You might recall the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
A-PLUS Service Experts sent the winners 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 during mid-summer. Korbin and Brooke had never been on a cruise before and Rebecca and Bradley hadn’t been in about 10 years.
“I cannot begin to tell you all the fun we had and how absolutely incredible the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were kind enough to send us their itinerary and some photos from their amazing trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s cruise.
We sailed for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We reserved a Catamaran and went out with a few other families for the day. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun 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, went swimming, and laid out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly incredible.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was so blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also have an 18 and older beach which we took advantage of while the kids played games. The island had people everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Mom and Dad) hung out and had a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps remembering everything on the ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you select the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, the painting comes to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were going all over the cruise ship.
They are always showing 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 go on the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s very easy to meet characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes 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, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The stateroom was a perfect 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 ceiling changes colors while you eat and Royal Court was really elegant and reminded me of Cinderella. The food 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 leave markers on your table so you can draw a figure. They give you a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney films. Our daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this amazing opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned from the trip. “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 stressful voting round, the big announcement, planning and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing a sensational trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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