You may remember the charming Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Neal Harris Service Experts sent the family on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. 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 begin to tell you how much fun we had and how truly amazing the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to send over their itinerary and some pictures from their awesome trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, check out the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We were on the water for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with four different families all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably the most fun experience of the entire trip!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, went swimming, and hung out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly picture perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was very blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also have an adults-only beach which we took advantage of while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had staff 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 boat – it was all so fun and amazing! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were running all over the ship.
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 go on the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger huntsand more.
It’s very easy to meet characters on the ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We saw about two per day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was awesome! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a really good size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt smushed.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool 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 medley. Korbin tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they leave 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 end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney movies. Brooke is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was thrilled – 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 tear up when I think about the whole experience. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting stage, the big reveal, planning and choosing which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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