Grand Cayman re-opened to cruise ships Nov. 1. Our ship was there Nov. 2.
We booked the Ĺ day tour (10a-1p) through Captain Marvinís and were very pleased. We met at the store at about 9:30 and were taken via air-conditioned van to the boat (about 10 minutes away). The driver pointed out many sites on the way. Then we had about a 20 minute boat ride to the first snorkeling site. We snorkeled at Coral Gardens, the Barrier Reef, and then went to Stingray City. I would have preferred to skip Coral Gardens and spend more time at the other two locations. The fish just werenít as plentiful or interesting there, while at the Barrier Reef our guide found us several green moray eels and multiple large and friendly fish. Also, beware... the stingrays are VERY friendly. We weren't expecting them to be so friendly. They practically knock you over when you first get in the water. They are harmless, but it's quite an experience until you get used to them! We took the boat back in, were picked up by the van, and we were back in town about 1:30. We then walked around town, sampled some rum and rumcakes at Tortugas, and headed to the dock to be tendered back to the ship.
As long as you have enough time on shore, I would recommend booking the trip yourself. First of all, I believe the trip through the ship was about $80pp. It cost us $39pp to book it ourselves. Also, we saw the boats with the cruise ship excursions, and there were about 100 people onboard. Our boat had 12. I would highly recommend Captain Marvin's, and I would certainly use them again.
We are planning to tour with Capt Marvin for our 2nd time in Feb. How was the island?
They where hit pretty hard. So, still plenty of sting rays, huh. We had heard that many had left the area, I'm glad to hear that they have come back. Did you visit Cozumel and Jamaica? How was the storm Damage there?
There is still obvious hurricane damage throughout the island. Many trees are down, and roofs are missing pieces, especially near the water, however, it is obvious they are working rapidly to make necessary repairs. As we drove past the hotels along seven mile beach, there is much reconstruction underway. This was our first visit to Grand Cayman, and I would have loved to see it before Ivan. I don't think the remaining damage is anything that would detour me from going there, though.
Our tour guide told us that the reefs suffered only minor damage, and the stingrays fled to deeper waters and then returned after the storm. No problems there!
Thanks very much for all the info!
We are new to cruising - our first trip will be in March, hence this question!
We have decided to book with Capt. Marvins for the Stingray Tour. His web site has 3 departure times, and he wants us there 30 minutes ahead of schedule. According to our ship's itinerary, we dock/anchor at 0800. Will it be possible to take the 0830 trip with Captain Marvin's?
I have NO idea how long it takes to disembark from the ship, and make it to Capt. Marvin's!
Our ship achored at 7:00am. NCL lets the passengers who booked excursions through the ship off first, and then lets the other passengers off. We got off the ship about 8:00 (we didn't have a ship-booked excursion). It takes only about 5 mins to tender in to the port (assuming you're not waiting for the tender to fill up with passengers), and about 10 mins to walk to Captain Marvin's from the pier. If your ship arrives at 8:00... unless they let you off right away, it might be a little while before you can get off. An 8:30 trip would really be pushing it!! We did the 10am trip and had no problem making it to the store in plenty of time to leave there at 9:30 to go to the boat.
Hore this helps... email if you need more information.