Advice To Make Your trip More Enjoyable in Grand Cayman:

 

1.                   Grand Cayman is a casual to “smart-casual” island, therefore leave your necktie at home! You might bring a jacket for a fancy dinner (but you’ll probably take it off). In Winter the evenings can get cool…so it is wise for ladies to take a light sweater out to dinner.

2.                   Purchase the majority of your groceries and liquor on the way out of the airport area. In addition to the Foster’s supermarket/liquors across from the south runway, there is a beautiful pastel-colored, gingerbread-styled shopping center surrounding Hurley’s Super- Market (Grand Harbor) just 5 minutes (2 miles) from the airport (on your way to Northside). It is on the left side of Crewe Road and has a Liquor store, Blockbuster video, Pharmacy and Art store too. Everything is closed on Sundays..so do your shopping on Saturday! You can also pre-stock the villa too! We also have a "Cost-U-Less" (COSTCO w/o membership req'd) at the north end of 7MB in Governors Square- just north of the Westin).

3.                   The island accepts US$ just about everywhere. The quoted rate is usually US$1.25 = CI$1.00. (or US$10.00 gets you CI$8.00).

4.                   Phone jacks and electrical outlets are U.S. standard (110 volt).

5.                   You can trust the water. It is reverse-osmosis water from the city piped underground.

6.          For the more popular restaurants, reservations are recommended (especially for the Hyatt restaurant at Rum Point, Portofino’s and the Lighthouse restaurant in the Winter).

7.                   Most restaurants automatically include a service charge (gratuity), so be careful not to “tip” on the “tip”.   The island is expensive enough!

8.                   Things not to forget:

a.       Everything in Grand Cayman is Imported ($$!) The island has no taxes but those on imports, hotel stays and property. The Island charges 20% duty on everything that comes in. That is on top of the high shipping cost. Anything you think you will need that is expensive (cameras, film, sunglasses, etc.) try to bring it with you. Friends of mine bring beer! (US$40.00/case!!)

b.       Sunscreen. Absolutely, if you are fair-skinned. Hats are a must also.

c.       “Wading shoes” (stretchy nylon slip-ons with a hard rubber sole). These will protect your feet should you step on a sharp shell, piece of coral, or sea urchin while swimming/kayaking.

d.       Long distance calling card!…some carriers will offer rates as low as 30 cents/min. if you arrange it prior to leaving the states. Cable & Wireless is the local monopoly, and you can use such cards only at certain payphones. Calls from hotels/guest houses must be made by 1-800-CALL-USA.: however I have decided to allow guests to just use my (cheaper) home phone and deduct the charges from their damage deposit. Cable & Wireless can link your US domestic cell phone to work in Cayman! 800-744-2000. (www.candw.ky). Most cells work here now anyway.

e.       Passports ; everyone needs them now.  If you are taking step-children out of the country, you may need written authorization from your ex-spouse….check with your attorney.

f.        Valid Drivers License (if you are renting a car).

g.       Underwater mask that fits. Fins/snorkel are also recommended, but can be rented at Red Sail Sports (Rum Point) or Ocean Frontiers (East End). Buy these before you leave home.

h.       Special food/prescriptions/baby formula.  While there are many pharmacies on the island, they are going to be at least 40 minutes from the North Side of the island.

I.        Small bottle of bug spray.  Some restaurants are outside; and if there is no breeze, bugs may be bothersome right at dusk.

One caveat: I have my house listed with two travel agencies that have the right to “Instant Booking” on my calendar. If a (Sat. to Sat.) week is shown available, they can grab it. So if you get close to booking the week, and would be upset if it rented away..please call me so I can protect you for a day or so. It happens more often than you think...so I want to be certain you know ahead of time.