My ship arrives at 7 and leaves at 3. Captain Marvin offers a half day tour from 10 to 1 - will we have enough time to get back to the ship in Georgetown? Which tour would you suggest? Is 2 hours enough?
Are you asking if 2 hours is enough time to get back to the ship after a tour? The whole island is only 8 miles long. I'm sure your tour is timed to give you more than enough time to get back to the pier, do some shoppng and invest in an offshore tax deal.
Post your experince with the stingrays after you do it. We will be going next fall and would like to know if others feel this was a neat experience.
Enjoy your cruise.
I haven't done the 2 hour trip, we did the half day tour in with Capt. Marvin in October. We were in port from 8am until 4pm and we had plenty of time. We even had time to do a little shopping and still get back and having lunch at Johnny Rockets before the last tender was in.
We "Marvined" just last week, the 10-1 deal. You need to be at their office (right from the tender pier, just past the Hard Rock Cafe, take a left on the next street) at 9:30. Our ship left at 3:00 and we had time for a little shoppping and a stop at the Internet outpost to read and send some e-mail.
The timing can create a problem if you don't have an early tender ticket. We strolled into the lounge carrying our #1 VIP tender tickets around 8:45 and were told that we had to do a #6 tender since we weren't there when #1 was called. You want bummed? They were only loading #3 at that point.
I trudged back to the cabin and ran into the Asst. Housekeeping manager who asked me why I had such a long face. I told him. He whistled up our butler (admittedly, not everyone HAS a butler) who took us straight to the head of the line.
So, dispatch someone to be THERE (wherever THERE might be) to get a tender ticket at the first possible moment.
It was our second "Marvining" this year and the experience is absolutely fantastic. We'll have some photos up in the gallery we're working on just as soon as Captain Queeg picks up the underwater camera pix. HINT: Buy "wet" camera at home.
Another hint: Take some snack food along. Marvin provides ice, water and fruit punch. That's all. When we chartered a Marvin boat earlier this year with 35 of our closest friends (Internet cruisers gang) the bus even stopped at a friendly liquor store so we could lay in provisions.
When you see the cattleboat scows that the cruiselines hire for ShoreX's at twice the price, you will be very happy to be with 25 or 30 others on Marvin's boat.
In addition to the rays, we saw an eel and a nurse shark swimming about. Tres cool !!!
Trust me, this will be the highlight of your trip !!!
pamda -- CM First-Time Cruisers Editor and big fan of Captain Marvin
We decided to do the ship excursion to stringray city for 2 reasons. 1.) We would be the first tender off the ship...got on the bus by 8:30, and 2. ) We had kids so didn't want the extra snorkeling sites.
We had a fantastic time at the sandbar. Everyone enjoyed it from our 3 year old to my parents (70s).Do not be afraid of the crowds, it was very well organised and we never felt crowded. All the boats anchor in about the same vicinity, so there were already lots of people there, but it is a large ocean and there are hundreds of singrays (or so it seems).
Instead of going back to the ship on the bus, we walked across the street to 7 mile beach. Came out at the Hyatt. What a beautiful place to spent another couple of hours! Then caught a taxi back to the terminal and did some shopping in town.
We had one of the best days of our cruise and felt like we had done lots!
We've done Capt. Marvin's half day tour and for us, it was perfect!! The taxi driver was waiting at the pier to pick us up in an air cond. van. He was a wonderful tour guide. The first stop was Capt. Marvin's office where we paid for the tour. The staff was friendly, helpful, and flexible. Next, we went to the Turtle Farm (currently out of commission due to the last hurricane), the Tortuga Rum Factory and Hell. After these stops, we were taken to Capt. Marvin's boat launch, given our equipment and we headed out. It takes about 1/2 hr. to get to the good snorkeling sites. We stopped at the "Aquarium", the "Coral Gardens" and then Stingray City. The waves were very rough and all of the ship's tours were cancelled. Everyone on our boat was able to handle the waves and still have a good time.
We were all SO impressed with the boat's crew! They went out of their way to bring a small stingray to my sister & mother who were both still on the boat. (My sister wouldn't get off because the water was cold and my mother isn't a swimmer.) The crew member (forgot his name) fought the waves all the way back to the boat and held the ray so my sister and mother could see one up close. It made a big difference in their enjoyment of the trip.
If you have been to Grand Cayman and seen the places the half-day tour goes to, then I wouldn't bother doing them again. But, if it is your first time there, it is definitely worth spending 1/2 day to see some of the sites. At the end of the tour, the taxi van driver picks you up again and will drop you off in town for shopping if you want.
You definitely have to book Captain Marvin through his office. He has no affiliation with the cruise lines at all. He is always willing to accommodate cruise passengers though and understands about possibly late arrivals, time constraints and picking up at the pier.
Capt Marvin's website is www.captainmarvins.com
My husband and I just got back from our cruise and we had a tour with him. We did the 2hr tour but we felt the 1/2 day would have been much better and it's only $5 more for the 1/2 day. 2 hrs was too short to get the snorkeling in w/sting ray city, but we still had a blast!