You may remember the cute Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
McKinley Heating Service Experts sent the Halls on a Disney Cruise and paid for airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest children, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise during mid-summer. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much 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 family was kind enough to show us their itinerary and some photos from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s cruise.
We were on the water for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then docked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We reserved a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they had a blast. We saw turtles and stingrays – it was probably the best experience of the entire trip!
We sailed 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 actually that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly incredible.
We were on the ship all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was incredibly blue and had clear visibility below, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we enjoyed while Korbin and Brooke played with other kids. The island had people everywhere to watch the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) laid out and had a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps thinking about everything on the boat – everything was all so fun and amazing! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and Disney gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes alive – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you signals and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were going all over the boat.
They are constantly playing first-run movies out around 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 big slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out across the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and they also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s very easy to see characters on the cruise – 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 got five in a row! They also have different versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was incredible! Ours came with 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 smothered.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors during your meal and Royal Court was extremely 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 said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they put markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They provide instructions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no warning! They choreograph them to music and place them in Disney movies. Brooke is our artist so she did really well with hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this amazing trip,” Rebecca told us after they returned home. “I get teary-eyed when I think about the whole experience. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the stressful voting phase, the big announcement, planning and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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