You may remember the precious Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Strand Brothers Service Experts sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise earlier this 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 begin to explain the amount of fun we had and how truly wonderful the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to send us their itinerary and some photos from their amazing trip. If you’re interested in taking 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 two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We reserved a Catamaran and went out with a few other families for several hours. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it may have been the coolest experience of the entire trip!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, swam, and laid out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was very blue and had amazing visibility below, so of course - more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also include an 18+ beach which we enjoyed while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) laid out and drank a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps thinking about everything on the cruise ship – it was all so fun and amazing! They have 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 trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are constantly showing first-run movies out near the pool so we got to see Jungle Book. We also got to go on the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that takes you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s so easy to find characters on the cruise – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We saw about two each day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was incredible! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our room was a perfect size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt squished.
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 extremely elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a great medley. My son tried everything, even escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They offer instructions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. You have no warning! They choreograph them to music and put them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“We can't thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable opportunity,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from the trip. “I get teary-eyed when I think about the experience as a whole. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the anxious voting stage, the big win, planning and picking which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an incredible adventure. It was such a fun time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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