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3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Montreal
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3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Hi: Thinking of going to GC in April.

1. I just read about sea itch in the top questions section. I also searched it and people seem to say no big deal, unless it you're affected. Is it a problem? Would we be better off in March (dates are flexible)? We'll be going to GC for snorkeling and so will be spending lots of time in the water. I read that rinsing off as soon as possible after swimming is suggested, but I'm guessing there aren't rinsing (and changing) facilities at every beach.

2. Is there a link to the cruise ship days for 2015? Where is it best to avoid during those days? I read on the forum to avoid Rum Point during cruise ship days. I'm looking into staying at Cayman Kai, which seems close to Rum Point. Is that still a good idea? Reviews all mention how quiet it is there.

Thanks,

Kay

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Rum Point
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Grand Cayman
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1. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Sea itch is not a worry in my book. i spend a lot of time in the water and have never been affected.

In Rum Point, there are no tourist lodging accommodations where the cruise ship folks excursion for the day, so if peace and quite is what you're after, have no fear.

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Rum Point
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Grand Cayman
Syracuse, New York
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2. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

I have got a little of it, but it's not really a bother. Vinegar helped relieve it. You can also get a hydrocortisone cream which will help big-time (good for mosquito and noseeum "bites" too)

The cruise ship schedule is available at http://www.caymanport.com/shipschedules.php but even on days where there are ships in, I wouldn't write it off completely - there is a relatively small window when they are there - remember, folks have to be tendered from the ship to the shore, then get a bus, then get a boat across the sound - all that takes time, and then they have to reverse that. The actual window at Rum Point where it gets crowded is quite small - as long as you go in the morning, and then starting mid-afternoon you will be fine.

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3. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

I completely agree with TravellingBrit. I too have had *the itch* once in the many times that I've been to Cayman. Yes, it was not fun, but lasted less than a week & cortisone cream helped me.

I believe that you can actually see the times that the ships arrive & depart on that website. As he said, it's a relatively short time that cruisers have at their island destination, whether it be SMB, Rum Point, or wherever. You just want to time your activities accordingly.

I have not been yet, but people on TA seem to love Tiki Beach for dinner, while during the day it is crowded with cruisers. Once they leave, all settles down. Just an example, of course.

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4. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Most of the cruise ship destinations on the island have a decent offering in the evenings - TIki Beach is my personal preference, but Rum Point, Calico Jack's and the Royal Palms all have something to offer that is far less crowded that the lunchtimes when ships are in.

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Montreal
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5. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Thanks for the replies. The cruise ship link is great. I can't imagine21,000 people descending on a small island in a day! That will be good information to have.

K

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6. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

If you want to experience the quiet beauty of Rum Point, then you do need to go in the morning or later in the afternoon (when there are no cruisers). However, when I stayed at a Sea Lodge, I went over to Rum Point several times in the middle of the day (to snorkel, people watch and/or get a mudslide) and could always find a chair. Although it was crowded, I never found it to be “noisy.”

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White Bear Lake...
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7. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Unfortunately, I seem to be the one of the few unlucky ones that reacts badly to the baby brown thimble jellyfish. I was snorkeling the west side of the island (Cheeseburger Reef/Cali Wreck) with my family and we saw all of these pretty translucent balls (slightly smaller that small grapes) floating around us. Our guide told us that they were baby jellyfish and that they couldn’t hurt us. That evening or the next morning, I had red itchy bumps covering my abdomen (it was completely red) and along my back hairline and was running a temperature. It was bad enough that we called our HMO in MN to determine if I was having a reaction to the antibiotics I was on for my sinus infection. But it wasn’t. The bumps were there and itchy for a couple of weeks after coming back to MN and I had the marks on my stomach for several months after that. Out of the four of us in our family, I was the only one that had any reaction to them; the others did not even have one red bump. This was either late Feb or March.

That being said, this happened almost 20 years ago. It has not kept me out of the water (and we go down for 1 -2 weeks every year) but I do check with the dive folks to see if there are any outbreaks going on and then avoid those areas (for me this has been Cemetery Reef). I also pack Benadryl tablets and spray (the spray worked the best for me; you don’t have to rub it in). And vinegar is on my shopping list and goes with me on my day trips. Whatever is left over is given to the dive shop folks (and most years it is an unopened bottle). My only other tip is to cover all skin with sunscreen even the areas under your swimsuit. The other tip that sites suggest is to wear the smallest amount of clothing possible when swimming because it is the trapped jellyfish larvae that causes the problem. Also, you do not want to use fresh water to rinse off with because that activates the stingers. If interested, you can read more at …wikipedia.org/wiki/…Presentation

Montreal
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8. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Thanks for the info Jo. Some good tips pointed out. One reason I like my swim shirt, apart from keeping warmer, is that I can put on less sunscreen! Also I haven't been in a bikini for almost 30 years. Good advice to bring a small container of vinegar, Benadryl pills and spray, and some cortisone cream. It's probably not too realistic to strip and shower with seawater right after swimming in most places. It seems that some people react more than others and I suppose there's no way to know in advance.

My husband and I were recently in Curacao and one day we were snorkeling and he belt 2 bites that stung him. I noticed there were some small jellyfish around. We returned to shore and went to another beach. The weird thing was that even though dh felt a stinging sensation for 5 or so minutes, by the time we left the water the stinging sensation was gone and he didn't have any mark on him.

We're new to water activities (before embarking on snorkeling we mainly hiked) so stuff like this is a bit weird for me.

K

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9. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

I swim with a swim shirt all of the time and often with no sunscreen under it because I (like you) don't care much for sunscreen and it works. I just had that bad reaction once but have been careful since. I had a much milder reaction the following year - just a few spots around my mouth where my snorkel was. That was after swimming at Cemetery. Here is another article on TripAdvisor from a few years ago - tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147365-i261-k3872… You may have already read this one but I did find it interesting that the numbers he mentions (20+ out of 100+) is in line with my small group's numbers (1 out of 4). So I guess that I am just one of the "lucky" ones - too bad it doesn't carry over to my playing the lottery!

Montreal
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10. Re: 3 Q's: sea itch April, cruise ship days

Jo: Do you remember what time of year you had the sea itch problems? Checking with the dive shops sounds like a good idea. I'll have to remember to refer to this posting in a bit less than a year from now!!

K

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