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Old 11-08-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
DuckMom
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Stingray City in Grand Cayman

We will be going on the Western Fantasy Cruise in July. My boys will be 4-3/4 and 8. We were planning to do the Stingray City excursion in Grand Cayman, but I noticed tonight that those through Disney require you to be 5 years old. I'm assuming my younger son won't be able to do it through Disney. Looking online, I did see some other tours that would take younger kids, but I'm a bit worried about booking a non-Disney excursion. Anyone else done this? Any drawbacks (besides them leaving me if we are late )? Is the excursion appropriate for an almost 5-year-old? I know he won't be able to actually snorkel, but I thought he would like to "swim" with the stingrays. Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
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Look up moby dick tours Fantastic
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
kcashner
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Grand Cayman is as safe as any US city. As to excursions, it depends on the tour operator. We've booked at least 3 times thru Captain Marvin--very reliable. If your ship times don't fit their "standard" times on their web site, e-mail them; they will adjust times to fit the ship schedule. Also, if for any reason the ship can't tender, your card will not be charged--you give them a credit card number to hold your reservation but they don't charge it till the day of the excursion.

I would have absolutely no hesitation in going off on my own on Grand Cayman...or with a reputable tour operator (there are many). This is one of my favorite islands. I'd also recommend the turtle farm for young children. We did it as part of the Captain Marvin island tour. Most of the rest of the tour would bore a kid, but the turtle farm was the highlight of the trip.

At Stingray City on our tour, kids were required to wear life vests. They were available for adults but were optional. The rays are in water that is about waist deep on an adult.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:44 PM   #4
leighi123
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We went on a RCI cruise when my son was 2.5, and did stingray city. The second you step off the ship there are a ton of people with different boats and things that go there, we just chose the best deal that had a nice boat.

It was lots of fun and my son loved it!


We got this inflatable kickboard thing that had a "window" on it so he could see under water. He also "snorkeled" with his goggles. This trip, he will be 5 and we will get him actual snorkel equipment, he is plenty old enough to do it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:45 PM   #5
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This thing: http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Window-Jel...pd_sim_sbs_t_5


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Old 11-09-2012, 08:26 AM   #6
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Hubby and I went on a cruise a few years ago without the kids and we did the stingray excursion and it was awesome!! I'm debating whether to take our older ones on it. Not sure if they would be too scared....some of those stingrays are huge! Not to mention, the water in certain spots is pretty deep. I don't know....good luck deciding!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckMom View Post
Looking online, I did see some other tours that would take younger kids, but I'm a bit worried about booking a non-Disney excursion. Anyone else done this?
I'd suggest going through Shoretrips.com. We've used them a number of times and have always had a great experience. They use top-quality operators and have great customer service.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:54 PM   #8
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We traveled on the Fantasy in April and I pre-booked a Stingray City Sandbar tour with http://grandcaymancruiseexcursions.com mainly because the DCL tour said the child had to be 5.

My youngest was not quite 4 1/2 and DS was 5 3/4. DH and I had to hold both of them because the water is too deep for them. Technically, if it was a swimming pool, my son could've stood in the water, but being this is the ocean, the waves made it impossible for him to just stand there.

I had no problems with the tour I booked and I highly recommend them!
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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Your son should be able to snorkel and swim with the sting rays. My son was 5 and he was able to snorkel with me. He wore a life vest and we stayed together the whole time. I kept my eye on him and didn't do as much snorkeling myself, but he loved it. He did not want to touch the sting rays but he did like watching them.

Someone else booked our tour so I don't know the company we used, but it was a great excursion. In addition to several older kids, we had two four year olds and a three year old in our group, along with four babies under two. Almost all of them (including my own daughter who was 23 months) got off at stingray city. I think one of the four year olds (who was almost five) also got out when we snorkeled. The younger ones didn't.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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I took my son when he was just a 1 year old and Disney wouldn't let me book the stingray excursion because of his age but when we got off the ship people at the port offer the excursion and we actually paid less then what disney offered per adult and my son and 8 year old nephew were free. In addition to the money saving we were on the same size boat as the other groups and got lucky that there was only 3 other people on the entire boat so we had it all to ourselves.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:37 AM   #11
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When booking with an outside tour, what time can you give to meet them? I hear the excursions thru the ship get the first tenders so I have no idea what time to realistically expect to be able to get off the ship. We've never tendered before and hubby is extremely worried about trying to book outside the cruise line when we're so uncertain how the tendering process works.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #12
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I just love "Captian Marvin" Might want to check that out. Not sure it will work with the new ashore times for the ship.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #13
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When I did it me and my father got off and just told the locals at the port offering the excursion the amount of people and negotiated the price and totld them we would be back in mins, then jumped right back on the same tender back to the ship rounded everyone up and went right back.
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Originally Posted by sweetpee_1993 View Post
When booking with an outside tour, what time can you give to meet them? I hear the excursions thru the ship get the first tenders so I have no idea what time to realistically expect to be able to get off the ship. We've never tendered before and hubby is extremely worried about trying to book outside the cruise line when we're so uncertain how the tendering process works.
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