We are really steaming ahead now with all these diary entries, on day 5!
March 23– This was our big day on Grand Cayman. We booked this tour ahead of time back so long ago, and had been looking forward to it since. This tour was a water and land one. We were to visit Stingray City, Starfish Point, scuba dive a bit then off to see the turtle reserve. Lots to see. Plus, we wanted to know if we could stop in a special little city called Hell, just to get a few photos.
Disembarking for this trip was different from the first one. We were tendered off the ship at 9:20AM after a quick buffet breakfast. Tendering means we had to board little boats that took you from the cruise to the port, instead of the cruise being tethered to the port. This was an interesting experience, a lot of people packed on these little things, and I am thankful it was with my friends!
We got on port to meet our tour guide, Captain Charlie, of Captain Charlie Charters. We had to separate because of our size, so my family went with Carlo, his companion, and the five went with Capt Charlie in his car. We were then brought to Capt Charlie’s dock. The dock was beautiful on its own..a sandy man-made island greeted you with these twisty trees and hammocks.
Ugh, I am so sad I am not there now!
We all met there, then boarded his boat. It was a real nice boat with dual engines for INSANE power, and there were amenities as needed..a bathroom, water and soda, snorkels with flippers and life jackets. We brought towels with us, dressed in bathing suits with covers, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen. YOU WILL NEED IT!
The waters were choppy due to all the storms around the Caribbean. We were almost going to miss this stop if the direction of the storm hadn’t changed. We were so glad it did! The ride out to the first stop was an interesting one. At first, while in the marina, the ride was smooth as water. A real joy. Then they warned us that the ride was about to get BUMPY and WET. <– that was an understatement haha The boat was put into a faster gear and we took off to scuba dive first. HOLY BUMPY. It was like the boat was getting slapped by the water, and slapping it back twice as hard. The kids enjoyed it. I snuck to the back to sit and not get so wet. It worked!
We arrived to scuba, and everyone (not me) went out for about fifteen minutes or so. My kids had never done that before, so they got fatigued quite fast. Captain Charlie and Carlo were great. They talked about everything around us, and instructed on how to properly scuba.
Everyone got back on board and about 50 – 100 feet from us was Stingray City. It was swarming with other tours, which was sorta gross to see. It’s in the middle of the ocean, but this part of the ocean is only like 3 feet high. And everyone is trying to get to this area..even tour boats with thirty people on board! As I said, it’s not deep in this area..but this day, the ocean had swells of up to 6 feet all around. I thought I could go out to the stingrays to share in fun, but nope. I got off the boat, walked over fifteen feet, got slapped with a wave, jumped on my husband’s back and said NO THANKS. I should tell you I have a slight fear of water. I love the ocean, pools, and stuff, it’s just I don’t swim much, and water that is over my head freaks me the eff out. This is why I always made it a priority that my children learn how to swim from age 2. I should take a class I know! But anyways… the groups were fighting swells and hanging with the fish. My tour stayed fairly close, and they had a blast getting massages from the stingrays, kissing them and learning about them. It was amazing. Then after a half hour, they hopped back on board and we went to Starfish Point. This place was 10 minutes closer to the shore, opposite of where we left from.
What a beautiful place. Seriously, breathtaking and dreamy. It seemed fake. The water was so clear, only a few feet high, and there were starfish peppered all along the sand of all types. Some were red and large, some were orange, even a few were green camo colors! We spent about twenty minutes there exploring and taking photos. We then boarded back onto the boat to take the bumpiest ride back to the dock. When we arrived at the marina, we were told about the iguanas that hang out along the trees..and these iguanas were so colorful and enormous!! It was so cool!
Then we got back to the dock to get back in the cars to go to the turtle farm. It was a real special place. They were farming a species of turtle so old its ancestors saw dinos! lol When you walk in there is a giant enclosure, of three spaces put together, that housed Loggerhead turtles. It was their home with breeding grounds in an artificial beach. Then beyond them there were many tanks set up where their offspring that were like teenagers, got to swim and hang out. Then beyond them were some spots of alligators and some other wildlife. Then it flowed into a touch tank and wading pools where we could touch and get in with them.
It was an amazing experience, and we could’ve hung out there longer, but we had to make it back to the boat. BUT first, we had to make one special stop.
TO HELL… mwuahahah
This is literally the dumbest stop, but who else can say they’ve been to hell and back?!
Hell is a grouping of stubby black limestone rocks all together. It may be the size of maybe an olympic sized pool? Maybe smaller? The formations had a silly devil made out of limestone sitting there, which was hard to see. But it was a perfect 10 minute stop for pictures. They had some fun post office decorated with a giant sign and fun photo ops, but the formations were behind the building out of sight. But my husband and I found them!
Since we didn’t eat on this trip we quickly ran up to Alfredo’s for lunch..where our buddy ordered some food ahead, and the amount of food on the table was HILARIOUS. There’s a small shot of it below in the food collages. We ended up talking to Vlad again this afternoon, and it was a great time as usual. Too funny…and so needed and delicious! After lunch we separated a bit to relax and do whatever we wanted to wind down.
For dinner this night we went to the Crown Grill, which is not part of the cruise package. This was another place that was $25 per adult, and $15 per child. It was fabulous. We were seated in the chef’s table area which was inside their displayed wine cases. Just the perfect space for all nine of us. There was live music near us at the bar, which was a perfect backdrop. The service was wonderful, and the food was absolutely delicious. Steaks, chops and anything you wanted! We ordered an array of apps from lobster tails, salads, and crab cakes, then we all got steak entrees..so good! This night we talked and dined a long while, too. We closed out our night here.