Last month I shared with you my experience dining at The Chef’s Table while on a media trip with Princess Cruises, a highlight of our 5 day cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess. The entire trip felt almost magical, in part because I had a chance for almost a week of alone time with my husband, Joe. Before this year, we hadn’t had a getaway since our first son was born. We were very excited for the opportunity to take a Caribbean cruise with two of the stops on our honeymoon cruise 12 years ago. A highlight of my honeymoon was Grand Cayman, so I was really looking forward to going back. It did not disappoint.
On our honeymoon we kept things simple and visited Seven Mile Beach and rented a jet ski. This time around however, we went all out with the Dolphin Swim and Stingray Encounter, set up through the tour desk on board the Caribbean Princess. Getting to Dolphin Cove, a six-acre natural marine park, was a breeze. Once we got off the ship we took a scenic drive to the marine park . We strolled through a jungle environment with several beautiful birds to admire. From there, the group was split in two. Half of the group was doing the Dolphin Swim right away and the other half the Stingray Encounter.
We were immediately greeted by the dolphins on our way to the boat to take us on to see the stingrays. It was a chance to get some fun pictures. Fair warning, you will not be able to take photos of the dolphins during your swim as everyone will be in the water at the same time. So take advantage of this opportunity. They do take pictures of you during your experience and offer them for sale, but they are not very affordable unless you are in a larger group and split some of the costs ($120) to get a digital copy of all your pictures.
We took a short boat ride out to visit the stingrays which was a great way to enjoy the beautiful day and fresh air. The staff was super friendly and it was a chance to learn more about what life is like on the island.
It isn’t hard to see why the locals love living here so much. It is breathtaking.
Once we arrived at the famous Stingray City Sandbar, it was easy to see stingrays swimming in the water almost immediately. There were a lot of tours in one stop, but everyone had plenty of space to move and lots of stingrays to interact with.
For the first part of the experience, our group took turns getting our picture taken with the stingrays. This is done with a photographer and waterproof camera, along with one of the guides to help handle the stingrays. They took a lot of pictures of everyone and offered us our pictures in a digital format for half the price and better quality than the dolphin encounter.
We had the stingray on our backs, getting kisses, etc. I thought the stingrays would be slimy, but that wasn’t the case at all. And because the stingrays know that at the end of the tour you’ll be feeding them, they are super friendly and patient in order to get their reward.
My favorite part of this encounter was feeding the stingrays and feeling them suck the fish out of my hand. It was also interesting to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
From there we headed back to the Dolphin Cove to experience our dolphin swim. While this part of the tour is much shorter, it is absolutely amazing. We had the opportunity to really have fun with the dolphins including rides, posed pictured, kisses, the whole nine yards. It is a controlled environment, but very interactive.
They also add plenty of humor into this experience. Our dolphin did plenty of silly tricks for us, but also showed some personality. I loved when he refused to kiss my husband and had to be bribed with a lot of extra fish.
While the excursions aren’t necessary to still enjoy a cruise, they certainly made some amazing memories for both of us. I’m so glad I had the chance to experience this Grand Cayman Dolphin Swim and Stingray Encounter half day tour, courtesy of Princess Cruises.
THIS COULD BE YOU!
If you have never considered a cruise before, now is the perfect opportunity to learn more about it. With the stress of the holiday season currently upon us, now is a great time to think of ways we can unwind in the new year. I encourage you to read more about the Caribbean Cruise Desinations Princess Cruises has to offer so you can come back new!
A big thank you to Princess Cruises for inviting us on board their beautiful ship during a media trip. All thoughts are my own.