Cayman Islands Journals

Three friends visit Grand Cayman

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An April 2002 trip to Cayman Islands by JLK100

Jennifer and Laura shortly after arrival Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Two friends and I visited Grand Cayman for six days and five nights of sun and fun. It's an excellent island getaway with fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, friendly locals and just enough activities to keep you busy when you get tired of lounging in the sun.

Three friends visit Grand Cayman

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Overview

Jennifer and Laura shortly after arrival Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
The overall highlight was, without question, simply having the chance to get away from every day stresses, enjoying this relaxed state with two great friends, Kristy and Laura. Together we did lots of swimming in the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean, worked hard to avoid a sunburn (I have never used so much SPF30 as I did while in Cayman), met new friends, fed stingray and gave scuba a try.Quick Tips: Key points: 1. Take lots of sunblock in an SPF higher than you'd wear at a beach further from the equator. Don't forget special coverage for your face including even more SPF, extra lip protection and light colored hats. 2. As in Britain, drivers are on the left ...Read More

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa

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Hotel | "Beach Club Colony"

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa Photo, Huntington Beach, California
Quote:
Lucky me - I was designated as the selector of our accommodations. We had previously considered a trip to the Dominican Republic based on that country's abundant inexpensive all-inclusive resorts, thus my initial research into Cayman resorts completely freaked me out: expensive and few all-inclusive options. It wasn't that we wanted to avoid leaving our Cayman resort - on the contrary! We simply hoped to have some degree of cost certainly while fully expecting to leave the resort for some evening meals. There are only two all-inclusives on Grand Cayman and just one on Seven Mile Beach (SMB), the Beach Club Colony. After considering other SMB resorts such as the Westin, the Hyatt ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2002

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
21500 PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY
Huntington Beach, California 92648
714-698-1234

More Grand Cayman Dining Options

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Restaurant

Quote:
Grand Cayman offers a wide variety of choices spanning cuisines from Caribbean (obviously) to Continental to African. Although the restaurants can get pricey, shop around and you will find options for whatever your budget. One word of caution: lots of Cayman restaurants offer dinner only. Before trying to get breakfast or lunch at the venue of your choice, call ahead to make sure that they are open. All of the major hotels feature restaurants offering three meals per day; they are often prohibitively expensive. One decent deal is breakfast at the Mangrove Grille at the Holiday Inn (345-946-4433). Every day Mangrove offers a gut-busting buffet for CI$10.95 that includes ever...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Casanova Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Casanova"

Quote:
Laura, Kristy and I had dinner at Casanova on our last night in Grand Cayman. Because I was the one most into leaving our hotel for a special meal, they left the planning up to me. After a week of rice and potatoes, I was dying for some pasta so I focused on finding a good Italian place. I was also interested in getting out of the Seven Mile Beach area for a change. Fortunately, this search led me to Casanova, a lovely moderately-priced Italian restaurant in Georgetown overlooking the harbour. I called ahead, making a reservation for three people at 7:15 pm and received the first "Bella, bella" treatmant of many. It felt a lot like being in New York's Little Italy and exemplified t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2002

Casanova Restaurant
65 North Church Street
Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands
(345) 949-7633

DJ's

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Restaurant

Quote:
I had a hankering for Mexican food that, fortunately, my travel mates were willing to indulge. After reviewing a local dining guide, I presented our Beach Club bartender Glenn with two options, DJ's and La Bodega, and let him decide. Glenn had only been to DJ's and he recommended it highly. DJ's is a stylish yet relaxed restaurant and lounge with excellent food and friendly service. The decor is notable - dark in a sexy (not "help, I'm blind!") way, with cool fixtures everywhere, some candles here and there... it's really great, but was, alas, too dark for pictures. We didn't have reservations, however seating wasn't a problem. Late April is Grand Cayman's off-season so we were qui...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2002

Beach Club Colony

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Restaurant

Quote:
As described in my Beach Club Colony Accomodations entry, our decision to stay at an all-inclusive resort had nothing to do with a lack of interest in exploring local culture (including cuisine) and everything to do with cost certainty. Everything my friends and I had read about the Cayman Islands screamed "EXPENSIVE" so we thought it best to have at least two meals per day covered. While dining at the Beach Club was not as fancy or elegant as the top dining choices on Grand Cayman, our meals there were surprisingly good, for the most part. Our introduction to meals as the resort cam...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 13, 2002

Stingray City

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Attraction

Laura and Jennifer Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
Stingray City was a highlight of my Cayman trip. Upon arrival, the hotel receptionist signed us up for the "official" excursion offered by a partner provider. The trip cost US$34 for the opportunity to feed and interact with stingray at the North Bay sandbar and it included equipment and transportation. It sounded great, however after speaking with locals, we soon realized we could find a better deal – lower cost, higher quality. Fortunately, we met Mark Solomon, a former Beach Club employee and native Caymanian at our hotel who offered to set up a more personal tour for US$30pp. On Saturday morning, Mark drove us to the Grand Cayman Yacht Club. We were met by Robert Smith, the b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2002

Lazy Lizard

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Attraction

Lazy Lizard Restroom Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
Laura, Kristy and I, along with our new friends, Ian, Carl and Jason from the Beach Club dive shop went to the Lazy Lizard on a Sunday night. Contrary to my guess that it would be a quiet place, given that it was a Sunday, the joint was hopping! Most people there were hanging out at tables on the outdoor deck or in the swings adjacent to the mostly outdoor bar. The vibe was just right - casual and oh-so-Caribbean. People were chilling out, drinking Stingray and Red Stripe beer, wearing shorts and t-shirts as they chatted with friends old and new. Surprisingly enough, we tourists ran into a bunch of people we had met during our stay. Kelly and Darrio from Alberta... Duke, a Caymania...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2002

