We Tried It! Swimming with Stingraysby Kristen Boatright | October 19, 2016
The most famous attraction on Grand Cayman is Stingray City — a collections of sandbars where you can snorkel and swim among friendly stingrays in their natural habitat. We wanted to see if it lived up the the hype, so we booked an excursion while in George Town on a recent Carnival Glory cruise to find out.
What It's Really Like
Stingray City is only accessible by boat, so our trip started with a short, scenic ride to the sandbars. Once there, we hopped into the three-foot-deep water with our guide to meet the locals. The area is home to more than 20 playful Southern Stingrays — who are given names like "Ray Charles," "Sugar Ray," and "Martha Ray" — that swim freely among their visitors, hoping to be fed snacks.
It may seem a little scary at first, as the stingrays swim right up to you and eat right out of your hand, but the animals really are quite sweet. The photo ops abound, too, with the guides assisting with poses and the rays swimming right into your camera lens.
Keep in mind this is a very popular excursion, especially when multiple cruise ships are in dock on the same day. There were multiple groups at the sandbars during our trip and the area did get crowded.
Stingray City excursions start around $40 per person, but the price as well as the length of the trip and age restrictions varies depending on the cruise line and tour operator. Passengers need to be at least five years old to go on Carnival's two-and-a-half-hour excursion, which costs $50 per person, while Royal Caribbean offers a similar trip for $49 with a minimum age of three years. Princess offers a longer, four-and-a-half-hour trip that also includes time on Seven Mile Beach and a visit to a turtle farm for $70 per person, with a minimum age of five years.
Watch our video above to get an inside look at a trip to Stingray City.
Kristen Boatright is the New York City-based senior video editor of ShermansCruise.com.