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Timid 5yr old: Stingrays or Camp Carnival?

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by LostAngel_in_TN, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Calling all parents:

    Which is more enjoyable for a timid 5 yr old: the stingray excursion or camp carnival??

    My son (19) and my daughter (5) and I will be on the Conquest May 9th. I would LOVE to do the Stingray excursion, but I am not sure that it would be fun for my daughter. I am afraid that the water will be too deep for her (she is not over 4ft) or that she might be scared of the stingrays. I could hold her... but will I be able to enjoy the rays if she is terrified (and possibly screaming in terror! LOL)

    Is Camp Carnival the best choice for her? I am a little uneasy about leaving her onboard in camp while I go on a shore excursion. (read: overprotective)

    Help?! Any suggestions from parents that have done this (either way) would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!
  2. Sodey

    Sodey Guest

    I would suggest showing the 5 year old what Stingray city is like. You should be able to get some video from Captain Marvin's web site. If your 5 year old saw our video I believe she would want to go. (The crew put them over our heads, had us hold them for minutes at a time, and feeding them was fun) The water is only 36 to 40 inches deep and if you book with captain Marvin, I'm sure that one of the crew will work with your daughter in the water so you don't have to hold her the whole time. But, preparing her is key. She needs to understand that they can't bite and are very docile.
  3. seamom

    seamom Guest

    My seven year old was freaked out by the stingrays and would say the camp hands down.....but how will you know til you go? My son isn't shy...I didn't expect that reaction but many kids do like the experience.

    I must admit, if you put yourself at their eye level with those creatures, which on the sandbar she'd be on tippytoes, it is a pretty strange sight though I loved them. They do come up to the surface after food and with all the commotion of people and stingrays moving rapidly around to grab all the squid they can get, a shy child may be traumatized. Even my husband was happy to have an excuse to get out of the water too to stay with my son and onboard they said it was boring after a few minutes of just watching.

    Tough decision. Try showing some photos of the crowds and closeups of the stingrays to see a reaction from her.

    Post Edited (02-22-04 12:58)
  4. Thanks for the insight. I may try to find some close-ups of the rays.... and a video for her to watch.
  5. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Guest

    Just did the Stingrays last week. There was a child who was clearly terrified of the rays and her parents would not let her stay on the boat.

    She just kept screaming -- it was like having Pat Robertson at a circuit party: you know NOBODY has a good time then.
  6. Camelia

    Camelia Guest

    Lostangel - I personaly would not leave my child at Camp while we go on an excursion. What if something happens to him? What if something happens to us and we don't make it back to the ship in time? I rather be us stranded all together than separated. Overprotective? Also the camp is like a daycare, my son gets that all day at home. A cruise is supposed to be about new experiences, which a child won't get if its at camp.
  7. seamom

    seamom Guest

    I think Camelia, you are right, it is all personal. I wouldn't either but assuming you would stay with a ship excursion if you did, I'm sure if something did happen, the tour leader has easy access and visa versa to the ship.

    The counsellors will be bonded and there will be legal proportion of kids per leader. If you are on a ship excursion and it is delayed, the ship will wait, especially knowing that the child is behind. I wouldn't risk it with a private excursion though.

    My son loved being with children rather than constantly with his parents........we did spend lots of time with him but it was nice for a break for us to have adult time. His cruise still had tons of new experiences and new friends from the kids area onboard.
  8. kujobie

    kujobie Guest

    My 13 year old daughter screamed in terror and clung to me for about 10 seconds. Many adults were also a little freaked out at first. Within minutes, she was feeding and holding them. It's an awesome experience. I have done it twice and wouldn't miss it if/when I go back. If she is totally freaked out, just let her stay on the boat, it's cool to see from there, too. Several people did that, and not just little ones.
  9. Rosie

    Rosie Guest

    I wouldn't bring a 5 year old to Sting Ray City. Many adults screamed when they saw the huge sting rays swimming toward us. I had seen and touched rays at Sea World so I wasn't totally overwhelmed and had the time of my life. They so BIG. We had a great guide and were able to hold one. I even got a photo of Roy kissing one (ugh!). I think people forget that the rays are wild animals and can sting, so caution should be used.
  10. Thanks everyone!!

    You all have very good points.... And I am more torn than ever. LOL.

    I plan on spending a lot of time with my daughter, because I want her to enjoy new things as well. (After all that is why I am taking her.) BUT, I don't want to traumatize her...
    And if she is scared, she will be scared even on the boat.... And she will want me there beside her.... Not some stranger (like the captain)while I am in the water with the rays...

    I have serious reservations about leaving her in Camp while we leave the ship (for all the reasons listed above.) BUT, I really want to do the excursion.

    Hmmmmm..... I suppose there is no perfect answer.

