You might 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!
Golden Seal Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest youngsters, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. 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 even begin to tell you how much fun we had and how absolutely unbelievable the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was sweet enough to give us their itinerary and some snapshots from their amazing trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s cruise.
We were on the ship for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with a few other families for several hours. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the coolest experience of the whole cruise!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, swam, and bummed around on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive 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 made up for not having as many fish. They also have an 18 and older beach which we lounged around on while our children played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. They had staff everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) laid out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the boat – everything was all so fun and amazing! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can record 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 solving, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were chasing clues all over the cruise ship.
They are always running first-run movies out near the pool so we got to watch Jungle Book. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that zooms 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 activities like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s really easy to see characters on the ship – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We met about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was awesome! Ours included an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really great size and all four of us were comfy and never felt squished.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change while you eat and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. My son tried everything, even 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 illustrate a figure. They offer directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on big screens. It’s completely unexpected! They choreograph them to music and place them in Disney films. Our 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 polished
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime experience,” Rebecca said after they returned from their cruise. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big reveal, reading about and selecting which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing a sensational trip. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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