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Old January 16th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Default Grand Cayman on your own

I've heard about Rum point beach in Grand Cayman how far is it from the cruise docks and what is the cheapest way to get there?

I've also heard about 7mile beach but some say it's more crowded then Rum point is this true? How close is that to the dock and how much would a cab run?

Is the turtle farm worth it? Can you snokle with turtles?

How far is Hell from the dock, and is that also worth the trip?

Would I have time to do 2 or 3 of these things on my own in Grand Cayman? Is this a safe destination for tourists? Any other ideas welcome, I want to avoid the ship tours here.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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I think the best way to get to Rum Point would be a ferry. Its possible there is an excursion through the cruiseline. You'd need to get a cab to the ferry, but once you are on the ferry, it will dock right at rum point. Lovely way to spend the day, some decent snorkeling there and the water is beautiful.

You'd also need a cab to take you to Hell and the turtle farm, not that far from the pier, but not walking distance.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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Thanks Donna!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Grand Cayman on your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by showcat

Is the turtle farm worth it? Can you snokle with turtles?

How far is Hell from the dock, and is that also worth the trip?

Would I have time to do 2 or 3 of these things on my own in Grand Cayman? Is this a safe destination for tourists? Any other ideas welcome, I want to avoid the ship tours here.
A few years back I took a ship's tour to Grand Cayman, So I can't be of assistance in distances or cab fares.
The Turtle Farm was interesting, but not a "must see" in my book. Tourist walk by and admire the turtles in tanks, but I did get to hold one and have my picture taken doing so. That was fun. No snorkeling with turtles that I know of.

Hell is basically a rock formation, a wooden cutout of the devil, a post office, and a Tee-shirt shop. It's cute and good for kicks. "I've been to Hell and back, or "ridden the highway to Hell" or "the tour-guide put us threw Hell" ...you get the joke.
Grand Cayman impressed me as safe and most definitely tourist friendly. It's clean and relatively more upscale than most Caribbean ports.
That just my take.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 12:12 AM
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From what I've read on recent posts, the ferry is no longer running to Rum Point. A taxi would be extremely expensive, so your only alternative is to rent a car. But, keep in mind, I've never been to Rum Point myself so I can't speak from personal experience.

I have booked a personal tour to StingRay City and after the tour the shuttle driver dropped me off at Sea Grape Beach. From there I took a taxi back to the pier. Sea Grape has all of the amenities that you need...food, drinks, chairs, umbrellas, lockers, bathrooms, jet ski rentals, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed myself there. But on my next trip to Grand Cayman, I was wanting to check out Rum Point to compare the differences. From the pictures I've seen at Rum Point, it doesn't appear that there is alot going on there. But that is what travel is all about...discovering new places!
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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Default Rum Point

Living in Grand Cayman and having worked at Rum Point I can chime in a bit here.

First, getting there:
The Rum Point ferry (owned by Caribbean Marine Services) is not operating for regular passenger service and has not for more than two years now. The boat still exists and is operated as a charter for a Disney Cruise Line group shore excursion.

Public buses do not go all the way to Rum Point. They stop about 4 miles short at Hutland.

Taxis would be quite expensive. It's about a 45 minute drive each way. There is no taxi stand at Rum Point, so you would need to call ahead for a ride back.

You can rent a car and drive yourself. This would be the most economical way, particularly if you fill the car and divide the cost.

A couple tour operators do include a stop at Rum Point. Nativeway offers a trip including Stingray City, reef snorkeling, and a lunch at Rum Point. Another operator offers a land based jeep tour which includes Rum Point.


Hell and the Turtle Farm (which is now a part of the larger Boatswain's Bay) are fairly close to one another about 8 miles from the cruise tender dock. To get there from the cruise terminal you will pass the length of Seven Mile Beach. It's not necessary to prearrange a tour if you want to take in these stops.

They are in the process of opening a saltwater snorkeling lagoon at the upgraded Boatswain's Bay. I do not know if they are placing any turtles in this attraction. There has been consideration to providing different ticketing pricing for the entire attraction versus just a walking tour of the turtles, so there may be a extra charge for snorkeling there.

