To really see and enjoy all the island has to offer, it is highly recommended that you rent a car. For our first trip to Grand Cayman, we opted to rent a car through McCurley’s Tours who provided transportation from the airport to our resort (Morritt’s on the east end). The rental car was ready for us at the resort and we left it there when they came to pick us up for the return to the airport. This worked out really well for us since we were not familiar with driving in Grand Cayman (remember to drive on the left). The service includes a quick stop at the grocery and liquor store on the way from the airport to the resort - we were able to stock up on food and drinks for the week. Beth Ann (Mrs. McCurley) provided a map and pointed out places to go, things to see, and tips on places to go for beach snorkeling (one of the best spots is near the Queen’s Monument on the north side). The cost for the rental car and airport transportation was $225 (US) for a 4-door Nissan Sentra with AC, plus $8 US for a Cayman driver’s license. This may have been a little higher than some through the major car rental companies, but for the extra $10 to $20, we got a great value and would recommend McCurley’s to any other first-timers or returning vacationers.
It was easy enough (for my husband that is) to get used to driving on the wrong (left) side – the hard part was remembering to look the wrong way when turning a corner into cross traffic, or remembering to stay on the left in parking lots but we managed well.
When driving at night, keep an eye out for sand crabs that cross the road (the night crawling crabs may only be seasonal). You may also come across chickens trying to cross the road (why DO the chickens cross the road anyhow?).
Also, be aware of posted speed limits when driving through the small towns – we were told a speeding ticket would run over $200. The speed limit signs are posted in MPH, and the speedometer was posted in kilometers per hour. Luckily, the folks at McCurley’s taped a small sign showing the conversion from MPH to KPH next to the speedometer.
One of the funniest things we saw driving around was a pedestrian crossing sign – it showed what looked like an older person hunched over with a cane. Just as I was saying "it looks like a crossing for old people", we spotted a small building that provided housing and care for the elderly.
We drove around quite a bit (from Morritt’s to Rum Point, into Georgetown, into 7 Mile Beach, up to Hell and back, out for dinner a few times and to the small local grocery store) and used only seven imperial gallons of gas during the week, which ran $3.30/gallon CI (or $4 US).
P.S. If you use a platinum card that offers rental car coverage, you won't be asked to buy the optional loss damage coverage.
PO Box 150 North Side Post Office
British West Indies
UPDATE August 2007
Just returned from another trip to Grand Cayman, and of course rented through McCurley's... BA was the best host/guide, but informed me that they only do rentals on the north and east sides, not to George Town or 7 Mile Beach. FYI
I will post new reviews on a private home we rented this trip - stay tuned.