Voyager of the Seas: Grand Cayman

Thanks for following my review of our cruise on the Voyager of the Seas.  I hope you are enjoying it and getting a lot of good information from it.

Seven Mile Beach

Grand Cayman was our second port stop and one we were also looking forward to for some time hanging out on Seven Mile beach and snorkeling.  Unfortunately, you have to tender into the port in Grand Cayman.  I am very surprised that the cruise lines have not tried to get a pier built here yet as it has always been a very popular stop.  The tenders started at 7 a.m., but we were on vacation and had no interest at being up that early.  We headed up to breakfast around 9 and were on the tender and on our way to the beach by 10.  We grabbed a cab that took us to the public beach access area for $5 per person.  I had found a site that showed where there were good snorkeling areas just off the shore.  I wanted to go somewhere where we could hang out on the beach and get some snorkeling in as well.  Right next to the public beach is Calico Jack’s where you can get food and drinks (albeit quite pricey) and rent a snorkel and mask.  You can also rent chairs and umbrellas if you want, but we just sat on our towels for free.  If you need to get out of the sun for a bit, there are trees and some shelters at the public beach.

Our rented mask and snorkel

We found our spot to sit on the beach, which was a bit crowded as there were five ships in port that day, and I went over to rent the snorkel and mask.  It was only $10 for the whole day so I got two sets to share between the four of us knowing that I would probably be doing most of the snorkeling.  The lady there said to walk down the beach about five minutes to where Tiki Beach is and the reef is just off the beach.  With my water proof camera and snorkel gear in hand, I headed down the beach while Steve and the boys played in the water a bit.

I am sure Grand Cayman has a lot of great snorkeling, but for being just off the beach and easily accessed I was quite impressed with this reef.  It lies about 50 yards from the shore and the water at its deepest is only about six feet.  You can easily identify where the reef is because the waves break over the top of it at several spots.  It was awesome to see all the colorful fish swimming in and out of the reef as if in an aquarium.  As I marveled at the coral formations, I noticed brain coral, something that absolutely fascinates me.  I started snapping pictures of things just hoping I was getting what I was seeing.  Steve and the boys joined me for a short while, but then headed back down the beach.  I think I enjoy snorkeling a lot more than they do.  I stayed and snorkeled for a while longer, swimming up and down each side and over it on several occasions trying to capture with my camera this beautiful underwater world.  I decided to take some video of it before heading back down the beach thinking that maybe I would have a better chance at catching a glimpse of some of the fish with my camera.  Check it out.  Sorry about the quality.  I didn’t have the setting right on the camera.

The local brew.

I decided I should probably head back down to Steve and the boys so they didn’t think I had drowned, and I had remembered that Steve was getting a bucket of beers so I had drinks waiting for me.  My oldest son had asked earlier in the day about renting a jet ski and, not wanting to pay $75 dollars for a half an hour, we did not concede to that request.  He apparently got his wish granted in a way as when I got back from snorkeling he was on the back of the jet ski pulling the banana boat ride.  Steve said the guy had asked if Rease could be his spotter since the guy who was supposed to be doing it didn’t show up.  He got to go out with them three times and seemed to be almost as content with the ride as with renting it himself.

A bucket o' beers.

I sat and enjoyed my drink while soaking up the sun for a bit while the boys and Steve played in the water and chatted with the people around us.  The people who had been sitting next to us had left and were done with their raft they had rented, so I took it out in the water and soaked up some more sun.  The water in Grand Cayman is so clear and calm.  It was almost like floating in a pool.  It was so enjoyable and relaxing, but seeing the ships in the background as I gazed down the beach, I was reminded that it was just about time to head back.  After Steve and the boys had a snack from Calico Jack’s we packed everything up and headed back to the pier.

   

We had about an hour before sailaway time, but as we arrived back at the port area we knew it was going to take at least that long to get back on the ship.  There were lines everywhere of people trying to get on a tender for the five ships.  We learned that there were only four tenders servicing all the ships in port making getting back on the ship a very long process.  We finally got on the last tender and on the ship right at sailaway time, so we were about half an hour late pulling away from Grand Cayman.  We learned later that a couple got on the wrong ship and their 17-year-old son was back on our ship by himself.  Can you imagine!  Fortunately, that ship was going to Cozumel the next day as we were so they could meet back up with him soon.

After grabbing a snack, we headed up to the pool deck for a while and learned they had done the belly flop contest at the same time as sailaway so we completely missed it.  This is yet another example of poor scheduling of activities.  The belly flop contest is always a very well attended event and usually scheduled on a sea day when people are already on the pool deck.  I stopped trying to figure out the scheduling of activities on about day 2.

I was really looking forward to the after-dinner festivities because The Quest was planned for that evening.  For those of you who have never been on an RCI cruise, The Quest is an adult scavenger-type game where you are given a task or item to present and the faster your team completes this the more points you’re rewarded.  Our team took first place that night.  Woot, woot!!  It was fun, but not nearly as fun as some of the others I’ve participated in and not as well attended either.  This could have been because the midnight buffet and toga party was scheduled to start too close to the same time and a lot of people were busy donning their togas and heading up to the pool deck.  We went up after The Quest to check it out.  The party was already in full swing.  We were not particularly hungry and the music was loud and club-like (not our style) so we decided to see what Derek Lewis was doing at the Adult Daycare at Night Program at the Pig and Whistle.

Derek, as usual had a full house and was already sharing some of his adult versions of popular party songs.  We found a couple of seats and joined the party.  That night was the night that Derek asked Steve and I to partake in his Kamikaze karaoke.  Apparently, one of the ladies that had become a permanent fixture at Derek’s shows that week had told Derek to have us come up because we didn’t appear to be enjoying ourselves.  What she was really seeing was annoyance at her and her college, spring break-celebrating friends who took over the place and made the party all about them every single night.  I don’t hide my true feelings very well, and she just misread what I was trying to convey to her.  At any rate, Steve and I got up there and Derek, claiming it was randomly chosen by the computer gave us “Summer Nights” to sing karaoke to.  We had a lot of fun and I think the crowd enjoyed it as well.  We decided to turn in for the night when Derek invited one of the spring breakers up to sing a song that had more profanity in it than an HBO late night comedy special.  Tonight, however, we left sporting our new Del Sol color-changing rings, and I couldn’t wait to see how they looked in the bright Mexican sun of Cozumel in the morning.

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