Grand Cayman is an extremely safe, albeit pricey, destination for tourists to wander about.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 10:20 PM
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For a first visit to Grand Cayman, what is THE nicest beach to go to for the day? I've seen mention of Sea Grapes and 7 mile but which is the clearest prettiest beach there?
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:47 AM
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Although I've been to Sea Grape Beach and it does have alot of amenities, it does have a downside. Sea Grape was that not the "prettiest" beach that I've ever been too, which totally surprised me because of the Seven Mile Beach reputation. Sea Grape had brown twigs sticking out of the sand. I was expecting smooth white sand.

I don't know if there are other Grand Cayman beaches along the main road that are more "maintained" or not. But I'm even game to pay for a day pass at one of the hotels if their beaches are "picture perfect".

Does anybody know?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:28 AM
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No "picture" perfect beaches here by that standard. Such pure sand beaches are sometimes sign a sign of a beach which is maintained aftificially with sand replenishment.

Those twigs and such are root tips of palm trees, sea grapes, and other plant life. Sometimes they reach quite far from the above-ground portion of the plant or may be underground remains of an otherwise dead plant.

All of those twigs, trees, and bushes help hold the sand in place and limit erosion by water and wind. Without them there might not be beaches there at all.


As to what makes for the "nicest" beach... well that is very subjective. I like different spots for different reasons. I am partial to beaches with easily available shade such as Smith Cove or Rum Point. I do not need a miles-long sand ribbon such as Seven Mile Beach (with sections such as Sea Grape, Public Beach, Courtyard Marriott, or Cemetery Beach).

Good snorkeling is great at spots like Babylon in Old Man Bay but the beach is completely unmaintained and awash with debris, broken seashells, and rocks that washed in.

I like completely quiet places like Heritage Beach in Cottage as well as East End Public Beach. The Head of Barkers is off the tourist track - and off paved roads. Even quieter are places like Spotter Bay where your are virtually guaranteed to be the only people there.

Isolation comes at a price. Isolated spots tend not to have restroom facilities and definitely don't have restaurants or bars on site. They may be a long way from the cruise docks, and you may need to rent a car to make your way there.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Hey Sailbum, sounds like you could be a tour guide.

Even though seagrape or some of the beaches might have a few twigs I don't think you will find a Island with such warm beautiful blue/green waters that reflect against the white sand anywhere else. Grand Cayman is by far my favorite.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Tour guide? Nope. I just live here. If you are talking to me by phone during your vacation, things are probably going wrong for you.

I am constantly amused at the reactions to our little island, and for that matter any other Caribbean island. There is one little thing to remember... You're not in the US anymore.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:12 PM
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We were just in Gr cayman--it was the most congested place--very disppointing. Too many ships in port. We took a tram tour (Jolly Roger) that was not very good but it stopped for a short time at a small beachy area with picnic tables & black rocks-- in the opposite direction from Seven mile beach--not really a swimming type beach but great view, snack truck & public restroom. . it was a great photo stop but can't think of a way to get back there on our own next time. had a nice lunch at a place called Bacchus in town. Our next cruise is not offering Rum Point, have been there & done that at Spanish Reef so we are thinking abt a hotel day pass--I expect that will also be crowded! Does anyone have a list of day pass hotels/clubs with a pool?
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Old February 6th, 2007, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew sailbum
Tour guide? Nope. I just live here. If you are talking to me by phone during your vacation, things are probably going wrong for you.

I am constantly amused at the reactions to our little island, and for that matter any other Caribbean island. There is one little thing to remember... You're not in the US anymore.
How does this tour sound ?
"Off the beaten path Jeep adventure with lunch"
Visits North Sound, Morgan's Harbor, Barkers National Park, Spanish Bay Reef, Botswain Bay, Governor's Beach, and Beach Club Colony.
For what it's worth, that's the tour I'm on.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Grand Cayman on your own

showcat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I've heard about Rum point beach in Grand Cayman how far is it from the cruise docks and what is the cheapest way to get there?

I've also heard about 7mile beach but some say it's more crowded then Rum point is this true? How close is that to the dock and how much would a cab run?

Is the turtle farm worth it? Can you snokle with turtles?

How far is Hell from the dock, and is that also worth the trip?

