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Grand Cayman - Suggestions? (1 Viewer)

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
I have a quick work trip down to Grand Cayman in a couple weeks.  One of the islands I've never been to. I will have some down time so looking for things to do?  Anything unique there that I should be aware of? Other than open a bank account. Got that covered.

Tried the search function but, well, we all know how that worked out.

 

scorchy

Footballguy
Rent a snorkel, download Testudo's snorkeling guide from the web, and have a blast.  The best thing about Cayman is that there's no need to take a boat trip to snorkel - one of my favorite spots is right from the ironshore at the port - saw a 10 foot nurse shark maybe 100 yards offshore a few years ago.  If you do want to take a boat trip, sign up with a smaller company for Stingray City.  It can get a little overrun, but this time of year shouldn't be too busy.

And bring lots of $ because Cayman ain't cheap.  On the other hand, that keeps the standard of living high and makes it safe to drive yourself almost anywhere.

 

Senor Schmutzig

Footballguy
I have never really been impressed with Grand Cayman (not a snorkeler) despite having the opportunity to drive around the island and also did Stingray City. 

It's just a "meh" for me but I know some people really enjoy it. I'll monitor this thread to see if there is something I missed for the next time I visit. 

 

Joe Mammy

Footballguy
I've also scuba dived with the stingrays. It was a disaster. There were 8 divers including me and my wife. The dive master told us to drop to the bottom (about 20') and form a circle and she'd pass out finger mullet to us to feed the rays, she demonstrated how to hold the small fish between your thumb and pointer finger while making a fist. She said the rays would simply hoover them up into their gaping maws. She said if you grow tired of feeding just cross your arms and put your hands in your armpits.

It was amazing at first, as soon as we dropped down we were inundated with all sizes of rays- everywhere. They were all over us. I received my first fish and waved it and it was gobbled up right away by a large ray, hey- this is fun! So I gestured for another fish. When I waved this one suddenly a yellow tail snapper raced into our circle and ripped the fish out of my hand, rather viciously. Hmmm, I looked around and noticed a school of snapper and out beyond them a couple of very large barracuda. Suddenly I didn't feel like waving any more fish around. I looked over at my wife and she was flapping her arm with a giant ray giving her a hickey right on her forearm. 

A minute later everyone in our circle had their arms crossed, no more feeding the fish for us. We headed back to the boat.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
I'm guessing you won't be renting a car? Although, I kind of recommend it.

The thing about Cayman is it won't have tons of crazy things to do that some people require on their vacations. It's simply a really nice high end relaxing destination with great food/hotels and safety.

A couple restaurants to check out are:

Calypso Grill (Get the sticky toffee pudding for dessert)

Morgan's Seafood Restaurant

Restaurante Papagallo-A friend owns a condo across the street and basically lives at this place. :lol:  

Chicken Chicken (for lunch, in a strip mall, but a locals lunchtime favorite)

The Ritz Carlton Pina Colada is expensive (like $17 I think?) but delicious with a healthy Bacardi 151 float.

Haven't been there in awhile, but Deckers used to have an all you can eat lobster night on Tuesday or Wednesday THINK? I thought it was a good value and the bar made great drinks.

If you're not interested in Sting Ray City. I'd skip it. I still do it on occasion when I''m showing it to friends,  but it's always on a friends private boat outside of tourist hours. It used to be an absolute ####-show when it's full. I do know they're cracking down heavily on the number of boats and how much squid they're allowed to bring per boat.

Avoid downtown at all costs when there are cruise boats in. Honestly, I'd just avoid it in general. It's mostly shops directed to cruise boaters.  

Camana Bay is a nice outdoor shopping area with a bunch of restaurants/bars.

I'll think of more, or if you have any specific questions I can answer? 

Most of the restaurants will require a taxi, or your own rental car. They drive on the left, so keep in mind if you'll want to have a few drinks at dinner.
Probably no car.  This came together at the last minute so hadn't really considered it.  But good idea...most of my favorite times on other islands have been just driving around and getting lost...I may have to re-think and get one.  I have a day of meetings at the Ritz and staying over at the Westin...looks like all those restaurants are on that side so that's good news and thanks for the recommendations. I do have one business dinner scheduled at Grand Old House...is that any good?

 

Brunell4MVP

Footballguy
Hint:  Stay at a place called the Beachcomber.  We had a 4 bedroom condo there and it was fantastic.  Close to a couple of on the beach bars and the Ritz Carlton.  I'm sure they have smaller condos for rent.  It really is 5 stars.

Do the swimming with the Stingrays.  Yes it was touristy, but it was a lot of fun.  I know some people don't enjoy it.  I thought it was pretty cool.  Moreso seeing my kids having a blast.

I drove around the whole island in about 2 hours one morning.  It's one of the things I like to do on small Caribbean islands.  Don't waste your time.  Most everything worth doing is near 7 mile beach on the west side.  The rest of the island is pretty much housing.  Even Rum Pointe.  It's nothing really.  The coast line on the south and east is so rocky it's really quite boring.

Ignore Georgetown.  Especially when the cruise ships come in.  

Calypso Grill and Cracked Conch are two good restaurants.  The latter has some of the best tuna I've ever eaten.

