One of our stops on our Carnival Cruise was to Grand Cayman. For this stop the family decided not to take an excursion from the boat and just find what we could find off the ship. Once we took our tender from the ship to the shore, there were lots of people begging for the passengers attention. We found a tour that would take us to the stingrays and for a little snorkeling, so 13 of the 15 of us decided to take a chance…
The skies were a bit stormy while in Grand Cayman and we even got a little rain, which felt amazing with the heat and the humidity. I couldn’t get over the color of the water…for our tour we took a quick drive to where the tour guides had their boat and then boarded the boat for a drive out to the stingrays. I am now wishing that I would have done a little reading about the stingrays so that I would have been a little more prepared for our visit…and maybe a little less frightened.
I was shocked that this “Stingray City” idea was simply a ton of boats each with a ton of people on some sandbar out in the middle of the water with a ton of stingrays. I was completely expecting something more…civilized. So before we’re getting off the boat, the guides are telling us to make sure we shuffle our *bare* feet along the sand and I’m sure she mentioned that it was so that we wouldn’t step on them or disturb them, perhaps so we keep them happy in their own water…so we get in the chest high crystal clear water and of course my children are not completely listening and are jumping around in the water and the other people are swimming and going after these stingrays, which is NOT what she told us to do. And Miss Rule Follower Carrie is shuffling her bare feet along this white sandbar and seeing these giant stingrays all around and slowly starting to freak out.
Do you see how large some of them were? I will not share the photos that my brother in law took as they show a very freaked out Carrie (although they are quite humorous)…but if you’re my mom, you’ll see them someday 🙂 So we’re in this water, the kids are having fun, Jarrod is having fun, my niece and nephew are having a great time chasing after these animals, my sister in law is trying to feed them…everyone who was on the boat and got in the water fails to see the creepiness of this adventure and are swimming around in bliss thinking this is all ok and a completely normal activity. And then one of their tails went across the back of my leg and it was all over. Jarrod said the look on my face told him everything and that he can’t remember a time that I looked so freaked out. He told me to get out of the water if I was so scared…I was already halfway back to the boat, to heck with all you people in the water, I was getting out of there. So now, looking back, I wish I would have somehow prepared myself so that I could have voluntarily touched one like my daughter did…or held one like my husband and oldest son each did. But instead I hung out for half the time in the boat with my smartest child Max as we watched these crazy people play with giant stingrays.
After the stingrays we drove the boat to a different location for a little snorkeling and that was a lot of fun…tough with the little kids hanging on mom and dad, but something I would love to do again. The boat returned us to shore, the buses took us back to the port for the tenders to return us to the ship after we took in a little shopping. Overall, the trip was a huge success and the kids still find it extremely hilarious that their mother kind of lost it. Good times for all.