Over the last couple Saturdays I’ve discussed a little about our latest cruise adventure to the Caribbean. Last week, I shared Jamaica, where my husband I went zip lining, river tubing, and waterfall jumping. The week before I introduced you to our ship, the Carnival Horizon.
Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about port #2 – Grand Cayman.
The Cayman Islands were first discovered in about the 17th century – and in this case, I do mean discovered as there didn’t appear to be previous indigenous inhabitants prior to settlers. Originally claimed by pirates, deserters, and the shipwrecked, the Cayman Islands are more a financial shelter these days. One of the first things that happened on our excursion waste were shown a video on the bus, encouraging people to move to the Cayman Islands. Let me tell you, I was sold until I heard the conditions: you must makes +$150,000 per year without any significant work, and you must buy a million dollar house.
And I’m out. No where near my current lifestyle, but thanks for the offer!
Now, our original excursion plan in Grand Cayman was an hour and a half Segway tour to Seven Mil Beach. I talked my husband into trading that in to something a little bit more… interesting. We ended up going on a 4×4 Jeep Tour instead.
Everyone got into jeeps in groups of four and took off. Everyone was in groups of four already except for us and one other couple, so we got a Jeep together. They were nice, down from New York, so we were all from the same sort of area. I think that my husband and I come of weird to other people. I am the most socially awkward person IN THE WORLD and I really require people who love filling the conversation, because I am a conversation stopper? Anyway, these folks were pretty nice and we chatted a little, but not too much. Afterwards they always said “hi” when we passed them on the boat.
The first place we drove through was Barker’s National Park. The roadside has lovely groves and our tour guide told us to keep an eye out for chickens and the island’s famous blue iguanas. We didn’t see any iguanas on our particular tour, but we did see chickens!
I have a friend who talks about the first time he went international, he went to Paris, but the only thing he took pictures of was pigeons. So I sent him all the bird pictures.
One thing I did notice a lot of in Grand Cayman was litter? Unlike Jamaica, there didn’t seem to be poverty anyway. I attribute this to the requirements to moving to Grand Cayman (mentioned above), but it’s interesting to see the other ways Grand Cayman differs from other islands. The people here were less friendly than other places, there was a lot more trash, and prices were higher.
There was a little beach on one side of the nature reserve where a lot of people were windsurfing. The beach was lovely.
After a brief stop at the beach, we jumped back in our jeeps and my husband took over driving. He loved this, because Grand Cayman drives on the other side of the road. Little things! We drove to a gift shop where we were offered a small square of rum cake to taste. Many people on the tour went on to purchase cakes to take back. I’m not big on rum, so I didn’t love it, but I’m glad other people did!
We hung out there for about twenty minutes to let people shop. A few people went across the street where they were seeing coconuts and there was a liquor store.
After that, we jumped in the jeeps again and headed off to Hell.
We only spent about ten minutes here, but it was a pretty interesting little site. There’s a post office (which is hilarious – we sent my father and mother-in-law a postcard). But behind the post office, there’s a field of black coral. Hell is a dead coral reef that’s been dead for a very long time. The water in the field raises and lows when the tides rise and flow.
Our tour guide tossed a little stone in the black coral and it gave off a ding like metal on metal. Our tour guide told an anecdote about the reason why it was called “hell”.
Our very last stop was another beach! Grand Cayman is all about the beaches, y’all.
We only stopped here for a few moments. Everyone got out and poked around the beach for a second. There wasn’t enough time for people to swim or anything, but it was a good, quick stop and the whole thing was a good quick excursion… because afterward, we went back to headquarters.
Headquarters for the Jeep tour was a place called The Boathouse. When we got back, we were served lunch – which was the same as the day before, but still super tasty! I think I could have had jerk chicken and rice and beans every day for lunch on vacation – yum!
Overall, Grand Cayman was pretty, but I wasn’t impressed by the island overall. There’s a depth of culture in other places that felt missing for me here. It’s a paradise for the who enjoy beaches and bars, and I think it’s a perfect vacation stop for those looking for an easy, light week. I don’t think think I personally would choose Grand Cayman again, but I’m glad I went and I’m happy to travel anywhere!
That said, if you live in Grand Cayman, I’m so sorry I’m not head over heels! <3 If it helps, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest anyone visit the state I live in either, because like Grand Cayman, it’s really only a destination for people who have a certain interest. For where I live, you have to be a hiker, and in Grand Cayman, it’s all about the beaches!
Next week, we’re heading to Cozumel, and from there, we’re going to the ruins at Tulum.
Are you a beach person? I’m not, but it’s basically because I have zero chill. I wish I was! Do you have a favorite place to chill on the beach? Let me know in the comments!