You might remember the cute Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Knochelmann Service Experts sent the family 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. 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 all the fun we had and how seriously unbelievable the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were kind enough to show us their itinerary and some snapshots from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just curious 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 scheduled 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 was probably the most fun experience of the whole cruise!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, got to swim, and laid out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was incredibly blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18 and older beach which we took advantage of while our children played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had employees everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) laid out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps thinking about everything on the cruise ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can keep track of 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 working to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the ship.
They are constantly showing 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 shoots 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 really easy to find characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We got to see 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 stateroom was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a perfect size and all four of us were comfy and never felt smothered.
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 menu is very gourmet and they have a good 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 sketch a figure. They give you instructions 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. You have no idea it’s coming! They arrange them to music and place them in Disney films. My 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 accomplished
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime vacation,” Rebecca told us after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. 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 vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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