Cayman Islands- Unique experience

Old Apr 29th, 2009, 08:31 AM
  #1  
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Cayman Islands- Unique experience

My fiance and I are traveling to Grand Cayman for our honeymoon June 28- July 4. We are using a timeshare so we are staying at Morritt's Tortuga Resort. He is a first time traveler- ANYWHERE!
Where is Morritt's located on the island in respect to the must sees like seven mile beach and rum point?
Does the resort have snorkel gear available for guests and is it on the beach?

Also, we are not your average tourists so I figure that after a day or two we are going to want to get away from crowds and tours and do our own thing. We love nature and outdoor sports- hiking, mountain biking, fishing, etc. We are from Texas and my fiance has never seen a real beach (Galveston definitely doesn't count.)
I have done a lot of research on the island but I was wondering if anyone had a unique experience that we could look into. I have found that the island has "market" every saturday morning and am REALLY excited abt that. Also, I am assuming that Morritt's is quite far from some popular destinations. Should we rent a car for the week?

Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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I'm sorry that I can't answer your questions all that well other than to say that Morritt's is located on the East End of Grand Cayman, away from Seven Mile Beach (about 45 or so minutes away) and the the main areas for tourists. So you will definitly need to rent a car. I also suggest you take a tour that will take you to Stingray City and has snorkeling stops as well. We enjoyed Captain Marvin's tours, but there are others as well. Go when there are no or only one cruise ship in port. Oh, another good place to visit and snorkel is Cemetery Beach on the northern end of 7MB.

I must say that if the only beach your fiance has ever seen is Galveston, he is going to be AMAZED!!! The beaches and water in Grand Cayman are gorgeous. From a fellow Texan, have a fantastic honeymoon trip!
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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KVR
 
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The most popular attraction in GC is swimming with the sting ray. Many companies can provide this for you. Look a Capatin Marvins, Sotos, or Red Sail Sports. Also GC is known for its snorkeling. There is also the Queens' Botantical Garden. Do an Island tour and see all the touritsy places like the rum shops, turtle farm, hell, blow holes and Pedro St. James. Try http://www.tropicana-tours.com/tours.html. We also did the aqau boats with snorkeling. Fun to drive and I felt it was safer than jet skis. Rum Point is a nice beach to check out and relax a few housrs. You will need a car to get there.

Sorry don't know anything about the hotel you are staying in. We are from Texas too and once you see 7 Mile Beach, yeah, Galveston/Corpus Christie will never even be condsiered a beach destination in your mind again. We have never been back there. Have fun.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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You will definitely need a car while you are there. You will be able to rent snorkel gear, but if you plan on snorkeling a lot, buy it at home. There is a grocery store across the street, which is very handy. You will not encounter crowds at all in East End. Also add the Mastic Trail to you list of activities. Have a great time.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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You would also enjoy and mangrove trip with Cayman Kayaks (leaves from Kaibo beach).
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Check out Nativeway Water Sports, we did their Stingray City, snorkel and Rum Point Tour and had a blast. They take out some relatively small groups and may even be willing to customize a tour for you.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Thank you for all of the replies! Very helpful. CaymanSue, how is the sunset trip?
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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one more thing, one website advertised some awesome hiking. Something about the blowholes? Is this worth looking into?
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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We went on the sunset trip out of Rum Point a couple years ago. We had a great time, but that was probably because 14 of us hooked up for the first time after knowing each other online!
Don't know about hiking and the blowholes. What site did you see that on?
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 12:50 PM
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it was on the caymanislands.ky/ website, under nature/adventure tab- hiking link.

Wow! I'm sure you did enjoy the sunset then!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 06:11 AM
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For awesome hiking, try the Mastic Trail, pretty close to your resort. Also the Botanical Gardens are nearby and have beatiful walking trails. However, for sure do the stingray snorkel trip. Morritt's offers their own stingray trip and sunset cruise, or you can go on one out of Kaibo or Rum Point. All will be nice. For something different, my college age kids love the Jolly Pirate Sunset Cruise out of Georgetown. (free drinks - so one of you needs to be a designated driver for the ride back to your resort)

Check with Morritt's to see if the "fire eater" will be there. Great dinner show right on the beach!

Also, Morritt's is on the quiet east end, so no worries about crowds or too many tourist things. You will have nature all around you, and their swim up bar is great. Check out the Reef Resort's beach bar too to mix it up a bit. Both Morritt's and the Reef Resort have nice low key beach bars with music a few nights per week. Enjoy!

