You might recall the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts 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 earlier this summer. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I cannot begin to tell you the amount of fun we had and how absolutely magnificent the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were sweet enough to give us their itinerary and some pictures from their incredible trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, read on to see 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 had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all day. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably the most fun 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 really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly beautiful.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was incredibly blue and had amazing visibility below, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18 and older beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played games. The island had people everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) relaxed and drank a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – it was so much fun and unforgettable! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you select the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were running all over the cruise ship.
They are continually running 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 go on the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s really easy to find characters on the cruise – you only have to wait a few minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We met about two each 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 actual room was awesome! Ours included an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. The room was a perfect size and all four of us were comfy and never felt smushed.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change during your meal and Royal Court was extremely elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have an awesome medley. My son tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they leave 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 very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They arrange them to music and position them in Disney films. Our daughter is our artist so she did really well with hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this incredible trip,” Rebecca told us after they returned home. “I tear up when I think about it all. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting stage, the big win, researching and selecting which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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