You may remember the sweet Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Stark Services sent the winners 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 in July this year. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I cannot begin to tell you all the fun we had and how seriously magnificent everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were sweet enough to send over their itinerary and some photos from their amazing trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s vacation.
We were on the ship for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with four different families all day. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was probably the coolest experience of the entire cruise!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, swam, and bummed around on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly beautiful.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was so blue and had clear visibility below, so of course - more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18+ beach which we took advantage of while our children played games. Castaway Cay had staff everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) hung out and drank a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – everything was all so fun and extraordinary! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can keep track of all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it comes to life – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery lasted 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 watch 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 above the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s really easy to see characters on the ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We saw about two a day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was incredible! We had an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. The stateroom was a really good size and all four of us were comfy and never felt squished.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors 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. My son tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They give you instructions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. It’s completely unexpected! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable experience,” Rebecca told us after they returned from their cruise. “I get emotional when I think about the whole experience. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the stressful voting phase, the big announcement, reading about and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an incredible trip. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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