You might remember the charming Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Knochelmann Service Experts sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and paid for airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest kids, 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 cannot begin to tell you all the fun we had and how seriously 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 send us their itinerary and some snapshots from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, check out the highlights from the Hall’s vacation.
We were on the ship for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with four different families for several hours. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun experience of the whole cruise!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, got to swim, and laid out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly incredible.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was incredibly blue and had perfect visibility below, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18 and older beach which we lounged around on while our children played games. Castaway Cay had staff everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Mom and Dad) relaxed and had a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps remembering everything on the cruise ship – everything was so much fun and amazing! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it actually springs to life – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are always playing first-run movies out near 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 large slide that takes you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have 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 meet characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We saw about two each day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a really good size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt squished.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors while you eat and Royal Court was really elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have a great selection. My oldest tried everything, even the 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 draw a figure. They provide directions on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. It’s completely unexpected! They put them to music and put them in Disney films. Brooke is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was so excited – the rest of us weren’t quite as proud
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime vacation,” Rebecca wrote after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the whole experience. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the anxious voting phase, the big win, planning and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing a sensational trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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