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Brad Feb 9th, 2000 02:17 PM

First Time to the Caribbean...What about the Caymans?
I'm planning a surprise getaway for my wife & I at the very end of April. We've never been to the Caribbean before. A travel agent suggested Grand Cayman. <BR> <BR>I'm planning on roughly a 4 day excursion -- both of us have been working hard & could use a break. <BR> <BR>I have some Marriott points and thought the Marriott Resort in Grand Cayman would be a good choice. I would love some advice from those experienced Caribbean travelers on my location choice & possible itinerary.

Cheri Feb 10th, 2000 06:51 AM

GC the end of April is great! The Marriot is a nice hotel in a nice location. <BR> <BR>The island is very expensive, very Americanized. When I go there I never feel like I've left the US. They have all the fast food restaurants and it just seems like we're still at home. Not too much island/Caribbean flavor. <BR> <BR>The stores close early so any shopping you want to do you have to do it during the day. I personally hate to waste "sun time" in a shop. <BR> <BR>The shopping in Georgetown is pretty good. Try to go on a day when there isn't a ship in port. Traffic can be heavy at times but don't let this stop you from renting a car and exploring the island on your own. Once you get out of town it isn't bad at all. It is a safe island and I have never felt uneasy about driving anywhere or even walking the streets at night. You just have to watch for the rolled up sidewalks. LOL <BR> <BR>There are some excellent snorkel spots and a trip to Stingray City is a must. <BR> <BR>Have a great time!

Brad Feb 10th, 2000 02:02 PM

Cheri, <BR> <BR>Thanks for the tips. Any recommendations for great snorkeling or day sailing charters?

Cheri Feb 10th, 2000 02:14 PM

A lot of people like Cap't Ebanks. We went with Cap't Marvin last time and it was a double decker boat and we were on top and missed everyting that was said concerning the spots we snorkeled. <BR>For a change we went on the Bahama Mama and had a ball. The guy took us different places and we ended up on Cheeseburger Reef, which is right behind Burger King. We did a shipwreck there and swam with tarpon and spotted eagle rays and turtles. <BR> <BR>You can also snorkel from shore at Parrots Landing, Eden Rock and Smiths Reef. Our favorite is Cemetery Reef. Turn left out of the Marriott and go a couple miles. You'll see all the cars parked along the road.

kris Feb 11th, 2000 06:01 AM

Don't miss Stingray City!!! <BR>It's the experience of a lifetime. Alittle intimidating at first, but WOW... what graceful creatures. A definate DON'T miss excursion in Grand Cayman.

Barry Mar 6th, 2000 04:26 PM

I just cashed in some Marriott point in January and stayed a week at the Marriott in Grand Caymans. We had a very nice time. The hotel was very nice although don't count on an ocean front room. They don't have that many rooms facing the ocean and free room people would have to pay a surcharge to get ocean front. The hotel is right on seven mile beach and is very nice. The pool and the beach are only a few steps from your room no matter where you stay. That is nice. Some larger hotels on the island, and there are not many, make you walk 1/4 mile from your room to the beach. I would also check out the Marriott in Aruba and St.Thomas. All very nice properties especially if you are using points. Be aware though that the Caymans are not cheap. Food is good but be prepared to pay top dollar. We rented a car for a day and had a blast touring the island. Remember though they drive on the wrong side of the road unless you are British. Have a good time. Check your browser for the Grand Cayman Island web sight. They can give you plenty of ideas to keep you busy. You can also call the 800 directory and ask for the Cayman Island tourist office in New York City. I actually visited them in Manhattan before I went. They were very helpful with maps and booklets. Hve a good trip.

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