We just returned from our first stay on Grand Cayman and loved it! Thank you to all the Trip Advisor Destination Specialists who tirelessly answered questions while we were preparing for our vacation. Your advice helped to make this a very enjoyable and memorable vacation.
We took your advice and used McCurley's car rental service. BA picked us up at the airport and transported us to the Resort where are car was waiting. One of the easiest rentals we have ever encountered. If you don't mind an older vehicle (ours was probably a 10 year old Nissan Sentra) it's a great setup. If you tell her in advance, she'll work a grocery stop into the trip so that you can stock up on supplies for your stay.
I know I asked in advance about the price of food....I knew it would be expensive...I just was quite prepared for how expensive. Some items just floored me (beer/wine). Next time I'll pack half as many clothes (we lived in bathing suits and shorts for the most part) and use the second suitcase to bring food items (coffee, spices for cooking, cereal, rice, tuna in foil packets etc). We used the Foster's Express across the street from the Resort and found the selection to be limited. That being said....we arrived late on a Saturday and it's closed on Sunday. With Friday/Saturday check-in at the Resort for both the Reef and Morritt's, I think the selections were depleted. We took a trip to Savannah on Monday and stocked up at the grocery store there (across the street from Wendy's in the shopping center). Prices seemed much more reasonable and a huge selection of fresh produce, meats etc.
We loved the quiet of the East End vs. our last night a the Comfort Inn Suites in George Town on Seven Mile Beach. Quick drive to Rum Point (which we determined was our favorite). We made 4 trips out to this beach during our stay. We used Testudo's snorkel guide and found our way to several beaches. Barefoot beach was just up the road from the Resort and the snorkeling was good.
We made reservations for a special dinner at the Lighthouse restaurant. Extremely windy night so our reservation for dinner on the dock had to be moved inside. A bit pricey...but memorable.
Husband took the Resort Dive course through Tortuga Divers at the Resort. A short class and pool instruction in the morning and a 25' dive inside the reef in the afternoon. Once this is completed, they will allow you to participate in any of their other dives later in the week. Very worthwhile according to hubby. I'm a timid snorkeler...but they did allow me to accompany them on the boat at no charge and snorkel while the rest were down for their dive. Also an opportunity to see some great real estate from the water! Beautiful homes!
The snorkeling at the Resort was very entertaining. We thought it was at least as good as the snorkeling on our trip out to Stingray City. A bit rocky (swim shoes highly recommended) but lots of fish under the pier (Mimi's Dock Bar). They are well fed from the Dock Bar scraps and hang tight to the pier. Tarpon, parrot fish, trumpet fish and many days we saw a barracuda. We were a bit surprised on our last day to see two reef sharks (about 5') under the dock. Let's just say I was glad it was the last day and not our first!
The Resort has a shuttle into George Town for $12.50 US per person. Picks up at 9 and returns at 4. I was just as happy not to try driving in the busy city traffic and take advantage of the shuttle for shopping. Be sure to check the cruise ship schedule and pick a day with few boats in port.
We're now hooked on the East End of Grand Cayman and already talking about "next time".
Thanks again for all the great advice and reviews. There's no reason to ever have a bad vacation experience with Trip Advisor! If you do your homework...you'll know exactly what to expect!!
Lynda & Ed