Grand Cayman; What am I missing?

Feb 26th, 2003, 04:13 AM
  #1  
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Grand Cayman; What am I missing?

I just returned from a cruise with a stop in Grand Cayman (Celebrity Mercury-wonderful cruise). I was really looking forward to visiting GC and 7 mile beach, as I had heard so much about them. What a disappointment!

I've been to quite a few caribbean islands, and had heard how nice seven mile beach was. I found it crowded, with very little or no palm trees, and to be nothing special. It couldn't hold a candle to Punta Cana, Bermuda, or even St. Thomas. The town was also a big let down. No charm, and very little to see or do.

Maybe the rest of the island is nicer, but I'm glad I stopped for one day before booking a week there.
nina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 05:02 AM
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Did you see much of the island and beach or only where you were directed to with the cruise ship crowd? GC is not a lush island like Bermuda, St. Thomas or St. John, but it has a spectacular beach (7MB) and the waters are pristine. That's why it's a great destination for diving and snorkeling. The nicer, less crowded part of 7MB is the northern end. It seems like the cruise ships crowds are directed more towards the southern end.
Cher is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 05:54 AM
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I have always been intrigued by those who stop on an island for a few hours, and base there opinions on what they saw in that small window of time. It is obvious that nina unfotunately didn't find the good spots. I am in no way trying to slam nina, but a few hours on an island, only seeing a very small portion of it, is hardly enough to make judgement in my opinion. Just my observation. If you spend several days, and still don't enjoy it, then so be it. Again, I'm not trying to convince nina that GC is the best island, just pointing out that quick judgements could be a huge mistake.
Scott66 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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That's what I'm wondering, and why I asked what I was missing. I went to the center of 7MB, the beach I've heard so much about, and was very unimpressed. I can't understand why everyone thinks it's such a nice beach. Waaayyyy too built up for my tastes. That's all. I didn't find the beach spectacular at all. I'm a pretty savvy traveler and read up on where to go on the beach, and didn't go anywhere near where the taxi's and cruise personnel directed cruise passengers to go. As I said, I've seen spectacular beaches (phi-phi islands off Thailand, arches and horsheshoe in Bermuda, all the Hawaiian islands, even Nantucket beaches were nicer! I was also unimpressed with Georgetown.

So Scott, if I didn't find the "good spots", then where were they?
nina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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Nina,
In my opinion you didn't miss anything. There's nothing wrong with Grand Cayman, it appeals to many people but it's not my cup of tea. Sounds like not yours either.
Grand Cayman is somewhat overdeveloped for my taste. I'm not a fan of high rise hotels on the beach. If I wanted that I could go to Miami and spend much less money. As you obviously know there are many places with much much more beautiful uncrowded serene beaches.
Grand Cayman has some nice attractions and some amazing restaurants but that's not enough for me to spend my vacation there. I go on vacation to get away from crowds not see even more of them!
MaryBeth is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 10:07 AM
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I think what makes GC very vacationable is that it has a lot-high rise hotels and small condo properties on the East End and in West Bay.

It has Domino's Pizza and The Lighthouse-it has a championship golf course and great, great snorkling and diving. Little poverty and crime as well-similar to Bermuda

Does it have the beauty of Bermuda? No--but it certainly is civilized with better weather year round.

Grand Cayman is only 1 hour from Miami yet you feel like you are in England. It is safe, clean and not French.
karan is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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Well...this is my FIRST time to Grand Cayman. We've been to Aruba 3 times, and I am sure you do not like Aruba either.

We choose Grand Cayman for various reasons. Those being safety, clean, and beaches...safety being the #1 reason.

With a little to do, that will give us much relaxation time, and that is exactly what we need.

Everyone has different opinions, that is good, otherwise we'd all be vacationing in the same place.

Happy travels to all of you guys!

