Swimming with Sting Rays & Sea Turtles in Grand Cayman

 If you could have told me this would have been the last time my family and I went on a cruise for a while and still with little known about the future, I would have made sure we went on more. I can hardly wait for cruising to open back up. It is my favorite family vacation ever.

Swimming with Sting Rays & Sea Turtles in Grand Cayman

In 2019 for Fall Break, my family and I decided to travel on a family cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We went with my in-laws again, but we decided to do things a little differently. One thing we made sure we did was to book the excursions we wanted and not let others influence our choice. Cruises are a great way to have extended family vacations while also have time alone if you'd like.

My husband learned about Grand Cayman for a project when he was in 4th grade, so when this cruise was planned (even if not by us) and he heard we were headed to Grand Cayman, he wanted to make sure we took a Carnival Cruise excursion and head to The Turtle Centre.

Swimming with Sting Rays & Sea Turtles in Grand Cayman

First, we had to take a boat to the island and then waited to pack on to this little bus. We were crammed next to each other. I told my husband while we were in Grand Cayman that he was not allowed to let go of my daughter's hand and I held my son's the entire time as well. Then we loaded on to another boat that took us out to swim with the sting rays.

My daughter was very scared of swimming with the sting rays because my husband chose to tell her about Steve Irwin before going on this trip. Plus the water was very choppy making it to where my son was getting salt water in his goggles. We brought my son's life jacket from home, but we didn't think to bring my daughter's too since she didn't wear one while pool swimming anymore. So she was wearing one the boat provided and was complaining how uncomfortable it was. My son was complaining about the water. So there was a lot going on and when it came picture time, basically my husband and I were the only ones to take pictures. Still to this day my son thinks he had a sting ray on his back and we don't correct him either way. 

Swimming with Sting Rays & Sea Turtles in Grand Cayman

After that, I was really nervous how swimming with the turtles was going to go which was the main reason we bought this excursion. So next, we took our little bus to Grand Cayman Turtle Centre - the home of over 10,000 green sea turtles ranging from hatchlings to 600 pounds turtles. At the Turtle Center we got to see the breeding pond. It was so beautiful. They do so much good by releasing 27 turtles a year since 2007 into the wild. We actually got to hold a turtle as well, but they are no longer letting people do this now. We also saw a 1.3 million gallon salt water lagoon that we got to swim in with the turtles and fish. My son didn't really want to put his head in the water very much, but he enjoyed it and didn't complain. I stayed floating at the top with him and just kind of looked in. As I was in the water, one of the turtles looked like it was swimming right at me. That's when I realized that I think I like looking at them behind glass more than being in the water with them. Of course since then I have done an encounter to pet and feed Aldabra Tortoises too.

Swimming with Sting Rays & Sea Turtles in Grand Cayman

If I could do anything differently, I would have brought my in-laws GoPro waterproof action camera. They never use it and it would have been the perfect opportunity to show everyone what we saw swimming with those beautiful creatures.

Funny story, we didn't leave enough time to check out the gift shop before we left The Turtle Centre. Our travel tradition is getting a Christmas ornament where ever we travel instead of t-shirts or other souvenirs. We had to rush out to catch our bus before it left. But then actually had to turn around because we were missing two people. It was almost time for us to board the boat and I decided to run really quick and just grab a random Grand Cayman ornament from a shop at the port. My husband gave me my passport with some cash and said, "I hope you make it back in time". I bought the first ornament I could and of course I got behind a "talker" in line. The cruise director was literally closing the gates as I ran back. Every time I look at that ornament, I think about that time I almost got left in Grand Cayman and laugh.

Have you ever been on a cruise? What is your dream vacation?

Our matching swim suits are from PatPat.com and you can use code DIANA15 to save 5% already low prices on super cute clothes. They have PayPal pay options as well. 

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