Photo: Amy Freshwater
Grand Cayman, located in the Caribbean, is the largest of the Cayman Islands and it a British territory. Beaches and vibrant coral reefs are the island’s hallmarks.
Grand Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach features roped-off swimming areas, gentle waters and shady trees along with resort hotels, restaurants and shops. Popular spots for divers include the tunnels of Snapper Hole and the caves of Bloody Bay Wall. Shipwrecks like the Captain Keith Tibbetts and the Cali provide a backdrop for schools of tropical fish. The vibrant turquoise waters of Grand Cayman are breathtaking and provide the backdrop for popular excursions such as Cayman Turtle Farm, and swimming with rays at the Stingray City sandbar or with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery. If you want to do a bit of exploring, check out Mastic Reserve and Trail, a footpath through old-growth forest, sheltering a wide variety of native plants and animals.
When you're in port ...
According to Carnival Cruise Lines, here are the Top 10 Things to do while in port:
Our favorite thing to do in Grand Cayman is to swim with the stingrays. It's a cool experience and everyone should do it at least once. A few things they don't really tell you about if you are thinking about this excursion ... You will take a 20 minute boat ride offshore to a sandbar where the stingrays feed. So you'll literally be in the ocean, which means the waves can be quite big. Because it's a sandbar, if you're at least 5'5" you should be fine. On my last trip I was with two people who were just over five feet tall and they were getting swallowed by the waves. (Keep in mind that kids and anyone else can wear a life jacket, so that will help with the waves. Kids love this excursion.) On another visit the sea was like glass, so the only waves were from the people in the water. Keep in mind that the excursion will be cancelled if the weather/waves are too big. I've only had it cancelled one time and it was because of the wind/waves.
With some of the stingray city excursions you can also include a snorkel adventure. Each excursion is a bit different -- when we did the combo we got back onto the catamaran after hanging out with the stingrays for quite awhile, then the captain drove another 15 minutes or so to a reef, so once again we're just out in the middle of the ocean. It was really cool to snorkel and you'll see a TON of fish and other creatures -- definitely have a camera or go-pro with you. Be cautious about the current as you will quickly drift away from the boat. (Life jackets are mandatory, but it's still a bit of an anxious moment when you look up and see the boat really far away. Of course in my mind all I could hear was the theme from JAWS.)