You may remember the precious Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Strogen's Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and covered airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) took their two oldest youngsters, Korbin and Brooke, on their Disney Cruise earlier this summer. This was Korbin and Brooke’s first cruise and Rebecca and Bradley had not been on a cruise in nearly 10 years.
“I can’t begin to describe the amount of fun we had and how absolutely magnificent the whole experience was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were kind enough to give us their itinerary and some snapshots from their incredible trip. If you’re thinking about going on 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 landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with four different families for several hours. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they loved it. We saw turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun experience of the entire cruise!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, got to swim, and hung out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly beautiful.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island. The water was so blue and had amazing visibility beneath, so of course - more snorkeling! They placed a bunch of Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also include an 18+ beach which we took advantage of while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had employees everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) hung out and drank a daiquiri. It was basically a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – everything was so much fun and amazing! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it actually comes to life – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are continually showing first-run movies out near the pool so we got to enjoy Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like foosball, basketball, 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 ship – you only have to wait a few minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We met about two each day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, including Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was awesome! 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 comfy and never felt smothered.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors on the ceiling change during your meal and Royal Court was very elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have an awesome selection. Korbin tried everything, even the escargot at the Royal Court. (He said 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 directions on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on the wall. You have no idea it’s coming! They put them to music and put them in Disney movies. Brooke is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable experience,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from their cruise. “I tear up 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 nail-biting voting round, the big win, researching and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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