You might remember the sweet Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Sunbeam Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Bradley and Rebecca took their two oldest kids, 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 how much fun we had and how seriously incredible everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were kind enough to give us their itinerary and some photos from their amazing trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, check out the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We sailed for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with four different families for several hours. It was my son and daughter’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun experience of the whole cruise!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, got to swim, and bummed around on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – 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 clear 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 and older beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had employees everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) relaxed and drank a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the cruise ship – it was so much fun and extraordinary! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can record all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were going all over the ship.
They are continually showing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to enjoy Finding Dory, Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Jungle Book. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and they also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s really easy to see characters on the cruise – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We met about two a day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The actual room was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. The room was a really good size and all four of us were cozy and never felt squished.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change during your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. My oldest tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He told us it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can draw a figure. They offer directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney movies. Our daughter is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable trip,” Rebecca said after they returned from their cruise. “I get emotional when I think about the whole experience. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the anxious voting round, the big announcement, planning and choosing which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an incredible vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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