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TravellingBritNY

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  1. They had a phased reopening plan which, at it's fastest would be one step a month. They have frozen Phase 3 until January 2022. After that I think you need to get to phase 5 or 6 before they will allow cruise ships into port again. So at a very conservative estimate, unless there is some major change in policy from the Cayman government, I don't see cruise ships being there before April 2022
  2. :-) Those "billions of dollars" belong to people, most of whom don't live on island. There are no taxes, so the government has no access to any of that. What it does have is a very active financial sector, with businesses paying their registration fees, and paying employees to work for them on island, and those employees buys groceries, go to restaurants and bars, etc, because they don't need to wear masks or practice social distancing because there has been no community spread of the virus in months. They have talked about what it's going to take to get overnight visitors to come again. To do this they want their own population to be vaccinated, especially those that are routinely in contact with tourists, to have everyone visiting the island be vaccinated and to have a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival. There will be additional tests once a guest is on island, too. They are talking about maybe having this start late Spring. I think that for the cruise visitors it's going to depend on a lot of factors that Cayman can't control, including the spread of the virus in other countries, where the visitors will come from. Are cruise ships going to provide routine PCR testing on board? Too many variables, I would say.
  3. The only place that was remaining before the shutdown and closing of the borders was Coral Beach. Definitely no "free" drinks there. I wouldn't say that there is currently anything on Grand Cayman which will give the "private beach club" feel. As bookbabe says, we have no idea what is going to change once things start to open up again and cruise visitors are allowed to land...
  4. Have the cruise company said whether you are actually landing in Grand Cayman? Right now the borders are completely closed to tourists. I would be VERY surprised if you will be going ashore there. They will be opening in March for those that have full vaccinations, plus tested 72 hours prior. Is the ship offering PCR tests before you land?
  5. So that people don't make plans, in spite of the cruise lines selling tickets...
  6. I just posted a mini review on Coral Beach on another thread, so rather than repeat myself I suggest you check that out. We have quite a while before we get the island open to short-term visitors again, and who knows what business ventures may start up once we see firmer dats coming on when that will start. Another thing to bear in mind is a more do-it-yourself beach experience - the whole of Seven Mile Beach is public, even above the water line, so as long as you are willing to throw a towel down on the sand and sit, you can head to a grocery store before you hit the beach and get all sorts of neat prepared foods, along with local fruits or juices and have a really nice experience. If you want adult beverages there are stores where you can get beer and wine and take down there. If you pack a collapsible insulated bag when you go on the cruise, then you will be able to keep them at least cool. I realize that it doesn't have a "resort feel" like Royal Palms did, but I think it could be an awesome experience, and you would be able to find a spot of the beach that is a lot quieter...
  7. I believe that Red Sail, who have a lot of watersport options, also run out of the Westin, so worst case you could walk down the beach to there and rent from them there. It definitely remains to be seen what locations Red Sail will open up once tourists are allowed to visit the island again, either by cruise or overnight.
  8. Yes I went to Coral Beach back in February, and wasn't that impressed, I'm afraid. I love the chic feel of Royal Palms, and the rustic Caribbean feel of Calico's. This is neither. The actual beach (which of course varies) is very small, and they try to get as many chairs in as possible. Service was slow, although they weren't particularly busy. I had a chicken sandwich and was really disappointed - I don't expect gristle in a chicken sandwich, and especially not on Grand Cayman! Is it a place you can go, get a chair, some lunch and be on the beach when visiting on a cruise ship? Yes, absolutely - it's about your only option right now if you want something that offers food, drinks, bathrooms, etc. But set your expectations accordingly.
  9. Calico Jack's, a regular stop for cruise ship visitors, have announced that they will not be reopening after the current COVID-19 lockdown is over. They were planning on closing at the end of this year anyway, but apparently this was the last straw. From their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CalicoJacksCayman "For the last 16 years, Calico Jacks has been home to countless Jam Nights, Jackpot Saturdays and epic Full Moon Parties. It has been an amazing ride and we owe it all to our incredible staff and our global Calicos community. Without you, Calico Jacks would not have become one of the best beach bars in the Caribbean. As the world grapples with the effects of Covid-19, many of us are faced with difficult decisions during these hard times. While we previously advised that we would be closing at the end of this year, it comes with a heavy heart that we must say Calico Jacks will not be reopening. We know this comes as a shock to so many but we want to be clear that this was one of the hardest decisions our management team has ever made. It has been an absolute honour to be chosen by all of you over and over again as your place to chill, party and make unforgettable memories but all good things must come to an end. We hope that you all stay home and stay safe, virtually hanging with your friends in our honour. Thank you for sticking by us for the last 16 years!"
