We've been to Grand Cayman many times and have seen all the tourist stuff. The best the island has to offer is underwater! Shopping is typical of all the "duty free ports." Hell is ugly. The turtle farm, San Pedro's ... Read More
We've been to Grand Cayman many times and have seen all the tourist stuff. The best the island has to offer is underwater! Shopping is typical of all the "duty free ports." Hell is ugly. The turtle farm, San Pedro's Castle, Botanical Gardens all bored us. The above ground cemetery is cool, as are the blow holes on the south side of the island.
Once we went on the Atlantis Submarine, down 1000 feet along the reef wall. It was absolutely incredible! We had light for about 200 feet, then they used spotlights. Expensive, but fabulous. You can book in once you're on the island. No need to do it through the cruise line or private company.
You can snorkel Eden Rocks right off the sidewalk. No need to book it through an excursion company. Just don't bring valuables that you'll leave on shore.
Seven Mile Beach is a $4 cab ride from the port and free beach admission. You should have water shoes. Although the beach is sandy, the water bottom is rough coral and rocks. There is some decent snorkeling right off shore. The reef there is dead, but still supports all the pretty fish life.
We LOVE Sting Ray City. No, we're not afraid of them. I know a lot more people who've been killed in auto accidents than by sting rays, and I still go in cars! It's a sand bar and waist or chest deep, depending on tides and your height. The rays come to feed. The naturalists on all the tours instruct you on how to walk and move in the water, how to feed them, how to hold them, help you get a kiss and back rub from them, etc. We usually have about 30-45 minutes in the water with them, and it's never enough time! Not everyone uses a mask or snorkel, but I recommend it for a better view both from under and above the water surface. And if you have an underwater camera, bring it! Most boats also have pro photographers that take great pictures and will sell you a CD with shots of you and the rays, along with some stock photos, for an exorbitant fee that I always sucker for.
We have gone with Captain Marvin, NativeWay Watersports, and now Captain Bryan. All were excellent in informing us about the rays, providing opportunity to handle them, snorkel instruction, helping all guests on and off boats and will special needs, providing beverages, supervising snorkelers at reef stops. I really choose a tour based on what we want to do. We used to like Rum Point, when there was good snorkeling. The past few visits the snorkeling was not good because condo development around the bend killed the reef, and the lunch food wasn't as good as in the past. So we now skip that stop. But if you want to include a beach break in your day with sting rays and snorkeling, Rum Point is a good option as there usually is not enough time to spend at 7-mile beach in addition to a snorkel and ray tour.
We went on the Buccaneer Catamaran tour with Captain Bryan this year. We went to sting ray city and had two snorkel stops, coral reef and coral gardens. All three stops were wonderful. Water was rough, so I found getting on and off the boat a bit of a challenge, but the crew were very helpful. We really enjoyed the itinerary.
The only disadvantage, from our perspective, was that the tour started late, a 12:10 (ship time) check in. We left the ship a little after 10 and wasted time walking around Georgetown. The excursion got us back about an hour before we
needed to take a tender back. Given our druthers, we like to tour first, then arrange the rest of our time contingent up when we get done with the tour and when the last tender is. When we walked around town we had our clothes on over bathing suits (hot!) and we carrying handbag and all our snorkel gear, towels, sunblock, etc. There's no place at the port to lock or secure stuff. The advantage of a late start was fewer people at Sting Ray City with us, as it can get very crowded. Read Less