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Public Beach Experience


ihopfar
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I am interested in folks recent experience going to Public Beach.   This will be our first time to SMB.  Normally, I would prefer a beach club.  But with most of them closed now, I am intrigued by Public Beach.  Folks on here seem to like it.

 

What was the quality of the beach/sand?  I have heard there is a lot of erosion at the other end of SMB.

What was your experience renting chairs/umbrellas?  Did they set them up for you?  Where they in good shape?

How are the restrooms?

How much is a taxi between Public Beach and the tender docks?

 

With all the food on the ship, not as concerned with food..  just chairs/umbrellas/restrooms.

 

Thanks!

Brad

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On 2/3/2023 at 5:02 AM, Susanb10567 said:

I am curious about that too…we will be there next Thursday and this is our plan but would love more information on it…

We are there in two weeks so if you do go could you come back and let us know how it was ??  Much appreciated

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We were on the Edge and visited Grand Cayman last week. We left the ship around 10:00am.   When you get off the ship, you will see folks with signs stating shuttle to the beach.  The shuttles all go to Public Beach.  We had to wait for the shuttle to fill up...every seat including the fold down middle seats were taken.  The driver collected $7.00 cash from each person.  It was about a 15 minute ride.  Upon arrival, our shuttle was met by an individual who was selling chairs and umbrellas curbside.  The cost was $30.00 for two chairs and one umbrella.  We gave him the money along with several other passengers and followed him to his beach spot.  There were five or six rows of umbrellas and chairs.  The umbrellas were so low that you had to bend down to sit in the chair.  The front row was taken, so all we saw from our chairs was a little bit of water in between the umbrellas.  The next chairs were immediately next to us.  The row in front and in back was just wide enough to walk by.  We quickly discovered that purchasing the chairs without viewing was a big mistake as the spot next to us was spacious, had front row seating available and the umbrellas were higher so you could see under them.  The other spaces were controlled by another vendor so we were stuck.  The price was the same.  Be sure to check out the seating before you pay.  The beach was very crowded, noisy and hectic.  There were four ships in port that day.   There was food to purchase from individuals cooking right at the entrance to the beach area.  The water was clear and entering was simple.  There was a little bit of rocks for a few feet after you got in, but the rocks were not excessively rough.  There were lots of jet skis, banana boats and floats.  We stayed about two hours and returned to the place where we had been dropped off right at the entrance to the beach.  There were lots of shuttles.  Again, we waited for about 10 minutes until our shuttle filled up.  Friends who had arrived around 9:15am said it was delightful until around 11:00am when the crowds arrived.  I had read reports suggesting the best spot to go to the Public Beach was closest to the Westin.  This was not an option for the beach shuttles originating at the pier.  We did not see any taxis in the pier area so the shuttle was the only option.

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Nashua, what a coincidence--we live in Haymarket too!

 

Thanks for the info on Public Beach.  We'll be in Grand Cayman next month but there will be only two ships in port (both smaller than the Edge).  Did you notice if the shuttle dropped you close to the Kimpton Resort?

We are thinking of taking the shuttle, having lunch at the Klimpton, then assessing whether we have time time to rent chairs or just take a walk on the beach before taking the shuttle back to the pier.

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17 hours ago, vakamalua said:

Nashua, what a coincidence--we live in Haymarket too!

 

Thanks for the info on Public Beach.  We'll be in Grand Cayman next month but there will be only two ships in port (both smaller than the Edge).  Did you notice if the shuttle dropped you close to the Kimpton Resort?

We are thinking of taking the shuttle, having lunch at the Klimpton, then assessing whether we have time time to rent chairs or just take a walk on the beach before taking the shuttle back to the pier.

No, it did not.  There were lots of shuttles all dropping off at the same spot in a large parking lot on Public Beach.  It appears as though the main purpose of these shuttles is to get cruise passengers to the main beach.  I did not see any resorts close to the Public Beach. It did look like The Westin was about a five minute drive from where we were dropped off.  If we were to go again, I would try to hire a taxi to go to a quieter area.  There is quite a bit of new construction on Cayman Island. I'm afraid the construction is going to wipe out beach availability for future cruisers. 

 

It is a small world.  We live in the Regency at DV.   

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21 hours ago, vakamalua said:

Nashua, what a coincidence--we live in Haymarket too!

 

Thanks for the info on Public Beach.  We'll be in Grand Cayman next month but there will be only two ships in port (both smaller than the Edge).  Did you notice if the shuttle dropped you close to the Kimpton Resort?

We are thinking of taking the shuttle, having lunch at the Klimpton, then assessing whether we have time time to rent chairs or just take a walk on the beach before taking the shuttle back to the pier.


Kimpton is maybe a 5-10 min walk from the Public Beach parking lot.  You can see both locations in Google/Apple Maps and see the route to get there by foot.  Your other option is taxi to the Kimpton and then walk to Public Beach after and grab a shuttle back to the port from there.

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6 hours ago, bookbabe said:


Kimpton is maybe a 5-10 min walk from the Public Beach parking lot.  You can see both locations in Google/Apple Maps and see the route to get there by foot.  Your other option is taxi to the Kimpton and then walk to Public Beach after and grab a shuttle back to the port from there.

If going to Public Beach, do you recommend the shuttles or a taxis?  What would be the difference in cost?

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11 hours ago, ihopfar said:

If going to Public Beach, do you recommend the shuttles or a taxis?  What would be the difference in cost?


A taxi might cost a lot more, depending on the number of people.  Up to 4 people would be about $30 US.  It would likely be faster, though.  
 

Which one you choose is entirely up to you.  We have a car there so I generally just drive that, this my experience with either taxis or shuttles is limited.  🙂

 

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14 hours ago, ihopfar said:

If going to Public Beach, do you recommend the shuttles or a taxis?  What would be the difference in cost?

