My husband and I took our first trip to Grand Cayman last month.
We had originally planned on going to GCM earlier in the year
for our honeymoon, but ended up going to St. Barthelemy for 2
While we really enjoyed and had a great time in Cayman, you won't
find us rushing back there, not because of anything negative, but
because there are several other islands we want to visit before we
make a return trip to anywhere.
We flew down from Philadelphia on US Airways connecting through
Charlotte. The flight was uneventful (we flew First Class) and
they ended up cutting the movie off because they ran out of time!
Customs in GCM is easy! We were the only flight arriving and our
baggage came off right away. We took a taxi to the
Marriott, which is where we had originally booked.
Upon arrival at the Marriott I was disappointed with the hotel
in general; far to 'conferencey', very bare bones with their
service, and the room was musty, moldy and damp. Yuck! definitely
not up to our standards (or Marriott's usual standards). Though
disappointed with the room, we both agreed that it would suffice
since we were not planning on spending all our time in the room.
We waited for 1/2 hour for someone to bring our bags to our room,
then we went downstairs to the beach...... so we thought. There
is no beach at the Marriott - nothing. I was horrified at the mess
of the beach/pool area, as was my husband, so we went to speak
with the hotel manager. The manager was wonderful, extremely
helpful and she arranged to have us move up to the Westin without
incurring any penalties at the Marriott for cancellation.
I loved the Westin. I loved walking into the lobby and seeing
white sand and blue water. We were upgraded once we arrived at
the Westin (thanks to the Marriott) to an oceanfront room. The
rooms at the Westin are nice; typical hotel rooms. Comfortable
and the bathroom was a good size.
We went down to the beach/pool area and had a drink and admired
For dinner that night we went to Deckers. Since it was a Friday
night Hi Tide was playing. The atmosphere was great! My husband
had the 'all you can eat lobster' (best deal on the island) and I
had the Red Snapper which was a special. We had a great time at
Here is a list of the places we ate (I'll list the dinner
Deckers: opposite the Hyatt. Ate there twice, had a great time
The Reef Grill: Very nice meal: fresh fish was outstanding. Creme
Brulee for dessert was super creamy. Great meal.
The Wharf: SKIP IT!!!! The absolute worst meal! We made
reservations for 8pm and sat by the water. I was horrified at
the fact there were many small children (kids under 10) and even
older children running all over the restaurant. We even had one
child come up to our table and start screaming for her mother.
No apology was offered by the mother who came to retrieve her
child. I was looking for a nice dinner, not Romper Room. The food
was disgusting; it tasted like it has been cooked, then reheated.
Very Very poor meal - a definite tourist trap.
Bamboo (at the Hyatt): I think this was the best sushi I have
ever had; fresh, plentiful and delicious! Great Martinis (many
made with sake) and a lively atmosphere. This was my husband's
first experience with eating sushi and he LOVED it. We ate
dinner at Bamboo twice.
The Brasserie: Another lovely meal. We went there on Thanksgiving
night and they even offered a turkey dinner special! My husband
and I both had fish, as well as the goat cheese salad and tried a
bottle of one of their new wines - scrumptious! After dinner we
had a cocktail in the lounge area. The service was attentive and
friendly; actually, the bartender from the Hyatt who we met there
one night had called her friend over at The Brasserie and asked
him to make sure we had a great dinner, which we definitely did!
Chicken Chicken!: Yummy chicken! great flavor! Easy simple dinner.
We walked down from the hotel and walked back. Delicious food; a
must visit on the island.
Lazy Lizard: It had been open a week when we arrived. Very casual
and laid back bar/restaurant with lots of locals. Dinner
was pretty good - Mexican/Caribbean theme. Crowded, but we got a
table with no problems.
Many of our lunches were simple meals; if we ate breakfast (which
we would eat late), then we usually skipped lunch as it was too
much to eat! If we were going on a boat trip, we ate breakfast
and skipped lunch.