Oh - Just noticed you mentioned fishing. Captain Herman has deep sea fishing trips and leaves from the Morritt's dock. He will cook your catch at the resort for you when you return, a neat experience. We haven't gone with him, but have charterd a boat with Captain Joey on the east end and had a great time, we went snorkeling around the shipwrecks when we were down fishing. It was awesome!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:23 PM
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We just did a 2 snorkel site + sting ray city (wading) excursion with Capt. Marvins. I have no complaints with their operation but I will say this:
1. There were about 35-40 people; too many IMHO to do this right (Divers Down takes only 20 people, as d some other operators).
2. I saw one kid (about 10ish) get whipped in the face with the tail of one of the stingrays; he was shocked, we were shocked; not sure who else noticed (he was ok).
3.They had VIP productions on board to take photos of your fun with the rays; we bought the pics of ourselves and they were awful from a photographic point of view (however, it was nice to have some pics of us with the rays).
4. It was rather "trippy" to be among the sting rays (I'd recommend it with an outfit that does smaller groups).
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Thank you all for the help! WE are leaving this weekend and are VERY excited!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Yje snuba and sunmerine offerrings in my opinion are over-priced and NOT very exciting no matter what they tell you. If you go on a snorkel trip by power boat try and get one that is a 32-36ft and takes a max of 15 people. Any more than that and it will be too crowded. Do not be tempted by ones that offer free rum punch and food, for you are there to snorkel and make sure they go to 2 snorkel spots and you are in the water for 35-45 minutes at each spot. It is worth paying a little more even without drinks to get the best snorkeling. If it's a sailboat I suggest you ytry to get a 36-45ft. that takes no more than 20 and has a large canopy so you can get out of the sun when you need to. The furtle farm we found to be a "non-event" but if you need something more to do you might want to consider that.
Someone suggested fishing. It generally is quite expensive unless you can get 5 people in a 30-36ft. power boat for 4 hours then it will cost $125-$150/person. Any less and it likely is a party boat and they chum the water for nurse sharks which is not much fun and somewhat inhumane, in my opinion. I hope some of this helps. It is based upon 3 visits to GC.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 07:19 PM
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you might want to try the scuba course offered by morrits or from ocean frontiers which is just down the road.
rum point is about 25 min drive from morritts. - the real restaurant (not the beach food) is wondeful.
seven mile beach is about 50 mins. we snorkeled at cemetary beach - very good.
definitely do the botanical gardens. takes about 2+ hrs.
go to the mastic trail early in the am and take cold water.
to find the blow holes go left from morrits around to the south side. on your right (island side) is a barely there wooden sign that says blow holes. park on the ocean side. you'll see an old viewing stand. you have to go when the wind/sea are cranking, as part of the 'hole' got filled in with ivan.
advise you contact www.andys.ky for your car. it's an easy walk across the street from the airport. very convenient. they'll give you a good map & directions. once you're out of town it's an easy drive.
you will pass the farmers market en route to morritts. after lving town area, it's on your right. go very very very early or they'll be sold out. 9 is way too late.
on way to morritt's after you pass the north sound road (on left) you'll pass roland's. this is an outdoor restaurant. roland prepares whatever he feels like. you take your own wine or beer. you have to have a reservation. http://www.chefroland.com/1.html
for a cheaper more romantic sunset - drive to rum point. instead of going to rp bend left. go until you see kaibo yacht club on right. turn right. go to the end of that road, through the large arch. take the 1st left by the fallen palm tree (<really lol) and then drive to the end of the point. you'll have a great view of the sunset and the back side of seven mile. in the day time you can normally see starfish if you snorkel in this area.
i didn't care for the turtle farm either.

my best advice for this island is go slowly. the beauty is in the details here. if you drive to rum point enough times eventually you'll start noticing the island side. there is a large swampy area that normally has some cool water birds. we saw cayman parrots flying over the road twice. on the queens hwy (rd to rum pt) there are dozens of little pull outs to view or get onto the beach. see if you can find the shoe tree. it's on a beach that's just west of a mini public beach w/tables.
morritt's shares it's beach with the reef resort. reef has all kinds of fun stuff going on. on i think tues & thurs they have a guy known as barefoot man to sing. he's good.

congratulations, have a fantastic honeymoon.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:25 AM
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We rented a car for a day and grabbed snorkels from the hotel we were at and a printed map I had showing all the hot snorkel spots. It was FANTASTIC.

We started at seven mile beach, went to Cheeseburger Reef. It took us a few minutes to figure out best way to get in the water [there’s a little beach by Lobster Pot]. The snorkeling was awesome. Next stop was Eden’s Rock. Easier entry point [ladder] and there were more people. It was like climbing down into a giant fish bowl. They were everywhere. Final stop before Rum Point was Smith’s Cove. This was a lovely beach area. When we arrived there was just a local family swimming. It was beautiful. There were lots of coral to view here. It was nice to just hang out also. By the time we left, it was crowded and a large tour bus full of cruise ship people was heading our way. We had lunch at Over the Edge. Delicious quirky place.

We ended at Rum Point and chilled for a couple hours. So fun. We wanted to hit Ivory Cai to see starfish but ran out of time.

You could even stop by 'Hell' to mail your postcards from there and take the obligatory picture.

You are spoiling your husband taking him to his very first beach at one of the most beautiful beaches.

Oh and you HAVE to swim with the stingrays. But please plan on a day when there won't be cruise ships. There's a website [do a quickie google] that tells you what days.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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SnR
 
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When we were on GC a few years ago (right after Ivan) there was a stingray city boat out of Rum Point which might be closer for you. It was fun. Don't count on any hiking really since GC is pretty flat and not at all jungly (which is one reason why the snorkeling is awesome.) The guide books should tell you where the shore snorkeling is--we just drove up to the places and jumped in the water--no other people there at all. Our favorite was on the north side towards the middle. Do a search on the internet for shore diving GC and see what you get. There is also a place in the south part of Georgetown where there is a dive shop. Eden point? Water is deeper and it is lovely. I hope you have an underwater camera! We took pix and then went back to the condo and watched them on the TV. Double our fun! Have a wonderful honeymoon!
Sally in Seattle
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Hi

Would love to hear your trip report, specifically any suggestions on special outings or whatever as I am trying to come up with a creative wedding gift for two friends who will be honeymooning on GC in early August.

Thanks!
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