Tuesday, another sunrise! This time in the Cayman Islands.
We had breakfast on deck, watching the ship pull into port. We got down to the Osiris Theatre right away, and ended up with tickets on the first tender boat. Cindi wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to go to Stingray Sandbar, so she decided to stay on ship and meet us later.
We arrived in George Town, Grand Cayman, around 8:30am. The stores were just opening, so we shopped for souvenirs and postcards. We got coffee next door and sat outside, writing to the suckers back home.
On the way to the post office, we found a bank that dispensed cash in American and Caymanian dollars. I got out $20CI (about $30US) and we went to buy stamps. We split up the remaining cash for souvenirs. We then stopped into another store to look at the duty free liquor, and I nearly died when I saw Big Black Dick Rum. Of course I needed some of that, but they were unable to sell it to us because of duty-free laws: it has to be delivered to the ship directly, and the ship needs to contract with the store. They only had it duty-free, too, so I couldn’t just carry it onto the boat just like I always did with my contraband liquor. SIGH.
big black dick
We wandered around the duty-free mall with the rest of the cruise passengers, noted the location of Señor Frogs for later, then went over to the Tortuga Rum store. They had regular and duty-free booze, so I figured I’d just buy the regular stuff. That is, until we looked at the prices for duty-free. It was all ridiculously cheap, and they had stuff I hadn’t seen in the US.
Duty-free shopping: I have finally seen the light. We made a note of what we needed and headed back to the dock to catch our shuttle to the stingrays.
We met up with the excursion and walked to the shuttle buses. It drove us up and across the island to the North Sound, where we boarded a boat after much confusion amongst the shuttle drivers. We climbed up on top at the front, and we headed out toward Stingray Sandbar. The waves were splashing us way up there and our stuff was soaked, but we didn’t care. It was warm out, and there were stingrays waiting to see us!
heading into the north sound
i love the color of the water.
As we dropped anchor, we could see stingrays swimming all over the place. There were 4 or 5 other boats there already, and a bunch of people swimming. In places, the water was only knee-deep. We got some barely-audible instructions about not scaring stingrays lest they kill you, and then we climbed down the steps into the water. It was officially the best day of all time.
they know there’s squid in that bag.
stingray rubbing on wendy’s butt
The photographer told us that kissing a stingray was good luck, so they’d hold one up for us while she took our picture kissing it. I couldn’t have cared less whether that was true or not, I just wanted to kiss a stingray! When I told the guy that, he said, “OK! I’m a stingray!”
old couple kissing a stingray
They had a bag of squid to feed them, so the stingrays were freaking out about the food. They kept rubbing up against us with their wings. I’d be trying to touch one of them, and another would rub up against my butt. Consequently, there was a LOT of screaming and hysterical laughter going on at Stingray Sandbar. It was fantastic. (Here’s a video!)
So was the water. There were huge waves crashing over the sandbar, so it was nearly impossible to stand up. We swam out a little ways and bobbed around, jumping over waves so they wouldn’t knock us down. It took me far too long to learn that I needed to maybe not stand with my back to them, because I kept falling over.
Wendy showed me how to hold a squid (by the EYES), and tuck my thumb in so a stingray wouldn’t suck my hand into his mouth. I wasn’t freaked out by feeding them, but I was not pleased about holding a squid.
wendy holding a stingray
They had snorkel gear on the boat, but it seemed kind of unnecessary. Next time, I’d like to snorkel just so I know what I’m taking pictures of underwater.
Our visit with the stingrays was over way too soon. Sigh.
We were mostly dry by the time we got back to the shuttle buses, so we decided it was unnecessary to go back to the ship to change. We hoped Cindi was there waiting at the appointed spot. Matt and I ended up on a different bus than Wendy and Jumi, and it was clearly the good one: the driver sang to us the whole way back. He got applause after every song, and by the time we arrived in George Town, we were all singing Day-O together. It was awesome.
We went back to the Tortuga store to get rum cakes for the people back home, and place our duty-free order. Matt and I got 18-year Tortuga Rum in a barrel, Flor de Caña Centenario 12-Year, and cachaca so we could make caipirinhas at home. My entire order, including rum cakes and other souvenirs, was $90. SCORE.
While we were checking out, a girl came running in to see if it was too late to place an order. Her ship was leaving at 2:30, which was past the cutoff for their delivery. She proceeded to have a tantrum in the store, to the embarrassment of her friends. Seriously.
Jumi decided to go back to the ship to find Cindi, and Matt and Wendy and I headed off to find the British grocery store. It was nowhere to be found, so we stopped at a convenience store to hunt for things like Lucozade and Go Ahead (the snack from the Bahamas that I’ll be seeking everywhere I go for the rest of my life). Then we headed to Señor Frogs for lunch, and to get started on Cindi’s primary goal of the cruise: to drink a first down. Since she was sick and 10 yards would definitely kill a person anyway, we decided to help.
Our server’s name was Jesus. We ordered yards and food, then decided we needed to do a shot, too (it’s tradition, started way back in Puerto Rico!). We asked him what he preferred. He said, “I like blowjobs!”
wendy looking for cindi and jumi from señor frogs’ balcony
We ate lunch, and Cindi and Jumi finally showed up. They had given us beads before, but when Jesus brought them for the other two, we pretended like we never got any. He brought us all one of each color. We were very proud of our beautiful necklaces.
We had 9 yards in Grand Cayman, which meant we were at 2nd and 1 in Cozumel. Not a problem. When we asked for the tab, Jesus also brought us a round of free shots. They were blue, which scared me. But we all survived, far better than we did the tab, which was in Caymanian dollars, with the US total at the end. Challenge: drink 2 shots and 2 yards and then figure out who owes what. It wasn’t pretty.
We had to hurry back to the dock to catch the tender, and were only sure we made it once we saw the line. We wanted to be on the last one, but had to settle for second-to-last. There was a sign at the gate telling us that we were not allowed to bring weapons on the ship, and it was very explicit. Some of the weapons included sharpened sticks, coshes, and knuckle dusters. This held no end of fascination for us.
On the tender boat, we may have been a little raucous; the dudes in front of us were really amused until Wendy accidentally shouted “CLAPPY PENIS!” It was her special code name for caipirinhas, apparently. As we got back on the ship, we passed a wall lined with Tortuga Rum boxes. Hell yes.
We returned to our cabin to shower off the stingrays and have the best meat locker time ever. We awoke again at 7, and I called the other cabin to see if they were awake. Cindi answered, then hung up on me. Wendy called back shortly afterward. We got dressed and went down to their cabin to partake in Fuzzy Tang (Peachtree and Tang); I had my own version with rum and sugar-free tang in an empty Lucozade bottle.
We got food from the buffet, ate on deck, then went downstairs to the card room to play Oh Hell and Slappy (otherwise known as Egyptian Whiskey Rat Fuck).
Once the show started in Casanova, we went over there to watch. It was Italian night, so the competition was for Mr. Pizza. They had to do things like throw dough around, ‘dance sexy’, and sing ‘O Sole Mio’. The winner was a hysterical old guy from Long Island. Every time we saw him after that, he was wearing his Mr. Pizza sash.
After Mr Pizza, we headed to the club. There was much better hiphop playing (instead of crappy Eurodisco), and slightly more dancing. One of our favorite servers, Jones (his real name was Irwin, I think), was working there. Whenever he brought us receipts to sign, he was using a light-up pen, and this was immensely fascinating. There was a lot of dancing, and I really really did NOT want to leave. But it was 2am, and we had a date with a beach in Honduras the next morning.