I researched several tours for our 1 day stop to Grand Cayman from our cruise ship. Sun Rays attracted me because of the great sailboat and also the fact that we wouldn't be sardined with 50 other passengers while on the excursion. I definitely hit the jackpot.
Walter picked us up at the port and drove us about 15 minutes to the marina where the catamaran was docked. We had a party of 6 people and along the way we stopped at another hotel to pick up another couple. All 8 of us had the boat and staff to ourselves in a very intimate setting. I felt like I was on a friends boat and he was showing us the sights rather than a tour.
We arrived and met the captain, Lorenzo, who assured us that because he sailed this cat from France to the Grand Cayman, that we were in good hands, and he was right. The boat ride, via motor, was about 30 minutes and it was beautiful. We sat on the trampoline up front as the warm wind blew through our hair and made us forget the cold winter we recently left behind.
Our first stop was Sting Ray City which is actually just a spot off the coast in the middle of the sand bar. The water is about 5 foot deep and has massive sting rays ready to be fed by humans. Walter jumped right in and grabbed one for us to kiss and pet if we wanted. Some were more reluctant to touch the large beasts. It is a bit eerie seeing these rays swim by you with such grace and calm. After a few minutes, Lorenzo brought us squid to feed the rays. Once that happened, the rays were on us like a pack of gentle hungry puppies. Rubbing all over you as they tried to see if you had any bit of food in your hands. Some were scared and went back to the boat, but they remained harmless. After about 30-40 minutes, Lorenzo guided us about 1/4 mile farther to the barrier reef where we jumped in with our provided snorkel gear. Walter guided our group over amazing coral and also enticed a Moray Eel out of it's hiding spot to get some squid he was holding in a plastic pop can. Watching this 10 foot monster come out to see us was one of the most memorable moments of our adventure. Walter really seems at home in the water and knows what he is doing. Some of the most beautiful sights can be found at this spot and in my opinion, trumped the sting rays.
After around 40 minutes of snorkeling, we were finished. We got back on the sailboat where Lorenzo and Walter raised the sails and gave us a great ride back via wind! Pizza was offered (as was cold water/pop).
Walter took us right back to the port (around 12:30pm) where we were able to shop before our cruise ship left (at 2:00pm).
As we were at our stops, I noticed some of the other places that I pondered on booking (I won't mention them here, but they are popular). I am sooooo glad that I didn't go with them and went with Sun Rays. They all had about 30-50 people on their tours while we looked like a family just enjoying the sights. I am not sure if it is because we went during the slow season (Early January), but either way - this was a trip I will never forget and plan to return to.
Just an FYI we were a family with 2 children (ages 10, and 11) and they also had a great time. The $70 per person we paid was waaaay worth it. I would've paid $120 pp for this experience.
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