If Grand Cayman is a stop on your Caribbean cruise there is one thing that in my opinion is a must do – Stingray City.
Grand Cayman is a stop frequented by cruise ships sailing the Western Caribbean. It has beautiful white sand beaches, clear water, and is home to majestic sting rays.
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My absolute favorite thing to do in Grand Cayman is visit Stingray City to see, touch, feed and swim with Stingrays in their natural environment. This is actually my favorite shore excursion to date. I like it so much that I have done this excursion several times. Since our kids had never been to Grand Cayman, we made sure the last cruise we chose stopped there so the kids could experience Stingray City. Our kids were 12 & 14 at the time and absolutely loved it too.
Stingray City Grand Cayman:
Stingray City is a sandbar located 25 miles off the shores of Grand Cayman. The water is approximately 3 feet deep. Stepping out in the ocean with these majestic creatures is such an incredible experience. They swim elegantly around you, brushing up against you.
Check your tour for inclusions and exclusions. Each time we have been, we were provided with snorkeling equipment. The water is so clear though that you can see the stingrays without needing to put your face in the water if you aren’t comfortable with that. You don’t even have to swim, you can stand there and fully enjoy the experience. I actually prefer standing and having the rays brush up against me.
Each time we have gone, the boats have had a guide that gently grabs and holds a stingray so you can pet it. They also showed us how to safely feed them. Hint – tuck in thumb.
What do stingrays feel like?
I often get asked “What does a stingray feel like?” or “Are they slimy?” They aren’t slimy, they are very smooth and the best description is that they feel like a wet mushroom.
Tip – Get there early.
This is a very popular excursion, therefore it can get quite crowded. Book the earliest excursion possible. If you are choosing an excursion or tour that sees other sites as well, choose one that visits Stingray City first. With so many boats full of people feeding and interacting with the rays, they could be less interested later in the day.
I have visited Stingray City both by purchasing the tour through a local company selling the excursions from the port (they are right there when you exit the ship’s tender), as well as from the cruise line directly.
Carnival Cruise Excursion Grand Cayman
The last time we went was on the Carnival Dream. We purchased our Grand Cayman shore excursion directly with the cruise line. This was a hassle free option, one we appreciated especially travelling with kids.
This Carnival Cruise Dream excursion first visited Stingray City. Snorkling equipment was provided along with water, lemonade and fruit punch on board the boat. After our amazing stingray encounter the boat took us to Rum Point Beach.
Rum Point Beach is a beautiful stretch of beach with colorful buildings and warm, clear water. You can purchase food and beverages, they aren’t included here.
I don’t think I could go back to Grand Cayman without going to Stingray City. To see and touch those wonderful creatures is something I could never get tired of. Both of my kids also loved it, it was definitely a highlight of our Caribbean cruise.
What is the best thing to do in Grand Cayman on a cruise?
In my opinion it is definitely Stingray City. It was the highlight of our cruise. Choose a shore excursion that visits Stingray City Grand Cayman early to avoid the crowds.
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