  10. There was a backlash too: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-carnival-avoiding-jamaica-and-caymans-over-virus-fears-20200303-43f7wm3nsvak3e7wkoxks55ium-story.html
  11. Calicos has WiFi, but it's not terribly reliable.
  12. Well, Dolphins aren't native to Cayman, so the experience there uses captive dolphins. I will let others who have done the dolphin experience give you that advice, but if I could make a suggestion? Stingrays are native to the island - the trip out to the Stingray City sandbar let's you have an encounter with them in their native habitat. If you want to be a bit more adventurous, and to see turtles in their home, then get a taxi to Spotts Beach and go snorkelling there.
  13. That having been said, please use reef-safe sunscreen just to try to protect the coral a little more - it really could use all the help it can getl
  14. The distillery will sometimes do single vat or special release rums that they don't taste at other locations, based on what I have been told. These tend to be better than the blends they have on sale that are at the remote tastings. But I am just going on the word of others, who happen to live on island.
  15. I have asked a few friends who are rm drinkers about the Rackhams and the Pedro St James events - they all said that the experience at the distillery is better - more knowledgeable people, good information, etc.
  16. I think this just goes to show that different people can visit the same thing and come away with completely different impressions.
  17. I enjoy the food and beverages at Royal Palms. I'm not a cruiser - I stay on the island. Here is their lunch menu with prices: https://royalpalmscayman.com/menu/lunch/ ...and their cocktail menu: https://royalpalmscayman.com/menu/cocktails/ Prices are in Cayman Island Dollars, so multiply by 1.2 to get approximate U.S. equivalent, for example. They will usually add a 15% gratuity to the bill, so be aware of that before adding on a tip.
  18. Thanks for that report - glad it was all so easy for you and enjoyable!
  19. You could always just get a taxi cab to the distillery and do the tour.. I would contact them directly and ask https://caymanspirits.com/tours/
  20. And as far as being picked up, if you wait by the side of the road, usually a passing bus will honk their horn at you. If you wave at them in reply they will stop and pick you up.
  21. By law of the Cayman Islands all beaches are public in their entirety (not just up to the high water mark as some like to claim). In fact, condos and other facilities have to provide public rights of way to the beach from roads. The main thing is that, while the beach may be public, chairs, tables, etc put out by hotels, bars and condos are NOT. So feel free to take a towel and a cooler with beverages and food and plop down anywhere.
  22. If you do the trip around the island to Rum Point, you can do lot of things on the way there and back. Pedro St James is a historical landmark. I like Spotts Beach - if you are into snorkeling it's the best odds that you will encounter a turtle, but it's a nice beach anyway - just no facilities. The blowholes are worth a stop for a few minutes, as you are driving right by, Tukka (https://www.tukka.ky/) is a unique place for lunch with a nice view, sitting outside in the shade. If you would like to do some shopping, check out Pure Art (closer to George Town) and Beach Bubbles in Boddentown (https://www.facebook.com/Beach-Bubbles-Cayman-192074414137064/ ) Rum Point and Starfish Point would be on the end of that drive.
  23. Sunshine Suites uses the Westin Hotel for its beach, as it is situation across the road. I very much doubt that they are renting out beach cabanas. Could you verify the name and where you saw it?
  24. I agree with Bookbabe on Stingray City - it may be an excursion you will enjoy. I am not a fan of confined animals, and this is exactly the opposite. The snorkel stops are great too. The rets of the things that I would recommend are not formal excursions and you indicated that you weren't interested in that.
  25. Based on something I read recently, they have stopped possibility of holding turtles at the Turtle Centre - you can now only touch them.
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