Submarine Key Tip
Children must be at least four-years-old and a minimum of three feet in height to meet the requirements of the safety equipment aboard the submarine.
Dominic Wheaton takes a family trip on the Atlantis for Key to Cayman.
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when my wife, seven year-old daughter and her young friend headed to George Town for a trip under the waves.
We’ve lived on Grand Cayman for many years, and although the Atlantis submarine has been operating out of the harbour for as long as I can remember, we’ve never seemed to find the time to go on it. Today was the day.
We checked in at the office, a very quick process, where we were also given the important information that there would be no restrooms on board the submarine, so now was the time to take advantage of the nice bathroom facilities on shore.
After taking a look around their retail shop, the announcement came that it was time to board their double decker boat that would take us to the sub.
We all congregated on the second floor as the friendly Atlantis representative went through a pre-boarding safety briefing. The children were already excited to be on the boat, and as we approached the submarine they could barely contain themselves.
It was a very simple process to get from the boat to Atlantis, and we walked down the steps into the body of the sub with ease. The hull features rows of seats that face large portholes. Each porthole has a card with pictures and names of various fishes on it, so riders can keep their eyes peeled for them.
Finally everyone was on board and as we began to descend, the narrator showed us how the depth gauge was measuring the number of feet we were under the water. He also hastened to add that the pressure in the submarine would remain the same, so there would be no need for equalising of the ears.
As we started to go along the wall, the girls squealed with delight at the fishes going by. There was a barracuda coming close to the portholes, and then snapper, a large lobster and a crab. Schooling fish swam by, and the narrator was peppered with questions from the two budding Jacques Cousteaus: “What’s that blue fish? Why are the fish on that side and not the other?”
They also announced their ongoing counts of each type of fish, rapid-fire style, until we reckoned that a final total at the end might be a bit more efficient.
As we headed to the Sunset Reef area, the pilot took a swing past the nine-foot tall bronze underwater sculpture of a mermaid known as Amphitrite, and at one point he actually gently rested the sub on the sandy sea floor.
The constant sea life going past the windows was fascinating to behold, and we all enjoyed every moment of it.
By the time we were making our way back to the surface, we had all become amateur ichthyologists.
The girls had a fabulous time and my wife and I, despite being experienced scuba divers, had to admit that this was a great way to explore the underwater world. The best part about it? No need to get wet.
Key to Cayman enjoyed this adventure courtesy of Atlantis Submarines.