Thank God for Jimmy Buffett

I don’t usually go for cheesy tourist traps, but I have to say…hanging out at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Grand Cayman made us TOTALLY forget about our canceled snorkeling and stingray excursion. Here’s the thing about Margaritaville…its authentic and its fun (and its not a cheesy tourist trap). The food was great, the bartenders were super friendly, the drinks were cold and everyone in that joint was an old friend that day. Jimmy’s got a beer called Land Shark Lager that’s crisp and icy and he had a dozen of them behind the bar with my name on them. I need a parrot hat.

margaritaville

Update: Jody wanted me to mention the kick-ass Margaritas…she was hammed. And the Land Shark lager was delicious enough that I picked some up at our local grocery a couple of days ago.

Beach Day in Grand Cayman

Since the stingray excursion was canceled, we ventured down to a local beach to catch some rays of our own. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring any books with us to read because we thought we were going to be busy swimming all day with the fishes. Ugh…guess we’ll actually have to to talk to each other to entertain ourselves LOL :-).

It started out pretty quite, just Jody and I and a few other couples…we had the whole beach to ourselves. But then reality sunk in for the other several hundred people whose excursion was also canceled and it got a little busier. Luckily, we brought some cash so I was able to enjoy a few local Caybrews.

Cruise tip: Always bring some cash with you when you go ashore even if you think you won’t need it. Things will and do go wrong. Some folks had to take the tender back to the ship to pick up cash…killing an hour and a half of fun in the sun beach time.

Jody was the first to put her toes in Caribbean waters

Jody was the first to put her toes in Caribbean waters

View of the cruise ship from the beach

View of the cruise ship from the beach

The beach ended up getting just a little bit busier...

The beach ended up getting just a little bit busier...

Grand Cayman Excursion

We were supposed to go snorkeling and swim with stingrays today but all the stingray tours were canceled due to bad weather (it was sunny and 85 degrees…it was just god-awful terrible weather). Well, we think it was canceled because of weather, that’s what the locals told us, anyway.

The fine folks at Carnival Cruise Line never bothered to tell passengers that the excursions were canceled so hundreds of us went ashore (a 1 hour ordeal involving a ferry) expecting that everything was going to go according to plan. After we were dropped at the pier, we were all looking for the Carnival people to be holding stingray excursion signs to lead the way….but they weren’t to be found. Carnival didn’t even send an employee ashore to tell us, we were just abandoned there to fend for ourselves.

I wonder if Carnival has some arrangement with Grand Cayman where they guarantee to deliver a certain amount of tourists (in the interest of local commerce) in exchange for some sort of compensation. I also wonder if 1/2 of the tourists would have stayed on the ship had they known their excursions had been canceled. I wonder if Carnival chose profits over doing what’s right for their passengers in this case.

I cannot think of any other reason why Carnival would choose to withhold this information. I inquired at the info desk regarding this. She told me Carnival had no way of knowing the excursions were canceled beforehand. They knew enough to not send an employee to guide us to our destination. What crap.