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:
Teays Valley Service Experts sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. 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 explain all the fun we had and how absolutely wonderful the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were nice enough to send us their itinerary and some photos from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We sailed for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families for several hours. It was my son and daughter’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the most fun experience of the entire trip!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, got to swim, and bummed around on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly incredible.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was so blue and had perfect visibility below, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played games. The island had people everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the boat – it was all so fun and extraordinary! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you select the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are continually showing 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 huge slide that takes you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s so easy to meet characters on the cruise – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We got to see about two per day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our room was a really great 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 while you eat and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a good medley. My oldest tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought 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 a tutorial 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 arrange them to music and place them in Disney movies. My daughter is our artist so she did really well with hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as talented
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this incredible trip,” Rebecca told us after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big reveal, researching and selecting which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an incredible adventure. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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