GC stingray sandbar docking
North Sound to the Stingray Sandbar

Have you ever been on a cruise? You can have some of the best experiences of your life when you travel on a cruise ship. Whether you like the sun, shopping or want to explore or fill your life with some adventure, a cruise ship will have something for you. My favorite times aboard (well technically off board) was when I was on a ship excursion. The Caribbean Princess from the Princess Cruise Line has the  Stingray Encounter, Reef, Snorkel, Beach & Lunch available at the Grand Cayman port at the Cayman Islands. It is super easy to book at the excursions counter or online.

You can interact with dozens of friendly Southern Stingrays at Stingray Sandbar for 45 minutes. It is pretty crazy to see. The guide swam over on top of the stingray, crocodile hunter Steve Erwin style and grabbed the stingray by her side wings. The guide then proceeds to maneuver his body over the front of the stingray while lifting the stingray closer to the surface for the guests to see.

2nd guide handoff for pics

The guests are allowed and encouraged to take turns petting a live stingray. I think the topside is coarse, like a not-quite-tumbled quartz rock you would decorate the front of your home with. I suppose it would be akin to a fleshy stone. The bottom, underneath the giant ray was super slippery. It felt like mucus but was smooth. One would not expect it to be so smooth.

Stingray Encounter

It took 30 minutes to travel to the Stingray Sandbar from the boat by tender. They had about 25 or more stingrays for the public to touch. They stingrays were friendly and came up to the guests while brushing their giant wings against them. One would think they were searching for food. Actually after the guests swim for a while they feed the stingrays  squid about the width of a hand. It is quite a unique experience as it feels similar to a Hoover vacuum when the stingray eats the food. Check out the video below!

After departing the Stingray Sandbar, the boat carries you to the Barrier Reef where you enjoy snorkeling time for about 45 minutes. You are provided with life jackets, flippers, and snorkel equipment (mask & snorkel) to explore the waters which are about 20 feet deep. You can see schools of fish, lobster, and even mating fish.

Snorkeling Cayman

After you get your fill of fish watching at the reef, you head on to Rum Point Beach to relax for 2 hours in the sun and have a complimentary lunch. The beach wasn’t very large, but you are able to enjoy real island atmosphere. You are able to get into the water, visit the bar, dine at the restaurant. A common meal is a Jerk Pork sandwich or Jerk Chicken, typical delicious Caribbean cuisine. If you want to walk off your meal, visit the shops or get your hair braided!

Keep your eyes peeled! You never know what might happen on the way back to the cruise ship, the guide stopped the boat and dove right over the side. He had picked up a monster starfish about the size of a car steering wheel! Want to see what else Princess Cruises has to offer? Follow them on their social media channels at Facebook, @PrincessCruisesInstagramYouTubeFlickrGoogle+, and Pinterest.

Would you like this excursion?