You may remember the adorable Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Teays Valley Service Experts sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest kids, 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 cannot begin to tell you the amount of fun we had and how truly magnificent everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip 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 interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We sailed for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the most fun experience of the entire trip!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, went swimming, and laid out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly picture perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was very blue and had perfect visibility beneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps thinking about everything on the ship – it was all so fun and amazing! 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 write down all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it comes alive – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were running all over the ship.
They are always playing first-run movies out by the pool so we got to see Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and they also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger huntsand more.
It’s really easy to meet characters on the cruise – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We got to see about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, like 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 squished.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change throughout your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a great selection. Korbin tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He told us it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they leave markers on your table so you can draw a figure. They give you directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. You have no warning! They put them to music and put them in Disney movies. My daughter is our artist so she did really well with 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 experience as a whole. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the stressful voting round, the big announcement, planning and picking which cruise, the anticipation 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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