I do not think any self respecting cruise line is going to allow this kind of press to get out. But, it does happen. The last time that I was aware of such an event was when I was on the Island of Cozumel two years ago. A few snorkelers went out for an evening snorkel near the international cruise ship terminal. Now the cruise ships all have perimeter scanning devices that alert the crew of flotsam and jetsam. The problem is that these are large ships and trying to come to the rescue of a snorkeler in time can be tricky. In this case, there was not enough time and swloooop...went the snorkeler.
By the way, it is actually illegal to snorkel near the ships due to possible terrorism. But, it happens all the time and this is an arar that is being worked on with crusie ship security. Many of the ports simply do not have the level of port security that they need. The other problem is that the pretty fish tend to congregate near and under the ship for obvious reasons. There is alot of cool fish action near the ships. Snorkelers are watching fish and a very slight current starts drawing then in (they are often unaware of the current until it is too late), pretty soon there are many cool fish and they are scurring about and it is very exciting until they decide it is time to head back to shore...ooops!
That makes me feel better. I was worried about some innocent engineering crewman opening up a seawater strainer for the diesel cooling system and finding an arm with a disposable underwater camera still clutched in the hand.
Okay I think we're getting off track here, though it is a good warning... Honestly does that area near the cruise ship port there have decent snorkeling for this guy? It is deep there and no one has commented on that. If there is a better area I'd like to know about for the next time I go there.
We have ported at Cayman 4 or 5 times and always go snorkeling, stingray city maybe 3 times. One of our favorites was the Hamburger reef out from Burger King. Great colorful fish, close to the tender port--we were able to do other things that day as it did not take 45 minutes one way to get there--something to think about.
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There is snorkling near where you tender, not where the cruise ships anchor. I've been on 3 snorkeling trips there. Stingray city once and the other 2 were right near where we tendered to. We got off of the tender, got onto the snorkeling catamaran. I had no clue where we were going, so I was excited when we left. After about 5 minutes we dropped anchor , but the snorkeling was good. It was over a wreck (so was the other one, but it was about a 10 minute sail), the water was very clear and there were a good amount of fish. I had heard there were some dive shops along the water that would let you dive/snorkel from the end of their shop/pier, but have not personally done it. The best snorkeling we've done in the Caribbean was in Bonaire, Tortola, Dominica, and Grenada. Grand Cayman was nice. Oh, I forgot, Xel-ha, that was great!