CSP finally got sick just as I was starting to feel better. Poor guy. But he was a trooper! We woke up early and had breakfast at Royal Court. CSP had lox and bagels and eggs benedict. I had a strawberry yogurt mix and eggs benedict. Breakfast was over by 9 and we couldn’t meet up with our excursion group until 11:30. CSP was feeling pretty crummy so we went back to the room so he could lay back down for a while.
At 11:30 we met up in the D Lounge with the rest of our excursion group. We were given a sticker to wear (Aladdin), some towels, and we were able to buy water for the trip (Evian at not bad prices). We got off the ship onto a tender boat then off that boat to the pier and followed the lady with the Aladdin sign to our meeting place. Once we were all accounted for we got on air conditioned busses. In Grand Cayman they drive on the wrong side of the road so the ride to the canal to get on the tour boat was a wee bit scary! The bus driver was eerily silent as he weaved through traffic then turned into a neighborhood! I thought for sure we were all going to be sold or killed. But all the sudden between 2 houses there was our boat!
The crew was very informative and told us all about stingrays on the 45 minute boat ride out to Stingray City. Stingray City is a sandbar out in the middle of the ocean where stingrays have learned boats drop anchor and food. Sure enough, as soon as we stopped the stingrays flocked to our area. We were a little worried about the weather because it was pretty overcast when we got on the tour boat. But by the time we made our way to Stingray City it had cleared up. Now, I have to tell you something. Before the cruise I bought an underwater digi cam from Photojojo for just $35. Being winter I didn’t have an opportunity to hop in the ocean or pool to play with the camera before we left. The camera takes videos (no sound) as well as pictures. Well apparently I was taking videos when I thought I was taking pictures. So bear with me as you check out the following 10 seconds or less videos! They are a little Blair Witchy, but I didn’t know I was filming! Overall though I’m really pleased with the camera’s performance. Best $35 I’ve spent on tech!
So, we pulled up to Stingray City and dropped anchor. Everyone put on life vests and grabbed snorkel gear (if so desired). We climbed down the ladder into the crystal clear, waist deep water. The wind was whipping pretty good, causing some waves, but overall the conditions were perfect! This is the tour boat: Here’s CSP looking for stingrays: Here’s me looking for stingrays: You have to be careful and watch where you walk or you could step on one! Here is a selfie that didn’t turn out so great because we clearly didn’t know how to use the camera! The three crew members of our tour boat were awesome. They got down in the water with us and held stingrays for us to come pet. Then they would transfer the stingray to you and let you hold it! So fun! Stingrays feel like giant mushrooms and are super sweet. They rub all up on your legs and bump into you. Like a bunch of sea puppies! CSP even kissed one, a pregnant female!
There were a few other boats at Stingray City checking out the stingrays. Here you can see the crowd of people checking out the stingrays: We had a great time and got to spend about an hour out with the stingrays. Here’s a close up of CSP and a boy stingray: The males are small and the females can get huge! Like 5 feet across! In this video you can see the chum bucket floating to attract the stingrays. They fill the buckets with chopped squid. We didn’t feed the stingrays though because they can get over fed. You can also see the boat captain & CSP handling a boy stingray. Here are a couple more of CSP handling stingrays. He became a pro! Now, I have to tell you when I first booked this excursion CSP was all “I’m not getting off the boat! Those things can kill you! You risk your own life!” But he listened to the crew’s stingray safety talk and was just in awe of the creatures. Ask him now what was his favorite part of the whole cruise and he’ll tell you it was the stingrays!
Next up….Fantasy almost leaves without a BUNCH of passengers, and the Enchanted Garden