Part of my Cruise for a Cause on Princess Cruises with the American Heart Association included 2 shore excursions on both our stops: Grand Cayman and Cozumel. As a virgin cruiser I had no idea what to expect with these excursions. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know they existed! I just assumed you docked at stops along the cruise and then fended for yourself.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Princess Cruises has dozens of shore excursion options available. Everything from active bike rides around the island to a relaxing day on the beach. I decided to do something I may never have a chance to do again: Tour a Coral Reef in a Submarine.

Considering the Cayman Islands are one a top scuba diving destinations in world and I’ve never scuba dived (one day), I thought this was a great option.

On the dock we were pleasantly greeted as we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.

Atlantic Submarine Grand Cayman excursion meet up

We boarded a boat and headed out to the submarine, which was “parked” offshore.

approaching atlantis sub

It wasn’t until this point I started to get nervous about my decision.

I was going underwater in that!

The Atlantis Submarine
More friendly crew greeting us as we arrived.

Then I saw “the door…”

Top of the Atlantis Sub
No friggin’ way.

Now, I’ve never really been claustrophobic in my life but as I looked around at the 40+people with me and that entrance way I started  to wonder if this was a good idea.

Thankfully all my fears were put to rest once we got inside.

Mom in Atlantis Sub
Mom sitting comfortably in Atlantis Submarine

The interior was much roomier than I anticipated after seeing it from the top. There were 2 rows of seats and the head clearance was great! I’m just over 5′ 8” and I had no problem standing completely upright.

After settling in I noticed the fish identification sheets and started to get excited. I knew I was about to see things I’ve never seen before.

Fish sheet on Atlantis Sub

And I was right!

View out of the Atlantis Sub

The coral reef was amazing! The water was bustling with sea life. We saw countless fish species, a sting ray, and a sea turtle!

sea turtle
If course it was on the other side of the sub.

We learned why the reef didn’t look as colorful as it does in photos (water filters our parts of the light prism the deeper you go), the importance of the reef, a little history of Cayman and what is currently threatening this amazing life under the sea.

Our tour guide (I unfortunately forgot his name) was amazingly funny and informative and the whole tour was the perfect length. I really can’t remember how long we were down there, but it was long enough to see lots of stuff and short enough where you didn’t get bored.

The best part was that the tour didn’t take all day so we were still able to walk around the island, shop, eat lunch and explore on our own before heading back to the cruise ship.

Bayshore Mall Grand Cayman
We started at the mall but then kept walking.
Grand Cayman Exploring
Mom being a goof in Grand Cayman
Fresh Fish in Grand Cayman
Fresh fishmonger.
Lunch in Grand Cayman
Amazing lunch I got with fresh tuna
Iguana in Grand Cayman
We had a third join us for lunch.
Pelican in Grand Cayman
Caught this guy flying away on the walk back.
The Ruby Princess
Our home away from home for the week.

I’ll be thanking Princess Cruises and The American Heart Association in all of these posts. I’m honored they included me on this Cruise for a Cause and I can’t wait to share more of my adventures from this trip! Stay tuned!

Click here to learn more about the Atlantis Shore Excursion on Princess Cruises.


Published by Roni

A 40ish - wait, what?! - Mom who loves to try new things, share her adventures, and inspire people to reach their goals.