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Grand Cayman : Compiled info : beaches, transport, snorkling, interesting facts, etc


WarmWaters
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  • 3 weeks later...
Dear Cool Cruiser,

Thank you for mentioning the Royal Palms in your write up. It sounds painful when you mention that you paid $10.00 US for your burger however I think that when I put it in context it may be somewhat less so. We do not charge an admission to the property, for the showers, changing rooms or for the security officers that make sure that we can respond to any emergency. We make our own burgers and buns in house evry day. While you are eating you get to have an unfettered view of the crystal clear Caribbean sea. If you venture downtown a burger is $15.00 US at Margeritaville and Hard Rock Cafe. One other note, our first cost for everything is about double what you pay in Canada and the US. We have to import all our product and then pay duty on them. Sorry about going on and on but I feel that we give an excellent product for the cost.

Tropical Regards from The Royal Palms

 

I took advantage of seeing that you are from the island. I am trying to fin d abeach that has lots of in the water activities - NOT snorkling. I am talking about water trampolines, inflatable-floating-climbing toys, etc. I am just fine lying on the beach all day, but my partner loves the toys.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 1 month later...

 

Being one of the most picturesque areas in Grand Cayman this spot should not be missed. Huge Australian Pines offer plenty of shade on the shore for the whole day at the beach you might be looking for. Tons of fish, and while we were there, we saw a school of squid! So peaceful and the water was so warm. Just walk into the water, and about 10 feet in is some reefs. We had this beautiful, warm beach with a snorkeling park all to ourselves. Peaceful and quiet. There are no services there, so if you're looking for bars and bathrooms, this isn't a place for you. On the way back, we walked down the beach until we passed a small hotel. We crossed by their pool, walked around the front and found a taxi stand. Another $5, 10 minute cab ride and we were back at the dock ready for the tender. It is an absolutely gorgeous beach but there were no services there at all. You must bring your own snorkel equipment with you. The reef we swam to was about 100 yards off shore, but the current was very mild. It was definitely worth the swim! We saw a stingray and starfish. We also saw and fed many other fish! Be aware - when you feed the fish they come around you by the 100's, it seems. So if that will cause you a problem don't feed them or do it closer to shore. There is a grocery store not far away that our cab driver took us to for some snacks and we had lunch on the beach.

 

the snorkeling was awesome. Keep your eyes open for a Esso gas station that was destroyed by Ivan. Believe it or not that it where the reef is right behind the station. You can actually park down the street a bit at the public beach and walk to where the gas station is. The reef is just offshore, not even 3 feet into the water. Walk past the gas station until the reef has an opening you can enter. It is great, you never have to be in more than 5 feet of water and we saw so many fish, all sizes, shapes and colors! The beach itself is nice. a great spot and had amazing snorkeling right off shore. CemetaryBeach did have a small amount of shade, but remember, they had a MAJOR hurricane and much of the vegetation was compromised. The snorkeling right off that beach has been great every time we stayed in Grand Cayman.

 

What areas are you talking about here?

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have been to Grand Cayman several times and like to go to the beach. You can save a lot of money going on your own. Here is what we did.

 

At the dock we met a taxi driver who would take you to any of the beaches for between $4 & $6 per. She had a chart and recommended three beach close to each other.

 

She dropped us at the 7 Mile Public Beach. There are some gazebo like structures with picnic table. But right next to it is a restaurant & bar. For $16 you rent two lounge chairs and an umbrella. There are changing & restroom facilities you can use.

 

You can also rent snorkel gear (and the snorkeling wasn't bad), wave runners, go parasailing, etc.

 

Next to that area was a bunch of chairs and umbrellas all set up close to each other. That is where the cruise sponsored tour went for $35 per (but I think they got a drink.)

 

When we left we crossed the street to a public bus stand and for $2.50 per we were taken back to the dock. Next time we will just use this transportation. They run about every six minutes.

 

So you can see how easy it is to save money if you just want to go to the beach. It is easy and safe.

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  • 3 months later...

I found the public bus to be an exceedingly easy and affordable way to get to and from 7 mile beach but did want to let everyone know the location of the depot has changed.

