You might remember the sweet Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Peitz Service Experts sent the winners 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 during mid-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 seriously magnificent the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were nice enough to give us their itinerary and some photos 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 vacation.
We sailed for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then landed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with four different families for the 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 whole trip!
We traveled from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, swam, and laid out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly beautiful.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was very blue and had clear visibility underneath, so of course - more snorkeling! They had hidden Mickey Mouses you could find underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also had an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. The island had employees everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Mom and Dad) laid out and drank a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – it was so much fun and unforgettable! 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 keep track of all your clues. When you hold the card up to a painting, it actually springs to life – it talks to the group, 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 always showing first-run movies out around 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 zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have other games and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s very easy to see characters on the boat – you only have to wait a few minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We got to see about two per 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 room was amazing! Ours included an ocean view room with a large porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really good size and all four of us were cozy and never felt smothered.
You alternate 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 made me think of Cinderella. The menu is very gourmet and they have an awesome variety. Korbin tried everything, even 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 illustrate a figure. They offer instructions on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your dinner, 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 worked really hard on hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as talented
“Our family cannot thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable opportunity,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “I get emotional when I think about the experience as a whole. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting phase, the big win, planning 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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