I've just returned home from the best vacation of my life, in Grand Cayman. While there, my mother and I hired a private charter boat for the full day excursion, with Outrage Ecotours. Our captain/tour operator, John Michael, is a Cayman local and free diver. We paid $500 between us for the day, and had the boat to ourselves. Best money we ever spent!! We went to Stingray City Sandbar to feed and play with the Southern Stingrays. It was a windy day, and the waves were very choppy, and they knocked us around a bit, so I don't recommend any smaller children or frail adults try this on a stormy day, but I would definitely recommend having this magical experience to anyone and everyone! While there, J.M. (John Michael) gave us plenty of squid to feed the Rays, and we were surrounded by many of them the whole time we were there. We felt sorry for the tourists who had come on other tour company boats, packed like sardines and herded around like cattle. We had a million times more personal interactions with the Rays then those poor folks. It was like watching a graceful, underwater ballet. I will say that though everyone said the Stingrays couldn't bite you as they have no teeth, they can and did harm my mother. Their mouths work by extreme vacuum suction, and the ring of cartilage that makes their mouths is as hard as bone. A large Ray missed the food in Mum's fist, and accidentally went for her wrist. It was extremely painful, and it caused several open wounds that bled terribly. Her wrist became very badly swollen, bruised, and eventually, infected. However, she and I would still do it all over again in a heartbeat. If you are fearful, then I'd recommend you simply don't try to feed them, and just enjoy watching, petting and hugging the Rays. Much as J.M. was an incredible guide, we were concerned that his first aid kit was nearly empty and of no help to Mum after her injury. It was great taking our private charter there, as we were never rushed and stayed as long as we wanted to. Then J.M. took us to the breakwater where we were to snorkel the Barrier Reef. The underwater world was mesmerizing, and visibility was 100%. Later that week we learned that many tours had cancelled the day we went out, as the sea was so terribly stormy, and the waves were big and very powerful. We weren't warned before getting in the water about how far the waves could carry us, and how incredibly difficult it would be to swim back to the boat against the large, forceful waves. Mum just let the waves take her out, and it wasn't long till she found herself a long distance from the boat, and she used all her strength trying to swim back, but she wasn't getting anywhere. J.M. had to swim out and bring her all the way back to the boat. Whilst he watched out for our safety throughout the day, I would recommend in the future that he has every snorkeler wear a lifejacket when in the water. He does keep a rope, tied to an innertube, out in the water, tied to the boat. Much better to hold on to that at all times, and snorkel that way, unless you have lots of experience. We were then taken to Rum Point, and instructed to walk down a long stretch of beach and then meet back up with the boat, which would be against the shore. I can't even express how incredible that experience was. We walked on uninhabited stretches of beach, and it was like living in a postcard, or a "Corona" commercial!! Lots of great photo ops. We then went to Starfish Beach. Beautiful, but unlike what I read on the internet, there were no seashells or starfish to be seen in the shallow waters. However, J.M. swam out and brought us some lovely starfish to hold and photograph. Finally, we were taken along the Mangroves, and J.M. even took my underwater camera into the surrounding waters, which were teaming with hundreds of jellyfish! He was so knowledgeable, helpful, interesting, and fun & he made our vacation the best ever. I hope I get the opportunity to do it all again someday. J.M.'s charter should be the one big excursion you go on over anything else and I truly hope people reading this take that to heart. If you haven't traveled to Grand Cayman before, I will give you a strong warning that you should heed - I went there with a deep tanning-bed tan, and I almost never burn, even on the hottest of days back home, but due to its position near the equator, the sun's strength at Grand Cayman was like nothing I've ever experienced. You can almost hear your skin sizzling in the midday sun. Wear at least SPF 15 sunblock your first few days, reapply often, and avoid midday sun when possible. Trust me, you will fry otherwise, and you'll still get a tan even with the sunblock! It really sucks to get a bad sunburn since it prevents you from enjoying the sunny weather while you heal. I will also tell you this - we paid big bucks for the "Atlantis Submarine" night dive in Georgetown, and it was a total waste of time and money. Nothing to see but a bit of colourful sponges and freaking tarpon fish. They are boring, silver fishes and they are very nearly the only sea life to be seen from this awful tourist trap. Do NOT bother with Atlantis, unless you want to squeeze in an overpriced nap!!!! Visiting Pedro St James is a definite must see too. 7th generation descendants of the original owners of the oldest building on the island are there, and we so enjoyed their stories and immense knowledge base. Also, we took public buses all over the island to see the sights, etc and it is a wonderful, inexpensive way to get around. Lastly, we spent an entire day at the world's only Sea Turtle Farm located at Boatswain Beach, Grand Cayman. We paid for the whole park, and brought our own snorkel gear. Next to our private charter day, the day at the turtle farm was the second best vacation day I've ever had!!!! Visiting Grand Cayman is the best money you could ever spend!!!