I'm Scottish so I'm tight. There. I said it. I don't mind paying for something but it has to be worthwhile.
I've always been wary about booking tours while on vacation. It can be a real crap shoot. Most times they're just out to milk the clients. Make as much cash for as little outlay as possible. The bigger tour companies tend to be quite impersonal which I dislike too. We originally booked a tour with Red Sail because they had an office in our hotel and got reasonably good ratings online. But they screwed us over. They cancelled our tour because we were the only people who signed up (which I can understand), but they decided that it was too much hassle walking 100 feet to post a note on our hotel room door. Their loss!
Thankfully Captain Kevin "Smoke Me A Kipper Skipper" Zimmer and his trusty sidekick, Kat came to the rescue! They managed to fit us in on their Stingray City tour very last minute and even gave me leeway in figuring out my atrocious Paypal deposit issues that same night. Phew!
Kevin picked us up at our Hotel right on time (truth be told he was actually a bit early, so the other guests decided to get off the bus to check out our sweet digs). After another customer pickup we headed up the coast and boarded his speedy Miami-Vice-esq boat. Memories of Jan Hammer, Ferrari Testarossa's, sock-less shoes and pale blue two piece suits sprang to mind…
There were ~14 guests in total but plenty of room onboard. The boat was clean, safe and as I said, super fast! Kevin switched up the plans & took us to the Barrier Reed first since Stingray City was jam packed with other tourist boats. At the reef, we had a good 30-40 minutes to snorkel. I highly recommend taking a waterproof camera because there was so much to see. The reef was beautiful & inspiring, as were the fish and baby stingrays.
Once the tourists thinned out a bit, we cruised over to StingRay City. Kevin, Kat and the photographer (who was quite literally one of the most hilarious chaps I'd met the entire trip) took us out into the beautiful shallow clear blue waters on the sandbar and proceeded to help us touch, kiss , feed and get wet back massages from the semi-domesticated stingrays. What an experience! Something I will surely never forget.
From there we headed over to a wonderful secluded beach near Rum Point where we had a chance to relax, soak up the sun and recover from our aquatic encounter. Throughout the entire trip, we never felt rushed. Kevin and Kat were always accommodating to the needs & assistance of the group (some of the auld timers found it hard getting in and off the boat). All in all, an excellent day out.
I'm pretty sure that if we lived on Grand Cayman, Kevin and Kat are the kind of people we would gravitate towards. Fun. Friendly. Easy going. Entertaining. Down to earth & intelligent. We were so glad that Red Sail screwed up otherwise we would never have had the amazing personal experience we got with Cayman Eco Adventures. Thanks again and if you guys are ever in the Bay Area please let me return the hospitality !!!