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Destination advice: Grand Cayman

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  • AFKAE

    I think there are a few people who have been (Anna in particular).

    I’ve just booked 2-4-1 outbound 31/5 returning 14/6. Looks like CS config.

    I’m not a great hotel points collector, so will probs go for 2 different AirBnb’s-14 days in one place will send us crazy! We will also have a car if not for the whole period, then a decent portion of it.

    I would be very interested in any info on the different parts of the Island(s) (in terms of places to stay) and any other general useful info…things to see and do, places to eat etc etc.

    NorthernLass

    It was CS when we went in July.

    I certainly have lots to share but tell me what you particularly like doing to narrow it down a bit! Quiet/busy etc.

    We usually use Andy’s car rental as they are quite flexible about when and where you can pick up and drop off. To make the most of the (long) CW experience we generally stay in a hotel in the 7 Mile Beach/Georgetown area for the first night and collect the car the next day.

    AFKAE

    It was CS when we went in July.

    I certainly have lots to share but tell me what you particularly like doing to narrow it down a bit! Quiet/busy etc.

    We usually use Andy’s car rental as they are quite flexible about when and where you can pick up and drop off. To make the most of the (long) CW experience we generally stay in a hotel in the 7 Mile Beach/Georgetown area for the first night and collect the car the next day.

    I would say mostly quiet…….but not deathly quiet! I’m just approaching normal retirement age, Mrs AFKAE 2 years younger.

    Eating and drinking is important (not just for biologically staying alive, but for entertainment too!). Any trips you recommend fishing etc would be interesting.

    Beach and swimming both important, but not for spending the whole day on the beach. Bit of sun, bit of a swim and then off for lunch…..that kind of thing 😉

    NorthernLass

    Beaches – be aware that the place has been suffering very badly from sargassum grass in recent summers so if you want to avoid this stick to the West side. Also the areas of Rum Point and Kaibo aren’t as badly affected. The sea at 7 Mile Beach is divine, clear, calm and shallow so you can just swim and bob around for as long as you want. If you have a car you can explore other nice ones like Smiths Cove and Spotts Bay (Spotts is known for turtle sightings).

    The west side has the most going on but it’s still pretty quiet by European standards, you can always find a quiet spot on the beach, especially in summer which is low season there (but the weather is usually great in May and June). The east end is quieter still – we have a timeshare at Morritt’s Tortuga club but you can rent the units as well – at the moment there are massive bargains via American owners who have loads of spare weeks they couldn’t use during lockdown.

    A good option might be to have a week in the 7MB area and then a second week somewhere quieter – there are a lot of rental properties around Kaibo which is lovely. Also have a look at Rum Point Retreat and Rum Point Residences which I’ve got on my own wish list!

    Restaurants – absolutely any food you can think of and a wide range of budgets catered for. It will depend where you’re staying as to where you’re likely to eat.

    A word of caution – it is jaw-droppingly expensive (though there are plenty of relatively reasonably-priced eateries) so unless money is no object take your own coffee, tea, alcohol and anything else you can fit in your luggage! For comparison, a jar of instant coffee will set you back $10 (everything is generally priced in Cayman dollars, which are currently worth about 90p.) It’s a running joke among timeshare owners to post pictures of supermarket shelves with, say, a box of fishfingers at $12! Although residents don’t pay any income tax, the government does tax everything else to the hilt – so expect a extra charges on top of everything.

    We don’t fish but it is very popular and there’s a guy called Captain Hermann who will take you out fishing and also cook what you catch if you want him to! Stingray City is worth seeing once as the stingrays are absolutely free to come and go but I wouldn’t recommend the dolphin or turtle centres (we have visited the turtle centre a couple of times but I got more and more uncomfortable about seeing the turtles crammed into tiny pools with no room to swim).

    Let us know when you decide where you’re staying.

    NorthernLass

    Oh yeah – expect your flight to be cancelled if it hasn’t been already and be prepared to move it a couple of days either side!

    AP

    I’m also very interested in this since being inspired to research GCM after reading Anna’s posts here. We will be travelling at the end of July as a family of 4 with 2 kids (12 and 15)- we were due to go last April but COVID ended that dream. We’re there for 2 weeks, currently got 10 nights on points at Seafire but booked each night separately so some flexibility to change it up and also want to stay in two different places, so need to look for somewhere else – Palm Heights looks interesting. I’ve booked a car through Hertz for the full 2 weeks, which seems really cheap – but will look into Andy’s. Its expensive but figured as the hotel room is covered mainly by points (except for resort fee) can stomach some higher living costs, combined with feeding the kids Pot Noodles!

    AFKAE

    Beaches – be aware that the place has been suffering very badly from sargassum grass in recent summers so if you want to avoid this stick to the West side. Also the areas of Rum Point and Kaibo aren’t as badly affected. The sea at 7 Mile Beach is divine, clear, calm and shallow so you can just swim and bob around for as long as you want. If you have a car you can explore other nice ones like Smiths Cove and Spotts Bay (Spotts is known for turtle sightings).

    The west side has the most going on but it’s still pretty quiet by European standards, you can always find a quiet spot on the beach, especially in summer which is low season there (but the weather is usually great in May and June). The east end is quieter still – we have a timeshare at Morritt’s Tortuga club but you can rent the units as well – at the moment there are massive bargains via American owners who have loads of spare weeks they couldn’t use during lockdown.

    A good option might be to have a week in the 7MB area and then a second week somewhere quieter – there are a lot of rental properties around Kaibo which is lovely. Also have a look at Rum Point Retreat and Rum Point Residences which I’ve got on my own wish list!

    Restaurants – absolutely any food you can think of and a wide range of budgets catered for. It will depend where you’re staying as to where you’re likely to eat.

    A word of caution – it is jaw-droppingly expensive (though there are plenty of relatively reasonably-priced eateries) so unless money is no object take your own coffee, tea, alcohol and anything else you can fit in your luggage! For comparison, a jar of instant coffee will set you back $10 (everything is generally priced in Cayman dollars, which are currently worth about 90p.) It’s a running joke among timeshare owners to post pictures of supermarket shelves with, say, a box of fishfingers at $12! Although residents don’t pay any income tax, the government does tax everything else to the hilt – so expect a extra charges on top of everything.

    We don’t fish but it is very popular and there’s a guy called Captain Hermann who will take you out fishing and also cook what you catch if you want him to! Stingray City is worth seeing once as the stingrays are absolutely free to come and go but I wouldn’t recommend the dolphin or turtle centres (we have visited the turtle centre a couple of times but I got more and more uncomfortable about seeing the turtles crammed into tiny pools with no room to swim).

    Let us know when you decide where you’re staying.

    Many thanks, that gives me loads to get started. The tip on cost of things is useful, might need to add to the luggage.

    Will deffo let you know what we end up booking.

    AFKAE

    Oh yeah – expect your flight to be cancelled if it hasn’t been already and be prepared to move it a couple of days either side!

    Booked it at 1pm today…….no changes yet 😉

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