Choosing the perfect Shore Excursion in Georgetown, Grand Cayman

We visited Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands as part of our Western Caribbean Cruise with MSC Seascape in April 2024. We had pre-booked our shore excursion in Jamaica as well as in Grand Cayman but when we arrived, we were told that our tour got cancelled due to the weather (it was windy and the seas were choppy). As soon as the cruise docked here, we took the first boat out to the pier and were greeted by thousands of agents selling cruise excursions at the port terminal. I recommend arriving here before 9 am to be able to get the best combination of excursions and catch the last departure, which is around 10 am.

Grand Cayman is a lot more developed, commercialized and afflluent than Jamaica. You can instantly tell the difference as soon as you leave the port. Now, if you wish to have a relaxed time and no adventure, your best bet is to take a $6 shuttle to the Seven Mile Beach from the port and relax there. You can also visit ‘Hell’, a unique and interesting site from the beach. If you want to be more active, I recommend buying a tour from the cruise terminal itself, at one of the kiosks, that takes you to the Stingray City, Starfish Point and Reef Snorkelling (it will cost you about $70 per person).

Seven Mile Beach

Located only 5 min away from the cruise pier, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman is a stunning stretch of powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. If this is where you wish to head, arrive early to secure a prime spot on the beach, and don’t forget to bring sunscreen, water, and snorkeling gear. While the beach is generally safe for swimming and snorkeling, be mindful of strong currents and coral reefs, and always swim within designated areas. Despite its name, Seven Mile Beach is only about 5.5 miles long, but its beauty and tranquillity make it feel endless.


Only a 10min drive from the Seven Mile Beach, is this unique geological formation featuring eerie black limestone formations that resemble a landscape straight out of, well, hell. You could explore the place all by yourself or guided tour to learn about the area’s geology and folklore, and don’t forget to send a postcard from the Hell Post Office. Despite its name, Hell is a popular tourist attraction rather than a place of danger, but be sure to watch your step on the uneven terrain.

Stingray City

You’ll board a bus to take you to the ferry boat point (10 min) and then ride the ferry about 40 min to get to the Stingray City, a world-famous snorkeling and diving site in Grand Cayman where you can swim and interact with gentle Southern Stingrays in their natural habitat. Once you arrive at the location, prepared to wade in shallow waters with these magnificent creatures. While stingrays are generally harmless and accustomed to human interaction, it’s important to follow the instructions of your guides and avoid touching the animals’ sensitive areas, such as their eyes and gills. The guides will explain on how to interact with these creatures, and you will get to even kiss the stingrays if you wish to! It was quite a unique experience for me, and I highly recommend it. The waters in the area were so beautiful, crystal clear and turquoise blue! You get about 30-40 min here before you board the boat again and head to the next destination – Starfish Point.

Starfish Point

Starfish Point is a secluded beach on the northern coast of Grand Cayman known for its shallow, clear waters and abundance of colorful starfish. You can either swim in the waters and pick up the starfish n your hands or just spend time sunbathing on the white sandy beach. While it’s tempting to pick up or handle the starfish, it’s important to handle them gently and return them to the water after observing them, as they are delicate creatures. You’ll have about 20-30 min to spend here.

Reef Snorkel  

This part of the tour was cancelled for us due to the weather and choppy waters, which was very unfortunate. Grand Cayman’s vibrant coral reefs offer some of the best snorkeling opportunities in the Caribbean, with an abundance of marine life and colorful coral formations to explore. Ideally, the boat trip should have included a stop at one of the best locations for snorkeling, for about 20 min or so.

Tips for visiting Grand Cayman

The weather in Grand Cayman can be very unpredictable. Some trips might get cancelled if the seas are too choppy, such as the reef snorkeling, which is what happened with us. Be prepared for last minute change to your plans when you arrive here.
Georgetown is an excellent place to shop and offers much better prices than the shops at the cruise terminal, which claim to be duty free but are still more expensive.
While the Cayman Islands have their own currency, the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD), all establishments accept USD for payment.
April was a busy month for cruises; everywhere we went was crowded and full of people.
If you’re visiting the Stingray City & Starfish Point, do not forget to carry waterproof camera and towels from your cruise!
The above tour to Stingray City, Reef Snorkel and Starfish Point is ideally meant to last for 3.5 hours. We had planned to visit the Seven Mile Beach and Hell thereafter. But, the trip took about 5 hours, leaving us with no time to do other activities. Keep in mind that the tours can run longer than what they’ve advertised and while they’ll bring you back before your cruise departs, you need to keep 1-2 hrs buffer and leave the cruise as early as possible in the morning.