Grand Cayman with Teens

Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Grand Cayman with Teens

Hi! My family and I (two adults, 21 and 16) will be taking our first trip to the Carribean come spring break this year. We are leaning towards Grand Cayman and wondering if this is the correct choice. We are looking to enjoy the beach, but to also have things to do - we get bored with too much time simply sitting. We love to snorkel and want to do as much of this as possible. We would appreciate any advice of past travelers...is Grand Cayman a good place for the vacation we're looking for? Has it recovered enough from the hurricane to enjoy it?

Thank you!!
Linda
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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We have been to Cayman three times before Ivan and once since. I like it for the relaxation, but we find plenty to do if we want to. Our chidren are only 3 and 5 and love the beach. We take them out in the early evenings with us to listen to live music at the beach and dance. Snorkel day trips are great or you can rent the gear from a strip mall -or you may have it-and go off the beach in a number of areas. Rent a car and explore the island and go to rum point for a day or take the ferry from the Hyatt. I did the same things pre and post Ivan...they worked hard to have it the same for tourists. There are islands with much more to do, but if you want to do a lot of snorkeling mainly, Cayman is a great choice.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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For a family, Grand Cayman is a great choice. It is fairly conservative-no nude beaches officially allowed and clothing (no bathing suits)required everywhere off the beach. No big nightlife as far as casinos. The people are really great. You will not run out of places to snorkel-dozens of locations. You are best to rent a car if you want to take advantage of all the possibilities for this. I really enjoyed Cemetery Beach for snorkeling in the 7milebeach area. Your whole family would really enjoy Stingray Sandbar--consider a day trip with Captain Marvin. It was a great day with several snorkeling stops, stingray city, special cayman lunch on the beach. Cayman is a bit pricey, bring dried goods and snacks from home to cut down on food prices.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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correction- It is Cemetery Reef, not cemetery beach. You actually walk through a small cemetery to get there. The beach is not much as there are needles from the trees, so watch your feet. But the snorkeling is well worth it. I could have spent all day there. 7 Mile Beach is beautiful for swimming and sunning.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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You'll find plenty to do in GC, and if snorkeling is a priority, you will be very happy. As others have posted, there are a lot of spots to snorkel from shore. Rental car is highly recommended to get to all the different choices of snorkeling.

GC also offers just about any watersport you can think of from Diving, fishing, parasailing, wave-runners, and of course the most popular, and Stingray City charter. The diner cruises, and sunset cruise aren't bad either. You'll find a huge choice of restaurants, from gourmet to pub-food. Night-life is a bit limited, Royal Palms beach bar is probably the most popular spot with live music.

The locals are very friendly, and we always felt very safe venturing all over the island.

You'll have a great time there...enjoy!!
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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We were there 6 weeks after the hurricane and it was wonderful. I'm sure it is all fixed by now. The island is incredibly safe. The people there make more money than most of us do. Definitly rent a car. The national park on the west end is neat to explore. Definitly do Seymore's jerk chicken stand by the airport. We had lunch there a lot. Food can be expensive, but not if you stay out of the touristy places. We loved the Indian joint. Snorkling will be amazing. Seven mile beach is heavenly. Nice shopping. Buy any beer or liquer at the duty free on the way in. It is much pricier on the island! The Cayman dollar is worth more than the U.S. dollar, so your trip will be slightly more expensive than you think. But well worth it!
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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My brother and SIL went to Grand Cayman based on our excitement about the island and their 14 year old was bored to tears. They did not have as much fun as they were hoping...once evening came there was nothing for 14 year old to do.

You might also consider a cruise if this sounds like your children.

Good luck.
Trish
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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Kelliebellie,
Is there a way you can visit duty free at the airport in Grand Cayman when you arrive or do you mean visit duty free prior to departure from the airport your flying from?

Also, check out ecoventures at the Reef Resort on the east end of the island. They have plenty of activities that the teens will love.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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Sounds like the 14yr old is a little spoiled. Took our sons several times and they really enjoyed it. Have a good time. Go 2 Singray city on a Sunday u will have no crowds and no cruise ship people. Foster's store is as good as what u find at home.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Go to the one in the U.S. before you depart. You have to carry it on the plane, but it is worth it.
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Old Jan 13th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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I think it was that she was an only child too so there was no one to 'play' with...
Trish
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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I've taken my children from the time the youngest was 10 to the oldest now being 27 and can undestand the 14yr old being 'bored to tears' in the evening. It doesn't mean they're spoiled. Everyone's activity level is different.

If you're in a hotel it's worse for the kids--teens(in the evening). If you're in a condo, they have more options with tv/vcr/dvd/games, etc... We too started having the kids bring a guest and found it made a world of difference to have someone to hang out with. Now that they are older they still have different interests so some may hit a club/bar while others want to just stay back and relax in the condo. Another piece of advice I'd share is to try and get a place that is walking distance to fast food or restaurants for the 'kids'. It helps alot for them to be able to roam around(they still need to do it in pairs---that's my parental advice The traffic is a nightmare now--not that is was great before but it was horrific to cross the street.

As for hurricane recovery...that's going to be a mixed bag of reviews. Even people that we talked to that lived on the island were either praising the progress or shaking their heads at the decline(their word).

We just returned from a 10 day stay at the Meridian on SMB. Having been to the island 6x previously, I can say we noticed the difference. Our last trip was in Jan 04. It's my opinion if you're a first time visitor you may just think there's alot of 'new' places opening or construction taking place. The SMB area was definately cleaned up but reality is it's hit or miss in businesses that are still effected. Roofs and storefronts are replaced but alot of places that we frequented are no longer around.

We STILL enjoyed ourselves and will hopefully return next year once we get schedules figured out.

We didn't snorkel or dive this trip so I can't pass along any first hand knowledge. However friends that were there the same time, had a great time with snorkeling and using the Sunfish they keep on the island for use during their visits. They stay at Regal Beach Club yearly and love it.
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