I went on the stingray excursion through Royal about 5 years ago. It was pricy but fun. I remember thinking the boat ride out was really beautiful. Then it was weird to be that far out in the water yet it was only knee to waist deep. I have to be honest though it was a little scary for me to be standing in water that shallow with so many of these creatures. I'm a scuba diver and I much rather be swimming with them than worried about if I'm going to step on them. It was an experience.
I definitely suggest booking with a reputable, private tour company for this. I can recommend Captain Marvins (wonderful!!) and Nativeway. If you would like more info on that, click my name and send me a private message or an email. Swimming with the stingrays is such a unique experience. We loved it! Its a little intimidating at first, I was somewhat nervous. But after a few moments, its all just fun. We got to feed them, pet them, hold them and some even kissed them. If you dont want to really touch them, you can put on your mask and snorkel and just float on top of the water and watch them. I dont know all the details of a ships excursion, this is what we did on our private tour. There were only 12 of us whereas the ships tours usually carry around 100 or more. Thats too much chaos for me. If you are taking children, thats a whole different ballgame. I took my 2 sons (8 and 10 at the time) and they got in the water, then right back out. They were too scared to stay in, unfortunately. But our tour guide took a ray over to them (they were sitting on that board at the back of the boat) and he played with it for them to watch, then let them touch and pet it. Its a great time... do it!
Give them a day or so to respond to any emails you send as the phone lines there are still an issue sometimes. I usually hear back from them within 24 hours. Very nice people! Great customer service and tour operators.
Captain Bryans in another excellent choice. Its a 50ft catamaran that takes you to stingray city and its really nice, you can stretch out in the front part and get some sun The price is good too $34 adults/$25 kids so a good deal.
We sailed the Conquest in August and we booked Captain Marvin's through their website. Just like Natalia said ... give them a day or two to respond (remember there is a time difference) and they will send you an email confirmation. Although you give them a credit card to hold your reservation, they prefer you pay cash upon your arrival. If not, they will gladly accept your credit card. The entire staff are very pleasant and you get free rum cake after your excursion. I even bought the DVD of our stingray excursion! It was very memorable! I HIGHLY recommend it! Have fun!
I can't wait! For those of you who purchased the DVD, do you remember how much it was? I asked CM if they would be taping, and they directed me to the actual videographer to see if they would be attending. I sure hope so!