most of the Sting Ray trips last a couple of hours. There are a lot of really good ones to choose from. We chose Captain Marvin. The "better" tours sell-out fast, so your best bet would be to book direct in advance to get the tour and times you wanted.
We booked through Soto's Cruises and had a great time. $24/pp. We met them at the end of the pier and they dropped us back off there when we were done. There were about 14 people on the boat vs. the 100+ if you go with the cruise ship's tour.
We did our tour to stingray sandbar with Nativeway water sports. You can book directly online. If you want info on what they offer then go to my personal website under the Inspiration cruise page I have set up and there's a link.
It was 24/pp and it was GREAT...we got to go out to a reef and snorkel too.
It was about 1 hour in the water for the rays and another 1 hr in the water for snorkeling and then probably about a half hour each way on the boat. Maybe a total of 3-4 hrs.
We were picked up right at the tender dropoff and they had a big sign so we knew who they were.
We used Nativeway also, booked online. We only had 6 people on our tour. It was
absolutely the greatest and the stingrays are so amazing! Our guides were very informative, getting in water with us, teaching us about stingrays and how to feed. They also furnished drinks and snacks. GREAT excursion!
We went with Soto's and we had a great time.
Our ship was late due to a medical emergency, but the staff waited for everyone to arrive so that latecomers would not miss their trip
The boat was not too crowded - so everyone could get off really fast - no wasting time.
The bathroom was clean
They picked you up at the dock and transported you to their boat
They brought you back to the dock
They stopped at two other sites besides the sandbar where one feeds the stingrays.
The first stop had all sorts of fish as well as stingrays speeding through the water - an awesome site.
The second stop had a resident Moray Eel that was coaxed out of his cave with a food bribe for photo ops
At the third stop - the sandbar - the staff brought food for everyone to feed the stingrays and help all of us hold the stingrays for photo ops.
Although the price has increased to 24 dollars to reflect the declining US dollar, it remains an excellent deal and the next time we are in the Grand Caymans - you can be assured that we will rebook with Soto's.
We also booked with Nativeway when we went last year, and they were absolutely wonderful! The boat was clean, they were all friendly and helpful, and a great time was had by all. I definitely recommend them.
Oh and Lizzy make sure that when they give you the calamari to feed to the Sting rays that you don't hold it up to hihg above the water. THe Stingrays are very friendly but the seagulls are horrible. THey'll take off your hand if they see an oppurtunity to get some food.
We just did this last week and it was so amazing! We booked the 1/2 day with Captain Marvin, we stopped at 2 snorkeling sites (coral gardens and the barrier reef) and then spent lots of time with the stingrays. They made a DVD which we could buy, and they showed it on the way back to shore in a little TV on the boat.
I highly recommend Captin Marvin!
We used Soto's too... let me just say that yes, they were great, but I felt that they were not very helpful to me, as a first time snorkeler. The experienced folks had a great time, but they were not really geared for beginners. Also, be aware that the time they will pick you up is ISLAND time, not ship time... we ended up waiting a long time in the hot sun for their pick-up! And we weren't the only ones!!! Their time is 1 hour earlier than Florida time.
I have done several in Cayman, Captain Marvin, Captain Brian's, and others...i really liked Captain Marvin because there were less people and more personal attention. Whatever you choose, I would recommend chosing one of the smaller tour groups, because you'll see when you go to stingray city boat with a ton of people crammed on them and thats not as fun. You can also pick up trips to stingray city from the dock in Georgetown, you just have to get off early in the morning between like 8-10.
To Darcy, My family and I are cruising to grand cayman on Aug. 8. We would like to book the sotos stingray tour but cannot locate the web site in order to book our tour. Can you provide their web site so that we may contact them . Thanks Lisa
We just used Mr. Soto's and it was great. Much much better than the cruise line's excursions plus a whole lot less expensive. And the wait in line was much less and the boat was less crowded by a mile. $24 per person was a steal...2 snorkeling stops and then on to the stingray's.
I've heard great things on Capt Marvin's too. Saw all of them out there. They all looked great. All were much less crowded than the cruise's excursions. And Soto's was $14/person less. Cruise excursions looked like a boat with 70 people, but should have had only 50...over stuffed boat that would have aggravated me. We were in the Soto's van and driving to the pier while our friends on the ship's excursion were still sitting in the hot sun waiting to get on their bus. All external excursions will not charge you if the stop in GC is cancelled due to weather.
I would always book outside of the cruiseline...saves money and better excursions.
No they don't sting unless they are frightened. Folks hold them and the like.
It is a bit disconcerting for some as these rays swim right up to you and all around you. If you are afraid of fish, you may have a problem. But then, you won't want to be snorkeling at all in the carribbean as there are fish all around you. They are beautiful, though, and truly a sight to see!
My hubby and i did the "stingray" thing back in dec. 2002 and I am one that loves all kinds of cool nature, creepy, crawly, things...well the stingrays freaked me out!!! Some of them are just so huge it was scary. A lady on our ship NCL Sun did get stung-so just be aware they can sting! THe day we went out the water was really choppy and the water was higher on the sand bar so you had to tread water the entire time (unless you were like 12 feet tall) which made it even more maniacal for me!