You may remember the cute Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Rolf Griffin Service Experts sent the family on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise in July this year. Korbin and Brooke had never been on a cruise before and Rebecca and Bradley hadn’t been in about 10 years.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had and how truly amazing everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were kind enough to send over their itinerary and some pictures from their awesome 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 experience.
We sailed for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with four different families all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was probably the most fun 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, went swimming, and bummed around on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly picture perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was very blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we took advantage of while our children played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. They had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) relaxed and had a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the boat – it was all so fun and amazing! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can record all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – 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 boat.
They are always playing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to see Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to go on the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger huntsand more.
It’s so easy to find characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four 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 different versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a really great 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 ceiling changes colors throughout your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a great variety. Korbin tried everything, including 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 draw a figure. They give you directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! They arrange them to music and put them in Disney movies. Our daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We can’t thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime vacation,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from their cruise. “I tear up when I think about the whole experience. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the stressful voting phase, the big reveal, planning and picking which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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