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Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

Brooklyn
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79 posts
2 reviews
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Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

Hi - I'm wondering if someone could help me figure out if Cayman is the right choice for my family. I'm trying to find a beach destination to go to with two adults, and two kids - ages 2 and 6. We've been to Mexico, Barbados and Aruba so far. I'm generally not a fan of enormous all inclusive monster resorts, but for this trip we were originally considering going to one - maybe in DR or Jamaica - just because it's so convenient and easy with the kids, etc.

Then I discovered that the prices for Cayman Islands are not so different from these other places (although they do not include food of course). I've zeroed in on the Grand Cayman Beach Suites property because of it's convenient location and of course the suites are great to have with kids. I have a few questions/concerns I was hoping some of the experts here could help with.

+ Has anyone been to this hotel in the last year or so with kids around my ages? Does anyone know if the construction is still an issue next door?

+ I like the idea of being walking distance to a supermarket, and we would probably eat most of our breakfasts in the room and maybe lunches - but are there any reasonably priced restaurants within walking distance of this hotel? I know there are a bunch of options, but it sounds like they are mostly high end type places.

+ Does this hotel have any kind of entertainment at all? I'm not looking for the big glitzy shows like the mega resorts have (although I thought it maybe could be fun for our kids to see), but I would be happy with a small band, steel pan player, etc. to liven things up.

+ What's the overall vibe of this area of the island? When my wife and I went to Barbados, the beach and grounds were absolutely stunning, but the atmosphere was really quiet and dead feeling. For our anniversary trip that was great, but I'm afraid it might be kind of boring feeling for the kids.

+ For those who have been, I'm picturing Cayman as a sort of hybrid feel of Barbados and Aruba. That is, the stunning beach and quiet feel of Barbados, but with a scrubby, desert type of landscape like what Aruba has. Is that an accurate description?

Sorry for the long post, just trying to figure out what's best for us before dropping so much money for a trip!

Thanks!

~H

South Jersey
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79 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

I stayed at the Westin last week. It was my 1st time in the Caymans and was with my wife and kids (7 & 9). We had a good time. It reminded me the most of Aruba.

We prefer more remote locations (St. John / St. Lucia / Costa Rica), but Grand Cayman was convienient with the kids since restaurants and supermarkets are within walking distance.

Hope this helps.

Annapolis, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
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4,863 posts
17 reviews
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2. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

Even better than a suite, explore the many condo options which are available. You will have much more room, the convenience of a kitchen, 2 bedrooms/bathrooms, privacy and an uncrowded beach. Also know that the construction next door to the Beachsuites is in full swing and will be for quite some time.

If a condo is appealing, check caymanvacations.com. I would not worry about children that young being bored. Beach and pool time with family is priceless.

Generally, the properties located in the central section of Seven Mile Beach offer the best beaches and are within walking distance to stores and restaurants. Properties in the northern section are 5 minutes away from them by car. I would steer you away from the southern section as there have been beach quality and erosion issues there.

Brooklyn
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79 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

Thanks for the info guys. The condo is appealing but part of me likes the idea of a hotel just because it's nice to feel at least a little pampered when on vacation. But now I'm concerned about this construction. Is it still loud at this point or is the structure up by now? Also we're going mid January, so I guess there will be more progress by then.

My kids love playing the beach and pool and my son is getting into snorkeling a bit - so I'm not really worried about things to do. Just that I think I'd rather be in a place that's a bit lively instead of a quiet, dead-feeling atmosphere. We stayed at the Radisson in Aruba and they had a guitar player or some kind of live music at the hotel every night. It was a nice touch and made you feel like you're on vacation.

Illinois City...
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270 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

Even though Grand Cayman is MY favorite place of all places I have been, Im not sure if it would be best for you. When reading your post, it sounds like an all inclusive would fit most of your criteria......entertainment, something more lively, etc that you mentioned. I have been to one all-inclusive and we had a great time, especially the kids. BUT if you asked them, they would pick GC any day. My kids are older now (17 and 12) but have been going to GC for 14 years and have always loved it. The places to stay in GC are definately low key with not alot going on. You have to make the fun there. I have been to Aruba a few times and I would say it reminds me of Cayman. But I think Aruba has more to do. Part of my love for Cayman is their fabulous restaurants but it sounds like that is not an interest of yours. Cayman is definately quiet in my opinion. Good luck with your planning!!

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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71 reviews
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5. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

I think there is entertainment at many of the restaurants within walking distance almost every night of the week. Bamboo, the sushi restaurant at the Beachsuites is closed and they are doing an expansion of the beach bar/dining options with entertainment. Not sure when it is to be done, but it is in the works. I have stayed at the Beachsuites when my place was being painted and think it has appeal for your family. Normally I would suggest a condo, but your kids are young enough that sleeping on the pullout shouldn't be a problem. There is a very user friendly turtle pool for little ones and the beach is ideal for the smaller set. Unless there is a storm, the water is like glass and it is a lovely soft sandy entrance. The kitchenette area has a little cooktop, fridge, microwave and is ideal for a light breakfast, lunch and many snacks. Request a room facing away from Watercolours and the construction shouldn't be a big deal. When we were down a couple of months ago it looked as though the outside the building was pretty much finished. That means the noisy stuff will soon be done.

daisytown
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591 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

We are St John lovers heading to Grand Cayman with family who has been there before. We have resisted because we like the topography of St John and quiet beaches. To those who have been to both how do the beaches compare?

Nancy

7. Re: Is the Cayman Islands right for us?

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