Capt.Marvins

Old Dec 30th, 2001, 12:19 PM
  #1  
Kara
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Capt.Marvins

Everyone mentions Captain Marvin for Grand Caymens.

Should I go with this private tour or go through the ship for their tour? Pros and Cons of each?
 
Old Dec 30th, 2001, 02:15 PM
  #2  
Ian
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If you go with the ship tour you will probably visit one site-Stingray City and you will be in the water for 45 minutes along with the other 200 lemmings on the tour. If you are a novice, you will receive little or no help and will be left to fend for yourself. You will also spend the better part of half of your 3 1/2 hour tour just getting to and from Stingray City (it is on the other side of the island). If you use Capt Marvins you will drive across the island to their dock. You will spend all but twenty minutes of your three or four hour trip in the water. Your boat may have 4-12 other people on it and you will end up at Sting Ray City before or after the wondering 'hoards'.
You will also end up snorkeling in two other locations, for a total of three, instead of one. I highly recommend Capt. Marvins. It is less expensive, much better, and ALL of the money that you spend actually stays on the island with the tour operators vs. a fifty percent kickback to the ship. You have to be prepared to get off the ship and take a cab or bus to the Captain Marvins office (opposite the Westin I think). It is a ten minute ride at most. From there, Capt. Marvins will provide transport to the dock. This tour was the highlight of our trip. We also watched the ship excursion arrive on the site. It was horrible. I would recommend doing the Capt. Marvins tour just as soon as the ship docks. That way you can snorkle immediately and then come back to town and browse around when the shops are less crowded (they are a zoo when the ships first come in to port. At the end of our tour we also went and spent some time on the Westin Beach. We just walked through the lobby and went down to the beach for an hour. No problem whatsoever. It was much better than spending time in the shops.
 
Old Dec 30th, 2001, 02:32 PM
  #3  
Kara
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Ian - thank you so much!
 
Old Dec 31st, 2001, 03:17 PM
  #4  
Ian
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Kara:

Two other items. The folks at Capt Marvins bring along some bait to entice some of the fish to swin about you. A very nice touch. From time to time they have a fellow who videotapes your trip underwater. He will show you the tape however we found that there was ABSOLUTELY no pressure to buy the tape-though it is interesting. Our operator also lifted up a stingray so we could get a good look at the underside and take some great pictures. I do not know if this occurs on the ships tour.

One real problem with ship tours is that they suck a great deal of money out of the local economy and into the cruise ship conglomerates. The local operators get next to nothing hence they are not that excited about it. We also found that they often have their hands out for underserved tips. We did tip at Captain Marvins and the fellow truly earned it. I do not think that he expected it.
 
Old Dec 31st, 2001, 04:14 PM
  #5  
Albert
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We did stingray city about four years ago via Princess arranged excursion. I have no idea who the operator was, could have been Captain Marvin for all I know. However, we took a quick trip from ship to dive boat, headed straight to stingray city and were there for the better part of an hour, during which time the guides fed the stingrays, held them up, etc., etc., just as Ian describes. We then went to a second site not too far away, with great coral, fish, eels, etc., and we were there for about 40 minutes. I don't know about Capt. Marvin, but my experience on the "ship's tour" was excellent. Cannot comment about economics (though I'm sure the ship charges more to cover its "referral fee" to the local operator).
 
Old Jan 1st, 2002, 12:51 PM
  #6  
Sara
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I also did Captain Marvin's tour and it was excellent! Top notch.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2002, 03:11 PM
  #7  
JasonH
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Captain Marvin is great - another recommendation from me.
 
Old Aug 23rd, 2002, 08:14 PM
  #8  
jane
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I've heard so many great things about Capt. Marvins. I just want to clarify somethings: am I responsible for getting to capt marvin's office? how much is it to take a cab to their office? is it true that capt marvin will get you back to the dock?
 
Old Aug 24th, 2002, 03:22 AM
  #9  
JasonH
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You can walk to Capt Marvin's office from the pier. It is very close to the pier - they will give you instructions.

They will then bus you to where you start the excursion.
 
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 01:35 PM
  #10  
Simone
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Jane, I bought Cap Marvin in advance and they were waiting for me at the pier with a van. They took us around a little, went to Hell (vulcanic rocks) and than to the boat for snorkeling. It was great!!!
 
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