I'll admit it. Those stingrays scare me to death and I know they do not hurt you. Any other Grand Cayman suggestions? Anyone know anything about public beach next to the Westin? I understand here is a Red Sail sports there.
On the other hand, a phobia is a phobia. My husband was none too keen and my son who was 7 at the time and at eye level to the surface was downright terrrified. They were much happier sitting in the boat.
My grand daughter was terrified, too. She climbed up to the top of my head and hung on like a baby monkey... LOL. She was much happier in the boat, and she still enjoyed the trip and the other snokeling spot. But NOW she wants papaw to take her again, she thinks she'll pet the stingrays this time.
Most people who were apprehensive found that after getting in the water with the rays, they were amazed and awed, and so glad they did. Last night, we booked our second time with Capt. marvins to do it and the barrier reef snorkel. If you don't get off the boat with the sting rays, you'll still enjoy seeing them in the water from the boat, and the great crystal blue waters, and the other snorkeling spots. IMHO the boat ride was worth the 30 some dollars (20 something for the kids) we spent pp for the trip.
You know what, I was incredibly leary about the stingrays, but after getting in the water with everyone and watching and listening it was great a must do. Everyone was just laughing having a great time. The stingrays are just big puppy dogs. They are as friendly as can be will brush up against you for a little rub. With this experience in hand, when I went to Belize to SharkyRay Alley, it is a snorkel trip with the rays swiming below, and took the oppurtunity to swim down to get a good look at the "wild" stingrays and wouldn't you know it, they were just as friendly. I would reach out my hand to pet them and they would come right over. They are a wounderfully docile creature. Take the chance, my wife was terrified before hand and had a blast. She just took her time getting into the water.
We've been there numberous times as we owned a timeshare in Cayman. My son started out on my husbands shoulders but ended up in the water with his floaty belt on...He was 3 at the time. I've stepped on a ray before as I didn't realize it was next to me. Didn't do anything but I don't recommend doing it on purpose. They really just want food. They are so used to be picked up and man handeled I doubt they'd ever do anything at all.
Fraidycats - I agree - do not miss this! My husband and I were very worried at first when we went with our friends (another couple). The two guys got in the water quickly, but my girlfriend and I were a bit afraid of stepping on one upon entering the water. Once we were in, it was really something. I have three tidbits to pass along to you (things I didn't know before going):
(i) They have only one stinger and once they use it they are basically defenceless. This tells you how threatened they must be to use it. (By the way, their stinger is on their tail).
(ii) You're more at risk of them sucking you than them stinging you. If they think you have fish in your hand or if you rub fish on your arm for instance, they may try to suck it and their suction is the strength of an industrial vacuum. Just don't take fish to feed them, if you're really nervous.
(iii) Finally, most of them are a light to mid grey colour. One that our guide pointed out to us was dark charcoal/black colour. He is the only one they know of that doesn't have his stinger and they've named him STUMPY. He was the one we chose to hold....we hope to find Stumpy again in those beatiful aqua waters of Cayman, next month.