Archive for the ‘Western Caribbean’ Category

postheadericon Grand Cayman with Kids: Stingray City Excursion with Cayman Eco Adventures


Grand Cayman Island:  Cruise Excursion:  Stingray City with Cayman Eco Adventure

The Cayman Eco Adventures Tour:  Less People = More Fun

The tour operator will meet you right at the dock and take you by air-conditioned bus to the dock.  Then you will board the 42-foot Alii-Kai which is large enough to carry 40 people, but they limit the number to only 25!  That leaves a lot of room to spread out and relax!


My girls got a great seat right on the bow for the journey to Stingray City, The  Barrier Reef, and Starfish Point!




Stingray City Sandbar

The first stop is the sandbar where you’ll get in the crystal clear, waist deep water with these beautiful rays!  You will be able to pet them, feed them, and get your photo taken with them!  Here is our awesome guide, Chip, making sure everyone is having a great time!!



They are gentle and safe!




These gentle giants are as soft as velvet!  We just loved it when they rubbed up against us!

Have you ever fed a stingray?  It is the neatest feeling…they suck the fish out of your hand with so much pressure you may be a little surprised!

What I love most about this place is the fact that these rays have the freedom to come and go as they please.  A long time ago fishermen used to stop at the sandbar to clean their catches and the stingrays got used to getting a free meal.  Now, when they hear the boats come in, they know they will get a tasty treat!

The Barrier Reef

The second stop on the tour is to snorkel the barrier reef where you can see coral and tropical fish!


Remember to never touch or step on the coral because it’s living and that will kill it!  Help keep the reefs beautiful!

Starfish Point

The last stop on the tour is Starfish Point.  This is a wonderful beach where you can just relax and wade in the water.  We got to see a few giant starfish and play in the sand!


Whom to Book the Excursion With?

The obvious choice for booking cruise excursions is the ship itself.  They do a good job of telling the passengers that they are the safest bet and that the ship won’t leave without them, but all it takes is a little research to realize that there are some major downsides to their option as well.  First of all, the cruise ship is roughly double the price for all excursions.  I kid you not!  Second, and more importantly, they book an obscene amount people on their trips!  We are more of a small group kind of family.  We like personal attention, we don’t like bumping into people while snorkeling, and we like to support the little guys.

For all of these reasons we chose Cayman Eco Adventure for our day trip to Stingray City!

Small Group Tour

We had about 16 people on our tour!  This afforded us a more personal tour and we loved every second of it!




Some of the Other Tours

I think the photos say it all!  Would you rather be on a cramped, overcrowded boat or on a small tour? 😉




What you get if you book a Stingray City Tour with Cayman Eco Adventures


  • Cayman Eco Adventures provides daily excursions to Stingray City
  • Available whether you’re traveling by cruise ship, staying on the island, or want a private charter
  • A SMALL GROUP!  Cayman Eco Adventures keeps the numbers low so everyone has a great time!
  • A knowledgeable guide that is from the island and an awesome Captain!
  • All of the snorkel gear:  mask, snorkel, fins, and swim vest.
  • A cooler full of waters and sodas is available.
  • You may take your own snacks/lunch!
  • Adult Prices are $45 US and Children under 12 Pay $35 US.
  • A photographer to capture this fun experience for you!  The top photo was taken by him!
  • I took all of these photos with my awesome water camera!


To check out what others are saying visit their reviews on Trip Advisor.  This is where I begin all of my research when booking excursions, tours, or hotels!

Cayman Eco




postheadericon Cruising with Kids: Carnival Liberty Review

My family and I just returned from a 7-day Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean via the Carnival Liberty.  We took the trip with open minds in spite of the cruise line receiving a lot of criticism lately for various reasons.  We had faith that everything would be OK and our family would recreate some wonderful family memories.  After all, it was just two years ago that we took our first cruise ever, a 7-day Western Caribbean Cruise aboard the Carnival Legend.