Take the public bus. When exiting the port walk straight up the road and there will be the center of town and catch one there. Couple bux I think.

I am not sure which one, someone will chime in.

That is what were planning to do in March.

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3 hours ago, Luke gs Daddy said:

Take the public bus. When exiting the port walk straight up the road and there will be the center of town and catch one there. Couple bux I think.

I am not sure which one, someone will chime in.

That is what were planning to do in March.

Thanks! Just confirming, when you say 'a couple of bucks' this is USD$? I see us taking the bus instead of a shuttle. 

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6 hours ago, Dawnya00 said:

Thanks! Just confirming, when you say 'a couple of bucks' this is USD$? I see us taking the bus instead of a shuttle. 

Yes US $. Taking a bus allows you to see so much more of the islane the way people live and work.

GC is a very safe place to visit. Although you always need to be aware of your sourroundings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been to Grand Cayman a bunch of times and usually take the public bus (van) to get around.  It's $2.50pp.  You can pick it up right across the street from the port and about a 2 blocks in.  Any local will point you in the right direction.  They drop you off right at the park.  The water is crystal clear and the sand is soft (no rocks in water).   There are several vendors selling chairs and umbrellas.  You can bargain with them.  They started with $30 for us and I said no and kept walking.  He followed me and we ended up getting him down to $20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella.  We did not buy any food from the locals.  The bathrooms were clean.  When you're ready to go the bus stop is right across the road.  You can't miss it.  Buses run continuously all day.  Again $2.50 for ride back to port.  

Edited by imluvncruzn
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/20/2023 at 1:59 PM, imluvncruzn said:

I've been to Grand Cayman a bunch of times and usually take the public bus (van) to get around.  It's $2.50pp.  You can pick it up right across the street from the port and about a 2 blocks in.  Any local will point you in the right direction.  They drop you off right at the park.  The water is crystal clear and the sand is soft (no rocks in water).   There are several vendors selling chairs and umbrellas.  You can bargain with them.  They started with $30 for us and I said no and kept walking.  He followed me and we ended up getting him down to $20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella.  We did not buy any food from the locals.  The bathrooms were clean.  When you're ready to go the bus stop is right across the road.  You can't miss it.  Buses run continuously all day.  Again $2.50 for ride back to port.  

Which beach is this? Public as discussed above or a different one? TIA!

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  • 4 weeks later...

We loved Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. We took the public bus, which was very easy to find (look for the library, it's about 2 blocks from the entrance of the cruise port). $2.50 per person and there was a mix of tourists and locals on it.

 

We did not rent beach chairs, just sat on the sand. It was very crowded, but that did not spoil our experience as the water is so beautiful, warm, and clear, the sand is soft and not hot. There are bathrooms - I only went to the single stall restroom - I know there was another building but I didn't go there. We had a great day in Grand Cayman and would do it again without hesitation.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I would assume shuttles run all day but can anyone confirm that? Considering doing a short two-hour excursion when the ship first docks in the morning & would like to see SMB in the afternoon. In port for 8 hours. Just trying to judge how much time to allocate. 

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 5/20/2023 at 5:42 PM, tartist said:

I would assume shuttles run all day but can anyone confirm that? Considering doing a short two-hour excursion when the ship first docks in the morning & would like to see SMB in the afternoon. In port for 8 hours. Just trying to judge how much time to allocate. 

Yes, they do run all day while cruise ships are in port.  Our Jamaican shuttle driver mentioned that this was his only route from morning to evening.  He said that not enough locals wanted this job, so they imported Jamaican workers.  

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  • 4 months later...

Years ago we enjoyed the beach bar at Public beach (Calico Jacks?), last year on our stop to Cayman Island, it was closed, food truck at public beach was OK. For a few beers, a local went and got us some (plastic bag with ice and local beers) not cheap but a cold beer with that seven mile beach view can't be beat.... wondering if there is a store near the port tender drop off where one could grab a few cans of beer then take the bus (van) to public beach.... OR perhaps a beach with a beach bar that is still open where one can get chair, umbrella and a few adult beverages in the unbelievable 7 mile beach sand/water? 

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13 hours ago, helo driver said:

Years ago we enjoyed the beach bar at Public beach (Calico Jacks?), last year on our stop to Cayman Island, it was closed, food truck at public beach was OK. For a few beers, a local went and got us some (plastic bag with ice and local beers) not cheap but a cold beer with that seven mile beach view can't be beat.... wondering if there is a store near the port tender drop off where one could grab a few cans of beer then take the bus (van) to public beach.... OR perhaps a beach with a beach bar that is still open where one can get chair, umbrella and a few adult beverages in the unbelievable 7 mile beach sand/water? 


If you read the other recent “beach” threads in this forum, you will discover that either Public Beach, with some local food carts and the Kimpton bar nearby, or Coral Beach, next to where Royal Palms used to be, are the main options for cruisers wanting a beach club-type experience.  If you want to DIY, there are numerous liquor stores along West Bay Rd between the port and the various beach entrances, and Kirk’s Market is a good grocery store along the way for snacks or sandwiches.

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14 hours ago, breadandbutter said:

I saw on a YouTube post a guy said the public bus will drop you anywhere, but avoiding the crowded areas, where should I ask to be dropped on SMB?

And where would I get the public bus back?

TIA.


Depends on what you want out of a beach.  If you need facilities/food, see my post above.  If you just want to DIY and throw a towel on the sand, Governor’s Beach is probably the nicest, IMO.

 

For the return trip, go back to where they dropped you off and wave at the bus as it approaches.

Edited by bookbabe
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