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 family on a Disney Cruise and provided airfare for four. Rebecca and Bradley (Mom and Dad) 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 amazing everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a vacation 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’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 vacation.
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 best experience of the entire trip!
We sailed 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 you always see in pictures – 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 had hidden 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 took advantage of while the kids played with other kids. Castaway Cay had employees everywhere to help take care of the kids so we (Rebecca and Bradley) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It was just like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps reminiscing about everything on the boat – 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 trying to solve, and gives you hints and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were going all over the ship.
They are always running first-run movies out by 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!
We went Goofy Golfing and Disney Cruises also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with events like scavenger hunts, get to you know you games, and more.
It’s really easy to meet characters on the ship – 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, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The stateroom was incredible! Ours included an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. Our stateroom was a really good size and all four of us were cozy and never felt smushed.
You go between 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 really elegant and put me in mind of Cinderella. The meals are very gourmet and they have a great medley. My oldest tried everything, even escargot at the Royal Court. (He thought it tasted like dirt!)
Animators Palette is animation-themed and they give you markers on your table so you can illustrate a figure. They offer a tutorial on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on big screens. You have no idea it’s coming! 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 stage, the big win, planning and picking which cruise, the excitement of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such an amazing time living it all. We are forever grateful!”
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