My favorite part of any vacation is experiencing something new. Thus far in the cruise this has not been the case. But, today’s port-of-call is Grand Cayman, which we have never been to.
Our day started out with a late breakfast in the Top Sider’s buffet before meeting up for excursion in one of the lounges. Today’s adventure will be a two stop snorkeling tour which would take us to a reef and a shipwreck.
We tendered to to docks, and were lead to our snorkeling boat, which was about 4 blocks away. There were about 35 people in the snorkeling group, which was much smaller than snorkeling excursions we’ve been on, on Carnival.
The excursion operators were the best we’ve ever had (short of Reggie’s Cave Tubing in Belize). They really made the trip fun, and not like they were simply herding cattle from point A to B.
Our first stop was a gorgeous reef, between the cruise ships and the shore in town. They situated the boat, so that there were different depths off each side, ranging from 10ft to 40+ feet. The water crystal clear.
This was Brandon’s first “open water” snorkeling experience, so it took him about 15 minutes to build up the courage to get off the boat. But once he did, he absolutely fell in love with snorkeling.
Our second snorkeling spot was the Callie shipwreck, which is just 100 yards or so from shore. We were honestly expecting a more ship looking wreck, but it was still interesting. The visibility was not nearly as good as the reef, but it still far exceeded anything we were used to.
After snorkeling the Callie, we headed back to town. We spent a little time visiting a few shops, and Brandon bought a couple souvenirs.
While Jennifer and the kids were shopping, I was up on the street with the camera playing around. I just happened to notice a huge line of people, which I zoomed in on. I quickly realized that this line was to get on the tender for the Carnival ships. As soon as they came out of the store, I told them we had better head back in case Disney’s were the same.
While walking back to the pier we realized that Carnival’s lines were actually longer than we initially saw. For one ship they were easily 6-7 blocks long, and 4-5 for the other. It must have been brutal to wait in those lines for that long, in the heat on concrete.
We arrived at the Disney tenders and saw a line of 10 people, cruise personnel collecting towels and serving cold water and lemonade. The “Disney Difference” shined! We were back on the ship in less than 15 minutes.
After returning to the ship, Brandon and Trevor hung out at the family pool, while Jennifer and I went to the adult pool until dinner time.
Tonight’s dinner was in Animator’s palate, and the first night the restaurant was “animated”. All in all the concept is really cool of playing themes while the portraits are being colored, but the noise of the dining room made it really hard to hear the music hear.
The food was on par with everything we’ve had thus far on the cruise. But the dessert menu had so many good options, Shan ended up with four desserts.
After dinner, we all went to see the Alfred and Seymourfamily comedy show, and the Twice Charmed stage show. After the main show Brandon headed to the kids area, while Jennifer and I went to Rockin-Bar-D to see my friend’s band Soul Drive and John Charles adult cabaret show.
- Snorkeling the Reef
- Seeing the Disney vs. Carnival difference in port