Grand Cayman and Stingray City

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Our other island stop was Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. I was so excited to take Perry to the Caymans. The Caymans have a special place in my heart. I went there as a preschooler with my family. I remember going to Stingray City (though I was too scared to get off the boat and into the ray infused water) and being taught to crack coconuts with my grandfather. We have visited the islands a couple other times, once in college with my grandmother and then again a couple years ago as a couple. Perry was there that time in utero. And we took a picture of "we're pregnant" written in the sand to announce our news.

We didn't dock in the Caymans until mid morning so we had some time on the boat first thing. We went to D-Lounge and woke up with some songs and dance to our favorite Disney Junior tunes. Goofy even came to join in on the dancing fun.

Our excursion was booked apart from the official cruise line excursions because 1) we are comfortable navigating in the Cayman Islands and 2) we wanted to go to Stingray City and the official excursions would not allow children as young as Perry to do it. If you book directly with a private company though there is no age restriction.

The company was Moby Dick tours and they were great. It was a small group and small boat, only like 10-15 people compared with the 75-100 on the big "official excursion" boats. The downside of the small boat was that it was raining and there was not a lot of covering and moving quickly through the water the rain was kind of pelting us in the face on the way out to the reef. It was pretty miserable there for a few minutes by no fault of anyone but mother nature.

Thankfully the rain quit and the sun came out while we were at the reef and the rest of the excursion and boat ride was glorious. We stopped first at the barrier reef for some snorkeling with fish. I didn't think P would want to get out there in the deep water and with a life vest on (which is a part he did not love) but he didn't want to be left out.

Then we took the short boat ride over to Stingray City. Stingrays have been coming there for ages to feast and let humans pet them. What is great is that it is a sandbar so you can stand feet on the ground and interact with them. Meant we could easily hold Perry and no need for bulky life vests. Have to do the stingray shuffle though with your feet to keep from stepping on one. Perry now knows that Stingray boys are smaller than girls and that they eat squid. How many 2 year olds know that?

The excursion took about 3 hours and it was great. Before we left on our excursion that morning (and got soaked by rain and sea water) we got some good pictures from the pier in front of our boat. Big cruise ships are too large to dock at the pier so you have to take smaller tender boats from the ship to shore.

The Cayman Islands did not disappoint. Maybe someday we will get back there for more than just a few hours.

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