Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Travels: Rhapsody of the Seas, Grand Cayman

Ah, the Cayman Islands, home of the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. And it shows. No shanty's least that you can see from the main road. Instead the island is filled with beautiful, well tended homes...often owned by beautiful, well tended people! Seriously, even the average Cayman home is cute and well kept.

The island of Grand Cayman, while attractive because of it's neatness and the gorgeous water surrounding it, is as flat as a pancake. It makes Kansas look mountainous. If a tsunami hits while you are there, you had better be right with the Lord! But what a fun island to visit!

Ships are tendered rather than ported in Grand Cayman. This means they anchor off shore and passengers take a ferry to and from the island. This also means there is no running to the ship to board at the last minute before sailing in the evening! (Yes, I have actually witnessed this phenomenon, and no, I have not had to do it myself). If you miss the last ferry then you are sadly out of luck!

The number one attraction in Grand Cayman is Stingray City. It is a natural sandbar located off the northern coastline where fisherman used to dump fish guts. Over time the stingrays decided this was a great place to chow down and started to hang out in the shallow waters waiting for food to arrive.

The boat engines signal food to them and over time the fisherman began to feed them by hand. Now generations of stingrays have endured crazy humans petting and kissing them, all for an easy meal.

These stingrays are not contained in any way and are free to come and go as they please. If they get tired of human interaction they simply swim away. They are very gentle and queue up quickly for the squid they are hand fed.

We booked an independent tour for our Stingray City and Snorkeling trip. It was cheaper, and had a fraction of the people the ship excursion had. We used Moby Dick Tours, and they were wonderful! The boat ride out to the snorkeling area and then to the sandbar was uncrowded and comfortable. 

The area we stopped at to snorkel was great...I have included photo's of the nurse shark and eel that were in the area. I have to say, I had a blast teasing the eel out of his rock home!

The stingrays were out of this world! We joined the other nutty humans, feeding, petting, holding and kissing the creatures...and not once did I worry about getting barbed.

Back in town we ate at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville...overrated in my humble opinion. Expensive food that was nothing special, and they didn't even play his music!

The shops were fun and cute...especially The Rum Cake Factory...Grand Cayman's signature food. Then back to the ferry and the Rhapsody. Altogether a five star port and a five star day!

Next time; Cozumel, Mexico!

Bon Voyage! ~Marla

1 comment:

  1. The islands of Cayman are surrounded by wonderful blue crystal clear water. I love this place for its beautiful natural scenic beauty and everlasting serenity. I want to visit Grand Cayman with my parents and my family and when I go I will try to find good Cayman cigars to bring home.