Cayman Islands Journals

Grand Cayman - "Too American, too expensive?"

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A June 2002 trip to Cayman Islands by Foxboro Marmot

 Havin Big Fun Now Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: The local newspaper headline from a survey of travel agents read: "Cayman Islands - Too American, too expensive." Two days later the paper was frantically backpedaling - but was it true? Not far off the mark if you ask us - but there are ways to save!

Grand Cayman - "Too American, too expensive?"

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Overview

Quote:
Grand Cayman hosts memorable SCUBA diving, but you don't need to be a certified diver to get underwater. Dive shops all over the island offer 'resort dives' or 'intro dives' giving total novices basic instruction followed by an escorted dive of about 40 minutes. As one rookie said returning to the surface "I felt like I was in a National Geographic special!" Everyone should visit Stingray City for a hands on encounter with wild, but gentle, stingrays. The water is only four feet deep, so there's no need for anything more than a mask and snorkel. Over time, stingrays have come to associate boats with food: when one stops, it's quickly swarmed by stingrays gliding silently around. People ...Read More

Holiday Inn

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Hotel

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Seven Mile Beach extends north from Georgetown in one broad curve. For the first four or five miles it's pretty much one continuously developed shoreline, hotel, restaurant, condo over and over again, with occasional narrow pathways allowing public beach access. There's less development around the Holiday Inn, the furthest major hotel from Georgetown. The hotel is across the street from the beach. Some people might like a beach adjacent to their hotel, but we preferred the separation. A screen of sea grape trees and other vegetation made it feel more isolated, more like a secluded Caribbean beach. Alright, it isn't THAT secluded, a low building houses a small bar, restaurant an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 4, 2002

Cayman Turtle Farm

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Attraction

 Havin Big Fun Now Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
No one enjoys reviews of bad attractions, but they need to be written. For instance, if someone had done a travel journal about the Cayman Turtle Farm and explained it to me, I could have saved $18 US. It's hard to spend more than 15 minutes here. Let me be your guide as we make a virtual visit to the Cayman Turtle Farm. Pay your money and come on in! The first tank is 6 feet deep, about 30 feet across and contains a couple hundred turtles, all between 9 to 12 inches around. We're allowed to reach in and pick them up! Oh boy! (Hint: use two hands and get 'em by the sides.) OK... got one! Now what do we do with it? Well, we can take it out of ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 4, 2002

Eden Rock SCUBA

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Attraction

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Intro SCUBA dives are a great way to experience the underwater world for those who don't have the time or interest to become certified divers. In a few hours you get enough instruction to get by, all the equipment needed and a guide to take you down, point out a few things and keep you from drowning. Eden Rock SCUBA, less than 5 minutes walk from the center of Georgetown, offers one of the lowest priced intro dives on the island at $75 US. We were concerned that conditions might be murky because of boat activity in Georgetown harbor, but once in the water you'd never know how close civilization is: the water's clear, the coral's colorful and fish are plentiful. The classroom session...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 4, 2002

Cayman Currency

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Two forms of currency are accepted everywhere in the Caymans: American dollars and Cayman Island dollars. The exchange rate is fixed and unvarying: $1.25 US equals $1 CI. Any time US dollars are used change is given in Cayman dollars. Prices may be quoted in $ US or $ CI or both. This provides a very convenient system, at least to Americans, as it avoids all transaction fees for converting currency. But it has a second effect that shows up, particularly at restaurants, where prices are always given in $ CI. As you peruse the menu, prices don't seem out of line with what you're used to seeing. It's only when the bill comes and you recall the 25% premium for Cayman dollars that you realiz...Read More