The Westin has sandwiches and salads which you can order
poolside or on the beach.
Britiania Golf Club (Hyatt): Nice lunch, cool view of the golf
course. Typical club food.
Smugglers Cove (yes, they are open for lunch): Yummy lunch. Would
have liked to go back for dinner, but we had so many other places
we wanted to try. Small and cozy spot downtown George Town.
Ferdinands (Westin): There was only ONE day out of our entire
trip that it rained, so we walked down to Ferdinands for lunch.
Pretty good lunch with a nice view of the beach.
Westin: A definite must. Fantastic brunch: they had everything
from meats to sushi-raw bar, pastries, pasta, fruit, you name it.
Champagne served with brunch, as much as you want! I didn't
indulge in too much because we were going on a boat trip right after
brunch. If you go make reservations; it was booked solid when we
My husband and I love to snorkel and we took advantage of the
beautiful reefs and coral that Cayman has to offer. We went with
Captain Marvin one afternoon; Reef, Coral Gardens and Stingray City.
Swimming with the Stingrays is a unique experience; they are
amazing creatures. On this trip there were two guys from VIP
Productions. They videotaped the trip and then showed the tape
on the way back to land. You had the option of purchasing the
video if you want too. We originally thought it was a cheesy
idea, but once we got home to the US, we decided it would actually
be pretty 'neat' to have a tape of our trip, so it's on it's way
Our second trip was with Captain Dexter, and we visited the same
places - we just can't get enough of the underwater world.!!!
We went to Rum Point (via the ferry) on a Friday after we had
been in GCM for a week. Rum Point was so-so; kind of touristy and
not very clean around the picnic tables. However, it was a
relaxing afternoon, but towards the end of the afternoon we felt
stuck there as the ferry back was leaving at 5pm - not soon
enough! I was annoyed that families hogged the hammocks by
putting their belongings in the hammocks (towels and bags) and
then sat on one of the beach chairs. Oh well, at least we got a
beach chair! Rum Point was overcrowded and you sat on top of
other vacationers - we had been spoiled at the Westin with so much
room on the beach!
We spent an afternoon in George Town which was overrun with
cruise ship visitors. There is not too much to see in George Town;
a typical Caribbean village with jewelry stores and such. The
jewelry is not a good deal; in fact, a bit of a rip off. Everyone
praises tanzanite,of which I don't understand the appeal.
We didn't rent a car as neither one of us felt confident enough
to remember to drive on the other side of the road! We had no
problems getting around; taxis were plentiful and not at all
Leaving the island was terrible!!! Of course, that was compounded
by the fact it was the Sunday post Thanksgiving and everyone was
returning to the US
Westin and Villas of the Galleon - both have a fine beach. The nicest part of
west coast/7 Mile Beach. Almost stayed at Sunshine Suites for a few days.
Looks nice and is good value but too far from beach.
Westin: Nice pool, jacuzzi and lobby area. Cable TV in room had
few channels and poor reception.
Villas of the Galleon: Next to Westin. Rented 2 BR that was actually a 1 BR
with loft bedroom. Good cable reception.
Avis/CICO – Lumina, $40/day, $240/week. No problems. Foster’s
Supermarket is about half a mile from Westin. Driving on this island
is easy, even if it is on the other side of the road. There is
a long line of traffic during morning rush hour from West Bay
area all along 7 Mile Beach in to George Town from before 8:00am
Ristorante Ragazzi: Liked a lot. Good salads, pasta and wood
fired pizzas. Restaurant packed on Friday night. Reservations
recommended. Was very loud. Recommend. What did you say? I
said, try this place.
