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what do you wish you had known before you went?

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Minneapolis, M
posts: 202
reviews: 12
what do you wish you had known before you went?

Just read a great review from Txdancingqueen and she had a section in her trip report that talked about things she wished they had known before they visited Cayman and they listed things that would have been helpful to know prior to arriving. I'd love to have people chime in as we prepare for our upcoming trip.

Thanks in advance. I'd lose to learn as much as I can for convenience/money saving strategies.

Brooklyn, New York
posts: 45
reviews: 30
11. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

We are frequent travelers to Cayman and I agree with the point about the hotel vs condo. We were Westin guests for the first 4 trips to Cayman, and it is a great hotel (just recently refurbished, but not as Ritzy or $$$ as the Ritz next door). However, the beach is just as beautiful at any of the condos on Seven Mile Beach, and it can really provide a way to save $ on this very expensive island. If you don't mind not having amenities like room service, beach attendants and a concierge, but might enjoy conveniences like your own kitchen and washer/dryer, then try staying at a condo. We had no problem making our own frozen concoctions and preparing some meals at the condo. For us - both in our 30's with 2 small kids - it was the best of both worlds. And helped us offset some of the costs of meals out.

Another place I wish I knew about the first 4 times I went was Starfish Point. A definite must if you are up for a little land expedition!

Feel free to private message me for any specific questions.

Minneapolis, M
posts: 202
reviews: 12
12. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

I am thankful to all of you who responded.

I'm on the credit card thing already as I believe my current one does incur charges and I'd prefer to carry my CC than more cash. Are CC's widely accepted? Grocery, gas, ?

We are staying in a condo on 7 mile (VOG) for the last 8 nights but the first three nights, I thought we'd look for a place near Rum Point so we can experience both. I see rentals are relatively hard to come buy for 3 nights in early March. If anyone has any reasonably priced recommendations in that area, I would be grateful. Thanks for the tip about Starfish Point. I believe that to be somewhere near Rum Point if my research is correct. I envision renting a car for the first portion of the trip.

We've always travelled to St John and have loved that island - like many of you are passionate about GC, St John does that for me...... but I must say, I'm excited about the ease of travel here. No mountains to climb, just easy, flat terrain for driving. I've visited GC one on a ship in 1997 and stayed on 7 Mile Beach back in 1992 for 8 days - prior to Ivan the Terrible. I am looking forward to getting reacquainted!

Thanks for the heads up on sunscreens. It's 4 women the first few nights and another will join us mid week. Girl time at the beach... gotta love it!

Are sea urchins a problem at water entry near Rum Point? Again, any recommendations for that area for 3 nights would be appreciated. There will be 4 of us during that time. Hoping to keep the cost around $300/night so it makes sense over staying at a hotel (currently have reservations at Sunshine Suites)... but I'd love to see how the "other side" lives! :)

chicago suburbs
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
posts: 2,844
reviews: 16
13. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

I haven't noticed any sea urchins at Rum Point.

We use our credit card for everything.....hardly use cash at all.

Starfish Beach is about 1.5 miles from Rum Point

Have you checked cayman vacation.com, caymanvacations.com, caydirect.com

Mount Tabor, New...
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
posts: 5,953
reviews: 18
14. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Like caymanshelly, I have not noticed any sea urchins around Rum Point, though there can be some in the nooks and crannies a bit east in front of some rental homes.

As for a rental for 3 nights, try contacting owners directly at VRBO or FlipKey (never know, your dates may fill an open slot for them) or one of the villas rental agents. Based on factors such as cleaning, booking fees and occupancy costs, rentals shorter than 4 nights often do not make financial sense for owners.

Brooklyn, New York
posts: 45
reviews: 30
15. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Funny you should ask about sea urchins! Never saw any at Rum Point or on SMB, but I did manage to step on one at Starfish Point last time. If you do venture there, take water shoes (or wear flip flops!). And yes, it is near Rum Point, so if you do stay down that end, it would be a good thing to check out and can be done in under an hour.

If you are going to stay out near Kaibo/Rum Point, I would try and do it on a Tuesday as there is a great beach BBQ at Kaibo on tuesday nights. That being said, I would really opt to stay on SMB the entire time, and just rent a car and visit the other end once or twice. Besides Kaibo and Rum Point, there is not much to do, and the nearest stores are not within walking distance. When you are on SMB, you can walk to restaurants, a grocery store, liquor store, etc. and feel completely 100% safe doing it. It's not that it's NOT safe out there, it's just not as busy and a bit isolated.

16. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

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MA
posts: 557
reviews: 20
17. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

I wish I knew that Cayman was "addictive". I got hooked many years ago and just can't give it up.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,362
reviews: 94
18. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

It's been more than 30 years and so I can't remember what I would have wished for but the island was a much different place back then. That said, here's my quick observations of three things that I wish visitors knew. While some of these things should be obvious, it baffles me that they're not.

1) Personal watercraft must obey the 200 yard limit. It is a near daily event to see rented skidoos leaving from Public and Tiki beach weaving between moored dive boats and bouys like it's a slalom course or playing some juvenile game of chicken by charging at fellow skidoo-ers. People are regularly injured and killed on personal watercraft and this careless use seems to go entirely unchecked since there's little the operators seem able to do other than to tell a day-visitor "don't ever come back here." Given that these are some of the most inexperience people engaged in the most dangerous behaviour, it seems that remote kill-switches would be any easy solution to put an end to this nonsense. Just informing guests of the ability to end their ride early might be enough to keep them further out to sea.

2) Stop dropping your beer bottles and empty cups in the sea. Having swam almost the entire length of SMB at various times in the past month, there are very obvious "plumes" of this type of litter blooming out from the following location: Public Beach/Tiki Bar, Westin, Ritz, Marriott, and Royal Palms. While staff at these locations work to keep the beach clean, they should probably don snorkel gear and take to the water each day because their guests seem to believe that the ocean is a dumpster. On the upside, these plumes are noticeably absent in front of GCBS and Carib Club so perhaps the guests staying there don't treat the world like it's their personal garbage dump.

3) Cemetary Beach is a cemetary not a changing room. I find the behaviour of tourists ducking inside the wall to change out of their swimsuits morally bankrupt. There is a marked path to the beach. Stay on it! People, like myself, come to the cemetary to pay their respects to friends and loved ones. Would you condone people stripping naked (under a towel) and changing their clothes in the cemetary where you have family burried? Then why is it okay to show this level of disrespect in a foreign country? Similar to the other issues, it shows a sickening level of indifference that is deeply troubling.

Anyway, there's my rant. While I see this kind of disturbing behaviour nearly every day, from my spot on SMB it's easily ignored. However, it's worth mentioning on TA to help curtail it.

Minneapolis, M
posts: 202
reviews: 12
19. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Smushie,

Thankfully... as moms in their 50's, we can relate to your concerns about the idiotic behaviors you described and we will not be partaking in any of those "events." In fact, you likely will see us walking out of the water with junk we may have found in the water.

I can certainly understand your concerns!

Thanks!

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,362
reviews: 94
20. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Ha! There are certainly other things that get people's goat but these are a few that make me want to grab someone by the ear and go, "where is your mother?!"

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