Our Expectations

Our expectations for this cruise were for it to be as good as our last one.  We had a great time on the Carnival Legend and we were hoping to do that again.  The ship was sailing to the same four amazing ports, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, and Grand Cayman, but this time out of Miami, Florida.

Rates were considerably lower than what we paid a couple years ago and I only assumed that others wanted to take advantage of that as a kick off to summer as we did so it was no surprised that the ship was sailing full.  There were times that we felt the capacity, but overall that was not an issue.  The most important thing was safety and never did we feel like that was an issue!

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postheadericon Cozumel, I Miss You So! {Photography}

Playa Palancar in Cozumel

Cozumel, Mexico – A few favorites from our trip! 

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postheadericon Western Caribbean Cruise

Carnival Legend

Isn’t the concept of cruising appealing?!  You pack once and wake up in a different country almost every day.  You can eat around the clock and never have to worry about paying the bill or tipping anyone.  You can see a show or participate in an activity almost whenever you want.  If you have kids you can utilize the ships camp program where they get to have their own fun while you enjoy a little adult time…for free!  You can relax by the pool and have the attendants get you drinks all day long…who wouldn’t want to do that?! 

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postheadericon Caye Caulker – Belize

Our second port was Belize City, Belize.  When we got there we walked out of the port area and purchase 4 tickets via the Caye Caulker Water Taxi to the beautiful little island of Caye Caulker.  The ride took about 40 minutes!   

This charming little island is what you would expect to see in a travel magazine!  There are no cars on the island.  People get around by way of  golf carts and bicycles.

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postheadericon Grand Cayman Islands – Stingray City

Our 4th and final port of the trip was to the Grand Cayman Islands and we went to Stingray City.  Fisherman used to gather and clean their catch on this sandbar and the stingrays would get the scraps.  They got used to associating the boat motors with a free meal and eventually  it became the tourist hotspot it is today.  There are many boat excursions that will take you out here where you stand in waist high, clear water and feed and interact with the rays.  We booked the Buccaneer Stingray City Catamaran Excursion and went to 3 stops: Stingray City, Coral Gardens, and the Cayman Barrier Reef.  We got to hold, pet, feed, and even smooch with the giant rays at the sandbar and then snorkel with tropical fish at two other locations.  My girls had no problem jumping in the water with sharks, but the sight of these enormous rays made them have second thoughts about getting in the water!   After all, some were as large as 5 feet across!  That eventually passed and once in the water they warmed right up to the gentle, tame sea creatures.  I am also happy to say that the rays are not debarbed, either.  They are completely free to come and go as they wish and really just love getting fed and pet by everyone!!

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postheadericon Roatan, Honduras


Our third port of the cruise was to Carnival’s private island; Mahogany Bay.  Mahogany Bay is on the island of Roatan, one of the Honduras Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea.  The port has duty free shopping, bars, restaurants, excursion options, and ofcourse a private beach.

For this port we booked a private tour of the entire island.  We wanted to get the true feeling of this country rather than just staying at Carnival’s little Disneyland!  In fact, independent tour operators are not even allowed into the terminal area to pick up passengers.  You need to walk up a big hill and exit the security gate if you’ve booked privately….and so we did!  After leaving the cruise port terminal the island definitely boasts a more rustic feel, especially in comparison to the other ports on this journey.  There is a lot of elevation and the island has very lush jungles!  There is one main road that takes you from end to end with all of the side roads off of that.

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postheadericon Cozumel, Mexico

Our first stop on the cruise was the beautiful island of Cozumel.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but I know I didn’t expect it to be as peaceful and beautiful as it was! We rented a jeep for the day and explored the island on our own.  Our first stop was the San Gervasio Ruins.  They are the only ruins on the island.   All of the others can be reached by ferry to the mainland.   It isn’t terribly big, but it is fairly spread out so we did a lot of walking on the bumpy paths.   I’m not much of a history buff, but I thought it was quite fascinating!   Spencer and I were able to take our time at each stop while the girls kept busy finding the iguanas…they counted 38 total!



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