I was up and on deck in the early morning darkenss to watch us glide into George Town, Grand Cayman. The ship anchored offshore and lights could be seen along the shoreline. Tenders convey passeners from the cruise ships to the dock. After breakfast, we assembled in the gangway to board our tender.
We had booked the morning StingrayCity tour in advance through Carnival. We were on the second tender and arrived at the George Town dock about 7:50 a.m. ship time. A few other tenders arrived while we waited for our tour to be called at Our Carnival group was small, only about 30 persons in all. We traveled across town by bus to an inlet where we boarded a tour boat. The crew, led by Ian, was great. They explained about StingrayCity procedures and what to expect during the stingray encounter.The boat arrived at StingrayCity in about 45 minutes, the second boat there. That was nice as there were no crowds to disturb the rays or our encounter with them. Everyone got off the boat into the water and found the waist-high water very comfortable. The stingays were all around. We had small fish to feed them and it was quite an experience to have a ray come right up and suction a fish out of your hand. More tour boats were arriving as we left. Carnival was there to video the tour and we were amused to see ourselves broadcast over the ship’s TV system at various times during the cruise. The tour operators also made their own video of the event, featuring underwater photography, but we bought neither DVD.
There was ample time for some exploring and shopping in George Town after we returned from the tour. We were glad we had decided to book the early tour. Our son and daughter each bought a T-shirt at Del Sol. (The lettering changes color in the sunlight.) We brought home several Cayman Island Rum Cakes. Also in port were Carnival Legend and Sovereign of the Seas. I expected there to be crowds both at Stingray City and in George Town, but it was quite manageable.