Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Playing in Grand Cayman

Playing in Grand Cayman

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ACTIVITIES

The shopping is passable in this duty-free port, offering the usual selection of jewelry, luxury goods, and island wares. Serious shoppers report less-than-wonderful experiences, but if you know your prices and can cut a bargain, you may do fine. The principal “native” item is rum cake (yo ho, yo ho). Many visitors stock up on small sampler packages, perfect for gift-giving. Turtle and coral-based items cannot be brought into the U.S., so don’t buy them!

Certified scuba divers may be tempted to bring their own gear and make their own arrangements. The official Dive Cayman site—http://www.divecayman.ky—is a useful guide. Several excursions exist for divers who don’t want hassles. Snorkeling is a good choice for those lacking scuba credentials. Several good dive sites and most snorkel excursions are in Georgetown Harbor, within sight of the ship, including Cheeseburger Reef and the Cali and Kittiwake wrecks. This reduces travel time, the water is clear and sea life plentiful, despite the location.

While several beaches can be found around the perimeter of the island, we suggest you take an excursion to either Seven Mile Beach or Rum Point. Seven Mile Beach starts a short cab drive north of the port, with most of its length dominated by resorts and condos. A public beach with restrooms is found toward the beach’s north end. Small Smith’s Cove Beach at the south end of George Town also has restrooms, and is a long walk or short cab ride from the pier.

Unless the island’s legendary coral reefs beckon, consider an excursion that includes Stingray City, a submerged sand bar out in the middle of North Sound (this is the Caribbean’s original stingray experience). Guests climb from their boat right into the waist-high water for an encounter with friendly stingrays. We learned the “Stingray Shuffle” (shuffle your feet—the rays only sting if you step on them), and the crew introduced us to their aquatic protégé. Though the rays are wild, they’re willing partners—anything for a free handout (usually thawed, frozen squid). The rays will swim right up to (or even into) a wader’s arms for a snack, and the boat’s crew showed us how to snuggle up with the rays. Silky-soft rays swim among the guests, brushing past legs, sucking bait out of loosely closed hands, and tolerating all sorts of petting zoo behavior. While the squeamish need some time to get used to the activity, eventually everyone becomes captivated by this up-close and personal encounter with these very gentle, odd creatures.

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Top Photo Slice: SCUBA Diving in Grand Cayman (℗ 53407) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx



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