Grand Cayman or Barbados

Dec 14th, 2010, 03:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 146
Grand Cayman or Barbados

Hey Folks,

I beg your patience, as I previously posted that I was selecting between accomodations in Grand Cayman, but am now considering Barbados - The flights to the islands are almost similar and I'm comparing the Ocean One in Barbados to the Islands Club in the Grand Cayman, which are also similar in price.

Again, we have two sons 16 and 18 and we're interested in scuba, golf and enjoying the water and of course food. We like smaller local spots to eat, water sports and plan to rent a jeep to ride around the islands for dry-land adventures. So I would greatly appreciate any pros/cons of either islands and promise not to this board anymore!!!!
skiobx is offline  
Dec 14th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
scuba from grand cayman vastly superior.
3 golf courses on gc. 5 on barbados so that's probably a draw.
both islands have tons of dining options.
gc has an very good skate boarding park if that interests your sons. plus mastic trail to hike & see indigenous flora & botanical gardens to see plants from all over.
barbados is a bit more lush and quite a bit larger with more things to go see/do. more towns to look around. west side has numerous small, lovely, gentle beaches. east side is very dramatic with rocks & crashing waves in many places. gc will have more of a caribbean vibe.
please keep asking - thar's why we're all here
virginia is offline  
Dec 14th, 2010, 06:30 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 146
Thanks Virginia, I appreciate your insight - it's seems as though Barbados has more things to do, more towns, etc...As far as $$ is one island generally more expensive than the other for the usual things, taxis, lunches, liquor etc???
skiobx is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 01:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Been to both like both but Barbados better more variety even

monkeys rain forest and a cooler Brit/Caribbean vibe.

Grand Cayman nice beaches more standard US tourist fare

flat not too scenic better SCUBA for rays and coral forests.

Happy Hunting,
qwovadis is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 256
This might be off topic for this specific post but it seems to me that the islands with powdery white sands and amazingly turquoise waters ( GC, T&C, Anguilla) tend to be flat and less dramatic on land where as the islands with more varied topography ( Barbados, Jamaica, St. Martin) have many great beaches but not the ones with the gently sloping white powdery sand and crystal clear, calm water. My guess is that the flatter islands are like big sand bars and this allows for shallow clear water where the mountainous islands have a more steep climb out of the water and the deeper water gives off a different color.
genio67 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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Posts: 5,765
genie you're right on the money. the flat arid islands are coral based while the hilly lush islands are volcanic based. one big perk for the coral islands is that even on the hottest day of the year the sand never gets hot to walk or lie on. 8-)

grand cayman is generally known as one of the more expensive in the carib. barbados is mid range - not that is doesn't have some very deluxe properties (see sandy lane) but it offers some more affordable options.

cheapest location, with most options for to do's is the maya riviera coast south of cancun.
virginia is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 05:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 182
Barbados is 2.5 x the size of Grand Cayman and much more varied geographically and topographically. Being bigger in size and much bigger in population there is more to see and do topside on Barbados.

Grand Cayman has the distinct edge for the in and underwater activities like diving and snorkeling.

Both are developed and have standards of living and relatively safe. I prefer the restaurant food in Grand Cayman, but Barbados has very good restaurants as well. Grand Cayman has more of a North American feel to it in the developed areas (need to go east on the island for less of that influence), while Barbados has a bit more West Indian vibe.

Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman really does not have a rival in Barbados, but Barbados has many more beaches to explore.

Not a golfer, but from the courses I've seen I would give the edge to Barbados.

That stated, don't think you can go wrong with either. For us, we prefer Grand Cayman since we look forward to snorkeling and dinning out.
TurtleTagger is offline  
Dec 24th, 2015, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Actually, Grand Cayman and Barbados, while visually different, were formed almost the same geologically. THey are both the result of plate tectonics (convergent zones) where material has been forced to the surface and overlaid with coral growth. Neither are volcanic in origin, although Brbados does have some metamorphic rock of volcanic origin.

I know bright blue water is desirable from a vacationers standpoint, but geologically and biologically, more varied-colored waters are an indicator of diversity and often result in a better place to snorkel or dive. Cayman is a bit of an exception because it has some very large bays which attract rays and small sharks, and there are nice barrier reefs as well.
Shadyfish is offline  
Dec 29th, 2015, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 481
If Scuba is important...Go to Grand Cayman....period.
Bassguy66 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,128
It depends where your hotel is located in Barbados. We were there and the water was rough and I used the pool more than the sea. I like good food and went to ones highly recommended and did not find the food up to par. The safety and the feel of the island was great, very scenic. I have not stayed in GC but my husband did scuba from there while we were on a cruise ship. I did go to a beach and it was lovely. I would opt for GC. if it were me.
diann24 is offline  
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