can't thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime experience,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from the trip. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting stage, the big announcement, reading about and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing adventure. It was such a wonderful time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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