Susan
susan1 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 11:48 AM
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OK, I guess I did size it up pretty accurately then, I absolutely don't want to vacation on an island with a Dominoes on it, and I'll swap a little poverty and crime for local color and charm. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Luckily I didn't invest a weeks stay there, so now I can cross GC off my "places I'd consider vacationing list".
nina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 12:46 PM
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Nina,

I in no way meant any offense. Just was assuming you might not have looked far enough to make a sound judgement. Like someone else stated in another post, GC is not for everyone. It appears as if you do not like any crowds or built up areas at all. I guess my point is that you can easily find peace & quiet on GC, along with more isolated areas. For example, the far northern end on 7MB, is practically desserted, with very few people or resorts, which may have appealed to you a lot more then the "Middle section" that you went to. It's also a matter of preference as to what one considers a "high rise", as there are really none on GC. I believe the tallest hotel is maybe 5 stories. Is it built up & americanized in certain sections?...Yes. Keep in mind that the entire east end of the island is very remote, and not built up at all. A lot of folks prefer that over the busier 7MB section. I agree with you, "different strokes for different folks". Although you sound as if you wouldn't enjoy GC, It seems as if you never found the quieter areas that you might of enjoyed, which there are plenty.
Scott66 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 03:24 PM
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Not trying to be rude, but the best time on SMB is after the cruise ship people leave, so if you visit from a cruise ship, you can never experience it.

Scott66 is correct; there are no high rises on Grand Cayman. Anyone who claims otherwise has never been there.

Why do we go there year after year? Safety, convenient flights, good weather, Foster's, water sports, restaurants.
Traveler is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 03:55 PM
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You know, I think another reason to go to an island like Grand Cayman is for pure relaxation.

My boss @ GM went there and he said that was the first time in a long time that he didn't have chest pains.

When you leave the Caymans, it sounds like you don't need a vacation from your vacation, like you do from others.

I can't wait to give a report when I come back on March 30!
susan1 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 04:23 PM
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"I absolutely don't want to vacation on an island with a Dominoes on it, and I'll swap a little poverty and crime for local color and charm. "

That's me too....I'm not a fan of built up Americanized resort areas at all.

As you said.....if we all liked the same thing we'd be on top of each other!
liza is offline  
Feb 27th, 2003, 03:00 AM
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Nina, i have been a a cruise and you simply cannot judge an island by a one day stop. for example, we went on a cruise which stopped in St. thomas for the day. We were able to visit friends that were staying at the marriot at frenchmen's reef. Based on our very short visit to the island, we decided to go there for vacation. We just got back last week from staying on st thomas. Although i will say that st john is spectacular, as well as, the british virgin islands, iwould have no reason to ever go to st thomas again. However, that being said, i would most definitely go back to grand cayman. Although the island of grand cayman does not have the topography of st thomas, it does have incredible beaches and water. The sand and reefs on seven mile beach and rum point were head over heels better than any beach that i was on in st thomas. I would say that grand cayman has the clearest water and the best snorkeling that i have ever seen (and we have been to several caribbean and hawaiian islands). Plus, snorkeleing at sting ray bay was one of the most fun things that i have ever done. Further, grand cayman is safe and clean. So i would opt for a clean and safe island with beautiful waters vs the attributes that some other islands offer. But that's my opinion.
tomct is offline  
Feb 27th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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susan1-looking forward to your report. Have a safe and great trip.
karan is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Nina,
I understand how you feel. We also have been to a number of islands and went to GC last year for a week. The beach at the Westin was nice, but there wasn't a lot of shade. We did a lot, including Stingray City, the sub, rented jetski's, shopped, etc. We were ready to leave early. It was very americanized. Did we hate it? No, but mostly because we had the best food we've ever had on any island. We just returned from the USVI last night and we had a much better time. I'm not sorry we went to GC, but it comes in at the second from the bottom on our list.
Knowing is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2003, 07:15 PM
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I also visited 2 weeks ago via cruise ship and thought 7 Mile Beach was very nice but spectacular. So I tend to agree with Nina, the beach didn't wow me. The taxi driver, dropped me near the Colony Beach Hotel and walked the beach (est 1.5 mile) back towards town. The beach sand has eroded so much in some areas, that you have to walk in the water. The water was a pretty blue color but it wasn't as shallow and calm as other great beaches such as Negril, Meagans Bay, Playa Norte (Isla Mujeres near Cancun), St. John's north coast beaches.

To be fair, I wish had seen the northern part of 7 Mile Beach in order to make a better assesment. A cruise excursion is not enough time to fully see an island's best features.
RichF is offline  

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