You may recall the precious Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Pardee Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the family on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest kids, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I cannot begin to explain all the fun we had and how absolutely magnificent the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were sweet enough to send over their itinerary and some pictures from their incredible trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We were on the ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with four different families for the day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably the most fun experience of the entire cruise!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, went swimming, and hung out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – truly perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was incredibly blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course - more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could hunt for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke played games. They had staff everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps remembering everything on the cruise ship – it was all so fun and unforgettable! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually springs to life – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were going all over the boat.
They are continually running first-run movies out near the pool so we got to see Finding Dory, Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Jungle Book. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that takes you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s very easy to find characters on the ship – you only have to wait a few minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We saw about two a day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have several versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! We had an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. Our room was a perfect size and all four of us were comfy and never felt smushed.
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 while you eat and Royal Court was extremely elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a good selection. Korbin tried everything, even escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They give you 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 the wall. You have no warning! They arrange them to music and position them in Disney clips. 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 incredible opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned from their cruise. “I get emotional when I think about it all. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting phase, the big announcement, planning and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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