How about the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm?
Transportation: We took a taxi out to the farm. It was not really a taxi because it was a fixed price ($8 per person) and we had to sit on the bus and wait for it to be full before we took off. It also did not take us directly to our destination as we stopped at 7 mile beach to drop a load of people off first. On the way back, we took the public transportation ‘bus’. It was exactly the same type of vehicle, only cost $2.50 per person. It made about 7 quick stops between the turtle farm and the ship, but took about the same amount of time as the ‘taxi’.
Critters: My daughter was dying to hold the baby turtles so we headed to the holding tanks first. She quickly bonded with a turtle named ‘Lazy’ who let her hold it continually. It even nuzzled up against her when it was in the water.
There was a large group coming up behind us so left the holding tanks to return later. One huge benefit to spending the day there instead of on a tour is we had unlimited time with the turtles. These large groups were hurried a bit, and a lot of them just picked up the turtles from the side of the tank for a quick minute. These tours that hit more than one attraction were great to see more of the island, but for those wanting to really enjoy the turtle farm, a longer period of time is needed. My daughter probably spent about 45 minutes in the holding tanks with the turtles. It was one of the highlights of the cruise for her. We also spent time observing the adult turtles in the tanks. We were introduced to ‘Ms Sparky’ who was the mother of every single turtle at the turtle farm. There was a special ‘hybrid’ alligator who lived in fresh AND salt water. Iguanas were everywhere and enjoyed popping out of the bushes, giving us quite a jolly scare. My son really enjoyed watching the nurse sharks swim in the reef.
Activities: The turtle farm sported a lovely water park. I thought the water slide would be the big draw. Instead, my kids had more fun swimming out to the waterfall, climbing up behind it, and jumping through the falls.
After the water park, we ate a nice lunch at the facilities. My children had hot dogs and I opted for the buffet. I enjoyed bbq chicken (which my daughter actually ate most of), red beans and rice, plantains, and coleslaw. After lunch, we headed over to the salt water lagoon for snorkeling. I had forgot our snorkeling equipment but luckily the park provided it. This lagoon is an excellent way for children to learn how to snorkel. It is quite large and contains a lot of beautiful fish. There are no waves at all and has an easy entry.
We spent about four hours total at the turtle farm enjoying all of the activities. The day went by very fast and my children did not want to leave. My children are 7 and 8 and if you have children around this age or children who love animals and water activities, this is a lovely way to spend your time in Grand Cayman. On our way out, we went across the street to peak at the dolphins before heading back to the ship.
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Dominique Barba, CTIE, ECC, TAE