Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands- Holiday Cruise 2015

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Last but certainly not least for this Panama Canal Holiday Cruise is the port, Grand Cayman- the largest of the Cayman Islands; one of the many islands of heaven. I don’t think I’ve ever seen water this clear and this blue before. Grand Cayman is a very popular cruise ship destination and is popular for its many attractions, especially the famous “7-mile beach.” What also causes tourists to flock to the island is the amount of duty-free shopping available there, what with all the big name brands and Caribbean-only products and brands. It truly has its specialities.

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799.JPGFor this port, we couldn’t resist the temptation of the sunny weather and warm waters so we opted for the Stingray Encounter, Sail and Snorkel shore excursion, offered by the ship. This tour had 2 stops: a stop at the Stingray Sandbar, where you get to spend some time playing around with the dozens of stingrays that visit the location daily, and a great reef for snorkelling with the fish. The Stingray Sandbar does not in any means “trap” or “enclose” the stingrays in that area; they are free to come and go as they please. However, they all just keep coming back every day because of the all the food the tourists feed them!

This was the first time I was seeing stingray up close, so I was completely amazed by the creatures. The water is extremely shallow- so shallow that you can walk around or even kneel and still have your face above the water. This way, you get a great look at the stingrays and your tour guide will give you the opportunity to hold them (and kiss them! A stingray kiss actually brings good luck!) Stingrays are absolutely the cutest underwater creature ever, and if you get a chance, make sure you rub the white part under their “wings.” It’s unbelievably smooth. Unbelievable. What I love about them is how they almost look like underwater birds when they’re gliding on the sandy bottom. ¬†Below are some shots taken with my trusty GoPro camera.

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The Stingray Sandbar

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A male and a female stingray. Oddly enough, the male stingray are a lot smaller than the females

027.JPG040.JPG044.JPGOur next stop was the reef, and it was one of the best snorkelling places I’ve ever visited. What I loved so much about it is how close the coral was to us. If you were to sit down, you could sit right on top of the coral. At first, it was a little nerve-wracking because of how close we were to all the marine life, but after a bit of getting used to, it was a lot of fun. The snorkelling here differed from the one in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico because there were less fish but many more species of it. I saw rainbow parrot fish, ribbon fish, black clownfish, and so much more. Swimming around, snapping pictures and exploring the landscape really felt like an adventure.

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I think I spent a good 10 minutes just following this rainbow parrotfish around in circles haha.

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Hope I’m not interrupting a meal!

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That officially concludes the 2015 Holiday Cruise blog posts! I hope you guys all enjoyed it and maybe even added some of the destinations to your own personal bucket list! (Check out my post on my own Wanderlust List if you’re looking for even more information!) Hopefully, these posts sent some sun to the dreary office cubicle you may be in right now. I know it definitely helped me get rid of my post-vacation depression! Feel free to always leave a comment if you have any questions about Grand Cayman or any other destination I have blogged about, or even just to share a destination you think I might enjoy!

~Julia 

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