Grand Cayman was our last stop on the cruise to the Western Caribbean.The island is a complete opposite of Jamaica, where we had been to just a day before. It’s a banking center of the Caribbean and it shows. In fact, it reminded me of Florida, where we currently live. More precisely, the wealthy parts of Florida, like Sarasota or Naples.
There are expensive houses and yachts everywhere and people going to their offices, dressed in business attire. We had booked a tour on our own through a company called Moby Dick, which took us to Stingray City. As you can guess, the highlight would be swimming with stingrays, something I have always wanted to do. The cost was 45 dollars per adult and 35 dollars per child, which I though was fair.
The company is owned by a British expat named Mark, who is the most laid back, fun guy you would ever want to meet! He has a couple of Brits working for him, and you can see that this business is no job for them, but rather an opportunity to hang out together and have a good time.
After a short bus ride from the port, we got on the boat to begin our adventure. Mark gave us a short briefing and said that all the great reviews from Trip Advisor (written by his mother) were true! He also told the men in the group to make sure not to put squid in their bathing suits when we get to interact with stingrays. He said it has ruined many honeymoons in the past! The guy was hilarious and kept coming up with one-liners throughout the whole tour.
First, we stopped at a reef and did some snorkeling, which was a ton of fun. I found it quite impressive, but my sister-in-law said she has been to the Great Barrier Reef and nothing will ever compare. Fair enough. After some snorkeling, we got back on the boat and set out for Stingray City.
There were quite a few boats there already and many people interacting with stingrays. These creatures are docile and used to humans by now. However, we were told to be careful and try not to be tense, because apparently, they can sense it and get aggressive. Naturally, knowing it made me feel tense!
It was really neat to touch them, which felt kind of like a slimy portobello mushroom. There was a baby stingray, which my daughter got to hold and really enjoyed it . Overall, my kids had a ton of fun on this excursion, but got exhausted by the end of it. I’m not into shopping, but if you are, Grand Cayman has quite a few fancy stores to thin out your wallet. Think Chanel bags as well as expensive jewelry.
Overall, I enjoyed our stop, but am not eager to go back. Like I said, other than stingrays and great snorkeling, it reminded me too much of Florida. But here are some reasons you may consider flying here if you have kids. First, it felt very safe. Crime is a huge problem in the Caribbean due to poverty, but not that much of an issue here. If you live near Miami, the cost in Avios is only 9,000 miles roundtrip plus tax. Also, there are some brand hotels where you can use your points, like Choice program properties.
Well, that’s it for my cruise series posts. Hope you enjoyed it!
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.