As a birthday present, I went on another cruise adventure. This time, I traveled with a special someone visiting new territories and countries. Since my first cruise trip was thru Carnival and I was pleased with the experience, thus, I picked them again. Coincidentally, I got Carnival Glory again. The same ship I sailed last year when I visited the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos Islands. I titled this trip, Cruising Together. The first stop was the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory that encompasses 3 islands in the western Caribbean Sea. Grand Cayman is the largest island and is known for its beach resorts and varied scuba diving and snorkeling sites. Next is the Cayman Brac which is popular launch point for deep-sea fishing excursions. Then, Little Cayman, the smallest island, is home to diverse wildlife from endangered iguanas to seabirds. The ship was plotted its stop at the Grand Cayman. Carnival Cruises offered various excursions but we chose something that we’ll explore the island. So, we ended up with Explore Cayman by Land and Sea.
After we were tendered to the port of George Town, we were ushered by the tour organizers to our coaster. In a few minutes, we left the port and headed to our first shore excursion destination which was the Nautilus. The Nautilus is a spacious, air-conditioned luxurious semi-submarine where tourists can explore the fabulous wonders under the sea.Thru Nautilus, we were able to see amazing coral reefs, a spectacular fun-filled fish feeding show, and two ghostly shipwrecks. These shipwrecks were sitting in the bottom of the sea for years and years, the Cali from Germany and the Balboa from Italy. Kudos to Martin and Dennis for a job well done in touring us under the sea.
We, then, continue on land in our air-conditioned coach as our tour guide regales us with tales from the island’s colorful past. Our next stop is at a place called Hell. It was just a short drive.
The Hell is a group of short, black limestone formations located in West Bay. It is roughly the size of a football field. Visitors are not permitted to walk on the limestone formations but there is a viewing deck. There were numerous speculations on how this place got its name. It was claimed ‘Hell’ from the fact that if a pebble is thrown out into the formation, it echoes among the limestone peaks and valleys and sounds as if the pebble is falling all the way down to ‘Hell’. Regardless of how it first came to be called Hell, the name stuck and the area has become a tourist attraction, featuring a red hell-themed post office from which you can send ‘postcards from hell’, and a gift shop passing out souvenirs.
After the Hell, we had a brief stop at one of the island’s rum cake centers where we got to taste the local delicacy. We were in Tortuga Rum Store. It is an authentic treasure and taste of the Caribbean.
The last stop was the Cayman Turtle Center. It is the only sea turtle center in the world. We were guided and educated about these turtles, from tiny hatchlings to the big breeders. We were able to pick up a turtle for a ‘turtally’ fantastic photo opportunity. I am usually not a fan of taking photos with endangered species but somehow, this picture will help awareness to the world about taking care of mother nature and the ocean. Because we don’t know, one of these days, these harmless creatures will be found only in the pages of our books or ebooks. Let’s help save Mother Nature.
The whole time I was in Grand Cayman was amazing. Too bad at the end of our tour, we were hit by a sudden gust of strong winds and rains. We had to go back to the cruise ship and everyone was so eager to get to the ship, making the longest and tightest queue I had experience during my cruise adventure. But all in all, it was awesome. I got to explore Cayman by land and sea thru a semi-submarine.
Watch my vlog entry that featured my trip in the Cayman Islands: