You may remember the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Donelson Air Service Experts sent the family on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. This was Korbin and Brooke’s first cruise and Rebecca and Bradley had not been on a cruise in nearly 10 years.
“I can’t even begin to explain how much fun we had and how seriously wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to send us their itinerary and some snapshots from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s vacation.
We were on the ship for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with four different families for several hours. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they loved it. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably the best experience of the whole trip!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, went swimming, and hung out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly picture perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was very blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course - 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 adults-only beach which we took advantage of while our children played with other kids. The island had employees everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) laid out and drank a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps thinking about everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually springs to life – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are always playing 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 huge slide that takes you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
The whole group 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 very easy to meet characters on the ship – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We got to see about two per 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! Ours came with an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. Our room was a perfect size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt smothered.
You alternate 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 made me think of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a great selection. Korbin tried everything, including 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 illustrate a figure. They give you directions on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. You have no warning! They choreograph them to music and place 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 talented
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this amazing trip,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from their cruise. “I tear up when I think about it all. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the anxious voting stage, the big announcement, reading about and choosing which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing a sensational trip. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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