Grand Cayman- Where the pool is the ocean
I traveled to Grand Cayman with my mom in late September of 2012. While this is often known as the rainy hurricane season, we only had rain one day and enjoyed pure sun the rest of the trip. (The beaches will be less crowded and prices will also be reduced during this time period since it is not peak season). We stayed at the Grand Cayman Marriott, situated right on the beach. The hotel had a few pet Macaws that traveled around on employees’ and guests’ shoulders throughout the day. This trip itinerary is pretty uninvolved. Swim with sting rays, swim with dolphins, soak up the sun, have a few drinks & Float in the warm water. I would say it’s pretty manageable…..
The Best of Grand Cayman……
- Swimming with Sting Rays was amazing. They are swarming around you- brushing up on your sides, at your feet- everywhere- but they are so soft it takes away the intimidation. Just try not to shuffle your feet J You will most likely take a guided boat tour out to Sting Ray City to swim with them and they will provide you with food to feed the sting rays (It feels like they are vacuuming your hand into their mouths when they eat) and they will take all of the fun photos that you can buy when the trip is over. A lot of the tours will include a snorkel tour after you visit Sting Ray City (they will provide everything). We were also able to hold some incredible Star Fish.
- Swimming with Dolphins! Swimming with dolphins was something I had always wanted to do. I had interacted with dolphins in the Florida Keys as a child, but had never swam with them. Your time goes quick, and you are limited because each person has to get a turn, so I suggest buying the package with the most amount of in water time. They are truly so loving and gentle- such beautiful mammals. I also was so astonished at how strong they are—how they can so easily lift you up out of the water with their nose, while swimming at a fast speed!
- Swim in the ocean. The water is really warm and incredibly clear- bring goggles! ***There are many great dive spots around the island.
- Cayman Turtle Farm. We spent about an hour here and I enjoyed picking up the little turtles and petting them- but this is one of those places where that selfish enjoyment comes with guilt. Are the turtles happy swimming in the crowded pools? Are they being handled by people who are improperly holding them, potentially hurting them? A small % of the turtles do end up being turned into turtle soup- and this is also hard to agree upon. On one hand, yes it does reduce fisherman from killing endangered turtles in the wild, but on the other hand, turtles are being raised and then killed. I personally do not eat turtle soup, but I know it is part of the Cayman culture and I respect others’ cultures.
- Nightlife: This island is very laid back- you are not going to find the clubs you will find in Cancun, but there are definitely some fun dive bars the locals hang out at – just ask around J Also, a few bars have really fun beach parties during the day.
- Bring a goPro (if you have one) to swim with sting rays- they do send photographers though, so you will come home with great photos regardless!
- Bring Cheerios to feed the fish in the ocean. They literally come right up to you and eat out of your hands. They do often miss the cheerio and bite your finger, and it does hurt for a split second (so warn your 5 year old….)