 

Once you get off the tender and walk out of the tender complex, you will find yourself on a small road which runs along the shoreline. Cross to the far side of the street and turn left. Walk up the street keeping the shoreline to your left for a few minutes and you will come upon a few picnic tables. The bus depot is the parking lot to the right of these benches, beyond a sliding chain link gate which I assume is used to secure the buses (really vans) at night.

 

A four story blue building is a landmark you can use to guide you: the bus depot is on the same side of the street as the blue building. The building is just slightly further up the street than the bus depot (so if you reach the building you have gone too far and walked past the depot). The Casanova restaurant sign is another landmark you can use. You will see the Casanova restaurant on the side of the street closest to the shoreline and farther up the street than the blue building.

 

The local buses will honk at people standing on the sidewalk as they pass. If you wave back, they will stop and pick you up. You are looking for vans with a circle on the front reading "WB" for West Bay. Cost was $2.50 per person each way. They ran very frequently.

 

It took fifteen minutes from the time I boarded the bus at the depot to the time I was dropped off at my destination (Public Beach / Sea Grape Beach). There was a typical bus stop across the road at the dropoff point for the return trip.

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Hi, Thanks for an informative thread. This is my first time on this site. I will be traveling with a wide range of ages of family members. Seniors, one who likes to snorkel and one who doesn't go in the water. Then 4- 40 somethings, three who enjoy snorkeling and 1 not so much but will go in the water. Then a family who has 2 kids, 8 and 10, who have never snorkeled but want to try it (not sure if they will or not, once they are there). And a few in the 20 year old range,all of who want to snorkel. Any suggestions?

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Hi, Thanks for an informative thread. This is my first time on this site. I will be traveling with a wide range of ages of family members. Seniors, one who likes to snorkel and one who doesn't go in the water. Then 4- 40 somethings, three who enjoy snorkeling and 1 not so much but will go in the water. Then a family who has 2 kids, 8 and 10, who have never snorkeled but want to try it (not sure if they will or not, once they are there). And a few in the 20 year old range,all of who want to snorkel. Any suggestions?

 

Don't miss the chance to go to Sting Ray City. Sounds funny but is a sandbar where the sting rays are so tame it's amazing. The boat we went on had a crew member in the water w/ us and had the sting rays swim on us if we wanted them to. We fed them and that's a hoot becuase they feed by sucking in their food.l That's how they eat conch. I haven't enjoyed anything as much as this excursion other than a dolphin swim. It's fantastic!

Edited by lynned2899
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  • 4 weeks later...

I tried to do a search, but game up empty. Is the Esso station that was mentioned still sitting vacant, or has something been built in its place? The reef being so close and rather shallow water sounds like it would be great for our group.

 

TIA!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well done, well done on ALL the great information!! You got it 99% "right" and I won't correct your historical notes as yours kept to the more romantic version. A few updates for you:

Our best known cocktail is a "mudslide" and is very tasty.

 

"Sunset House" offers great snorkel and fun bar crowd, but it is more than a mile walk from the cruise ships and no buses run down South Sound road. Very residential and a pretty walk though.

 

Cable & Wireless Telecoms is now called, "Lime" so look for that for Internet cafes and access, but with most islands, keep your cell phones OFF the roaming rates will cost more than your airfare to paradise.

 

The duty free for high-end watches and name brand jewelry offers very good prices vs the USA.

 

If crossing the street on Seven Mile Beach....look both ways and be very careful, there are speeding cars so take caution.

 

The Butterfly Farm shut down last year..(sadly).

 

Pedro St. James is a great historical spot with endless vast ocean views and a wonderful 20 minute air conditioned multi-media show in their theater. A good stop for history buffs.

 

Please cover up and dress modestly in public. Caymanians appreciate this.

 

Your review was perfect and should be commended. Enjoy Cayman!!!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 weeks later...
I was wondering if you found any issues with having a 5 yr old on a Stingray City trip? Did you find a great snorkeling spot that was close to shore? My youngest child swims great and would love to experience fish up close and personal. Any helpful hints are appreciated! Thanks.

Momonthego:

I came across Moby Dick tours through a review on tripadvisor.com, and per their website....Can my Grandfather and infant enjoy your tour? Are their age limits?

