A Visit to the Cayman Islands gives the feel of Great Britain in the Caribbean Sea

CaymanIslands1The Cayman Islands is a British Territory that is comprised of 3 islands in the western Caribbean Sea. Grand Cayman is the largest island.  It is best known for its ‘Seven Mile Beach’, beach resorts and various scuba diving and snorkeling sites. The second island is called Cayman Brac and it is a popular launch point for deep-sea fishing excursions. The third island is Little Cayman and it is the smallest island and home to diverse wildlife.

If you plan to take a flight to the Cayman Islands you will arrive at Owen Roberts International Airport located on the island of Grand Cayman.  This is the main airport of the Cayman Islands. Flights are also available to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman but are limited to smaller airplanes. Here you will find a link to one of the many sites that will allow you to check flight prices and routes to Grand Cayman or other destinations Worldwide.  Compare prices on flights with Skyscanner

Another way to arrive to Grand Cayman is by cruise ship.  Many of the most popular cruise lines including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and several others visit the port of Grand Cayman throughout the year. A cruise visiting the Western Caribbean will visit a variety of ports that may include the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, or the Florida Keys. Cruises to the Western Caribbean usually depart from Galveston, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami  You can find more information including itineraries, rates, and sailing dates by visiting the cruise companies websites individually or booking through a travel company.

On this adventure I am on a cruise that includes a visit to Grand Cayman.

My cruise ship arrived at 8 a.m. into Grand Harbour located in the city of Georgetown on Grand Cayman. My ship is scheduled to depart at 5 p.m. and I don’t want to be late so I will plan to arrive back on the ship about an hour before this time. The great thing about taking a cruise is that it allows you the opportunity to see different cities, usually three or four destinations on a 7 night cruise, and it gives you a taste of the culture, the people, the food, and what there is to do so you can decide if you want to return again for a longer stay in the future.

I got off the ship and had to take a tender to the island.  For those who may not know, a tender is a small vessel that carries passengers from the cruise ship to the mainland because the water is too shallow for the ships to dock in port.  As I arrive I notice the port is already busy with fellow tourists who have decided to take advantage of the duty-free shopping among other activities.  There is so much to choose from including scuba diving, snorkeling, shopping, a visit to the Cayman Turtle Farm or Cayman Stingray City, or taking a boat for some sea fishing. I decided instead to spend a good part of the day touring the island by taking a tour bus to visit Seven Mile Beach and Hell.

Travel tip: The bus drivers will be at the port and will give you a ‘price’ for the tour. The bus drive also known as the tour guide will usually collect the agreed upon price at the end. All prices are negotiable and doing so will save you money.  My driver gave me one price and at the end of the tour tried to get me to pay another price because he ‘forgot’ what we had agreed on. I reminded him and he was fine with the agreed upon price. Please remember to tip your guide for their knowledge, courtesy, and service.

Seven Mile Beach is named obviously because it is approximately seven miles of coral sand beach stretched out on the western side of the island.  It is located a short distance from the port. This beach is so beautiful with Palm Trees swaying in the wind, calm crystal clear waters, and the softest sand you will find anywhere. The breeze along with the music of a steel drum band playing nearby is very relaxing. As I began walking I noticed several vendors near the beach offering to rent chairs and umbrellas as well as  selling food, drinks, and souvenirs.  After looking around for a little while I decided to find a nice place in the shade to do some reading and relaxing before my tour bus left for the next destination.

Next stop, I arrived to the area known as Hell. It is a group of small black limestone formations located in West Bay, Grand Cayman.  It is roughly the size of half a football field. The bus driver told me a couple of reasons why the city got its name. The first is simply because the color of the limestone gives the impression of burnt rock formations. The second is that it is said that if you were to throw a coin or pebble into the formation that it will echo as it is falling way deep down as if it were going down to Hell. The image really give you a sense of wonder about the formation of the island thousands of years ago. Hell also has a Post Office for an opportunity to mail home a once in a lifetime “Post Card from Hell’ and also to purchase stamps as a souvenir or for collecting. Our driver also took us by the Governor’s House on our way back to Georgetown. (Shown below)

Post Office at Hell
Governor’s House-Grand Cayman

As I arrive back to Georgetown it is now about noon.  I have decided to do some shopping. It is very busy. It’s lunchtime and the local restaurants like Margaritaville shown below are crowded. The city is bustling with many visitors trying to do some shopping before heading back to their ships.

Margaritaville-Georgetown Grand Cayman

I can’t believe how busy the shops are.  There are so many shops selling everything from T-shirts to Fine Jewelry.  I also notice that Grand Cayman is a major financial hub with many international banks located here. The weather here is absolutely perfect and according to the digital sign at Scotia Bank it is 87 degrees. Because of the tropical climate the Cayman Islands make the perfect destination year round. While shopping I also noticed how friendly the people of Grand Cayman are. As I continued shopping I was able to find a couple of bargains and of course a Tortuga Rum Cake to take back home. There are samples of their famous Rum Cake at many of the shops.

Now I am walking along the dock and I board my tender back to the ship.  As I am riding along the smooth sea blue colored waters of the Caribbean I look back with a smile on my face knowing that I will be back to see Grand Cayman again in the future.  With Seven Mile Beach, many beautiful Resorts, the friendly people, a variety of dining choices, and so much to do for entertainment Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands are the perfect choice for a Cruise or Destination Vacation.  I believe you will enjoy Grand Cayman as much as I did on this trip.

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