Does Anyone Else Hate the Sting Rays ?

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899 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
I am constantly reading posts where cruisers tell how much they "loved" the sting rays. I'm really glad they did but I must say I hated them. I know, strong word. No, I don't wish they would all evaporate and die but I did get totally creeped out by them and I refuse to get in the water. Am I a loner or are there other closet sting ray haters out there?

( If you were considering a Sting Ray excursion please DO NOT let my opinion change your mind as I am sure that you will be one of those that will absolutely love it.)

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Mesa, AZ, USA
10,149 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
DFritz, I know exactly how you feel. We've been to StingRay City twice and although I did get into the water both times I just walked around and kept my eyes peeled for a dark shadow coming toward me so I could avoid it, lol. I know they don't hurt people but I don't like to be startled and when they brush by me it scares the you-know-what out of me.

DH, on the other hand, loved them.

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Even my hubby and daughter said they probably wouldn't do it again. My daughter enjoys snorkeling but thought the rays were creepy.

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1,076 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
I was terrified at first at Sting Ray City but I had to try getting in the water with them. I was started the first time or two when they brushed up against me. Got the guide to bring one up to the surface and let me hold it and feed it and I wasn't so afraid anymore.

The only thing I hate about being around them is being the last one in the water with them and no food for them! I was surrounded by a "cloud" of black in the water. Everybody kept yelling from the boat to keep walking and they would move but I wasn't too convinced. I felt better back on the boat.

Would I do it again?? In a heartbeat!


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Love em. The guide even let me hold one. I guess you guys aren't scuba divers or snorkellers, eh??

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I love the rays. I have more to fear while walking down the street from a pooly trained dog on a leash that the rays. My wife was a little afraid the first time we went to stingray city but she got over it right away and now she loves it. We go to Stingray City every time we go to Grand Cayman.

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1,272 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
My two girls were no smitten with them in Nassau, so we are making them try the excursion again in Grand Cayman. My husband and I loved them!
My daughter has a male friend that screamed through the entire stingray introduction and promptly got back on the boat. He was 18 at the time. I think he still has nightmares!

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Longwood Florida
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Joined Aug 2002
Another one who really enjoyed the stingray city thing. I hope that the only species that shrivels up and dies are the microbes that cause disease. There is so much misery caused by contageous illness that even though I know they are part of the eco system, I wish it could be some other way. Oh well, fortunately, neither of us get to make those decisions.

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43,328 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
I am one who HATES them too.....Twice I have tried getting in the water with them in Cayman and twice I freaked out and went back to the boat..........

Something not natural about being in the water when them,when you taught how to stay away from them in Florida....

On the other hand,I LOVED snorkeling with the sharks..............go figure!!

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490 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
I am already having my doubts about swimming with the stingrays in Grand Cayman on our upcoming Enchantment cruise. This is my second trip to Grand Cayman, and I passed on the whole excursion the first time. I am from Florida too, and have been told to avoid the stingrays at all costs.... now I'm supposed to believe that they are completely safe? I've read, and re-read all of the glowing reviews, I just have to try. I love to snorkel .... so we have made reservations with Captain Bryan to snorkel at a couple of spots and then at Stingray Sandbar. We will be on the Hannibal, a catamaran sailboat. The way I figure, and the only thing that I've committed to, the sailboat trip and the other snorkel stops will be worth the cost of the excursion. I may, or may not, get in the water with the stingrays. To be honest, as far as the snorkeling goes I love to look at the beautiful coral and the fish but have been a little unnerved when encountering "other" creatures. (Barracudas and even the nurse sharks) I will write a short review when I get back to voice my opinion on the love/hate discussion.


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Atlanta, GA USA
378 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
If I may chime in for a moment I wanted to comment on the sting rays. I went to Grand Cayman, did the Sting Ray City thing and absolutely loved it.

I noticed that some had commented about being told (when in Florida) to avoid them at all costs, thereby making it difficult to accept getting in the water w/them.

One important point to keep in mind, however, is that these sting rays are 'different' that those in other areas. While it's true they are free ranging at Sting Ray City (there is nothing to keep them there) they have been conditioned over the years of human contact so to speak. They originally started gathering there because fisherman threw their scraps there on the way back in. They grew accustomed to a free meal. Then, as it was made a touristy thing, they became used to human presence in the water, and equate it with food - bits of squid, etc. They brought their offspring there, enforcing the 'normalcy' of human presence. You could almost call them tame - you can actually hold them if you like. The tour guides give you bits of food and tell you how to offer it - by holding it under the stingray (where its mouth is) so that it can suck the food up like a vacuum hose. The only caution the guide gives is to not step on them (water at the sandbar is only about 4 feet high). Pretty easy advice to follow.

Some, as the OP mentioned do not enjoy the experience. But most do, and I found it to be one of the best parts of my cruise last year.

Just my opinion, Cindy

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Atlanta, Georgia
814 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
My daughter couldn't stand the sting rays. She clung to me and we stayed away from all the food, kind of off to the side of our group (a small group with Nativeway). The guides were very good and did get her to pet one but she wouldn't get out of my arms or hanging on to one of the guides.

As for me, I would enjoy it just as much watching from the boat. I doubt we will do it again, but I did expose my daughter to the experience.

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The problem i have with stingray city are all the boats and crowds. The screaming is so loud, you would think that you were at the scene of the titanic. This makes the anxious even more anxious.

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New Smyrna Beach, Fl 32169
490 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
I think that of all the things that I've read and heard (I've heard the one post here that was live from the sandbar) the one thing that got me the most was the screaming from those who were somewhat "freaked". I don't usually do well with mass hysteria, at least I don't think that I will do well with it, not having to actually deal with it before. In any case, I think that I will have time to try to get off the boat and into the water with them once everyone gets used to the whole thing. If not, I really do enjoy a good catamaran sail!


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My husband (who I mentioned earlier as loving the experience) was stung by a stingray in Florida at St. George Island. It was NOT a fun experience for any of us as we thought he was going to die. He was stung on his ankle right next to the big vein. We had tiny children and an infant and had to hike over the dunes to return to our home. That trip took forever as my husband was no help at all to me with the kids. He was really in a lot of pain.

My point here is...I though my husband would run when he heard the word stingray. He was a little hesitant, but agreed to the excursion and loved the experience! We are going back again in 8 weeks.

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16 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I was so excited to go to Grand Cayman and do this. That is until when I get in the water for five minutes and one comes up to me and gives me a big "hickey".That is what they called it anyway. Although I have never had a hickey bleed for 2 days. Needless to say after this I was back in the boat. They never informed me of this so I was a little freaked out. The only thing I can say is when you are in the water with them keep your hands above water as much as possible. They ARE very used to people but they also know that the hands is what feeds them. We did have a group of young ladies on our boat in their 70's (I am 33) and I am glad I took one for the team. I imagine it would have been really bad for their thin skin. All in all glad I did it once but will NEVER do it again.

South Orange, NJ
107 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Loved it -- my 15 year old daughter was one of the "screamers" -- but after a little while was enchanted by it -- held the rays, and even "kissed" them.

My 7 year old son -- barged right in -- he would have taken them all home!

BTW -- the barb tail is designed to defend from sharks. the ray can stop very quickly -- not so the shark -- who then gets "skewered" (!). Can't hurt you even if stepped on.