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Old 10-04-2009, 07:24 AM   #1
wdwfan
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Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Break

So far, I'm signed up with DCL to do this excursion. I'm kind of torn because the more I research, the more I realize that this type of excursion could be done on your own.

Has anyone done this excursion through DCL? If so, would you recommend it?

Also, if you have gone to the beach on your own in Grand Cayman, could you explain which beach you went to and the logistics about finding a taxi at the port, which I know would be plentiful, but how about locating a taxi once you're ready to come back to the ship?

Thanks so much for sharing and helping me decide which path to take.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:31 AM   #2
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I did this one in January. I booked through DCL. If you book through DCL, you get a reserved area of the beach. It has umbrellas and lounge chairs. You also get soda coupons.

It took forever to get there. The shuttle was strange. We got on and the drivers would stop on the road here and there and talk on their cell phones (I'm guessing to other drivers). At one point we were stopped for 10 minutes and the driver told us nothing. I finally asked if there was a problem, LOL and the guy said "oh everything is fine." He kept looking in his rear view mirrors though. Very strange. I noticed that several of the shuttle vans for this company did the same thing. What should have been a 10 minute drive (?) ended up being nearly 30 minutes.

With that said, it was a lovely beach. Next time I'd probably just take a cab to be honest. I always chicken out and feel "safer" booking through the cruiseline though.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
wdwfan
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Thanks for the feedback. I understand and feel the same way. I'll have my family with me, so I am leaning toward the DCL excursion for safety reasons, although it is more costly.

Anyone else?
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:15 PM   #4
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7 Mile Beach or Sea Grape Beach are easy to do on your own.

First, if you are doing any other private excursion (like snorkeling or island tour with Captain Marvin's), you will be offered the chance to be dropped off at the beach or back at the tender port. This is great if you've done a 1/2 day excursion as it will save you both time and taxi money to get to the beach.

All beaches in Grand Cayman are free and open to the public. There are brown signs along the roads indicating public walkways to get to the beach (while the beach is public, you can't walk on someone's property to get there!) Both 7 Mile and Sea Grape have stands offering to rent chairs, umbrella, etc. as well as selling food and drink--there is no obligation to buy anything. You can toss a towel on the beach and stay free. While they will politely offer to rent you equipment, etc. there is no pressure; a simple "no, thank you" handles the situation (unlike Nassau where it is pushy!)

From the tender port, you can get transportation from either the shuttle or a cab. The cab is slightly more, but will leave with YOUR family. The shuttle will wait till full. On the way back, there are typically cabs waiting for your business. If there are not, the people at the rental stands will call one for you.

We used to be anxious about doing excursions outside of DCL....with a couple under our belt, it seems easy now. Grand Cayman is really nice and easy to do on your own. Anything thru Captain Marvin's is very professional and well done if you are into snorkeling or an island tour.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the information!! Very informative and it gives me something to think about and consider. I think I just have to get my nerve up to go it on our own.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:38 PM   #6
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We were on the Magic on Sept. 19-26. We had booked this excursion in advance and when we got on the ship we were informed it had been cancelled. We were told they weren't offering it because there had been so many complaints about the vendor! We pushed for specifics and were told people felt it was too expensive for what they recieved. Something you might want to look into.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:19 AM   #7
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Thank you! I'll look into this right away!
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwfan View Post
So far, I'm signed up with DCL to do this excursion. I'm kind of torn because the more I research, the more I realize that this type of excursion could be done on your own.

Has anyone done this excursion through DCL? If so, would you recommend it?

Also, if you have gone to the beach on your own in Grand Cayman, could you explain which beach you went to and the logistics about finding a taxi at the port, which I know would be plentiful, but how about locating a taxi once you're ready to come back to the ship?

Thanks so much for sharing and helping me decide which path to take.