Seven Mile Beach

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Attraction

Quote:
Seven Mile Beach (actually 5 1/2 miles long, but who's counting) is a beautiful, clean sand beach on the west coast of Grand Cayman. Properties (hotels, condominiums, etc.) work hard to keep the beaches litter free and local laws ban peddling pests selling "crafts" or hawking hair braiding service. The water is crystal clear and the palest turquoise in shallow parts. At greater depths, the color changes to cerulean and even further out, it's almost navy, yet not the inky black of Atlantic depths. In short, this beach is as close to perfect as I've ever seen. During our visit, we used the Beach Club's complimentary snorkel equipment to explore a small reef several hundred ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2002

The Next Level

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Attraction

Quote:
The Next Level was my introduction to Cayman nightlife. It was my group's first night on Grand Cayman and we weren't really sure where to go so we began the night at our hotel's bar. A South African we had chatted with on the beach earlier in the day had recommended The Next Level (as Thursday is Ladies' Night) and Glenn, our Beach Club bartender, laughed, but concurred. The Next Level is a short walk north on West Bay Road from the Beach Club. As we had been promised, it was Ladies' Night at The Next Level meaning we didn't have to pay a cover and all of our drinks were free. Excellent! The decor was interesting. Ycould be in a nightclub anywhere; there was no sign of Cayman. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 9, 2002

West Bay Attractions

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Attraction

Quote:
Cayman Island Turtle Farm (345) 949-3894; US$5 adults, US$2.50 children aged 6-12 Located on the North end of West Bay Road, the turtle farm breeds for both ecological and commercial purposes. Here you can see turtles at just about every stage of their life cycle: unhatched turtle eggs, 600 pound adults and everything in between. While they do a great job of providing visitors with information about this endangered reptile and they do release about 4,000 bred turtles into the wild annually, they also sell approximately 3,000 to local restaurants for consumption each year. Kids may enjoy seeing the farm, especially the baby turtles, however they may find the realiza...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 20, 2002

Royal Palms

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Attraction

Quote:
The Royal Palms is everything a beach bar should be. Shaped like a large square hut, it's completely open air. Overlooking the beach, the views (and the breezes) are sublime. But woman cannot live by breezes and views alone, so my friends and I indulged in some of the Royal Palms' specialty cocktails and more than a few local beers. Not only were these fancy frozen drinks subtley alcoholic, they were also deliciously caloric, tasting more like a milkshake than a cocktail, seeing as most contained ice cream. We enjoyed Banana Banshees and Mudslides. Many, many Mudslides actually. After a few, you stop caring about anything except ordering up another round. If, somehow, you can man...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2002

Rum Point

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Attraction

Quote:
Rum Point is a great day trip for seeing another part of Grand Cayman. To get there, you will either need to hire a car or take the Rum Pointer, a ferry that leaves several times daily from the Hyatt Hotel. The ferry is the more convenient of the two options, however it does limit you to spending a specific amount of time at Rum Point. The trip across the North Sound to Rum Point takes 40 minutes and departs daily. The ferry makes the round trip approximately three times per day. Contact the Hyatt for specifics once you arrive in Grand Cayman. Once you arrive at Rum Point - so named for the barrels of rum that washed ashore during a long-ago shipwreck - it's a "choose your ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Georgetown

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Attraction

Quote:
Georgetown is the "downtown" area of Grand Cayman. Key attractions include the National Museum, the Georgetown Craft Market, Stingray Brewery and shopping. To receive a copy of a two hour self-guided walking tour of Georgetown, call the National Trust at (345) 949-0121. A few quick notes regarding Georgetown attractions: Shopping Eclectic, pricey, yet duty free. The broad selection runs the gamut from designer brand watches to local crafts. Browse carefully and you are certain to find something special to take home as a memento from Cayman. It will be nearly impossible to leave without some item produced by the Tortuga Rum Company (yum, rum cake!)...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Scuba in general

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Attraction

Quote:
Note: If you are an experienced diver, I won't be able to tell you anything you don't already know! I am a scuba novice and aim to inform those who like me visit Grand Cayman with no prior experience. A quick internet search of one web site dedicated to Cayman turned up 62 dive companies on Grand Cayman alone! Simple economics dictates that many will offer a free introductory scuba session with the hope that once you try it, you will be hooked and sign up for a certification course. Most intro classes take place in a shallow pool to ensure that students are focused on learning the critical basic skills and are comfortable with the equipment without worrying about sea currents...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 20, 2002

Three hot babes Photo, Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
* The Cayman Islands are a self-governing British colony, consisting of three islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. * Located in the Western Caribbean about 480 miles south of Miami, flights from the Northeastern US generally take 3 to 3 1/2 hours to arrive on Grand Cayman. Most of the major American airlines fly to Grand Cayman. We used US Airways, but also saw Delta and American flights coming and going. * To enter Cayman, American, Canadian, British (and other Commonwealth) citizens do not need a visa. Americans: bring either a passport OR your license plus your birth certificate for entry. * It's incorrect to refer to the islands collectively as "...Read More

The food!

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Caymanian cuisine has diverse origins. Some menu items may be "foreign" to you. Jerk from Jamaica... Yorkshire pudding from England... Spices from Africa. Here is some information that should help you navigate local menus, however when in doubt: ask! The natives are oh-so-friendly. Ackee & Codfish: Ackee is a fruit that when cooked, often looks like scrambled eggs; Jamaican origin Cassava: Root vegetable often prepared like potatoes and served as a side dish or stew. Conch: Marine snail popular throughout the Caribbean; usually served as a stew, fried as fritters or chopped with onions as a salad; pronounced 'konk.' Jerk...Read More