    Thanks again to all........ I will just pray about it. That always seems to work...........
  11. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Two years ago, I took my 2 boys (ages 8 and 10 at the time) on a Captain Marvins tour to Stingray City. After all I read, I thought I was prepared. Regardless, my first few minutes in the water with the sting rays, I was scared myself! Even though I knew they wouldnt hurt me, it was still a little freaky. However, I wanted to do it, so I stayed in the water and was fine within just a few minutes. My boys, on the other hand, headed right back to the boat after about 2 minutes in the water lol. I never thought to prepare them ahead of time (silly me!) other than to just say "we're gonna swim with the sting rays, yippee!". There were 3 or 4 young men who took us on the tour, and one of them got my boys to sit on that ledge at the back of the boat, and he brought a sting ray over near the boat. He held it up, made it squirt water, pet it, played with it, fed it.... so my boys could just watch for a few minutes. After they were convinced it was ok, he asked if they wanted to touch it. They said yes, and only at that point did he bring it close enough for them to touch. They pet it for a while, and were quite pleased that although they were still too scared to get back into the water (which is not deep for us adults, but IS for children), they still at least got to touch and pet the stingray. It was just a terrific experience. My boyfriend and I got to stay in the water and enjoy what we went on the tour for, and the tour guide saw that my kids had a nice time too. I cant say enough about Capt Marvins, excellent service!

    Post Edited (02-26-04 11:05)
  12. kujobie

    kujobie Guest

    FYI The boat is right there on the sand bar, you can still be "with" your child while she is on the boat. It's not like you have to swim 100 yards away.
  13. Ok....... Thanks all...... I think I have made a decision.....

    I am going to take my daughter. I would be wayyyy to uncomfortable with her in Camp.

    I will also book through the ship to avoid any potential problems. I understand that the people who bood through the ship get to unload first.

    Thanks again................................
  14. DixieGirl

    DixieGirl Guest

    Hey Lost Angel,
    Check with me after March 8th. We leave tomorrow and I have a very outgoing 4 year old son. I have been reading your post and our first Excursion is Montego Bay and we will take him with us on the tour we have set up. The next day we are going to snorkelling in Grand Cayman and I am going to make that call the night before. By that time we have both experienced Camp Carnival and taking him off the ship and we will see how he does.

    Conquest 2/29/04 --- Tomorrow !!
  15. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    Ok...first of all....This was a really, really awesome experience and I'm glad I did it. But...as an adult, I screamed a little! :)

    Second of all, I was told that the water at Stingray City was "waist high" so I was uncomfortably surprised when it was much higher. There were a ton of boats there and a lot of people, so maybe that was why. I am 5'4" tall and the water was definitely higher than my waist......it was to my shoulders and with all of the waves from the people and boats, higher. I kept my snorkel gear on to avoid sucking in water (I'm a salt water wimp, I know.) I am attaching a picture below to illustrate...

    <img src=http://a8.cpimg.com/image/86/C2/29535878-3be9-02000155-.jpg>

    Post Edited (02-29-04 00:22)
  16. WoW.... your pic vividly illustrates this point!! As I am a mere 5' 3" then I will share your situation. Thanks! My son, who is 6' 3" will have no problems. LOL

    I am fairly certain that my tiny little daughter will be mortified. I have been showing her pics on the net, and calling them "rays" - not stingrays. (She misunderstood me and calls them "raisins." LOL) I keep talking about how sweet they are -- that they are kinda big, but very sweet. She thinks they look like pancakes. Even still, she will be scared to pieces.

    But, I am hoping that she will watch from the boat and experience a little bit of the magic and hopefully let my son and I enjoy the excursion.

    I can't wait to hear DixieGirl's report.

    Love and laughs to all!!!!!
  17. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    I am sure you and your son will enjoy it. My DB is 6"6' and he (of course) had no problems with the water. Maybe you and your son can take turns with her in the boat....maybe with a team effort you can lure her into the water. :grin.

    I honestly do not think that the water is normally that high because I read in many different places that it is only waist deep. Maybe the tide was high that day??? Who knows, but it was uncomfortable for me....BUT I am so glad I did it. The first time you feel one of the rays glide past your leg it's a pretty weird feeling, but they are such beautiful, gentle, magestic creatures....it is definitely an experience not to be missed.

    Maybe you could do an excursion that has another stop. There is a butterfly farm in Cayman....I have no idea if there is an excursion that has both the stingray sandbar AND the butterfly farm, but what 5 year old gal wouldn't enjoy a bunch of butterflies, huh? That way, if she's too scared to go into the water she's seen something else really neat that day. Or.....if she does go in and is totally freaked out, the butterlies will bring a smile to her lil' face afterward. Just an idea.

    Anyway...make sure you take a disposable underwater camera (assuming you don't have a non-disposable one). You'll want to get shots of you and your son holding the rays, the rays swimming around you, etc.
  18. Oh LizardStew,-butterflies---that is a great idea!! I will check on that!!

    Thanks sooo much!!
  19. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    I hope you have a great time!
  20. kujobie

    kujobie Guest

    Ive been there twice and the water was never above my waist. I think you made a good decision to bring her.

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