This is part two of what feels like will be fifty posts about my Carnival Cruise from last week. I am posting out of order, but the first stop our cruise made was to Grand Cayman! All I knew about this island was that it was the place to go to hide your money oh and they have pretty beaches! I traveled in a group of seventeen, but we often split up into smaller groups once at port. For Grand Cayman, myself and three of my cousins went on a Land and Sea Tour of the island. We were sold on the excursion because it included a ride on a semi-submarine. I do not think we paid much attention to the “land” portion of the tour before we signed up, but that ended up being the best part.
First our land tour guide picked us up in a Toyota minivan/bus. This vehicle seemed to be all over the island but I do not think it’s ever been sold in the states. I was the typical American that thinks we have every product known to man. The tour guide took us to the dock for the boat portion of the tour. At the dock we boarded the semi submarine, which basically included seating at the bottom of the boat with windows all around.
The boat tour was pretty uneventful. I know they cannot guarantee that we will see a certain type of fish, but I was disappointed at the little we saw during the tour. It also seemed like we did not go very far from the shore, which is where I imagine the interesting sea life resides. Thankfully, our land tour guide came back and SAVED us! The land tour consisted of several stops around the island. During this tour, I really got a feel for the island. It was a beautiful place that seemed to encompass all that I thought island life would be. The beach, bright colors, unique homes and happy people. The first stop was the Tortuga Rum Company where we sampled Rum Cake and Rum. I cannot remember what rum we sampled because I was too busy searching through the store for a small box of the pineapple rum cake! I settled on the Golden Original. I will update this post once i crack the box open and taste it, but I can attest to the goodness that is the pineapple rum cake! It has the perfect flavor with a true kick of rum. So much for that theory that the alcohol bakes off in the oven.
Next up our driver told us he was taking us to HELL! Hell turned out to be an odd rock formation that looked like volcanic activity, but is actually limestone that has been eaten away by the elements. The history of how “Hell” got it’s name made for a cute story. These are the kind of places and stories I look for when visiting a new place.
Those stops were enough for me, but our driver said he had one more stop to take before heading back to the ship, the Cayman Turtle Farm. In a word, this place is AMAZING! Our first stop inside of the farm was the breeding pool where large sea turtles swim around and lay eggs on the man made beach that connects to the pool. If you have ever watched the Animal channel, you have probably seen the challenges sea turtle hatchlings face from predators. After hatching on the beach, only a small percentage survive and make it to the ocean. The Cayman Turtle Farm provides a safe breeding environment for the sea turtles and eventually releases some back into the wild. The older turtles are in the large pools and the younger turtles are divided up in smaller pools. Our guide said we could pick up the younger turtles from their pool so the group gathered around the pool and tried to “catch” a turtle. Only my cousin Tracy was bold enough to grab a turtle out of the pool. Her turtle was eventually passed around among all of us. Our turtle did not seem to mind being picked up, but another turtle someone else grabbed was nothing short of pissed! The turtle literally started smacking himself in the head until they put him back in the water! He was having none of it! This was our last and shortest stop of the tour :(. Whenever I make it back to Cayman Islands, I plan to spend a whole day there. There was even a small water park on the other side of the farm, so there is even more to do on my next visit. Check back tomorrow for my post on Belize!
Make sure to check out my posts on the other cruise spots