View Full Version : Grand Cayman on our own- any suggestions on what to do?
01-21-2004, 11:08 AM
We have decided that we would rent a car in Grand Cayman and see the island on our own. I know we want to stop at the Turtle Farm, other than that we really don't know what to do. I would like to find a nice beach area that isn't overly crowded. Any great places that we should put on our list of things to see? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
01-21-2004, 11:48 AM
Good question. I would like to know too. We did not get to Grand Cayman on our last cruise because the sea was too rough to tender. We were lucky enough to see Costa Maya instead. But are looking forward to seeing Grand Cayman this next cruise. A friend who spent a week on Grand Cayman advised me not to rent a car. She said to walk to Seven Mile Beach and to eat at Rackhams.
01-21-2004, 11:55 AM
Did your friend tell you why she didn't think you shouldn't rent a car? I really like the idea of having the freedom to see whatever we want on our own schedule. I'm curious to know what the drawbacks would be, other than driving on the other side of the road!
01-21-2004, 12:16 PM
I spent a week on Grand Cayman and we wented a car, other than driving on the "wrong" side of the road, there is no reason why you couldn't rent a see the island on your own. From what I can remember there is one road the goes around the perimeter of the island and one the cuts through the middle. When we were there we stayed at the opposite end of Georgetown at a reosrt called Morritts Tortuga Club and it was beautiful! I would love to go back someday!!! There is an area on the south end about halfway between Georgetown and the other end of the island(I believe it is called West End) where thereis a small beach and an beach phenonmena known as the "Blow Holes". This is where the water crashes through thes holes in the rock formations and they look like little geysers. When we were there, the beach wasn't crowded but the coast was pretty rock so swimming would be difficult.
THe entire island is beautiful and you can make a com[plete journey around it in about 3 hours(maybe less)...its been about 5 years since I was there but from my recollection there sre distinct areas, like the west end is rocky and the island justy sort of drops off into the ocean whereas the eastend has the beautiful beaches(7 mile beach) If you take the road that cuts up the middle of the island there is a Botanical Garden which was beautiful, if you are into that kind of thing.
Also, in the north there is a place called Rum Pointe that has a hotel and some restaurants.
Don't forget about Stingray City...that is a marvelous place...like nothing I have experienced. There are companies in Georgetown that offer excursions there. The one is Capt. Marvins and the [people on this board have given them positive reviews. I can't remember who we used but it was also great!!
There is also a store and gallery run by a womand named Cathy Church about 1 mile outside of Georgetown. Cathy takes underwate photography and her pictures are amazing!! Her website is www.cathychurch.com(i think). We found out while there that she is from Altoona, PA where my BIL grew up so that was kind of cool!
The turtle farm is great and Hell is unique! The good thing about Grand Cayman is that the island is relatively small so you could drive the whole thing in a day and see alot of the sites. I loved driving around because some of the houses that are there are absolutely gorgeous. There is ALOT of wealthy people there and the houses show it.
The other thing I found was that the island was pricey! When I was there the exchange rate was $1.25 Cayman per $1 US...so everything was 25% higher and they have to import pretty much everything so prices are higher.
Oh yeah, don't forget the Tortuga Rum Cakes and Stingray Beer. I think they are the only things that are produced on the island(LOL) but the cakes are good!
Depending on when you are going iot might be really HOT! I was there in August and the humidity was a killer!!!
As for renting the car, we had a Nissan Sentra and that was pretty much what we saw on the road, little cars and I don't remember there being a lot of traffic(nor alot of roads)
I still have all the stuff somewhere so if you want more info, let me know.
PS-The island has no povery or unemployment so crime isn't a concern..At least it wasn't 5 years ago. I hope it hasn't changed!!
01-21-2004, 01:03 PM
Stingray City thru Captain Marvin. Cheaper than thru DCL for the same excursion (or longer, if you'd like.)
When we were there in October, we hired a car and went off to Rum Point. We were able to swim, snorkel, eat & drink with the facilities there and it worked out much cheaper than the Disney excursion would have done. We were also there well ahead of the excursion arriving. I can thoroughly recommend it. As someone else said, there are really only 2 main roads on the island and it is easy to get round it and do some sightseeing with time to get back to the ship.
01-21-2004, 01:51 PM
My friend felt that the island is too crowded on days when ships are in port. Too many drivers trying to drive on the left. She said she saw accidents every day she was there. She said she saw a lot just walking every day. They took cabs when they wanted to do anything at a distance.
Maybe we were just lucky but we thought that the traffic was pretty light the day we were there. Mind you we drive on the left anyway so that was no problem to us.
01-21-2004, 03:31 PM
We are from the Chicago area so we are used to traffic but she said the little roads were really crowded.
The worst days were the days 4 ship loads of tourists have come ashore.
01-26-2004, 05:22 PM
We, too, stayed at Morritt's a few years ago and loved it. If you want to get away from the crowds, renting a car is a great way to do that! Get out of Georgetown and the crowds disappear. To go to the Turtle Farm, you'll first go north out of Georgetown. You'll also go through Hell going that way. Then turn back around (the road doesn't actually go all around the island--there's a bay preventing that), and go through Georgetown and around the south end and over to the east side. If you like to snorkel, there are some great places south of Georgetown---like Eden Rock and Smith Rock. Don't forget to stop along 7 mile beach, too, just north of Georgetown. You'll drive along it going to the Turtle Farm. It was a bit eerie driving on the wrong side of the road, but it kept my attention on the road. We were also there when the crabs were coming on shore and tried to dodge many of them---unfortunately we hit many more than we missed!
01-27-2004, 11:01 PM
I did a little reading here and was interested to find the following web site, I think from these boards somewhere
Anyway, it's: http://grandcaymancruiseexcursions.com
It covers the Avis rental car options as well as many different types of excursions you can book on your own. It also devotes a page to the cruise ships that visit the port, and according to the site the day the Magic visits (Tuesday) is not tradionally a busy cruise ship day. So that's just enough incentive for me to get brave and rent a car. Hope you find the site informative :p
01-27-2004, 11:10 PM
I was on Magic in Grand Cayman on 1/20/04 and the taxi fares are quiet high. Renting a car to see everything will probably be cheaper. My DH and I did stingray city and I wanted to see the Turtle Farm and Hell, but we did not have enough time and the cab ride round trip was going to be like $60.00. I did talk to some people on the ship who said they were expecting the turtle farm to be more like a turtle zoo, but it is a farm. They raise the turtles for food and merchandise. Some of the shipmates said their children were distrubed by this. I guess as long as you are prepared for this, its not a problem. I was also told that Hell is a big tourist trap and not much of anything. I would still have loved to send a postcard to my friends from Hell! Hope you have a great time!
01-28-2004, 07:49 AM
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all the great information! I think we will stick with our plans of renting the car. I can't wait!
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