No age limits. 9 weeks to 90 years, we have safely entertained them all. You will see from the pictures in the Gallery all ages have a "whale of a time.".... they seem very reasonable and professional....http://www.mobydicktours.com/Stingray-City/Stingray-City.html

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Day in Grand Cayman - Sea Grape Beach

 

In Grand Cayman we took the bus to one of the beaches, took the bus back to town and had lunch at Corita’s Copper Kettle.

As we did not have a formal shore excursion booked I was a little nervous about being able to board one of the tenders to the pier in a timely manner as I had read that it can take hours before one finally boards a tender, but this was not the case at all. We had breakfast at 8am, returned to our cabin to collect our beach bags (took 2 Carnival towels for the 4 of us, 1 set of youth snorkeling gear, a few odd sand toys, sunscreen and some packaged snacks), and was on a tender by 8:45am (walked right on, no waiting at all).

Upon exiting the pier area, we jogged a little to our right and walked up Front street about 1 1/2 blocks. We turned right at the clock tower onto Edward Street and immediately saw the library on the left side of the street. The public busses (actually they’re vans) were all waiting to the right of the library. It is $2.50 per person, US dollars. We told an attendant we wanted to go to Sea Grape beach, he escorted us to the correct bus and the bus driver took us straight there (about a 10 min. drive). Sea Grape beach has showers, bathrooms, chairs and umbrellas to rent (we paid $12 for 2 chairs) and an array of water sport equipment to rent (snorkeling gear, wave runners, banana boat rides, para sailing, ect..). We did not do any of these activities as it is so much cheaper in Mexico. After strolling up and down the beach, we decided that Sea Grape was the best for us as there were less people there than in other areas and also less coral/rock beds in the shallow part of the water where our boys played.

We stayed at the beach for 2 hours then crossed the street to the other side where we were planning on walking a few yards to the bus stop, however, as soon as we crossed the street a bus stopped and picked us up. (they honk at you if you’re not near a bus stop and then you wave if you want them to stop and pick you up.) We told the driver we wanted to go to Corita’s Copper Kettle for lunch. Coincidentally, it is just a few yards down the street from the library where we originally boarded the bus that morning, so he took us right to the restaurant’s front door.

Corita’s Copper Kettle is a small, local restaurant with reasonable prices. Lunch for my 2 sons, my husband and I was $50 US dollars including tip (prices are posted in Cayman dollars and US dollars). Each of my sons had a hamburger, fries, and soda. My husband had deep fried battered shrimp, onion rings, and a soda. I had the conch stew meal which included red beans and rice, a plantain and a white vegetable with ice water. My meal was not so great, but my husband and sons enjoyed their meals and the price was right compared to other establishments. Also, the waiter there (he said he’s Corita’s brother) was very personable and efficient.

After lunch we walked around a bit to shop (a block or 2 towards the pier from Corita’s), returned to the pier, waited about 5 minutes for a tender and were back on the ship in time to shower and change for our 3pm spa appointments.

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  • 2 months later...

I've been to Grand Cayman twice and would prefer not to go on a shore excursion from our cruise ship. We will be on our honeymoon and just want to relax on our own. Anyone have ideas on an itinerary? I'm not going to the turtle farm as I have a few issues with their marketing. I've been to Stingray City and would prefer a leisurely stroll through the city and some decent snorkeling. Any ideas on what itinerary to plan for?

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  • 1 month later...

I was on the Celebrity Eclipse last week. When we got off the boat we turned right (heading toward Hard Rock Cafe) and found a great snorkeling place at Eden Rock Diving Center (124 South Church Street, eee.edenrockdive.com). Paid $17 to rent all gear (top notch snorkel gear) and we were able to swim out to the snorkel site. Two in our group had their own gear and were able to just walk out. You can rent a locker if you need one. One person in our party of four did not snorkel so she paid $5 to rent a chair at a restaurant just a block from Eden Rock (that same restaurant has a booth outside and they charge $35 for their snorkel equipment!) I actually stopped a couple that was parking in the small parking lot at Eden Rock and they were from the U.S., but lived in Caymans for 6 weeks out of the year. They drove over to this location since it "has the best snorkeling" in the Caymans. It was a great find.

