You may recall the sweet Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Gordon's Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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 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 can’t even begin to describe all the fun we had and how truly unbelievable everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were nice enough to give us their itinerary and some photos from their incredible trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, check out the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We were on the ship for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported 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 loved it. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it may have been the coolest experience of the whole cruise!
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 that they show on TV – truly incredible.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was incredibly blue and had amazing visibility beneath, so of course - more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we enjoyed while Korbin and Brooke played with other kids. They had people everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) hung out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the cruise ship – it was all so fun and unforgettable! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you select the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it comes to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were going all over the boat.
They are always showing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to see 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 takes you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have 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 find characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We got to see about two per day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was awesome! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really good size and all four of us were cozy and never felt squished.
You alternate 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 really elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a good selection. My son tried everything, even 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 offer instructions on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no warning! They choreograph them to music and place them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she worked really hard on hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as accomplished
“Our family cannot thank Service Experts enough for this incredible opportunity,” Rebecca told us after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about it all. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting stage, the big announcement, reading about and selecting which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an incredible trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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