Recently I went on my first cruise, a western Caribbean Cruise on board the Freedom of the Seas. It was amazing! We had stops in Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica, George Town, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico. In George Town, Grand Cayman, we arranged to do the Stingray City, Barrier Reef, 7 Mile Beach & Lunch excursion. Thanks to Royal Caribbean International for hosting myself and my kids on this amazing vacation so that I could have the opportunity to share this experience with you. All opinions are mine and those of my family. I hope you enjoy this vacation planning insight and family vacation review.
Shore Excursion in George Town, Grand Cayman- Stingray City Barrier Reef, 7 Mile Beach & Lunch
This Grand Cayman Royal Caribbean shore excursion combines two amazing water attractions with a beach experience at one of the world’s top 12 beaches– Seven Mile Beach!
Stingray City Barrier, George Town, Grand Cayman
We loaded on to a boat called the Sea Goddess which brought us on a boat ride to Sting Ray City. It was a medium length boat ride with enough time get matched up with snorkeling gear and to see the beautiful blue waters- so crystal clear. Just gorgeous!
Stingray City Sandbar itself was a shallowish part (about chest deep) in the ocean within sight of land. You have the opportunity to swim and snorkel with stingrays and while my little girl liked snorkeling, I preferred to keep my head out of water and see exactly where the stingrays were. The tour guides had bait so that the southern stingrays would come up close to you looking for the bait. Snorkeling with stingrays at Stingray City Sandbar really was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It was my favorite part of the whole trip if I was pressed to pick something just because it was so unusual. These amazing creatures will swim right up to and they have super soft skin underneath and velvet feeling skin on top. This was an experience I will always remember.
Snorkel the Coral Gardens Reef, Grand Cayman
Next, our boat’s tour crew took us to the Coral Gardens Reef so we could all go snorkeling.
Note: Please don’t touch the coral reef at all when you go snorkeling as touching the reef kills the reef.
The average water depth was approximately 10 – 12 feet. My ten year old took off snorkeling and pointing out fish to me. It took awhile for my eight year old to get the mask to seal properly and learn how to breath through the snorkel but he had lots of fun once he figured it out.
There were lots of types of fish to see- big and small, all different colors and shapes. We even saw a small stingray. My photos came out very blue so you can’t quite see how colorful the coral and the fish were but it was amazing and this was my daughter’s favorite part of the trip.
Tiki Beach on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
After petting stingrays and snorkeling, we were brought to Tiki Beach on Seven Mile Beach. We lined up for some jerk chicken BBQ lunch and then had time to play on the beach or relax on a chaise lounge with a pink umbrella! There was also a drink ticket for everyone to get punch or rum punch. That’s me above with my drink- all covered up- practicing what I preach about summer skin care tips.
There was a strip of coral close to the beach shore and there were people snorkeling along there. Don’t touch the coral includes don’t stand on the coral. A beach lifeguard had to whistle at someone to tell them that! Can you believe it?
The water was very clear and blue and the sands were white. I have heard it said that Grand Cayman has coral sands and I wouldn’t doubt it because there were tons of white sun bleached coral bits all over. My daughter pulled some up with every handful of sand and gave them to me to hold so she could look at the types she found. We put them back afterward even though my daughter wanted to keep them. (She loves keeping everything. She will give me a Starburst wrapper and ask me to keep it so she can make it into a chair for her mini dolls!)
Royal Caribbean Formal Night- Lobster Dinner
Next we headed back to the Freedom of the Seas cruise boat to get cleaned up and ready for the formal night dinner. We all had lobster. I told my kids I had my first lobster for my seventeenth birthday and that this was special so they should enjoy it. They get so many cool experiences. I always hope they appreciate them and don’t take them for granted.
I think we all enjoyed the lobster and then after our delicious white chocolate mouse, the waiter performed a magic trick. I don’t know if our waiter was extra special or what but he always had some amazing magic trick at the end of the meal to entertain the kids (and me because I am really just a bid kid)!
Look at this photo. He interlocked two normal forks off the table and balanced them on a toothpick sticking out of a salt shaker over a wine glass! I kept looking for the trick but I couldn’t spot it. Marvelous! As we say in Louisiana, where I grew up, that’s some lagniappe!
Another fabulous day aboard Freedom of the Seas and a fabulous shore excursion in the Grand Cayman Islands. Have you ever been to George Town? What did you enjoy most about your Grand Cayman trip?