Exploring New Places: The Grand Cayman Islands


Photo courtesy of Alana Gomez

Communications junior Alana Gomez (middle) stands with two of her friends in the Caribbean Ocean as they are greeted by sting rays.

Each year on the last day of school, the sound of the bell ringing not only means the end of a year worth of work to me, but the beginning of a trip. Every summer, my girl scout troop takes all the money from cookies sales and puts it towards an end of year trip. This summer of 2015, from June 8 to June 13, I was on a Cruise to the Grand Cayman Islands and Jamaica with six other girls in my girl scout troop.

The trip started out as every other get away does- with a problem. As I neared the security entrance to the ship, I giggled in excitement and marched through the metal detector like I had a purpose. I was stopped halfway through my strut by the loud beeping of the machine. I threw my hands in the air, prepared to claim I did not have any weapons on my person when I remembered the new addition of a screw in my knee from my ACL reconstruction surgery a month before. The situation ended with a thorough pat down, much to the amusement of the other girls.

This bad start, however, did not last. On Wednesday our cruise ship, the Carnival Victory, anchored in the Grand Cayman Islands. The day began with the six other girls who accompanied me and I riding on a smaller boat to get to the island. On arrival to the island we were greeted by shops as well as other tourist hot spots. From there we hopped on a small bus where we were greeted by a surprise. The Grand Cayman islands just as many other countries around the road, drove on the left side of the road instead of the traditional right.

As exciting as the bus ride was, it could not compare to the activities of the rest of the day. From the drop off of the bus, we took another boat with a tour of 50 other people out into the beautiful Caribbean Ocean. Our first stop was 45 minutes from the dock during which the other girls and I looked out at the passing houses on the shore and the idle iguanas that hung out of the sidewalks.

We arrived at Sting Ray City, a sand bar in crystal clear Caribbean water, a while later. Here, everyone got off the boat and into the sea where the “puppies of the sea” waited. As soon as we landed in the water, stingrays from one foot long to five feet swarmed to greet us. Many animal-ocean goers were able to hold and pet the stingrays while others preferred to remain standing with the occasional brush by from the docile creatures. Overall, everyone on the boat could say they had a great time with the sting rays of Sting Ray City.

Our next stop took all of five minutes to get to. Just a little father out in the ocean our boat arrived at an extensive reef. Most of the boats occupants got off here and explored the Grand Cayman waters. Although the water was cold, it was clear and full of marine life. We saw many tropical fish as well as ship remains and were able to truly experience the beauty of the Caribbean ocean.