Heads up on Stingray city/Cayman excursion!
I, myself, did not do stingrays in the Caymans...but I'd love to give you all a heads up on what I heard about it while we were cruising on the Magic last week.
When we were in the Caymans, there were also a lot of LARGE cruise ships there that day. People think of looking on the 'cruise ships at port' list on other websites. It is great to look and to know how many ships will be at port with you, but I did that and the cruise ships that came in from other countries were NOT LISTED on that list...that added 2 MEGA HUGE ships to the port on the day we were in the Caymans.
Knowing that, there were MANY, MANY, MANY people in the Caymans who wanted to do the Sting ray City excursions. Sting ray City excursions have no 'max population', due to the fact that there are several different companies who book excursions to do it.
The day that we were in port, there was us and 4 other very large ships. The people who went to sting ray city were very upset that they chose to go there. There were TONS of people there and the sting ray's were very hard to spend time with, because if one came close by, 20-30 people would try to get over to it at the same time.
We were talking about it with about 4-5 other families who tried to do it, the night right after when we all were sitting in the pool/hot tub area. Not one of those families was happy with it. Maybe there were other families with better experiances, but out of those 4-5 families, they all wished they would have done something different.
They all were upset about the boats floating around so close to the people, there were MANY MANY boats and MANY MANY people, which led to less time with the rays themselves and more frustration.
Maybe it was just an 'odd' day, but please think twice about doing this excursion if there are A LOT of big ships in port. I've heard that stingray city is a great place and there are MANY people who've had nothing but amazing experiances there...I don't know what their situation was- maybe there were less boats docked that day, maybe they went at a different time of the day. All I know is that there were a lot of mad people who did the sting ray excursion the day that we were docked in the Caymans.
Like I said, I did not do it- but hearing the other complaints made me happy that I didn't do it. I wouldn't want someone else to go through that knowing how expensive an excursion is. Obviously, many people have had nothing but wonderful experiances there- or it wouldn't be such a popular thing to do- I am just trying to give you a heads up to do a little more research before booking it to the people who are new to it.
Helpful report! Thanks!
We did Stingray city in 2011 and had a great time. There was probably about 100 people there when we did it.
Magic Feb 9 - 15 2013 totally disagree.
Their were five cruise ships in port that day. Mardi Gras day 2013. We did the Disney tour the island and swim with the sting rays. Water temp 89 degrees crystal clear and plenty of rays for everyone. Guides took us out to reef in a very fast boat and moored the boat in line with outhers their. Water only four ft deep. Plenty of room for all boats and people. Guide got one big ray and held it as we all worked our way around in a circle and kiss the sting ray for 7 years good luck and had pictures taken. We had water proof camera. We stayed their for about an hour and got to feed the ray some cut up camimarie. These rays have been doing this for 75 years. It is great to stand in paradise and have them swim between you legs.
Ps I have also been to Hell and came Back. You will understand this if you go to Grand Cayman.
Please do not report hearsay
I think the OP is talking about when the Magic was in Grand Cayman last week, on Tues Feb 26, not during the Feb 9-15 cruise.
We were at Stingray city that day on the Magic. We though did not use Disney but instead used Native Way Tours.
Stingray City was extremely busy with a couple of huge Catamarans loaded with people from the cruises. We on the other hand had 25 people on our boat and plenty of time in the water with the rays. Our guides held a ray each and then handed the ray off like a pizza box to everyone in our group to hold and kiss as much as we wanted. The captain of our boat Solomon really loved the rays and you could see it by the way he held them and played with them. He also had us all turn around and get a massage by stingray on our backs. We fed them and got tons of pictures with the rays.
I could see if you booked with Disney and were one of hundreds then it wouldn't have been as much fun. I think that for our family it may have been the best excursion we have ever taken, a lot of that due to the small group we had. After stingrays we snorkeled at the reef, starfish area then went to Rum Point beach, and for less then Disney. In fact as we headed back to the marina the guides tried to catch an iguana (for our twin boys that love lizards) out of the mangrove trees.
I would HIGHLY recommend them for Stingray City in Cayman.
I don't usually listen to the random 'one or two families' who had a bad experiance and want to warn others, but because I have heard SO MANY other families complain about it- I just wanted to raise awareness so others could research it on their own before making the decision.
I am not, nor have I ever, said that this is a 'bad excursion' I am saying that you need to do your research before doing it, because if there are a lot of boats docked- there's a lot more people and boats in the water around you and that may not be the experiance that you are looking for.
Do not listen!
