You may remember the adorable Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest kids, 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 the amount of fun we had and how truly wonderful the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to send us their itinerary and some snapshots from their awesome 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 water for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun experience of the entire trip!
We traveled 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 really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly picture perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was very blue and had clear visibility beneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also had an 18+ beach which we took advantage of while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had people 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 – it was all so fun and amazing! The cruise 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 hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it talks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were chasing clues all over the ship.
They are continually playing first-run movies out near 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 shoots you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s very easy to see characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We saw about two a day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was amazing! We had an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. The 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 ceiling changes colors while you eat and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have an awesome selection. Korbin tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can draw a figure. They give you instructions on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They put them to music and position them in Disney movies. Brooke is our artist so she did really well with hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this amazing trip,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big announcement, reading about and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an incredible vacation. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
Like Service Experts on Facebook to watch for our next great contest!