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Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Boston, MA
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Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Returned late Friday night, back to surprisingly good weather in Boston (50 degrees)...but I miss GC already.

Final Thoughts?

-The locals were so friendly, it was amazing.

-I didn't have that '3 days and I'm still trying to get into relaxation mode'...it was immediate.

-The public beaches outside of SMB were really immaculate...bathhouses, trash pickup...we could learn alot from GC.

-I love that all the cemeteries I saw were near the ocean...not sure if its a final gift to those gone before us or a engineering necessity...either way, a nice gesture.

-I hope that the gov't finds a way to keep the less developed part of the island exactly that. If they don't, they'll have one less repeat visitor.

-For the Marriott, at over $300 per day, to charge for internet and phone calls (particularly for us non-business travelers staying 5+ consecutive days) is outrageous.

-Snorkeling on SMB was less than I had hoped. If you can, drive up to West End's Lighthouse Point, Smith's Cove, or near Morritts.

-As much as I loved GC, if it wasn't a divers paradise I might try to find somewhere less expensive. (Seems hard to imagine how a middle class family can afford weeklong vacations here...between flights, hotel/condo & food).

Future GC Trips?

-You bet....diving is just too good here.

-Next time, it's the East (Compass Point) or Northeast End (The Reef) for me.

-Next trip will be in late spring/early summer, so that the winds are low, so that I can dive the North Wall.

-Next time, I'm buying (or renting) my scuba gear (BC & reg)..rentals for a whole week were not cheap.

Thanks to everyone who sent along good wishes....Until the next trip, I'm signing off!

Rhode Island
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1. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Yoour reports were very enjoyable and covered lots of stuff that even those of us who have vacationed there often either have not experienced, or have not expressed as well as you!

I too find it rather bizarre that relatively expensive hotels such as Marriott's, Westin's, Hilton's, do not provide any internet usage without a fee, yet all of these do offer free internet at their lower cost venues such as Courtyard Marriott, Hilton Homewood Suites, etc.

Every year we vacation on GC, bringing family members along, and with each passing year as the cost rises we weigh whether or not to book for the next year. Although we were not signigficantly hurt by the stock market bust, are finding it hard to swallow that cost of this year on GC will be more than last year even with overall vistor count down and business hurting everywhere. Incomes for everyone who still has employment likely to either drop or stay the same while taxes and general cost of living expenses rise, thus going forward it is becoming hard to justify spending the current $1K/day for us all to vacation on GC. We'll enjoy it again this year, but becoming more questionable that we'll continue our annual March respites there:(

Macomb, Illinois
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for Grand Cayman
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2. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Thanks for all the time you spent posting here. It's very helpful for folks to have detailed reports.

As a diver you really should come back in the summer. The prices are lower and the diving is more predictable, especially on the north and east coasts. We who rent property call summer the divers' season.

I agree with your wish that the SMB development not extend to some of the calmer spots.

Do come back!

New Jersey
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3. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

BRAVO!!

I'm grateful for all the time and energy you put into your trip reports. Every little detail can/will help someone who is new to GC, or a repeat visitor.

Williamsport...
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4. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

navi jen--your prospective was an adventure for us all to learn and explore with you. Thank you for sharing with honest open reports.

lovecayman--you scare me....we are planning our second trip to GC in Dec. We loved it so much it was the ultimate vacation spot and so we bought into a time share while there.......our plans are to return and bring our grown children to experience the beauty. We are definitely worried about the expense and now with the US economy are anxious that they will not fall in love with the island due to the expensive price of things there. yes, i understand the fact of the island and things are shipped in--i just want them to be as happy as we all are who return..

Our daughter traveled around the world while in college and knows that some areas are luxury and u get what u pay for. I guess we will just have to let them experience GC and let the magic of the island take it from there:) Well Boston people--back to our climate !

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

PurpleScout,

If you've purchased a timeshare (assuming a condo with a kitchen??), I don't think my $$ comments will appply. When I mentioned the family cost, I was assuming a week in a Marriott type hotel, plus eating out 7 days would be a killer. Car rental rates were actually very reasonable. And between a condo (negating the high room rate) and eating in (negating the expensive restaurants) I think you'll be fine, cost wise.

There is a new grocery store (Costs Less???) off of SMB that a local mentioned that seems to be cheaper than Fosters, and Priced Right (near the airport) seems to have more Costco type (bulk, inexpensive) items.

If your condo is not on SMB, and you want to rent it during the summer, I'd be happy to take a week off your hands :-). If not, enjoy your family trips....prices be d*mned, your vacations will bring priceless memories.

Best Wishes,

Jen

Rhode Island
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6. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

I certainly do not intend to scare anyone away from GC as it IS the BEST island for a vacation by far!!! In our lifetime experience, no matter what, cost of living seems to rise, property taxes rise, expenses rise even when income may not so there are points in life when we sit back and have to weigh how much more we are comfortable spending, especially on luxuries:)

For example, after 25 years, we opted to resign our membership in a private golf/country club. Could we afford to keep it? Yes. Yet, it was a big expense for something we could do without while still being able to golf at a far less cost. Are the courses we go to as nice as the private one? No. But they are fine and the price differential is enormous.

Guess I am just "one of those" who likes the best, but also unemotionally weighs the pros and cons before writing the check!

Grand Cayman
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7. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Purples -- no worries. While there are cheaper locations, I need to know that there is good medical care, when my "future" grandchildren come to visit, they will be safe and welcomed. I don't care to be in places where there is an undercurrent of unrest. I certainly don't want to be around drug problems, kidnappings, or possible political unrest. In the event of an emergency I need to know there is a good infrastructure of roads,etc. I still like to travel to other places, but when it comes to making a commitment, I want more. GC is a wonderful spot to do that and I think you will be more than happy for years to come. Congratulations on your purchase (and I am just waiting to hear when lovecayman takes the plunge:)!

Rhode Island
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8. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Lovecayman would take the plunge in a NYminute IF she had a couple million hanging around AND could be a permanent resident of Grand Cayman:)

After being done with decades of kid's tuitions and mortgage, we do not want to cede the joy of living 100% debt free!

Williamsport...
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9. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Thank you everyone. One of the reasons we took the plunge for the timeshare was the facts that we DID appreciate the comfort level we felt there. After some stops at other islands in the past we hated being heckled by locals selling goods. GC felt safe, is clean, etc. We are in the midst of having the college tuitions and mortgage but felt we found the place we want to go back to time and time again--with children and now grandchildren. We know how to budget and can do some comparison shopping so thanks for the tips on the best places to shop--we will put those tips to use.

lovecayman--i guess i thought that if you were ending your trips to cayman that it was like the end of an era and we are now starting and it is scary to think the cost is getting so much higher. We want our family to enjoy everything about GC and not be scared off by flight costs, food costs etc.

any tips from those on TA is sooooooooo appreciated!

Thank you again, we shall be in touch!

Macomb, Illinois
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10. Re: Travel Blog from GC: Final thoughts

Airline costs will be what they will be. But once you get to the island and you have a place to stay, you can enjoy Cayman without spending wads of money. We do and we have for many years. You will make friends with the timeshare folks there at the same time. Rather than going out for drinks and dinner, you will go to friends' homes and invite them to yours. Not the same as your past vacations, for sure. But we find it better. I'm sure Retrip will agree. Being part of a Cayman community is wonderful!