You might remember the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
McElroy Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the family on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. 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 describe how much fun we had and how seriously magnificent 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 family was nice enough to send over their itinerary and some photos from their amazing trip. If you want to 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 ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with four different families for the day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it may have been the best experience of the entire cruise!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, swam, and hung out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was so blue and had perfect visibility below, so of course - more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. They had employees everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Mom and Dad) relaxed and had a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the cruise ship – it was so much fun and extraordinary! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are continually showing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to watch Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that takes you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has other games and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s so easy to see characters on the ship – 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 met five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was incredible! We had an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. The stateroom was a perfect size and all four of us were cozy and never felt squished.
You rotate through 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 put me in mind of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have a great selection. My son tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they leave markers on your table so you can sketch 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 warning! They choreograph them to music and place them in Disney clips. My daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as accomplished
“We can't thank Service Experts enough for this amazing opportunity,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from their cruise. “I get teary-eyed when I think about the whole experience. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the stressful voting round, the big reveal, planning and choosing which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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