Just returned from Grand Cayman Island this past week. I had to
write a trip report considering I received so much knowledge
from this board prior to going. Our trip was great. We were also
looking to enjoy the island and not spend that much $$$.
Flew from Philly with US Air on 2.7.02 (Gotta love those e-
savers!). Good direct flight but no movie. Got off the plane to
a wonderful 85 degrees. My boyfriend and I took a taxi to our
hotel - Sunshine Suites (owned by Wyndam). This place was great
(for the budget traveler, that is). Grant you, it's not on the
beach but it is only a short walk to the Westin beach across the
street. The Westin has the best beach/location! Sunshine Suites
cost us $156/night and includes continental breakfast. The room
had a with a small kitchenette (stove top, microwave, fridge,
sink, dishes, pots/pans) and all of the amenities of a regular
hotel room. There is a pool but we didn't bother going since we
went to the beach. They offer you beach chairs and towels to
take with you to the beach. It's also within walking distance to
many places such as the grocery store (Foster's). We hit
Foster's after we checked in.
At Foster's we picked up enough lunch meat/cheese for the next 4
days, 2 dinners, and some snacks which came to about $50US. We
took a quick stroll on the beach after we dropped off our
groceries. Very nice!
Friday- we hit the beach. Plenty of shade (for you pale skinned
people, like me and my boyfriend) and plenty of beach. Clear
water, no sharp sea shells (like the NJ shore), little waves.
Water was so calm you can float all day.
We took a long walk south on the beach after lunch to hunt down
a restaurant. Passed the Hyatt, nice beach but too many cruise
ship visitors. Reef Grill looked good but you couldn't see the
beach from the restaurant part because the bar was in the way
(of course, we took a pitstop and got ourselves some
hurricanes!). We kept walking... we finally got to the Marriott.
Ugh! I feel so bad for the people staying there. There's
literally 4 ft. of beach! It's ashame because the hotel looked
beautiful. But we did like that their restaurant was right next
to the water so we made reservations there. We went to happy
hour at the Comfort Inn - discount drinks and free food-
couldn't pass that up. Make sure you do your hunting for happy
hours- they're all over Cayman. (Fidel Murphy's, Holiday Inn,
Comfort Inn, Blu Igana (I think) to name a few).
We went to the Marriott's restaurant, The Peninsula. It was
buffet night- which the hostess didn't tell us when we made the
reservation. The food was good but we still would have liked to
have been served a normal dinner for the price we paid ($35/pp
Saturday- We took the Stingray City Tour with Captain
Dexter/Fantasea Tours on his Catamaran. Absolutely loved it. I
took the recommendations from another poster on this board. This
tour seemed so different from the others that were out there.
First off, the boat was a Catamarran (we sailed home on the way
back). Second, there was only 2 other ladies with us on board
(the max. amount of people on board per trip is 16). Third, we
got to the sandbar first before anyone else and had plenty
of "alone time" with the stingrays and didn't have to share with
anyone else. Dexter had names for a couple of the rays. Dexter
was also so nice to me because I'm not the best swimmer so he
lead me over to a shallow part so I could stand without worrying
about the waves. Very nice man! The stingrays were awesome. They
purred by my legs while Dexter fed them. It was so cool. We then
went to the Reef which was absolutely beautiful. Once again,
Dexter went out of his way to help me. (This time he put a
lifevest around my waist). He showed us his "friend" an eel. The
fish were so bright and the corals were magnificent. This was
the best experience ever. Anyway- I highly recommend Captain
Dexter! (We also found a coupon in our hotel lobby for 20% off
When we got back, my boyfriend and I rented bikes from Coconut
Rentals and biked to Hell and Turtle Island. We felt more
comfortable biking on the left than driving. Hell was an
interesting touristy place, definitely a one time thing. Turtle
Farm was still recouperating from the last Hurricane but they
had one holding tank and several viewing tanks. It was
Later, after dinner, we went to the Westin for cocktails and to
also scope out their restaurants. BTW, the westin makes an
excellent Cosmo. We made reservations with Ferdinand's Cafe.
(Located on the Westin Beach).
Sunday, went to the beach. Had Dinner at Ferdinand's. Service
was exceptional. Food was wonderful. Ambience and location were
the best. Highly recommended. Also very expensive. Spent $150US
on bottle of wine, 2 entrees, and dessert. Still worth it (since
we saved $ when we ate in for lunch and 2 dinners).
Monday was overcast and drizzling at times so we headed to town.
Very nice town. Definitely the place to go for souvenirs. The
place was crawling with cruise ship passengers- not that there's
anything wrong with that. We splurged and lunched at
Cassanova's. Once again, Highly recommended! I must say, it was
some of the best italian I ever had (I had the meat lasagne).
The service was good - they were a little distracted because
they were shooting a commercial but not terrible. Lunch came to
about $22CI. Get there early around noon for a good table. Also
noticed that the bankers get special preference in seating. (I
guess visitors only stop by once, but bankers take their clients
Sunshine Suites let us check out at 3pm as our flight left at
4:45. Nice flight back, not that full. Wish we stayed at least 2