You might recall the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
D & K Heating Service Experts sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. Korbin and Brooke had never been on a cruise before and Rebecca and Bradley hadn’t been in about 10 years.
“I can’t even begin to describe all the fun we had and how absolutely unbelievable the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were kind enough to send over their itinerary and some snapshots from their incredible trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s vacation.
We were on the water for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families for several hours. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the coolest experience of the entire cruise!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, swam, and laid out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly beautiful.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was very blue and had perfect visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also have an 18+ beach which we enjoyed while our children played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. They had employees everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) laid out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It was basically 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 they give you a card so you can keep track of all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes to life – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were chasing clues all over the ship.
They are constantly running first-run movies out around the pool so we got to watch Jungle Book. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that takes you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s really easy to see characters on the cruise – you only have to wait a few minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We saw about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was awesome! We had 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 smushed.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has neat flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors change on the ceiling while you eat and Royal Court was really elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. Korbin 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 provide a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they take 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 place them in Disney films. My daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this incredible opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the whole experience. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big announcement, reading about and choosing which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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