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Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

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Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

For a while now I've benefitted from the excellent advice dispensed on this site, so I figured it's about time I contributed after spending last week in Grand Cayman. Every summer my wife and I spend a week at the Plantation Village Beach Resort, where we own a timeshare. We honeymooned in Grand Cayman several years ago and have been returning ever since.

Plantation Village is located on the far south end of Seven Mile Beach, a few properties south of the Marriott. As others on this site have noted, Plantation Village is not overly luxurious, but it is a fantastic value, provides all of the amenities which are important to us and is in a great location. We go to Grand Cayman for the beach, the snorkeling, the food, and to spend a week where the most important decision each day is where to eat dinner that night. Plantation Village is perfect for us but is not the place to go if you want 5-star luxury.

The size of the beach at Plantation Village varies from year to year due to the resort's location, which makes it susceptible to erosion. Some years there is not much of a beach, but we have never found this to be a problem because one needs only to walk a short distance up the beach, where there is plenty of beach. However, this year the beach at Plantation Village was the best that I've ever seen. There was plenty of sand. The water in front of Plantation Village consists mostly of coral reefs, which makes for excellent snorkeling.

Activities: I can't report on many of Grand Cayman's activities because we spend the vast majority of our time on the beach. We typically go for a jog on the beach in the morning, eat breakfast and lunch in the condo, and spend the rest of the day on the beach reading, snorkeling, and just hanging out. This year we did go for a drive around the entire east end of the island, which was very scenic, and went snorkeling at Eden Rock, which was beautiful. In the past we've done Rum Point (great place to sit, relax and do nothing), Sting Ray City (a lot of fun, definitely worth doing); Hell (not worth doing); and the turtle farm (worth doing once). We avoided the dolphin swim for reasons which have been amply covered on this site. Watching captive dolphins perform tricks in a small tank is not our idea of a good time.

Food: As I said, we usually buy groceries and eat breakfast and lunch in the condo. For dinner this year we ate at the following: Aqua Beach Bar (We were disappointed with the food here, although our expectations were not very high. We have found Coconut Joe's to be a better choice for a casual meal.); Casanova (Good Italian food, great atmosphere and service with an outdoor patio on Georgetown harbor); My Bar/Sunset House (Another casual restaurant/bar, which we enjoyed. Great waterfront atmosphere.); Calypso Grill (One of our favorites. We enjoyed it the most this year. The sticky toffee pudding may be the best dessert I've ever had.); Ristorante Papagallo (Consistently good restaurant with excellent service.); and Cracked Conch (This was our first time there, and the food was very good, but we were disappointed in the limited menu. Excellent waterfront atmosphere.) We also ate lunch at a local roadside fish fry/jerk chicken stand near Bodden Town, which was excellent, but right now I can't remember its name. In the past we've also enjoyed The Reef Grill, Lobster Pot, and Grand Old House. We also like Gino's Pizaa for a casual meal in the condo. We've always been disappointed in the service and the food at The Wharf.

As is often stated on this site, food in Grand Cayman is expensive. Our bill for two at a nice restaurant is usually in the neighborhood of $120 U.S., including drinks and an appetizer or dessert, and a 15% gratuity is included at most places.

Alcohol: For beer drinkers such as myself, there really seems to be no alternative to paying relatively outrageous prices. A case (24 beers) of Miller Lite (which is as cheap or cheaper than any other beers that I saw) costs over $40 U.S. For me this is just part of the price of the vacation. Liquor, especially rum, seems to be more reasonable (for instance, a fifth of Tortuga rum is about $13 U.S.).

Car Rental: We always rent a car and cannot imagine doing it any other way. We enjoy seeing the island and trying new restaurants. The past few years we've used Andy's and had no problems, but this year we got a cheaper rate from Dollar ($250 U.S. total, including tax, for a Toyota Corolla for the whole week), and found that Dollar's cars are newer and thus a little nicer than Andy's. With Andy's sometimes the air conditioning was not very effective.

Weather: The weather in July is usually in the upper 80's or 90's. This is not a problem for us, since it is about the same here in Mississippi. The weather is almost always perfect; there are the occasional showers, but rarely does it rain for more than an hour or two. July is also a great time to travel because there are no crowds (except in Georgetown when the cruise ships are in), and hurricanes usually aren't a concern until August or September.

I'm sure there are other aspects which I've overlooked. Hope this is helpful.

Annapolis, Maryland
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for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
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1. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Overbar: What a nice trip report and it will be very helpful to others. As a Cayman regular you should share your knowledge and insights more often! Thanks for contributing.

Macomb, Illinois
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2. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

There is nothing more helpful here on TA than a detailed trip report. Thanks for posting!

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3. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Thanks for the great trip report.

chicago suburbs
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for Grand Cayman
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4. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Oh I love the sticky toffee pudding at Calypso too! Yum!

Kansas City, MO
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5. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Thank you for the TR. We are going in 3 weeks and I appreciate the info - especially the dining suggestions!

Hamilton, Canada
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6. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Hi Overbar...As a relative novice (5th. in Nov.)

we enjoyed your trip report so much; almost as we

would have written. We cherish wonderful reports

like yours; as we have lived them & they bring

back wonderful memories of Cayman. Looking forward

to our next visit ! Cheers !

Raleigh, North...
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7. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Enjoyed your report............

Thanks for taking the time to post it..........

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8. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Thanks. I agree with Kiddos u should report more as you seem to share a great many of what many of us look for in our adventures.......laid back and casual but with the definite atmosphere of "being on vacation."

Just perfect.

All experiences, be it good or bad, are a learning experience and then we know where to/or not to go etc.

Appreciate your post and will file into our list for the upcoming visit.!

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9. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

Thanks so much for your detailed report - we will be going to PV in 3 weeks - it will be our first time to the Caymans and we are very excited.

You mentioned about getting groceries - just curious, do the prices seem higher on them too? We plan to do what you did - that is eat in mostly for breakfast and lunch and out for dinner.

We prefer more to eat out in more casual places with a water view. My husband was worried after doing a little research that he would have to "dress up" each night to go out to eat. But it seems as I've been looking there are many casual places too. We also like taking advantage of happy hour specials. :) I did see that Coconut Joe's has some and it looks like they are near PV. Any other places that anyone knows about?

I was also wondering as far as leaving camera, ipods, etc. in the room - did it seem pretty safe? I didn't check to see if they had in-room safes.

Trophy Club, Texas
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for Cayman Islands
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10. Re: Trip report 7/4 - 7/11

No real need to "dress-up" for most restaurants in GC. Even at some (most) of the more up-scale, a pair of slacks and collard shirt are fine for men.

Groceries are more than most places in the States. Depending on where you live they can be 25%-40% more.

www.caymannewresident.com/page_id_10.html has a handy average grocery price guide in located midway down the page to give you an idea of what to expect.

This a a good source for various happy hour and other bar and restaurant specials:


Enjoy your trip!

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