View Full Version : Turtle Farm in Cayman
02-24-2010, 02:26 PM
Anyone that has been there, what are your opinions?
Pay just for the Turtle Farm or the extra 5 or 15 (child and adult up price are different) for the entire establishment?
Thinking about going there-would buy our own tickets though since Disney charges $20 more!
Also if you went there on your own, how far is the Hell gift shop from there? And did you go to any other beach by the Turtle Farm?
02-24-2010, 03:51 PM
We did the Captain Marvin's Island Tour which included transportation, Hell, Turtle Farm, 7 Mile Beach photo stop, and the rum place. On the way home, we had the option of returning to the tender pier or to a beach (7 mile or Sea Grape, our choice).
OK, turtle farm alone was $30 per adult. We paid $30 per person for the tour, so I considered it a bargain. You'll pay $4-$5 each way for transportation.
The turtle farm (Boatswain's) has a LOT of stuff. What you get/pay for is indicated by the color of your wrist band that you get at check in. There is a lazy river area, dolphin swim, etc. The tour included only the turtle farm.
The turtle farm was the best part of the island tour.
Sorry, I can't advise on turtle farm alone vs the other stuff there as I've only seen, not done the other stuff (not sure what is included at what prices). However, if it's a matter of turtle farm alone (plus you paying for transportation) vs. island tour, the island tour thru Captain Marvin's is a bargain. It is very easy to find their outlet--it is across the street from the tender pier, catty cornered to the Left. If you don't see it, ask where the Dairy Queen is--they are in the same block as the DQ and everyone seems to know where that is!
02-25-2010, 08:08 AM
Anyone else have any reports/opinions?
02-25-2010, 11:57 AM
When we went last June, we did the Nativewaysports island tour. It was about $40-50 per person and included the Rum Factory (15 min), Hell (5 min), the turtle farm (1.5 hours) and a boat trip to stingray city (1.5 hrs). The turtle farm was a great place and the kids (10 and 12) loved being able to hold the turtles. We did not do the snorkling area but others have said it was nice. Be aware that a turtle farm is just that, a farm. They raise turtles to eat - my oldest DD didn't like that at all.
02-25-2010, 12:14 PM
we did one of the DCL excursions that was suppsosed to be a city tour, the turtle farm & trip to Hell. There were weather issues so we got cut short alittle. We had trouble with our bus driver, she was supposed to give us information about the city - as we drove by the Governors mansion she couldn't even tell us his name - yes we complained about it after we were back on the ship. In all honesty I would skip Hell I didn't think it was worth the stop, you see the rocks & there was 1 little gift shop open when we were there.
The turtle farm on the other hand was great! As part of our excursion we just had the guided tour not everything else. It was very interesting & informational. Alot of people have issues with the fact they raise turtles for food. But out of all the turtles they raise it's like 10% that are used for food the rest are all released but everyone seems to focus on that small precentage. I think if we do another crusie that stops in GC we would do the whole package at the Turtle farm since it looked like the people on the beach section were having fun
02-25-2010, 01:17 PM
We did the whole park at the turtle farm and really enjoyed it. There was the tour as previous posters mentioned, where you get to hold the turtles. After our tour we were able to go anywhere in the park, including the snorkel lagoon, the aviary, and the pool. We were also told that we could go back to visit the turtles as much as we wanted. Lunch was also included in our excursion, but I'm not sure if that's always the case. It was very relaxing, but I wish we had taken a tour that also included seeing more of the island.
We all kind of stopped when we heard the turtle farm guide say that 10% of the turtles were "to be consumed." Especially because they are so protected in the U.S. We did overhear another guide say that over 75% of the island does not eat turtle.
02-25-2010, 02:19 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. Yeah, we are aware of the farming. Its an effort to stop the illegal farming since the sea turtle is considered a delicacy.
We are still up in the air.
We just want to hit the Hell gift shop for the obvious souvenirs.
02-25-2010, 05:48 PM
The Turtle Farm is now a part of the Boatswains Bay complex and is a popular destination for visitors to Cayman.
The back part of Boatswain's Bay includes an aviary where you might get to hand feed some exotic tropical birds. There is also a tank with some predator fish (sharks!) that has a nice viewing window. There is a separate salt-water lagoon for snorkeling but recently they have had major algae problems and it is rather green. There is also a lovely artificial beach and fresh water pool.
The front part (which is all that is included in the basic tour) includes a large turtle tank with a beach that the turtles crawl out on to lay eggs. You cannot enter this tank or go onto this beach. There are many smaller tanks including a few where you can touch some young (1-3 year old) turtles.
Yes, they do raise green sea turtles for consumption. 10% may be a correct number if that is a per year (ie 10 of every 100 are harvested annually). A very few are released. More were released before Hurricane Michelle caused severe damage to the facility during November 2001. Many of the older breeding turtles were lost in that storm.
Recently the price of turtle meat was tripled to better match supply and demand. Many local residents do not eat turtle and some families consider it a dish only for special occasions. The price increase has caused some local restaurants to stop selling turtle.
There is no sandy beach near Boatswains Bay, but all tours to there must drive the length of Seven Mile Beach. Most any tour will gladly drop you at a spot on the beach on your way back to the ship.
These tours also pass the Governor's House. Our current governor is Duncan Hunter, He just arrived to take up his post in January. The previous governor was Stuart Jack. Remember that the Governor is appointed by the British Crown and not an elected official. They do not go through a lengthy campaign where the public learns who they are.
Hell is a quick 5-10 minute stop which is included on many tours to Boatswains Bay. Send a post card from Hell. Buy a bumper sticker and t-shirt. Get back on the bus.
06-27-2010, 12:08 PM
I saw other reviews of Boatswain's where people said it was quite dirty. I would like to find a family friendly excursion. We have a 2yo and 8yo girl - but won't snorkle as we are not strong swimmers. More than 1 hour on the beach is plenty for us. Don't want too much bus time as the 2yo won't make it pleasant for everyone if it is too long. Boatswain's sounded good but I don't want to go if it is really the pits - especially at the prices charged.
06-27-2010, 12:28 PM
We did the dolphin encounter that included some time at the turtle farm afterwards. Personally we didn't really love the turtle farm, and was glad that it was an add on rather than the primary reason for our visit. It may have been because the dolphin encounter was so awesome that the turtles were doomed by comparison, but for us it was just eh.
06-27-2010, 12:34 PM
We have done Boatswains many times and never found it to be dirty. The water is certainly not crystal clear because it is a fish habitat, so keep that in mind. I am fussy about showers, but their facilities were really good.
We have also done the dolphin excursion. We did the most basic one, which doesn't include actually going into the deeper water with the dolphin at most places...you just stay on the platform. At Boatswains you did a lot from the platform but then got to go in the deep part and have the dolphin swim around you and do some other things. We enjoyed it much more than we expected. There was plenty of time to handle the turtles before our swim.
06-27-2010, 01:31 PM
I'm with Barb--never found Boatswain's to be dirty. You can do as much or as little as you want (and pay accordingly). The basic admission gives you a wrist band to the turtle farm and some "walk around" areas. The next tier up gives you the lazy river, aviary, etc.
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