You may recall the charming Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
TML Service Experts sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise earlier this summer. This was Korbin and Brooke’s first cruise and Rebecca and Bradley had not been on a cruise in nearly 10 years.
“I cannot begin to tell you all the fun we had and how seriously unbelievable the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to give us their itinerary and some snapshots from their awesome 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 experience.
We were on the water for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with 4 other families for the day. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the most fun experience of the whole trip!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, swam, and laid out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was so blue and had perfect visibility underneath, so of course we had to do more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we took advantage of while our children played with other kids. Castaway Cay had employees everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) hung out and had a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the ship – it was so much fun and extraordinary! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can keep track of all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it talks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are always showing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to enjoy Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has other games and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s really easy to see characters on the boat – you only have to wait a few minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We met about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. Our room was a perfect size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt smushed.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change throughout your meal 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, even escargot at the Royal Court. (He told us it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They offer directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on big screens. You have no idea it’s coming! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney clips. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as accomplished
“Our family cannot thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “I tear up when I think about it all. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the anxious voting phase, the big reveal, researching and picking which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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