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 sent the family 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 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 can’t begin to describe the amount of fun we had and how absolutely magnificent everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was sweet 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 curious 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 had reservations for a Catamaran and went out with four different families for several hours. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they loved it. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was probably the most fun experience of the entire cruise!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, got to swim, and hung out on the beach. The water was really 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 was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18+ beach which we lounged around on while Korbin and Brooke 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 thinking about everything on the boat – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you place the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it speaks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you hints 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 by 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 huge slide that takes you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
All of us 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 ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 or 40 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! Ours came with an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. The room was a really great size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt squished.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome 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 made me think of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. 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 very end of dinner, they animate your drawings on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! 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 ecstatic – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“Our family cannot thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable trip,” Rebecca wrote after they returned home. “I get teary-eyed when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, learning we were a finalist, the stressful voting stage, the big win, researching and selecting which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing trip. It was such a wonderful time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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