Cayman Islands family vacation advice

Reader question: Anyone ever been tot he Cayman Islands? I’ve been there on a cruise stop but never stayed. We’re staying at the Ritz Carlton right on 7 Mile Beach (which isn’t even really 7 miles). I’ll have my 8 year old son with me… A little vacation before the new baby comes.

I’ve collected a few tips – please comment if you have one.

1. The turtle farm is a must with the little one, and I enjoyed a couple of delicious turtle dishes. The food was very good on the island.

2. Take a snorkeling trip to Stingray City. Your son will love it because the water is calm enough for an 8 year old to snorkel. Stingray City is an area of shallow water in the North Sound. It is protected from the the main ocean currents/swells. It is very shallow. He might be able to stand up in spots. Generally speaking, he should also be able to handle the near-shore waters on the west coast for snorkeling. Do not take him snorkeling on the East, North, or South coast.

But, please do not make the same mistake I did. While exiting the dive boat, we were handed squid to feed the rays. Not wanting to go back to the boat, I grabbed extra and put it in my bathing suit pocket. Well lets just say that having a large stingray sucking on your bathing suit near the boys… Important note – keep squid in hands not in pants.

This reminds me of an old entry about the safety concerns of swimming with stingrays.

3. The Atlantis Submarine tours are good. They have a cheaper option that takes you around the shallow reefs with a bunch of other tourists. If you want to be the hero, book the deep diving submersible. It will take you to 800′ in a 2 person (3 counting the pilot) deep diving submersible. It is pricey, but you’ll only have the chance once in a lifetime.

4. Be sure to head to the Blowholes. Lighthouse Restaurant is awesome (located at the Blowholes).

5. Your son would enjoy feeding the Tarpon at the Wharf which is a wonderful restaurant – if you like lamb chops – Wow is the word. The Filet Mignon was excellent as well. There are better seafood places but the meat was excellent.

6. Blue by Eric Rippert was great, the most expensive meal I ever had, 600 USD for my wife and I (more than out 4 nights at the marriot where we were staying) but that was from my winning in a football against the spread pool so it was bearable.

7. Sunshine Grill in the Sunshine Suites hotel was a great meal, awesome fish tacos, right next to Ritz.

8. Georgetown is just ok, mainly just set up to take money from cruise shippers. we had a meal there but wasn’t a must.

9. Friends stayed at the Ritz in a prior year and they loved it, he makes close to 7 figures a year and was in complete sticker shock but if you booked the place you already know what you’re getting into.

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