You may remember the charming Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Church Services sent the family on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. Korbin and Brooke had never been on a cruise before and Rebecca and Bradley hadn’t been in about 10 years.
“I can’t even begin to tell you all the fun we had and how truly wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to send us their itinerary and some snapshots from their incredible trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s cruise.
We sailed for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with four different families for the day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun experience of the entire cruise!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, swam, and bummed around on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was incredibly blue and had amazing visibility beneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also had an 18+ beach which we took advantage of while the kids played with other kids. The island had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) hung out and had a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – it was all so fun and amazing! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were going all over the ship.
They are constantly playing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to see Finding Dory, Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Jungle Book. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s really easy to find characters on the cruise – you only have to wait a few minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We met about two per 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 room was incredible! Ours included an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really great 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 colors change on the ceiling throughout your meal and Royal Court was really elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. My son tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They provide a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! They choreograph them to music and place them in Disney movies. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “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 anxious voting stage, the big win, planning and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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