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 winners 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. 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 truly wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was sweet 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 were on the ship 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 all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably 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, went swimming, and bummed around on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly incredible.
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 we had to do more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also had an 18+ beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played with other kids. They had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) hung out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – it was all so fun and unforgettable! 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 place the card up to a painting, the painting comes to life – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were going all over the boat.
They are constantly showing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to watch 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 activities like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s so easy to meet 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 per day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really great size and all four of us were comfy and never felt smothered.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors change on the ceiling throughout your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have an awesome selection. Korbin tried everything, even 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 sketch a figure. They provide a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney films. My daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into 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 vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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