You may recall the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Abbey Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the family on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) 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 cannot begin to describe all the fun we had and how seriously unbelievable the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to show us their itinerary and some pictures from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We were on the ship for 2 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 kids’ first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was probably the coolest experience of the entire trip!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, got to swim, and laid out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was incredibly blue and had clear visibility beneath, so of course we had to do more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also have an 18+ beach which we lounged around on while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. They had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) laid out and had a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the cruise ship – it was all so fun and amazing! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it actually comes to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are continually showing first-run movies out by the pool so we got to see Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s very easy to find characters on the ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We met about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The actual room was incredible! Ours came with an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. The stateroom was a perfect size and all four of us were cozy and never felt smushed.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has neat 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 reminded me of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a good variety. Korbin tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they leave 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 big screens. You have no idea it’s coming! They arrange them to music and position them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We can't thank Service Experts enough for this amazing trip,” Rebecca said after they returned from their cruise. “I tear up when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the stressful voting stage, the big announcement, reading about and picking which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing a sensational trip. It was such an amazing time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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