You may remember the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Donelson Air Service Experts sent the winners 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. 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 tell you all the fun we had and how seriously wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to show us their itinerary and some snapshots from their amazing 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 scheduled a Catamaran and went out with four different families for several hours. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it may have been the best experience of the whole trip!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, swam, 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 Private Island. The water was so blue and had perfect visibility below, 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 lounged around on while our children played with other kids. The island had employees everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Mom and Dad) relaxed and drank a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps thinking about everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! They have 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 actually springs to life – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying 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 shoots you up and down and swings you out over 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 find characters on the cruise – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We saw about two a day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was awesome! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our room was a really good size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt smothered.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has neat flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors throughout your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a good selection. Korbin tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought 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 instructions 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 put them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she did really well with hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as talented
“Our family cannot thank Service Experts enough for this amazing trip,” Rebecca told us after they returned from their cruise. “I get teary-eyed when I think about it all. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning 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 vacation. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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