We did this excursion in july 09. through dcl...I would do it again in a heart beat. I noticed some people said things about the transportation..we had no problem at all with the transportation the lady that drove us was very nice. the lounge chairs are nice as well as having a large umbrella. The area in front of the chairs has a great little reef that you can snorkel in and actually see fish not to far out my kids had a blast. I prefer to use the dcl transportation simply because you will make it back to the ship on time!! also, we didnt know this when we got off the ship and sooo wish we had...they have jet ski rentals right on the beach right next to the lounge area but have to have a credit card with you to rent them not the key to the world card...a credit card I was so mad. we love to jet ski and didnt get to there however, in castaway we did and it was great!
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:11 AM   #9
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My girlfriend and I (two middle aged moms) sent the husbands snorkling with Native Way in Grand Cayman and then walked over to the bus station. Someone pointed us to the right jitney and we rode all the way out to Hell and back with the Native Caymanians and never felt the least bit of unease. They were dropping frugal tourists at 7 mile beach for about $2. a head (2004) Jitney's run about every half hour.

A cab would cost more than that, but still, WAY less than a Disney excursion - and 7 mile beach is dead easy. The cabbie will have suggestions which beach entrance to use - they know what the amenities are where. THe jitney driver even told some of the folks that got off where to go rent a chair.

Grand Cayman would be a great place to try your wings - everybody speaks English! And, you don't find the level of pushiness that is prevelant on poorer islands.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:15 AM   #10
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We were just on the Sept. 19 Western and did Seven Mile Beach on our own. We took the "city bus" (really a shuttle van) which leaves every 20 min. I believe. The stop is just up from the port area. Rode with a couple other cruisers as well as a couple of locals who were very friendly and helpful. I believe it was $2 each (each way). After about a 10-15 min. ride, the driver dropped us off at one of the public beaches (where Calico Jack's is).

When we were ready to head back to the port, we simply walked across the street to the stop where the van was already there waiting. I will say that there were MANY taxi drivers on the beach side offering to take us back to the ship for anywhere from $3 - $5 but we stuck with what we knew. The bus driver told us that the taxi drivers like to play games and will tell you one amount but once your tush hits the seat, all of a sudden they say "oh, no that was the other driver who told you $3, my price is $5 each". So we were glad we stuck with the city bus.

All in all, it was a great day (lots of rain in town near the Port but it never reached Seven Mile Beach) and we would do it again the same way next time!
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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The DCL excursion for the Nov double dip is sold out so I was going to do this on my own as well. Any advice on exactly where to get dropped off?? Someone said the Marriott. I was concerned about taxis but everyone says GC is the safest place to go on your own.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:17 AM   #12
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The beach literally extends from the ship's tender port all around the island, and ALL beaches are public. I'd suggest either 7 Mile Beach or Sea Grape Beach as both have nice amenities for rent if you wish.

As above, the fees were $3 for the shuttle, $5 for a taxi on our last trip (one way, per person).
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:26 AM   #13
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Follow on Question

We cruise for the first time next fall and I was thinking of going alone to Sea Grape Beach with the family. My question is how to pay for items. Will the rental places take credit? If I want to pay cash where do I exchange money? Can this be done on the ship, or do I need to take care of this ahead of time?
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #14
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You can pay cash in US Dollars for most things...they will happily take your dollars and even quote you the prices in USD. THere is no need to change money at all. Even the Grand Cayman Post Office takes USD (but won't give change in USD, only Cayman Dollars....so have change if you are mailing post cards....25 cents each US in June).
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:50 AM   #15
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I wouldn't pay big bucks for an excursion for this.
We got off the tender, and hopped on one of the little taxi shuttle buses - was about $5 each up to the public beach. Once there, I rented chairs and a float for about $10 and we had a great day. There is a restaurant at the beach and we had some food/drinks and then hopped back on the shuttle to the pier. I can't imagine spending $60 a person for the same thing. Its very easy to do on your own - I am a single mom and did this alone with a 12 yr old girl.
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