The Ultimate Cruise Shore Excursion Day On Grand Cayman With Kids
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One of our favorite islands in the Carribean is Grand Cayman Island.
It is perfect for family vacations and a great cruise ship stop. We've done both now and loved our time on the island both times. You can read about our previous time on Grand Cayman here. The Cayman Islands has recently been in the news because they are taking steps to increase the cruise ships that will be stopping and that means more families looking for the best shore excursions on Grand Cayman.
The good news is that we nailed it with what we did during our Grand Cayman shore excursion with kids. We all had an amazing time!
The first thing we did on our shore excursion was to take a private boat out to stingray city, snorkeling and to starfish point.
We brought reef safe sunscreen with us and while the rest of us were lathering up, Emmy relaxed on a hammock at the dock. Not a bad life, right?
Soon we were on the open water!
The ride to stingray city was smooth sailing or in this case, smooth boating, and we were there pretty quickly. The water is smooth and clear and we always make sure to charter boats and crews that are professional and knowledgeable. We might not be the greenest travelers, but we always strive for responsible travel and that means respecting the people, places, and animals we are visiting. I love that the crew on this boat totally gets all that and created a day we won't forget.
Here are some pictures from our time in stingray city:
Some things to know before you go to stingray city:
- It is relatively safe amongst the stingrays. I say relatively safe because they are animals and have free will and range here. So as long as you understand that and listen to your guides, all should be well. We felt completely fine here.
- I had better cell phone service here way off the coast than I have had back home in San Diego. This is now an inside joke with my mom and I always send her pictures when we are here. Ha!
- There are multiple boats that come here so get here early. Our crew made sure that this was our first stop to beat the crowds.
- It is said that if you kiss a stingray you get 7 years of good luck. Emmy has hundreds of years banked up!
- If you go on one of the bigger boats with more people, keep a lookout for your boat and don't get confused.
- I would say that the average time needed here is 20-30 min tops.
I don't normally get in the water anymore and instead, I take the pictures from above.
This was the first time in a long time that I wished I had worn my swimsuit. The weather, water, and just the whole experience was just perfect!
After stingray city, we went straight to snorkeling. This time we went to a slightly different spot and it was just as amazing as the last time. The fish are so bright and there are so many of them. There is a reef area that most of the boats go to and for good reason. It is smooth with crystal clear waters loaded with bright fish. Throwing some squid in the water helps too!
Our last stop was to starfish point.
It was also our first time here. Starfish point is a really cool spot that is populated with… you guessed it, starfish. It is also a protected area with a starfish guard. The guard is there to ensure the safety of the starfish. I think most of us understand that you shouldn't take the starfish with you, but you also must keep them under the water and the guard is there to ensure that you do. He also is a wealth of information about them. There were also conch shell sightings. If you haven't seen one in person, be sure to keep a lookout for them. The colors inside the shell are brilliant!
After our tour, we were all hungry!
We remembered from our last time on the island how great the food was so we were excited to try a place we were not able to get to last time, Bread and Chocolate Vegan Bistro. Don't worry though if you are not following a plant-based diet like we are… there are plenty of amazing seafood and everything else you can imagine restaurants on the island! The whole island has filtered water and good food safety practices so it is an island you can eat on and not have to worry about illness. Having said that, normal food safety should still be practiced as you do back home.
We ate a huge feast and would highly recommend this restaurant on Grand Cayman. Even meat-eaters would enjoy it.
When we were on the island before, we rented a car and aside from the initial shock of driving on the “wrong” side of the road, it was a great experience. The people on the island are all great about looking for the tourist sticker on the rental cars and making way for you as needed and also offering help along the way so we wouldn't hesitate to rent a car again. This time we relied on taxis since we would only be on the island for about 5 hours. Each step of the way when we need to go somewhere else, we were able to have a taxi called for us. Right when we got off the ship there was plenty of taxies at the cruise ship terminal and then the boat crew called one for us. There are also guards in most shopping plazas that are also more than happy to call one for you. The island really comes together to make this a tourist paradise.
After lunch, we headed back to where the ship was docked to do some exploring and shopping.
We always buy a magnet in each new place we visit, but since we had one from last time, the girls bought Christmas tree ornaments. I'm kinda liking the ornament idea and I'm looking forward to hanging them on the tree and remembering all the memories we made.
On the Reese family scale of 1-10 for Carribean Islands, we give Grand Cayman a family-friendly score of a perfect 10!
Let's continue the conversation:
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Serious question. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be? Someone asked me that not too long ago and I totally overthought the question and started thinking of things like: the year 2000, so I could relive my oldest when she was a baby. (I was so stressed as a new mom that I would love a do-over) or maybe I’d rather be in Paris watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle in the night sky? Or back snorkeling with @visitcaymanislands would be awesome too? So many places I would love to be at right now, but when I really start to think about it, right now and right here with my family is pretty nice! 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰
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