Lobster Pot: Did not like. Menu selection is limited. Entrees
are US$25-35. Food is average. Service OK. On Waterfront in
George Town. Only place in Cayman that smelled like fish. We
were in good mood, reminiscing and were able to ignore the smell
but the food was still a disappointment. The experience
dampened our enthusiasm. Two of us each ordered the same
dinner, Lobster and Shrimp, 32 US for less than ¼ pound lobster
shrapnel and 5 shrimp, a plantain slice, and maybe a vegetable
slice. Taste was uninspiring. Very average. This experience
discouraged others in the group from wanting to try Pappagallo
or Westin’s Casa Havana.
Deckers: Liked. Good salad and pasta dishes. I ordered
half-pound Caribbean lobster and another entrée, Salmon Fettuccine with
Pesto Mousse. Both were good. Service good. Recommend. Friday
and Saturday, live music.
Lone Star: All-U-Can-Eat Fajitas. Absolutely no taste
other than that of cooked meat. No lime or chili powder taste.
No discernible seasoning. One green pepper strip and some
onions accompanied the meat. I didn’t eat all I could eat.
Black bean soup had no flavor at all (no hint of spice or
anything). Service ok.
Café Mediterraneo: Received best service here. Ample
amounts of bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Scallop
appetizer, good. Lobster and shrimp fettuccine, good. Risotto
Primavera was very good. Warm goat cheese salad was good. They
even accommodated 1 person in our party that wanted just
spaghetti and meatballs. Recommend.
Athena’s: Service was worst anywhere. We waited for a
while for a waiter/waitress to come to the table to take our
order and we were the only table that was seated inside the
restaurant. British waitress did not return to our table after
we received our dinners. We had to get up and chase her down.
We would have liked to order more drinks. She said she was too
busy talking with a friend. We ordered an $8 spinach dip
appetizer that came with 4 tiny quarters of a small pita bread
(for 5 people), so we asked for more pita. They actually
charged us $1.25 for the extra pita bread to finish the
appetizer. Restaurant was empty. Greek food was good. I
thought the décor was tacky, like a painted set from a high
school play. My girlfriend liked the décor (the colors, the
lighting, the atmosphere).
Vesuvios: Inexpensive. Pizza’s average at best. Sandwiches
better. Pizza Hut would have been better.
Chicken-Chicken: For lunch had Pita-Pita platter. It
needed salt-salt. Restaurant is a lot like Boston Market or
Kenny Rogers Roasters.
Cimboco: Liked. Recommend. Nice décor. Good service.
Foster’s Supermarket: Purchased 4 lbs of Rib-eye steaks for CI$22.
Grilled steaks at Villas of Galleon and ate in. Good
dinner. Service almost psychic. Foster’s carries just about
everything you see in our grocery stores.
Eats: Yeah, I ate at Eats. It was ok.
Benjamin’s Roof and Cracked Conch: Closed for renovations.
Blow Holes: Good thing there was no fee. Only one blow hole
when I was there. Maybe they could
drill some more holes and charge some money. Nice 10 minute
break from driving along coast.
San Pedro’s Castle (House): US$8 per person. Wasn’t that
exciting to me. Cayman Democracy story seemed lame. Again nice
break from driving to East Side. Wonder how much the
Smithsonian could charge. However, my girlfriend liked the
presentation. She thought it was clever and informative but
that it is a little pricey. It has a beautiful view along the
southern coast of the island.
Windsurfing: Morritt’s Tortuga Club on East Side. Conditions
fine. Rates CI$35/hr, CI$70/3 hrs, CI$300/week. Wind blows on
shore, so even beginners can feel comfortable.
Stingray Sandbar: Captain Dexter of Fantasea Tours has
done it again. Tour of 11 people received good service at a
reasonable price. As with others, we were glad we were not
packed on a boat with 50 or more people. Recommend.
Snorkeling: Governors Reef, recommend. Eden Rock, recommend.
Cemetery Reef, were there but I think we missed the best part.
We snorkeled 200 yards off to left of beach access entrance.
Turtle Farm: We were told that one tank, hatchlings, and
Iguana would cost us $5 US each (normally $6 US each). We