You may remember the cute Hall family who were the winners of our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. They won by submitting this precious snowman photo:
Epperson Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning sent the family 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 earlier this 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 describe the amount of fun we had and how absolutely unbelievable the whole thing was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was nice enough to give us their itinerary and some pictures from their amazing trip. If you’re thinking about going on a Disney Cruise, or just curious what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We were on the ship for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with four different families for the day. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they loved it. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the most fun experience of the whole trip!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, got to swim, and laid out on the beach. The water was actually that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly incredible.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Exclusive Island. The water was so blue and had perfect visibility underneath, so of course that meant more snorkeling! They hid Mickey Mouses you could look for underwater, which helped make up for the fact there weren’t as many fish. They also include an adults-only beach which we lounged around on while the kids played with other kids. They had people everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) hung out and drank a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
We get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the ship – everything was all so fun and unforgettable! Disney Cruise Line 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 comes alive – it talks to the group, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are continually running 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 huge slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has games like basketball, fooseball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s so easy to meet characters on the ship – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We got to see about two per day, and one day we got five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was awesome! Ours came with an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. Our room was a really good size and all four of us were comfy and never felt smushed.
You alternate three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors change on the ceiling during your meal and Royal Court was really elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a great selection. Korbin tried everything, even escargot at the Royal Court. (He said it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can sketch a figure. They offer a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on big screens. You have no warning! They arrange them to music and put them in Disney films. My daughter is our artist so she did really well with hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as accomplished
“We can't thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime trip,” Rebecca said after they returned home. “I tear up when I think about it all. Entering a contest I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big announcement, planning and selecting which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an incredible vacation. It was such an amazing time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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