Grand Cayman Islands Things to Do
Beautiful, busy, and expensive are the three words I use to describe Grand Cayman. Two weeks ago we got back from our first trip to Grand Cayman. It was a last minute trip since we had to cancel our trip to Kauai last minute. We are very particular about going to a caribbean island other than Turks and Caicos.
We have a few bucket list places we would like to go, but Grand Cayman was not one of those. The last minute flights to Turks were outrageous so when we cancelled our Hawaii trip, we ended up in Grand Cayman. We love to travel and see new places. However, when it comes to the caribbean we feel like we have found the best in Turks and Caicos.
We have always heard Grand Cayman is expensive…we were even told by several people that we would probably be disappointed in the Cayman islands because they were not impressed…those people having only been on a cruise ship. So, we were a little nervous about what to expect.
Last week in my post I talked about where we stayed and how much we enjoyed the Windsong Villas in Grand Cayman. This week, I am talking about things to do in Grand Cayman.
One of the main reasons we love Turks and Caicos so much is the beach – Grace Bay Beach. There are no “bad parts” on Grace Bay, it is all beautiful. When making last minute travel plans to Grand Cayman, the one thing that made me book…well two things that pushed me to book the condo at Windsong Villas was the great reviews of the beach on that end of the island and the fact that it was away from cruise crowds. One reviewer even compared that area of the beach to Turks and Caicos. This particular review made me feel a little better about our trip to the Cayman’s.
Anyway, back to the beach review. So, let me just go ahead and get it out of the way and say that the Grace Bay Beach is better. However, I will say that the beach off of Boggy Sands in Grand Cayman does come in at the second prettiest beach we have ever visited. The first day we got there we were like ugh…the water was rough and not very clear. However, the next day and for the rest of the week the water mostly calm and clear.
The beaches do have lots of rock…which we were fine with and I even enjoyed sitting on them. The water in Grand Cayman seems to get pretty deep pretty fast. Oh, and then there was the seaweed. The seaweed was terrible. We had to clean ourselves a spot to sit each day so that we were not sitting in mounds of seaweed. We were told this was very unusual…I do not know if it is or not but it was a downfall for us. But, it did not hinder us from enjoying ourselves.
The beaches in Grand Cayman are pretty small as you do not have alot of sand before you get to the water. Oh, and as I said I read reviews that this was one of the prettier sections of seven mile beach. I agree with that review. We ate lunch/dinner at a couple of places on seven mile beach and some of the nicer resorts had some pretty terrible looking water…like green and icky looking with lots of rock in some places. So, be aware of this when booking your room to Grand Cayman. Make sure you read the reviews of what the beach in that area is like.
Our condo came with complimentary paddle boards. We have our own snorkel gear so of course we had that as well. Most times of the day the paddle boarding was easy and fun. At times, the wind and water would seem calm but it was a bit rough once you actually got out there.
As far as snorkeling goes…you can see some decent sea life just right off the shore, which we enjoyed. We snorkeled in our beach area every day and saw a fair amount of fish.
We each got a balinese massage at Touch of Thai in Grand Cayman. The massage was great and expensive as you would expect in a tourist area. We did get several snacks and water after the massage which was a nice little touch. We got a brownie, some type of lemon biscuit, and another little piece of dessert…we enjoyed all three.
Cayman Six Senses Boating Trip
Let me just say that I was super disappointed in Cayman Six Senses boating tour. We did the six hour eco tour. Christopher booked the trip last minute so I had not even researched it. We prefer private charters but because it was just the two of us it was going to be really expensive. We chose this trip because it was a small tour vs the super crowded boats.
Our captains were okay at times and then a little bit arrogant at times…like not easy to talk to and we are talkers and can talk to anyone.
With all of that being said – the stop at stingray city was magical. We did have a small group of people so we got a pretty good amount of one on one time with the stingrays and got to enjoy this part of the trip. Stringray city was probably the highlight of our trip. It was an AWESOME experience. I would go back to Cayman just to do this again.
After stingray city, we went to an awesome snorkel spot. We saw lots of vibrant fish and more stingrays. This was actually the best snorkel we had every experienced. Next up, we visited starfish point…which was okay. I mean, we got to hold some starfish and such but the water wasn’t that great. We only stayed there a short amount of time which was good with me.
Our last spot…ugh…our very long last spot…was Rum Point. Apparently when Christopher booked the trip he did not realize that we stopped at Rum Point for two hours. If I had known we had to go to Rum Point for two hours…I would have never booked the trip. I was fine with stopping there for maybe 45 minutes or an hour but 2+ hours was not good.
We got off there and got a chocolate smoothie. They are famous for their mudslides but I wanted the plain chocolate. After we drank that we literally sat in the hammock and then moved to a beach chair and napped. Rum Point is very touristy (which we hate) and the water there is not good and it is certainly not somewhere I wanted to spend two hours at.
So, if you book this tour….make sure you realize that it is a six hour tour but that over two hours of it is spent at Rum Point. I think you should get to spend more time at Stingray City or snorkeling instead of having to stay there for so long. Also, perhaps the amount of time doing each thing varies from tour to tour. I’m not sure. The majority of people on our tour didn’t even really want to get off the boat…perhaps this affected how long we stayed in each place. I’m not sure…but I could have done without Rum Point.
Grand Cayman = Expensive
Okay, so, we like to travel and we have been to some expensive places. However, we have never seen expensive like we saw in Grand Cayman. Be aware that everything you see on menus, prices for massages…all that kind of stuff is in Cayman money. When you get your bill and it converts to US dollars you will be blown away…especially at restaurants. It is literally the most expensive place we have ever been…like blow your mind expensive.
People tell me all the time how expensive Turks and Caicos is. Now I like to say if you think Turks and Caicos is expensive…go to Grand Cayman and you will be wishing for Turks and Caicos prices.
Next week, I am going to cover restaurants and I will talk more on the price of food.
Grand Cayman is a very busy island. In fact, I feel like it lacks the “island feel.” It is not low key and laid back like many islands. When you get out on the highway it is like being in a busy town in Florida. You will need a rental car here. You will have many to choose from and the rental car is actually super affordable.
The 5 o’clock traffic is like being in a big city. People are everywhere. Unlike many islands, you have all the modern amenities right at your fingertips…which I actually do not like. The one thing that I like about islands is the fact that they are laid back and charming.
So, if you want low key, little amount of traffic, and a caribbean charm…I would say to stay away from Grand Cayman.
Overall, we had a nice trip. It has its positives and negatives. I liked it enough that I would go back. I would like to go back and take friends just to be able to do a private charter to stingray city and snorkel. Would I choose it over Turks and Caicos…certainly NOT!
Stay tuned for more posts about eating out in Grand Cayman and my easy comparison of Turks and Caicos and Grand Cayman!