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Old July 8th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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Default Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP!

Hi! I have posted this in another forum (shore excursions) but no answers so I am trying here........help me please!
We are on RCCL's Explorer of the Seas from Aug.30-Sept.6 . There are 4 adults in our party and we are interested in booking a tour with Cpt. Marvin's to Sting Ray City while in Grand Cayman. I saw on their website that there is an early tour at 8:30 am (we are interested in the 2 hour tours) for $34 (lower price than RCCL's tour) but have the following questions:

1. do they pick us up at the pier (or wherever the boat drops us off) ? and at what time do they pick up in order to make it to the 8:30 am tour?
2. do they bring us back to the pier or can they drop us off at another place, i.e.: turtle farm, downtown (shopping)? how far and how do we get back to the boat? is it walking distance?
3. do they have tours to turtle farms? if yes, is there a price for a combined stingray city/turtle farm tour?
4. Would you recommend Capt. Marvin's? (if you've had experience with them)

I would really appreciate your help and, of course, any suggestions you have. I hope to not be impossing too much. We have never been to Grand Cayman and are very excited about our visit.

Any help would be a +! Thanks! Happy Cruising...we can't wait

Vivi
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Old July 8th, 2003, 06:53 PM
Lady Jag
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

1. Yes, they pick up at the pier, at least for our "Sea & See Tour" they did - it was a taxi van with Ryan Bush as the driver. He was great. He was holding a sign that said, "Captain Marvin" as we walked off from the tenders.

2. Ryan dropped us off at the pier. There is shopping right across the street,so we walked back over there. He'll drop you anywhere you want to go (within reason). It is about 500 yards from the end of the pier to the shopping area.

3. If you were dropped off at the Turtle Farm, it would be a long walk, so I really recommend doing Marvin's "Sea & See Tour". It includes all transfers, a tour of The Turtle Farm, the Tortuga Rum Factory and Hell. Then you go to Capt. Marvin's dock where you can change into a swimsuit and you go to 3 snorkeling stops. Ours were the Coral Gardens, Stingray City and some other place I can't remember. The boat trip out to the snorkel sites takes quite awhile. The price is reasonable and it's so much faster than dealing with the cruise ship's tours.

4. Yes, I'd recommend them, highly. The guys on the boat went out of their way to bring a sting ray over to the boat for those people that weren't swimmers. Even though they didn't get in the water, these people got to feel and see a string ray up close. No one asked them to do this and even told them not to bother, but they did anyway.

Tip - Bring a water proof camera. Bring money for a tip for the boat guys and the taxi van driver.

Note - The water can get rough in Grand Cayman. The cruise ship's tours were all cancelled. Not ours! It was still safe, although a bit rough, and we got to the reef before all the other ships' tours. They finally decided they could go on their tours about 2 hours after we started ours. If the water is so rough that Capt. Marvin's tours can't go out, they refund your credit card.

Note - This info. is about 2 yrs. old, so there may be some changes since then. Feel free to e-mail if I've confused you or you have other questions! Have fun!! It was a huge highlight of our cruise!!
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Old July 11th, 2003, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

Thanks Lady Jag! Your information was very encouraging and helpful! I have booked a tour for the 4 of us with capt. marvin's and we CAN'T wait! I also will look into the land tour -thanks so much for the tips.

:0)
Vivi
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Old July 11th, 2003, 08:16 PM
Josie
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

How much are you saving. What if you cannot be tendered to Grand Caymen? Sometimes that happens if the water is rough. Wer took the trip a few years ago They bussed us to a dock then we got on a catermeran and took a nice sail to the sand bar it was a lot of fun If yiu have any questions you can always ask cust, service RCCL they are always happy to answer your questions
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Old July 12th, 2003, 11:24 AM
Lady Jag
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Default Re: Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions

Going with Captain Marvin is definitely a lot better deal than the cruise line. It's less expensive, you get a much more personalized tour and you don't have to deal with the hoards of cruise passengers on the tour.

If the water is too rough and the tenders cannot make it to the port, they will refund your money. In fact, they don't really charge it to your credit card until you stop by their office in the taxi van and present your credit card.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 08:40 PM
Pattie
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

My husband and I and our 2 kids, 15 and 13, are sailing on the enchantment on Aug. 9
Any thoughts on shore excursions in Ochos Rios would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old July 18th, 2003, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP!

We went with nativeway .... $25 per person, book on-line and no credit card guarantee required. so no cancellation worries. Not crowded, and nice folks. No turtle farm visit , but a full morning trip anyway. Meets you where the tenders arrive, look for the sign.
paul
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Old July 18th, 2003, 03:30 PM
jimgreco
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

Two years ago, we went to Sting Ray City with Best Value Charters. We got off the tender and Annie from Best Value was there trying to drum up business. We took a chance, and things couldn't have worked out better. Annie and her Uncle Joe run a small but friendly operation with personalized service, they charged $30 a person. Annie spent much of the time in the water with those who were hesitant about the experience, she was very patient and reassuring. Uncle Joe would pick up a Sting Ray , put it on your head, and it would look llike a sombrero, it made for a great picture. Here was the number from two years ago 345-949-7243. No matter who you go with, Sting Ray City is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
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Old July 18th, 2003, 05:19 PM
jimgreco
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

I gave you the wrong number for Best Value, it should be 345-949-1600
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Old July 19th, 2003, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

I have gone with Cpt Marvin many times and a few with other venders. I have always walked to their office as they didn't pick up at the dock for just the sandbar tours. I always book at least the "1/2 day", goes as above, to Coral Gardens, Sting Ray City Sandbar and the Reef. The reef will offer sightings of eels and nurse sharks- totally harmless. A very important factor to consider- Cayman DOES NOT GO TO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME. And some ships DO, so they may be an hour behind. It is vitally important to be available for the first tender- be at the meeting place an hour ahead. I have always gotten off first. Any later, and especially on a large ship- you could be waiting for hours. Don't consider booking anything independent if you have a 2pm or earlier departure- Caymans are historic for being lax on time. I have land traveled there and have seen plenty of people missing ships. As for the turtle farm, be aware that even though they do release some turtles most are used for consumption. People get freaked out seeing all the turtle products on the menu. This is my top snorkling area- just absolutely excellent!!!
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: Grand Cayman -Stingrays & Cpt. Marvin Questions HELP

I gout back on Sunday from a cruise on Voyage of the Seas and did the half day Stingray City tour with Captain Marvins. We walked to the office, it was only about 2 blocks left of the pier. Then they let us go on an earlier tour, so we left about an hour and a half earlier than scheduled...very nice of them. They then took us by airconditioned vans/buses over to their boats...maybe a 10-15 minute drive. On the bus we met many other people from the other cruise boats that were also in port (if I remember it was the Rhapsody, Carnival Conquest and Paradie). Once we arrived, we directly boarded the boat, which was very nice and we were provided with ice water and fruit punch. The crew was very nice and helpful. I would definitely recommend Captain Marvins. There isnt anything quite like Stingray City. I myself was very scraed at first but then got better, and I got to hold a stingray and of cours feed them. I hoped that this helped.
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