We (husband and 3 children) are sailing on the Paradise on March 07. It is the Western Carribean cruise that goes to Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
My husband is not too thrilled about taking the kids to see the sting rays (they are 8,6 and 3). Does anyone know about the giant turtles in Grand Cayman? Can we take a taxi? How much will this cab ride cost?
Also, I have a real problem with the sun. Are there effective umbrellas on beachs like the 7 mile beach, or do you recommend that I take my own sun shelter?
We just came back from the Navigator. Cayman was a mess-6 ships in port that day, 2 with 3500+ passengers alone! We had stayed on the island about 10 years ago and boy has it changed! Stingray City is great, but we decided not to take our 2 yr old. Instead we did our shopping in the am while most people were on tours. By the afternoon, the line for the taxis was around the corner. We took a cab to the turtle farm and it was good and bad. Our driver wanted around $10 pp (not sure if it was one way or round trip-my dad paid). At the farm, he told us to tell the cashier we were with a driver and we got in for half price it seemed like (norm is $6 adult and 3 for kids over 2). It was crowded and theyre rebuilding. Seems a hurricane wiped out about 12000 turtles last year. You can still see a lot of turtles and pick them up at your own risk. Our son was not happy when one swiped his face with its fin. Our cab driver waited for us and another family-gave us about and hour to tour the place. Problem was we were ready to go well before that and the other family showed up 15 minutes after the time limit. And traffic going back was a nightmare. 45 mintuus for a 15-20 min ride. Still we had fun and its a neat place. Where else can you see and touch so many turtles. I always loved Cayman, but it is really being built up and losing its charm a bit. Have fun!
I'm pretty sure you can rent umbrella's at 7 Mile Beach. I recall paying a small entry fee -- I think you pay more if you want to rent chairs and umbrellas, but am not positive. There were outdoor hotel restaurants along parts of the beach so you could duck in there for some shade too. It's a gentle beach which is great for kids.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
You don't have to pay to go on the beach, although some hotels have private sections that may charge you for the chairs and umbrellas.
The turtle farm is kind of boring, I mean the poor things are in VATS it's more of a turtle FARM than say a turtle zoo, if you know what I mean.
Seriously consider just doing a beach day ( if you don't do the sting ray tour which I hear is awesome but not for very young kids) . The beach is truly beautiful, sandy, gentle , warm clear water, the kids will love it. Buy them cheap air mattresses at home( you know the kind from a" Just a Buck Store") that you could just throw away later. They wil have a fun and relaxing day, and so will you. The shopping isn't that great there, there are no ruins to see, and Hell is such a rip off don't even get me started on that!
We went to Grand Cayman in November and took the Nautilus semi-submersible excursion with our 3 and 5 year-olds - it was great! They could see the fish around the reef, and some ship wrecks without having to try snorkeling. But they stopped and allowed those of us who wished to do some snorkeling about half and hour to do so. We took the earliest excursion, and it wasn't crowded at all - the line waiting for the next trip looked like it would really fill the boat. We were done early too, and didn't have to wait in line for the return tenders.