You might remember the adorable Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winner contest earlier this year. Check out their adorable snowman submission!
Barlow Service Experts sent the winners on a Disney Cruise and paid for airfare for four. Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Bradley) took their two oldest youngsters, 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 can’t even begin to explain the amount of fun we had and how truly incredible everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never made happen on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Hall parents were nice enough to show us their itinerary and some photos from their awesome trip. If you want to a Disney Cruise, or just want to find out what it’s all about, read on to see the highlights from the Hall’s trip.
We sailed for a couple days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We scheduled a Catamaran and went out with a few other families for several hours. It was my children’s first time snorkeling and they were in heaven. We got to see turtles and stingrays – it was quite possibly the most fun experience of the entire trip!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we were able to snorkel some more, swam, and hung out on the beach. The water was really that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then got off at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Cruise Line Guest-Only Island. The water was incredibly blue and had amazing visibility below, so of course we had to do 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 had an 18+ beach which we lounged around on while the kids played with other kids. Castaway Cay had staff everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) relaxed and had a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
I (Rebecca) get goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the ship – it was so much fun and extraordinary! Disney Cruise Line has a “Midship Detective Agency” where you choose the mystery you want to solve and the cruise gives you a card so you can record all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it actually springs to life – it speaks to you, tells you about the mystery you are working to solve, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery lasted two hours because we were going all over the boat.
They are constantly running first-run movies out near the pool so we got to see Alice Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, and Big Friendly Giant. We also got to ride the Aqua Duct, which is a large slide that zooms you up and down and swings you out above the boat!
All of us went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts and more.
It’s really easy to find characters on the cruise – you only have to wait a couple minutes versus 30 or 40 at Disneyland. We saw about two per day, and one day we met five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, such as Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The room was amazing! Ours included 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 smushed.
You go between three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has awesome flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors while you eat and Royal Court was really elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a good medley. My oldest 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 a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they take the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. It’s completely unexpected! They choreograph them to music and position them in Disney clips. My daughter is our artist so she put a lot of effort into hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as talented
“We cannot thank Service Experts enough for this incredible vacation,” Rebecca said after they returned from the trip. “I get teary-eyed when I think about it all. Submitting our picture to a contest I never thought would go anywhere, hearing we were a finalist, the stressful voting round, the big win, planning and choosing which cruise, the anticipation of going and finally experiencing an amazing trip. It was such a fun time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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