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  • 2 weeks later...
We just got back from our first trip to GC and had a wonderful relaxing day there despite being 7 ships in port that day. Tendering was fast and efficient, we did not have to fight any crowds, the sidewalks around the pier area was busy but all was well organised and the island has a layed back atmosphere, we felt right at home there and have pleasant memories of GC. Just off the tender there were lots of people holding up boards advertising trips last minute for those who have not booked anything for the day. Also there was $4 taxi service offered ( in bigger vans) right as you get off the tender, which seemed very reasonable.

 

We walked around for a while trying to get a feel for the place heard several roosters making their noises felt as if we were on a farm ! Then we started seeing them in parking lots and gardens also saw hens with chicks too cute and quite a surprise to me !

 

We headed down the main road walking towards 7 Mile Beach and enjoying the warm sunshine till we got to the 1st place where you can access a public beach, it was about a 15 minute leasurely stroll from the tender area, just past a cemetary which is right along the main street there. On this beach was only about 3 other couples enjoying the beach and few palm trees. We snorkled right there there is a ship wreck about 200 meters north of there just partly lying in the shallow water. There are no services, we had our snorkeling equipment/beach towels/water/juice with us and just lied on our beach towels near a palm tree. Soon after getting there a chicken arrived, she was very tame and spend about 2 hours with us on the beach, sometimes sitting on my tummy and other times enjoying small pieces of dog milk bone we brought to feed some fish, all the time making this cute noises. Later I figured she must be real thirsty from all that dry dog food and we offered her water and fruit juice later which she gladly drank lots of !! We went often into the water to cool down and snorkel a bit and yet this chicken stayed near our stuff and welcomed us back every time we got back ! I will never forget this chicken silly as it sounds it was quite an experience. We spend about 2 hours on this very quiete beach and then said goodbye to the beach chicken and slowly worked our way back to the port area.

 

We just wanted a beach day in the warm sunshine and enjoyed this beach which we found. ( Our initial plan was to take a taxi to cemetary beach)

 

Right across from the tender dock is a small shop that sells rum cake and rum. I was curious about rum cake, having never seen or tasted it, so I went in the little place, it was busy with potential customers for free sampling all sorts of rum cakes, I loved the coconut flavoured one. Felt in such a good mood walking out of there !

 

I enjoyed GC, tendering there was no problem and with 7 ships in port we felt it was a good port and a civilised island, no one hassles you.

Awesome information!! Please help me out here a little. I really wanted to be able to stop and pick up some things for a picnic with some drinks on my way over to Cemetary beach.

Reading your post you do mention that there was a grocery nearby. Can you tell me if when I get to Cemetary beach if there is a grocery right near by (walking distance) to pick up lunch. Thanks for the information!!

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Thank you so much Warmwaters and everyone else for all of this wonderful info. I have been wondering if any of our ports had beaches within walking distance. This is the best info I can find on any of the message boards!

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've been to Grand Cayman twice and would prefer not to go on a shore excursion from our cruise ship. We will be on our honeymoon and just want to relax on our own. Anyone have ideas on an itinerary? I'm not going to the turtle farm as I have a few issues with their marketing. I've been to Stingray City and would prefer a leisurely stroll through the city and some decent snorkeling. Any ideas on what itinerary to plan for?

We went to the turtle farm this past week and found it very interesting.

However the gift shop was overpriced and the resturant at the turtle farm charged us $28.00 for two small cups of soda, two plain hot dogs, and a few cold fries. Went to three additional ports on the cruise and found that this was the worst experience that we had on the entire cruise. OUCH!!! Stay away from the turtle farm. :mad:

Edited by AftCruiser
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I am not surprised, and you'd likely find those type of prices most places on the island. Things are expensive to begin with, and most menus list the prices in Cayman dollars, so then you have the exchange rate if you want to pay in US.

 

Besides, the Turtle Farm is essentially a tourist attraction...what have you paid for food at your local zoo or Six Flags, lately? :D It's certainly not going to be the same price and/or quality as that at your best local diner...

Edited by bookbabe
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