Be careful on doing both. They are on different sides of the island and if the weather is windy, it makes for choppy waters. NCL claimed the stingray portion was cancelled due to weather but it was not. However, it was hard to stay standing on the sandbar due to choppy waters. It was really cool and dolphin swim versus encounter is definitely recommended. Nothing crazy, but you get to glide on the dolphin by holding it's fins and also they push you while on a boogie board.
It was so much fun being able to hold a stingray. My boyfriend brought along a water proof camera and was able to take some underwater pictures! The excursion company also took pictures and sold the package of all pictures to us for $50.00. The turtle sanctuary was really cool also. We were able to see alot of turtles, swim with them and again, take a picture holding them.
Cayman Islands: We took a Jeep and Snorkel Tour through Carnival. I would probably not recommend this tour. We went to a beach where we could go snorkeling and eat lunch, saw a Ruin, Lighthouse, and an alligator. We feel we would have had a better time renting a jeep and exploring the island on our own.
Best part of our vacation! We were bussed from the cruise port to the yacht club, boarded a boat and made the 30 minute trek out to the sandbar. Along the way we were educated about the stingrays and the rules of interaction with them. Once there two sailors held stingrays and did demonstrations for us and allowed us to hold them and interact with them, while their photographer took pictures. We were given squid to feed the stingrays with but they were all full by then! The sailors were very knowledgeable and gentle,with the stingrays, they genuinely cared about the animals well being. The stingrays themselves were very friendly, they were obviously used to people. We got our pictures taken holding the stingrays, "kissing" them, and having them on our backs, the underside of the stingrays are very smooth! We had about 45 minutes there then we sailed back to the marina and were bussed to the turtle farm.
e booked the Deluxe Stingray City & Sandbar for All Ages excursion through Carnival. What a fun unique experience to be so close to wild stingrays. I brought my 7 yr old’s life jacket with us which was nice because the water was too deep for him stand by himself w/the waves. I ended up holding him most of the time because I didn’t want him to swim & kick any stingrays. We had enough time to walk around the port a little too before & after the excursion.
About a 15 minute bus ride to boat dock. Then the boat travelled about 25 minutes to a sandbar out in the middle of the water. Lots of boats and other tourist there, but there were lots of stingrays and plenty of opportunity to interact with them, especially with the help of the crew. Fun and neat experience. Water is waist deep. You were welcome to snorkel too but we didn't see the need.
If you go to Grand Cayman with kids, book this excursion! We booked directly through Captain Marvin's Watersports. They were fantastic and the excursion was even better than advertised. (I thought we would have 1 snorkel stop, but there were 2, in addition to the Stingray City stop.) Communication prior to the excursion and payment the day of the excursion were both effective and painless. Lastly, my wife left her sunglasses in the bathroom by the boat departure port and didn't realize it until we arrived back into the city. Anna and several drivers communicated by radio to find that another client had picked them up and taken them to her hotel, looking for the original owner. The drivers coordinated through Anna to get the glasses back to my wife within 30 minutes. They weren't an exceptionally valuable pair of sunglasses, but the employees went the extra mile to help us out. They were fantastic!
A bit disappointing - some guides trying to wrestle away a stingray to their group from among the few hundred (at least) people on the sand bar. We did enjoy touching and feeding a stingray that a guide from another group was holding. We did this once, would not do it again.
We did stingray city about 15 years ago - maybe it has changed, maybe this was different, but remember being surrounded by stingrays years ago and now....we got to interact with maybe two. Not everyone got to feed them, because they got full after a while. Tiki Beach was nice - lots of additional activities such as snorkeling and paddle boarding for a decent price. The time to travel between Stingray City and the beach was excessive - over an hour, so time at the beach was limited. I swear the boat was traveling at idle speed just so they could make sure they sold pictures of the stingray experience to everyone who wanted them before we got to shore - other boats were passing us!
Professional, easy to get to in port. Uncrowded boat. Friendly crew. Not pushy for tips. Well worth it in every way. See my actual review for more information. 2nd time using this company. Our captain was Chris. He is very compassionate with the rays.
Probably a must do (other than SCUBA) in Grand Cayman. Amazing experience for young and old. Holding a stingray isn't something I ever thought I would do! Can't say enough about Moby Dick Tours--I highly recommend them; they gave us an unhurried, uncrowded, and fascinating experience (again, reasonably priced!)
We loved the turtle farm as we got to hold turtles and got to visit Hell. My wife and son LOVED the stingray swim, I hated it as we were taken out by a small boat and the ocean was very very rough. If you get sea sick DO NOT DO THIS or you will regret it and waste your money. I was so sick I didn't even get off the boat to swim. If you want to do this and have your heart set on it there was a large barge type boat that did not have the issues we did.
The meeting and pickup was a bit disorganized, we had trouble finding the tour operator at the dock (his sign was very small). The staff were generally very friendly and seemed knowledgeable. The "Captain" was a local from Cayman and a bit of a blow-hard but overall we had a nice time. We were forced to sit on the floor of the "taxi van" as it was overloaded and they didn't want to make 2 trips. There was supposed to be a pizza as a snack but we had to leave without it for some reason so the operator discounted the tour by 10%.
Nice catamaran ride out to a natural shallow area to swim with free stingrays that come here to feed. Then it was a very short distance to the reef for snorkeling with lots of beautiful coral and fish. Fun and professional crew provided safety and entertainment.
We could have skipped going to the little place called Hell and skipped the Rum Cake store as you can buy rum cakes anywhere. Would have rathered spent more time with the Turtles or with the Stingrays. This was all one tour. Driver, Jason, was very good.
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