Grand Cayman Transportation Advice

Old Feb 7th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Grand Cayman Transportation Advice

Hi Fodorites,

So, I'm in the midst of planning the finer details of a 6 night trip to Grand Cayman. My wife and I are staying our first night at the Westin on Seven Mile Beach and then 6 nights at Shangri La (West Bay) - http://www.shangrilabb.com/

We're mainly interested in snorkelling and eating at some of the better restaurants on the island (including those in West Bay). If it's really worth it, we would like to explore some of the rest of the island.

I'm interested in to know about the need to rent a car or not. I've heard conflicting views about the affordability of taxis and the dependability of the bus system.

How much would a taxi from the airport be to the Westin?

How much would a taxi ride be from Shangri La to Seven Mile Beach?

How much would a taxi ride be from Shangri La to Rum Point?

A car rental seems to be running around 250USD + tax + insurance + gas for a week. Probably around 300 USD or a bit more.

Any thoughts, fellow fodorites?

DKG50
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Old Feb 7th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Getting a car afford you the ability to go where you want, when you want. The driving is simple, and the island easy to get around. Try to avoid the rush hour traffic along 7MB, and you'll be fine. Take the worry out of it, and just get the car.
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Old Feb 7th, 2009, 09:33 PM
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I think that it is not necessary to rent a car if you are staying on SMB, but given that you are spending most of your trip at Shangri La (I do not believe that the bus runs very close to Shangri La), you probably will be limited without a car and/or spend more in taxi fare than you would for a car rental if you venture out much.

Here are some links with more information about buses including route maps:

http://www.grandcayman4u.com/transport/buses.htm and http://caymanislands-guide.info/getting.around/buses

I was in Grand Cayman in December (stayed on SMB at the Marriott), and I had planned to use buses some evenings for going to and from restaurants along SMB, but I found that what others had said was true about the buses not running frequently or as late as the schedule indicates, so I usually just walked. I rented a car for one day and drove to Rum Point during the day, and then went to West Bay for sunset drinks (Cracked Conch) and dinner (Calypso Grill).

I did not take taxis but heard they were pretty expensive. I read somewhere that the minimum fare in 2007 was $8 CI ($10 US). I believe the airport to SMB fares are at least $20 without tip, and the airport to West Bay trip would be more. West Bay to Rum Point would be very expenisve by taxi. It is probably an hour driving.

Unless you are planning to spend most of your time in West Bay (and dining there most of the time - definitely go to Calypso Grill), it probably is worthwhile to rent a car for your entire stay.
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Taxis are available at the airport as well as available from all resorts. Buses start running at 6am until midnight and come every 15 minutes.

We stayed on 7MB and ate at many good restaurants and either walked, took the bus and one time we used a taxi. We never rented a car and did just fine.
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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My thoughts...rent a car. I like renting a car wherever we go and stay but I feel it will be especially useful to you staying in West Bay. Knowing may have been just fine, but she didn't stay at ShangriLa in West Bay. Besides, it's so easy to dive and get around there, why not rent a car? The one night we took a taxi the cost just to get to dinner and back blew our minds!
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Oops, correction...it's easy to "drive and get around there". Although it's probably easy to "dive and get around there" as well. Hey, it's a diving destination, right?
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 03:04 AM
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Thanks to all who replied. I'm strongly leaning towards renting a car now. Does anyone have any advice about Andy's car rental on GCM itself? The rates are quite similar to those on kayak.com and similar sites...

Thanks again and happy travels!

DKG50
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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Book through the Andy's site and use the discount code CAG20 for the best price.
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