Please do not listen to this person who has no right to write a review for an excursion they did not even go on! We did the excursion through Disney and loved every minute of it! It was great - the tour guide was so nice - told us all about Grand Cayman, showed us everything! The sting rays were the best part - so great - and yes there were a lot of boats out there, but it didn't change the experience for us - there were sting rays everywhere. I have posted some great pictures on other threads.
If you have not done an excursion please don't write a negative review of it - let someone who actually did it and did not like it write that review. And no I did not read all the other posts in this thread because I am only commenting on the fact that someone who didn't do the excursion my have detered someone from booking it!
We went through Moby Dick tours over Christmas and it was packed!DH and I did this many years ago and there were so many sting rays all over. Now each boat's crew seems to grab one ray each and pass it around their group for pictures. The rays were barely active or hungry, as they were being fed all morning while we snorkeled. It was still neat, but a totally crowded experience compared to 15 years ago.
thanks for the post opp and I DO think you have the right to put this in writing. you are not giving it a review as such, just letting us know to do the research. you may have saved someone from wasting money.
thanks for caring enough to share.
It was in our top 5 excursions ever. People need to experience it before complaining.
I didn't read a complaint, I read a heads up. I, for one, am glad of this post because I never would have thought to research this excursion in that way. I can certainly see where the number of ships in port could affect the outcome of enjoyment for a person.
I really don't think the opp is bashing the excursion, I think, and please correct me if i'm wrong, they are just trying to say make sure you do due diligence. that's fair. :flower3:
I can understand how Stingray City can become excessively crowed with boats and folks during heavy port days.
I urge folks to check which ships will be in port with them if possible, prior to booking.
I know that's impossible 18 months out, but recheck prior to PIF date if possible / flexible. Go super early, or late, to avoid crowds if possible.
It was packed with boats 15 years ago on our first visit.
And the ships keep coming. Their size keeps increasing.
It's only getting worse. Timing is critical, albeit moot, sailing on a ship.
Yet it can still be done, and timed.
I still feel even with the crowding this is an excursion to consider.
Have you Googled "Sting Ray City Photos" ?
The returns are impressive, even with a lot of traffic.
At least look at this one. Who's that behind those ladies ?
I do feel for the rays.
No wonder they're sooo big. Folks have been feeding them, for at least 50 years, like this.
I wonder if they can fend for themselves anymore.
Has anyone ever been injured during this adventure? I've never heard reports.
It amazing, and disturbing sometimes, what they do with said rays with the guests, although they seem somehow to enjoy it. Rays and guests. :lmao:
Having said all that, It's an unforgettable experience I recommend to all.
And the sea depth depends on the tides, and ship placement and such.
It can be two feet deep or five feet deep fwiw.. Bring vests for the little ones, or ask if available.
And you definitely don't want to be out there when the sustained winds are over 20 mph or so from the north. :eek:
It really is a bucket list item IMO.
I was freaked out the first time. The Rays were all over us, searching for food, sucking most everything :eek: , it was weird, and spooky. :lmao:
If you have concerns, just speak with the Captain. They are all awesome.
You are placed in water with best conditions, 90 foot visibility, worst conditions I've seen, 15 feet.
All times were equally enjoyable fwiw. The rays are so close, visibility is irrelevant.
Have Fun :cool1:
ETA; After rereading my noise and banter, I want to emphasize how cool this excursion is. Book this with whom ever you can, if you can tolerate rays all about. At any point you can return to boat, as I did on my first experience. You won't be alone. :lmao: This encounter is really something you must see while in town. Fwiw, some folks stay on the boat and just watch. Some boats are two stories, so you have a great view. Book it. :thumbsup2
Sting Ray City can get crowded, this is why they call it sting ray city as when you are driving away it looks like a city of boats. At least that is what our tour guide told us :) I would never go on the Disney excursion, because there is obviously going to be hoards of people.
I researched on trip advisor & went on the Sting Ray City wave runner tour through Fat Fish Adventures. It was amazing & well worth the price. There were only 6 people in our group, and it was definitely one of the best parts of our Fantasy Cruise. Fat Fish knows when all of the big tours go, so they schedule their tours accordingly. We were the first group to arrive to SRC & had the place to ourselves for the most part. We finished up just in time to see all the poor folks pulling up on jam packed boats. I felt really sorry for them!
I know that many people are scared to book an excursion independently, but have no fear! We even had to reschedule because our itinerary got changed up due to a medical emergency, and Fat Fish was super accommodating. I left a review with photos on trip advisor "Jet Skiing with Fat Fish was the highlight of our cruise"
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