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Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

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Virginia
posts: 68
reviews: 25
Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

We visit Grank Turk on a Princess cruise in February. The cruise line offers an excursion at a cost of approx. $55 PP which will take you to Gibbs Cay to interact with stingrays. As this can only be booked through the cruise line and we are neither snorkelers nor divers, is it worth the money. I have watched the promo video but if we only get to "touch and lift" the ray I'm not sure it's worth the cost. There will be 6 in our party.

I would greatly appreciate any advice from those of you who may have taken this excursion.

London, Canada
posts: 184
reviews: 4
1. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

I've never done this excursion. However, if we, as frequent fliers to Provo and divers and snorkellers, I would still probably book this excursion. It just looks like one of those things that would build permanent memories for me.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
posts: 11,366
reviews: 10
2. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

I think it's worth it. You're n shallow water, so no swimming involved (shore of a beach, waist high at most). Most people don't snorkel. Although the beach is small, it's a gorgeous strand, and fun to hang out with the stingrays.

I say go for it!

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 11,337
3. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

If you look at the picture next to my screen name, you'll see my then 5-year-old son playing with stingrays on Gibbs Cay. That was seven years ago.

Was it worth it for us? You bet. However (and that's a big however), we visited before cruise ships ever arrived at Grand Turk, and my family had the entire cay to ourselves that day.

I can't tell you what it's like to visit with a boatload of cruisers, but it was one of our all-time favorite vacation excursions.

Herndon, VA
posts: 730
reviews: 11
4. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

It's a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. As Desi said, I don't know what it's like with a bunch of cruisers but here's a link to pictures I took with the rays in 2007.

http://edandnancy.shutterfly.com/2362

Book it before it fills up.

Ed

Virginia
posts: 68
reviews: 25
5. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

Wow Ed, awesome photos and the rays are really cool. Thank you for sharing them and to others who took the time to respond. I think I will go ahead and book to ensure we have a spot. I believe I can cancel within 48 [maybe 24] hrs. if need be.

I would still like to hear from anyone else who has done this on a cruise excursion.

Smithtown
posts: 95
6. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

Gibbs is great. You have 3 choices of getting there, The ship tour which is about 50+ people and you are there for 10 to 20 minutes, or there are 2 independent operators that go to Gibb's Cay. The Ship tour is run by Oasis Divers and you book it through the ship

The Independent shops are Grand Turk Diving ( info@gtdiving,com) and Salt Cay Divers (scdivers@tciway.tc ) . All three shops do a good job of it but if you want to get away from the crowds and stay a bit longer and snorkel in (my opinion) better reefs then the Independents would be the way to go.

Virginia
posts: 68
reviews: 25
7. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

Thank you happybubbles. This is great info. I was under the impression that the cruise line contracted the excursions and that was the only way you could book. I will definitely look into this.

Beverly...
posts: 1,862
reviews: 1
8. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

"if we only get to "touch and lift" the ray I'm not sure it's worth the cost."

What else were you hoping to do with them? I'm sure they taste good, but I'm a little fuzzy on this ;-)

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
posts: 11,366
reviews: 10
9. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

Oasis diver has you there for 10-20 minutes? Completely untrue. You are a Gibbs Cay for more than an hour. You also have time to snorkel with Oasis too.

As for the other companies, excellent to have smaller groups at Gibbs, more personalized. But if your a land lover (not coming off a boat) plan your excursion when everybody is back on the boat or if you're off a cruise, even the smaller groups have to share the small space with the bigger groups from Oasis. Oasis times the groups so that there's always a boat of 40-50 at any given time.

The beauty of the smaller excursions is you can stay longer, so maybe get 10-15 minutes to yourself if timed correctly, although I've seen Oasis boats wait for each other to pull up with not much time in between.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
posts: 11,366
reviews: 10
10. Re: Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter

I'm lucky, I've been both ways (all to myself, AMAZING) and with Oasis filled with cruisers. I think both ways are worth it, it's a fun excursion, and the little beach at Gibbs is gorgeous.

pictures from cruise ship excursion:

http://s49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/blamona/Provo%20Jan%202010/#!cpZZ5QQtppZZ16

videos from same excursion:

…photobucket.com/albums/…

…photobucket.com/albums/…

and the excursion when it was all to myself:

…photobucket.com/albums/…