You may remember the adorable 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 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. This was the first cruise for Korbin and Brooke and the first in about 10 years for Rebecca and Bradley.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we had and how seriously wonderful everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never taken on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was 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 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all day. It was Korbin and Brooke’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it may have been the most fun experience of the entire trip!
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 actually that turquoise blue you always see in pictures – 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 amazing visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which made up for not having as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we took advantage of while our children played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. They had staff everywhere to watch the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) 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 select the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can write down all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, the painting comes to life – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the ship.
They are always playing first-run movies out by 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 big slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
We went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with activities like scavenger huntsand more.
It’s so easy to see characters on the ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus a half-hour or more at Disneyland. We got to see about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The actual room was amazing! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a perfect 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 while you eat and Royal Court was very elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. Korbin tried everything, including 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 draw a figure. They provide directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! They put them to music and put them in Disney movies. My daughter is our artist so she did really well with 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, finding out we were a finalist, the stressful voting stage, the big reveal, planning and picking which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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