On our first full day to the Cayman Islands, we headed out on a boat trip to Stingray City Grand Cayman, a sandbar that attracts stingrays into its waist-high waters. Visitors arrive from a variety of different ways – tour boats, private boats, and jet skis, but we took a tour boat from Captain Melvin’s, which is located right across the street from the Westin (where we stayed).
Stingray City Grand Cayman
After waiting a little while for some additional passengers (all of whom were cruise ship passengers in port for the day), we headed out on the boat. About 25 minutes later, we were parked at Stingray City, which was already crowded with numerous tourists from other boats. Our crew gave us a brief overview of how to handle the stingrays, and then we all headed off the boat.
My 7-year old daughter was a little nervous to enter the waters, but she braved it. The stingray handler had us all get in a circle around us, and he showed us how to hold the stingrays. They also provided the braver members of our group with some squid to feed the stingrays. Because legend has it that you’ll get 7 years of good luck if you kiss a stingray, many of us lined up for a chance. My daughter was a little too scared to kiss the stingray, but I was willing to brave it for a chance at good luck.
After we returned to the boat, we drove a slight distance away to a snorkeling site. We were provided with flippers, snorkels, and life vests (if we wanted them), and we jumped off the ship to snorkel. The waters were pretty choppy, but my daughter and I were still able to see lots of fish.
At the end of the trip, shuttle buses were available to take us back – some to the hotel, some to the cruise ship, and some to another excursion. We headed back to the hotel, to get ready for lunch and our next adventure – an afternoon at the Cayman Turtle Farm.
Disclosure: Our trip to the Cayman Islands, including transportation, meals, activities, and lodging, was provided by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.