Stingray City - Grand Cayman Island


We visited Stingray City when we took a cruise on Royal Caribbean (Navigator of the Seas).  The excursions to Stingray City via the cruise line was quite expensive and really only my father and I wanted to go there.  The rest of the group was more of an "up for anything" mentality.


After doing some research on TripAdviser, Google, etc, we came across a website for Stingray City and they offer several different options to visit the Stingray City sand bar.  Lauren and I love to snorkel and try to do a catamaran on every vacation so that was the goal; to find a catamaran to Stingray City that also stopped to snorkel, for a reasonable amount.  We did just that through Stingray City Cayman Islands website.


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We were a bit concerned with our parents as they are in their mid 50's and 60's, and my dad has had a knee replaced and neck/back/shoulder surgeries so we thought it could be too much being on a bumpy boat, getting on and off the catamaran, etc.  Our mother's also did not want to go in the ocean and/or by the stingrays.  However, they absolutely loved it all around and had a ton of fun.

If you book through the Stingray City Cayman Islands website, it is very easy.  I put down a reservation through their website and checked to have them call me for payment.  They actually did not call me and the night before we were to arrive in Grand Cayman I shot them an email to confirm.  They responded back right away with the confirmation.

When we arrived on the island, there was a representative there that took our information for payment and we were all set to go.  He gave us information as to what to expect, where/when to meet and made some recommendations on what to do in the 2 hours prior to the excursion.

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We took a shuttle that fit roughly 20 people, not that comfortably.   They have 4 people across sitting in a row, one seat was a pull down that was essentially on the floor.  Either way it was overall manageable as it was only about a 20-minute drive to the dock where we would board the catamaran.  We went through some parts of the island on our way to the dock so we got a  brief glimpse at the island.

Once we got to the boat, they asked us to remove our shoes and after a quick overview/safety talk, we set sail for Stingray City.  It was probably a 20-30 minute trip out to the sandbar but it is through some of the most gorgeous water that we have ever been in.  They go a decent speed, so we just sat back, enjoyed the views and let the wind come at us.  There was no food or drink provided, which one downside to the catamaran.  It would have been nice to have some drinks on our way back and seeing as we left around 11:45am and returned around 3:15pm, it would have been nice to have some snacks or sandwiches supplied.

However, the captain was very informative with fish, the stingrays, location, etc.  He had several, what looked like oversized sea shells which were called "concha".  Lauren pulled a dead one from its shell and the captain cut it up for the group to try.  It had a coconut and fishy flavor to it.  It was fun to try, but not something that I will be ordering anytime soon.


As soon as we pulled up, you could already see the stingrays swimming towards the boat as they knew a new boat meant more food.   It was exciting as you entered the water the stingrays were swimming all around you where there would be inches away from your feet.  So close that you had to worry about stepping on them.  Each couple was allowed to kiss them, have them massage your back, and you could even get to hold them.  It was a great experience as this was something that I was not sure our parents would want to do as our moms were not big fan of snakes or anything slimy.  However, when the time came they went end they ended up going through with it and they actually loved as it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Snorkeling is always fun and of all the places that we have snorkeled, this is by far the best water that we have been in.  The water has never been so blue anywhere in the Caribbean and we have been to Mexico, West Indies, etc.  We stopped twice to snorkel for about 20-30 minutes each time.  There were many tropical fish and stingrays within an arms reach of you.  We purchased our own snorkeling gear (see product recommendations below) so it was nice to have some good equipment that was fully clean.  We recommend if you travel to places where snorkeling is available, its worth spending $30-$50 on getting your own pair.


  • Book an excursion ahead of time, not through the cruise line.  We HIGHLY recommend booking through Stingray City Cayman Island's website.
  • Bring a waterproof camera if you want to save on having them charge you for photographs.  Also, if you are going as a couple, be prepped to have another couple take some pictures with your camera.
  • Make sure to eat before you set sail as you will likely miss lunch
  • Wear plenty of sunblock as you're out in the open sun and its HOT
  • Bring cash in case you do want to purchase the photos as well as to tip the crew for a job well done

Stingray City - Cayman Islands

For a quick glance at this experience, here is a video of our Stingray City excursion.  If you have any questions on this trip or any of our travels, please contact us and we would love to help answer any questions that you have.

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