For years my wife and I would take a vacation every year to the Caribbean. We were never really the sightseeing type and always want to be occupied doing a water activity or sitting on the beach taking in some rays and drinking cocktails! When my son was born I didn’t think I was going to make it back to an island for at least 10 years. I just didn’t think there would be enough to keep a kid his age occupied (no boardwalk or rides!). However, we missed that clear blue water way too much and couldn’t resist any longer! We decided to take a trip and partner up with the Caribbean Club to make our first family Caribbean trip to Grand Cayman. I have to admit, I was not expecting to fall in love with the island so much! Nor did I realize just how beautiful this resort was going to be. I mean yeah, I looked at the website pics and went on trip advisor, but still I was blown away! I am pretty sure though, that I will never get to stay in a room (actually a full luxury apartment) like that again. The room had 3 full bedrooms: 1 with a King bed, 1 with a Queen bed and 1 with 2 full beds. It had 3 (yes 3) full gorgeous bathrooms (1 for each bedroom) with 1 of them being shared as a communal bathroom. No matter how nice your hotel room is, I usually never want to waste time being in the room on vacation. But, with a suite like this, I found myself so happily relaxed lounging around in between dives, the beach, and pool time. Being that my wife and I are certified scuba divers and love snorkeling, we had always wanted to visit Grand Cayman. One of the things that drew us to the Cayman Islands, besides the obvious crystal clear water, was that a friend of mine had visited once before and told us that there was really good shore diving on the island…so we were excited to try that for the first time! Since we woke up around 4am to head to JFK Airport, we decided the first day on the island we would just hang out at the hotel, order some (lots) of pina colada’s from their on-site restaurant, Luca, and do some snorkeling on the beach. At first we were kind of bummed by the amount of fish we were seeing. We had been to enough islands to know that not every beach you can just jump in and see tons of fish, but we heard so much about shore diving and snorkeling here that we just figured we’d jump in to a giant fish tank! Luckily, we were given a tip by a fellow diver that you if you just swam straight out about 100 yards we would find what we were looking for…and we did! There was huge coral reef with tons of wild life…such as lobsters, turtles, parrot fish and more. We were in heaven! For the second day, we wanted to try and find something that Nate could participate in and hopefully would let him see some fish since he can’t snorkel just yet. Although, I was actually surprised by how much he just loved floating in the ocean. He’s used to the Jersey shore where the water is freezing and you can’t see your own nipples (lol) never mind see fish swimming by your feet. And, he was thrilled by the lack of seaweed! We booked a full day trip with Stingray City Cayman Islands that started with swimming with the stingrays at Stingray City. I have been diving and snorkeling before where I seen a sting ray, but never with so many! With this trip they were everywhere…I mean there was at least 30 swimming between our legs and all around. It does get a little crowded at Stingray City and for Nate the water was a little choppy, but we just held him since the water is only 3 feet deep. The tour guide holds the rays so you can take pictures with them and pet them. My wife, Sarina, and I also snorkeled around, swam, and pet them. It really was amazing! For the next stop we headed to Starfish Point. There wasn’t really much to see here but on the bottom of the ocean floor there were these beautiful starfish. I’m normally a big sissy with touching unknown creatures, but I really wanted to look cool in front of my son (lol) so I dove down about 15 ft and picked up a starfish to show him. I could feel his little suction cups on my hand – it was pretty cool, and my son dug it. Next stop was at coral gardens, but to be honest, I could’ve of skipped this stop. I didn’t really see anything that I couldn’t see snorkeling off the beach at the hotel. We then headed back to land and went to the Cayman Turtle Centre. This turtle farm and the whole trip was really an amazing hands-on experience. Right through the front doors you’re greeted with these HUGE sea turtles. I have never see turtles these big…I mean, when they come up for air its like a whale blowing its blow hole. They also actually have a lagoon where you can swim with a couple of different fish and tons of sea turtles, a giant pool with a pretty cool water slide and a man-made waterfall. One of my favorite moments of the trip was when Nathan and I went in the holding tanks and got to hold the sea turtles in our hands. We were taught (and it actually works) that when you pick them up and they get squirmy, if you rub their neck, they calm down. We bought him a turtle souvenir and he rubbed Cayman’s (his new pet turtle’s name) neck the whole ride back to the hotel. (he’s too cute) The next day we knew it was time to do some diving! Even though we took a refresher course, we both were still nervous to do any deep dives and really just wanted to shore dive. We decided to head to the Eden Rock Diving Center where we rented some scuba gear and jumped right in the ocean. It was such a cool experience and the first time we went diving without a guide. The shop owner showed us a map of the reef to show us where to go once we were underwater. To be honest, my adrenaline was pumping so much I didn’t really remember what he said, so we just explored. We swam with turtles, a barracuda, 5ft fish, and so many other creatures. Normally we go on a boat with other divers so I was a little nervous not having other bodies in the water with us (I’m kinda scared to come across a shark), but I can’t wait to do more shore diving on my next trip – so fun! At night we explored and ate at different restaurants. We felt so safe walking around at night and the location of the Caribbean Club was perfect…right on 7 mile beach! I could probably keep going on and on of just how amazing this trip was, but I’m not sure you’ll read much more (lol)! Overall, a breath-taking suite, in a beautiful hotel, with the nicest staff members, in the Caribbean with my amazing family…it was really a great way to end our summer. Thank you again Caribbean Club for the unbelievable accommodations! You made my son Nathan’s first trip to the Caribbean an unforgettable one. Now, how are we going to match that room on our next family trip?!!! My son will be expecting that! haha Hoping to be back again one day soon!