You might recall the sweet Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Calverley 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 cannot begin to describe all the fun we had and how absolutely unbelievable everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a getaway we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall family was kind enough to send us their itinerary and some snapshots from their awesome trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, keeping reading for the highlights from the Hall’s vacation.
We were on the water for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with four different families all day. It was my kids’ first time snorkeling and they loved it. We spotted turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the best experience of the entire trip!
We sailed from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to do more snorkeling, went swimming, and laid out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that they show on TV – truly beautiful.
We traveled all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only 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 look for underwater, which was nice because there weren’t as many fish. They also include an 18 and older beach which we enjoyed while the kids played with other kids. They had people everywhere to keep an eye on the kids so we (Mom and Dad) hung out and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps remembering everything on the boat – everything was so much fun and extraordinary! The cruise has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually comes alive – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are trying to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery went on for two hours because we were going all over the ship.
They are constantly playing first-run movies out around the pool so we got to see Big Friendly Giant, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory. We also got to experience the Aqua Duct, which is a big slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and the cruise also has games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, ice breakers, and more.
It’s really easy to find characters on the boat – you only have to wait three or four 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 different versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! Ours came with an ocean view room with a
really big porthole and window seat. The stateroom was a perfect size and all four of us were cozy and never felt smothered.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the colors change on the ceiling throughout your meal and Royal Court was extremely elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a good variety. My son tried everything, including escargot at the Royal Court. (He told us it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they leave markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They offer a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they pick up the drawings and at the end of your meal, they animate your drawings on these screens on the wall. It’s completely unexpected! They arrange them to music and place them in Disney clips. Our daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was elated – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“Our family can’t thank Service Experts enough for this unbelievable vacation,” Rebecca wrote after they returned from the trip. “I get teary-eyed when I think about it all. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the anxious voting phase, the big announcement, researching and picking which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an unbelievable vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. We are so grateful!”
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