You may remember the adorable Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Strand Brothers Service Experts sent the family on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Bradley and Rebecca 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 begin to explain how much fun we had and how seriously wonderful the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were nice enough to send us their itinerary and some pictures from their awesome trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s cruise.
We sailed for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We reserved a Catamaran and went out with four different families all day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was probably the coolest 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 bummed around on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly 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 perfect visibility below, so of course we had to do more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also have an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Mom and Dad) hung out and had a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the ship – it was all so fun and amazing! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can keep track of all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it springs to life – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were chasing clues all over the ship.
They are constantly running first-run movies out by the pool so we got to see Jungle Book. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that takes you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and they also have 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 really easy to find characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We met about two per 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 room was amazing! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a perfect size and all four of us were cozy and never felt squished.
You go between 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 extremely elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have a good selection. Korbin tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He told us it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They give you instructions on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. It’s completely unexpected! They put them to music and put them in Disney clips. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as accomplished
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable vacation,” Rebecca said 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, learning we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big win, reading about and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an incredible trip. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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