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BillfromWV
January 30th, 2006, 02:01 PM
I have an eight year old and a five year old. How would they do at Stingray City? Are they too young for this excursion?

Thanks

Seabee
January 30th, 2006, 05:55 PM
Bill...I think the 8 year old would be fine as long as he/she isn't afraid of the water. It could be a little intense for the 5 year old, only you know the disposition.

Tell Jessco I said hello!:D

Gradelady
January 30th, 2006, 07:37 PM
If handled properly, and if the child is not too tentative, this could be the highlight of the cruise for your children. If adults go in with them and stay close by, I'd say do it with both. Can both children snorkel? This will enhance the whole experience!

BillfromWV
January 30th, 2006, 08:18 PM
Neither child has ever been snorkling before, they can both swim for short distances. The five year old, almost six does well in the water. I guess I am just apprehensive about the kids with creatures that could harm them
Thanks for everyones input.

andnickali
January 30th, 2006, 08:58 PM
I was just in GC last week and did the Rays, Reef and Rum Point with Nativeway- and all I can say is WOW!!!! I did have my three children: 4, 8 and 10- and they all had no problems what so ever. The two guides were Chris (drove the boat) and Charlie (swam to get the rays), along with a very nice girl from a video production company. It took maybe 15 minutes to get out to the sand bar. There were about 6 boats in all, so we stayed in one section, which was all we needed- because once those rays know the food is coming they start swimming by you. I was never once scared for my children (either because of the water or the rays), my 4 yo was a little hesitant to actually touch them, but she did. It was my 10 yo who we had to coax into the water- not sure why??? Anyway the water was beautiful- just like a pool and warm!

If you do the rays and reef the water at the reef may be too rough for your little one. My daughter wore a life vest and rode on my husband's back for awhile, then went back into the boat. I made my boys wear a life vest around their stomachs to help keep them up. The water was about 12 feet deep and there are waves/currents.

Rum Point is by far the most beautiful beach I have ever been to! Read the posts (there are plenty of them), and they are all true. I would actually consider spending a week at the beach- which I never thought I would want to do.

Don't worry about your children's safety- they will love the adventure and so will you! I highly recommend Nativeway- check out the web site- the prices are reasonable and the groups are small.

Shannon

Gradelady
January 30th, 2006, 09:50 PM
I would buy my kids snorkels and have them practice in the tub. Whatever you do in Grand Cayman, be sure to have your children snorkel. It will open a whole new world for them. Also, at stingray city, they will love watching the rays underwater, they are so beautiful!

southfloridian
January 31st, 2006, 11:09 PM
My 8yr. old had a really nice time. He wore a life vest and my husband kept him close. i agree with the poster who said this can be the highlight of your trip. We brought our own snorkeling masks and mouth pieces, you don't use flippers in then sand bar area. We bought ours at sam's at a very reasonable price. have them familiarize themselves with the breathing through the mouth technique. But either way, they'll have a great time.

Cape Cruiser 2007
February 1st, 2006, 12:47 PM
Thank you for this info! 14 yo daughter will do great-7yo son will love to see the rays-he just isn't a strong swimmer. I plan to buy them snorkels/masks to practice this summer (not that the beaches have any real cool stuff here) Guess I could toss in toys for them to search for.
Any comments about bringing own gear? Too much room? Or very convenient? Was thinking if we could fit them in suitcase (Masks-not kids heehee) then they could use them at the beach w/o an excursion.

cruisin newbie
February 1st, 2006, 01:11 PM
If you are just doing the Stingrays, then snorkle masks are not necessary as the guides will hold them up for you and position then so that you can hold (and kiss) them. Be warned...not sure if you are aware, but they are rather large and can be intimidating, however, they are very gentle. The only dangers are that whatever they suck into their mouths do not come out (including fingers, encourage your boys to keep hands in fist if touching the underside) and the waves were strong when we were there, so definitely put vests on them - we were getting knocked around the sandbar a little.

This was something that I wasn't looking too forward to, but did b/c everyone recommended it. It was amazing! We had a great time - hope you do too.

Gradelady
February 1st, 2006, 05:58 PM
I always bring my own mask and snorkel. They don't take up much room in luggage. Fins are another story. You don't need them for the sandbar, although I still recommend mask and snorkel as it is so much fun to watch what is going on underwater! Many of the snorkeling trips provide flippers if you need them. Enjoy the water in Grand Cayman, it is the best!

Denham33
February 1st, 2006, 06:43 PM
My husband will be scuba diving in Cayman, so my 13-yr-old son and I are deciding which excursion to do. This one sounds really appealing to both of us, except for the stingrays! We are both giant chickens and not sure we want to be touching/touched by the rays. Can you just snorkel above them without the real "up close and personal" experience? I know it sounds really silly, especially given the young ages of children mentioned several times above, but who can explain these things?! The reef snorkel, and especially Rum Point sound perfect to me! Any feedback?

Gradelady
February 1st, 2006, 10:18 PM
It will be easier to snorkel above them if you go on a trip that goes to where the shallowest it is will be @ 15 ft. Rum point is WONDERFUL!!!! You can just walk out and snorkel right off the beach! We have stayed in Cayman 4x and we always go to Rum Point 2 to 3 times during our vacation.

cruisemomof2
February 5th, 2006, 11:16 AM
We have a four year old and are interested in this excursion as well. Not sure who we should go through for booking ourselves. We're traveling on Carnival and we're only there for a short period of time. Any suggestions who would be better suited to handle a family with a four year old?

BillfromWV
February 5th, 2006, 03:09 PM
CruiseMom,
I have been investigating this for a week as to what is best. I found that Sotos had the best tour for young children. Not very croweded personalized service ect. They have a tour that last for 2.5 hours either morning or afternoon. Nativeway also looked good but their tour is much longer and I wanted a short tour for the flexibility aspect. Ill post what I find when we return.
Bill

cruisemomof2
February 6th, 2006, 09:51 AM
Bill,
Let me know what you find out.

ccrn
February 6th, 2006, 10:31 PM
We used Soto's last year and we had a great time. We had 4 year old triplets and 2 8 years olds, and a 10 year old in our party, and they all had a great time with the stingrays. Soto's was very good about alleviating any fear the kids had of the stingrays, and they all kissed a stingray for luck. I can not recommend Soto's highly enough.

bethcollins
February 7th, 2006, 11:41 AM
On our last trip to Grand Cayman, the water was extremely rough. My 11 yr old who is a strong swimmer stayed in the water for only a few minutes before becoming exhausted and getting back on the boat. If the water seems rough I would definitely not put young children in.

Flytanya
February 8th, 2006, 12:05 PM
Does anyone that's used Soto's know about their refund policy? If the water is rough and you decide not to take kids (see above post) - will they still charge you for the excursion? Thanks!