Get ready to see like a million iguanas and have chickens wake you up every morning.

It's a very safe island. 

 
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scorchy

Footballguy
Thinking about doing an all inclusive to Grand Cayman. Is that the way to go down there? Never been
Not really an all-inclusive kind of place.  Not even sure there's a single AI on the island.  It has lots of great restaurants and is super safe, so we check out lots of different spots. 

 
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Insoxicated
I have never really been impressed with Grand Cayman (not a snorkeler) despite having the opportunity to drive around the island and also did Stingray City. 

It's just a "meh" for me but I know some people really enjoy it. I'll monitor this thread to see if there is something I missed for the next time I visit. 
This is where I'm at. 

Stingray City was pretty neat to do once. They're feisty guys. :lol:  

The Turtle sanctuary pretty much sucked. All the photos of interactions don't happen anymore. basically walk around and look at 20 turtles floating around in shallow concrete pools... then you're done. 

"Hell" is the dumbest ####### tourist trap I've ever seen in my life. 

The port area is kinda just dirty and overpriced. 

I imagine if I snorkeled or spent more time in the right prices, I'd like it much more... but for the money I can get that laid back tropical beach/island vibe better and cheaper elsewhere I think. 

 

Galileo

Footballguy
This is where I'm at. 

Stingray City was pretty neat to do once. They're feisty guys. :lol:  

The Turtle sanctuary pretty much sucked. All the photos of interactions don't happen anymore. basically walk around and look at 20 turtles floating around in shallow concrete pools... then you're done. 

"Hell" is the dumbest ####### tourist trap I've ever seen in my life. 

The port area is kinda just dirty and overpriced. 

I imagine if I snorkeled or spent more time in the right prices, I'd like it much more... but for the money I can get that laid back tropical beach/island vibe better and cheaper elsewhere I think. 
I think this is a key, snorkeling or scuba diving.  I've only been there once on a cruise stop, so I have no expertise and wasn't enamored with it.  While I am not a diver myself, I have heard from several people about how great the diving is around there.

 

scorchy

Footballguy
This is where I'm at. 

Stingray City was pretty neat to do once. They're feisty guys. :lol:  

The Turtle sanctuary pretty much sucked. All the photos of interactions don't happen anymore. basically walk around and look at 20 turtles floating around in shallow concrete pools... then you're done. 

"Hell" is the dumbest ####### tourist trap I've ever seen in my life. 

The port area is kinda just dirty and overpriced. 

I imagine if I snorkeled or spent more time in the right prices, I'd like it much more... but for the money I can get that laid back tropical beach/island vibe better and cheaper elsewhere I think. 
I'm not gonna disagree with a thing you say.  But for the right vacationer, it's paradise.  It's been our go-to for over 20 years for spring break.  Every now and again we try other places - usually like them fine - but end up back in Cayman the next March/April.

It's certainly not scenic except for the view of the water from 7-mile Beach (or the coral underneath).  There's really not local "culture" like you get in Jamaica or Belize or the DR.  Nightlife is pretty much zilch.  And it's expensive.

However, Mrs. Scorchy likes one vacation a year where she can completely chill, snorkel a bit, not worry about a ton of hassle getting there or getting around, and maybe be able to buy another nice watch at a steep discount.  We stay at the RItz or the Weston, make an annual visit to Stingray City at a time when the cruise ships are minimal, and eat at all our favorite places on the island.  I'm generally not a sit on the beach kind of person, so being able to drive a short distance to some of the best snorkeling spots in the world is a huge plus.  No boat rides or private tours needed, just rent mask and fins and head in off the sand.  

We canceled our trip in March 2020 two days before flying out and haven't made it back.  Really hoping that a lot of our favorite spots to eat are still around.

 

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Insoxicated
scorchy said:
I'm not gonna disagree with a thing you say.  But for the right vacationer, it's paradise.  It's been our go-to for over 20 years for spring break.  Every now and again we try other places - usually like them fine - but end up back in Cayman the next March/April.

It's certainly not scenic except for the view of the water from 7-mile Beach (or the coral underneath).  There's really not local "culture" like you get in Jamaica or Belize or the DR.  Nightlife is pretty much zilch.  And it's expensive.

However, Mrs. Scorchy likes one vacation a year where she can completely chill, snorkel a bit, not worry about a ton of hassle getting there or getting around, and maybe be able to buy another nice watch at a steep discount.  We stay at the RItz or the Weston, make an annual visit to Stingray City at a time when the cruise ships are minimal, and eat at all our favorite places on the island.  I'm generally not a sit on the beach kind of person, so being able to drive a short distance to some of the best snorkeling spots in the world is a huge plus.  No boat rides or private tours needed, just rent mask and fins and head in off the sand.  

We canceled our trip in March 2020 two days before flying out and haven't made it back.  Really hoping that a lot of our favorite spots to eat are still around.


Yeah that makes perfect sense. Get away from the port, and unwind... get in the water and enjoy the stuff the island is famous for.

Definitely sounds like a recipe for a much better experience. :thumbup:  

Hope your guys' spots are still there too, GB. 

 
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