You may remember the sweet Hall family who won our Unfrozen Winter contest earlier this year by submitting a picture of their creative snowman. Check it out!
Broad Ripple 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 in July this year. This was Korbin and Brooke’s first cruise and Rebecca and Bradley had not been on a cruise in nearly 10 years.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had and how absolutely magnificent everything was,” wrote Rebecca. “It was a trip we could have never done on our own. Disney does cruising right!”
The Halls were kind enough to send over their itinerary and some pictures from their awesome trip. If you’re interested in taking a Disney Cruise, or just looking to see what it’s all about, check out the highlights from the Hall’s experience.
We sailed for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and then ported in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We booked a Catamaran and went out with a few other families all 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 entire trip!
We went from Tortola to St. Thomas in the American Virgin Islands, where we got to snorkel even more, went swimming, and hung out on the beach. The water was truly that turquoise blue that you see in movies – truly picture perfect.
We sailed all day Wednesday and then ported at Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private 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 have an 18 and older beach which we enjoyed while the kids played basketball, pool, and shuffleboard. Castaway Cay had staff everywhere to watch the kids so we (Bradley and Rebecca) relaxed and enjoyed a daiquiri. It’s like a floating Disneyland!
It gives me goosebumps thinking about everything on the boat – it was all so fun and amazing! They have a “Midship Detective Agency” where you pick the mystery you want to solve and they give you a card so you can keep track of all your clues. When you put the card up to a painting, it comes alive – it talks to you, tells you about the mystery you are solving, and gives you clues and directions. One mystery took us two hours because we were running all over the boat.
They are always 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 go on the Aqua Duct, which is a huge slide that shoots you up and down and swings you out over the boat!
The whole group went Goofy Golfing and they also have games like foosball, basketball, and a Tween Club called Edge with things like scavenger huntsand more.
It’s very easy to meet characters on the cruise – you only have to wait three or four minutes versus 30 minutes or more at Disneyland. We saw about two each day, and one day we hit five in a row! They also have multiple versions of the characters, like Captain Mickey, Traditional Mickey, etc.
The actual room was amazing! We had an ocean view room with a HUGE porthole and window seat. The room was a really great size and all four of us were comfortable and never felt squished.
You rotate through three restaurants. Enchanted Garden has cool flower lights on the ceiling that open and close and the ceiling changes colors during your meal and Royal Court was extremely elegant and made me think of Cinderella. The food is very gourmet and they have a good medley. Korbin tried everything, including 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 draw a figure. They give you directions on how to draw a figure, then they collect the drawings and at the end of your dinner, they animate your drawings on these screens 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 did really well with hers and was thrilled – the rest of us weren’t quite as polished
“We can’t thank Service Experts enough for this once in a lifetime vacation,” Rebecca told us after they returned from their cruise. “I tear up when I think about it all. Submitting an entry I never thought would go anywhere, finding out we were a finalist, the nail-biting voting round, the big reveal, planning and picking which cruise, the elation of going and finally experiencing an amazing vacation. It was such a fun time living it all. Thank you, thank you!”
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