You might remember the adorable Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
D.A. Bennett Service Experts sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Bradley and Rebecca took their two oldest youngsters, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise earlier this 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 explain all the fun we had and how absolutely unbelievable the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were nice enough to give us their itinerary and some pictures from their awesome trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We were on the ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families all day. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they had a blast. 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 snorkel even more, went swimming, and bummed around on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly beautiful.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was incredibly blue and had amazing 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 have an 18+ beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had staff everywhere to watch the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) laid out and drank a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the boat – it was all so fun and extraordinary! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can record 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 hints and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are continually 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 ride the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has other games and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s very easy to meet characters on the boat – you only have to wait a few 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 different versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The actual room was amazing! Ours came with an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. Our room was a really great size and all four of us were comfy and never felt smushed.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has neat flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors during your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have an awesome medley. My son tried everything, including 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 sketch a figure. They offer directions on how to draw a figure, then they pick up 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 put them to music and place them in Disney clips. My daughter is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this incredible experience,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from the trip. “I get teary-eyed 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 anxious voting phase, the big reveal, planning and choosing which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing a sensational adventure. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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