Would I have time to do 2 or 3 of these things on my own in Grand Cayman? Is this a safe destination for tourists? Any other ideas welcome, I want to avoid the ship tours here.
Yes, Grand Cayman is plenty safe to go on your own and it's quite easy to visit several of these attractions in a day. Nonetheless, you'll spend a fortune on taxis getting around if you try to hit several of these locations. Hell and the turtle farm are a moderate distance apart and a moderate distance from George Town.

>> Seven Mile Beach is truly world class, and it's a short taxi ride from the tender pier. There will be other people there, but it's far from overcrowded. There are also a couple beach clubs that provide lockers, showers, beach chairs, etc., for people who are not guests of the hotels.

>> There's no swimming or snorkeling at the sea turtle farm, but it's a very worthwhile take. If you want to see the major attractions, though, take the "Sea and See" tour. It's worth every penny, and what you'll see from the semisubmersible craft -- several reefs and a couple wrecks that are teaming with marine life -- is absolutely incredible. Indeed, you'll see lots of sea turtles and stingrays as well as many kinds of fish in their natural habitat.

>> The other famous attraction is Stingray City, where you can swim with, feed, and pet the critters. This attraction seems to draw raves from everybody who goes there, but I suspect that there's a lot of self-selection involved. It's not for everybody, but people who would not enjoy it opt to do something else. But I presume that you are not interesed in Stingray City since you did not mention it in your post.

>> Finally, I should mention that George Town offers some of the best shopping in the Caribbean. The quality of merchandise in the local shops is much better than what you'll find in most other Caribbean ports. While there, be sure to stop by the rum cake stand for some free samples. The coconut rum cake is my personal favorite!

But you probably won't have time to do all of this. Choose either the "Sea and See" tour or Seven Mile Beach (or Stingray City, if I'm misreading your interests), and browse through the shopping district when you return to George Town.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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I have pretty much decided to spend the day at 7 mile beach and maybe a little walking around Georgetown near the ship.

If I take a taxi to 7 mile beach, where might be a good destination to shoot for? Like the name of a resort or hotel where we can get onto the beach and have pleasant surroundings. Any first hand experience as to where to tell the taxi to take us?
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Old February 12th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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sailaway2,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I have pretty much decided to spend the day at 7 mile beach and maybe a little walking around Georgetown near the ship.

If I take a taxi to 7 mile beach, where might be a good destination to shoot for? Like the name of a resort or hotel where we can get onto the beach and have pleasant surroundings. Any first hand experience as to where to tell the taxi to take us?
Go to one of the beach clubs where you can rent a locker to stow your valuables. Your ship's concierge desk or shore excursion staff probably can provide recommendations, but the taxi drivers also know where to take you if you tell them that you want to go to a beach club that rents lockers. The beach clubs also rent beach chairs, umbrellas, etc., if you want them.

There are plenty of hotels with bars and restaurants along the whole length of Seven Mile Beach, so it's no problem to get beverages and lunch there. The beverage that they push most is called "Sex on the Beach."

Norm.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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Now, question. If visiting 7 mile beach, is there rentals available?

We are visiting Grand Cayman and will have 3 teenages (4 if you count my husband) with us and they would like to rent a jet ski.

Is this possible there or should we head to Sea Grape Beach?

Thanks and safe sailing.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 10:54 PM
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Sea Grape is just a name for a specific short section of Seven Mile Beach.

As the name implies, Seven Mile Beach is a long continuous strand of sand beach. Over the years various names have been adopted to refer to specific points along that beach. Cemetary Beach, Courtyard, Sea Grape, Public Beach, Governor's House, Westin, Hyatt, Beach Club, and Royal Palms are a few of the designations more commonly used. All are part of Seven Mile Beach.

Many sites have rentals of jet skis, snorkelling gear, chairs, and more.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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YES Sea Grape has wave runners, banana boat rides, float rentals, lounge chairs, umbrellas all available to rent. Also lockers, food, beverages and restrooms. Ask any Taxi driver they will take you there and plenty of taxi's park waiting to give you a ride back. They all know when you need to get back to ship so you won't have trouble finding one.
You do need to bring your own towels that you get on the ship. Your cabin steward will leave beach towels for your use. Just besure to return to your cabin or they charge you.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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If you have not been to Grand Cayman, then you might want to consider seeing the rays at Stingray City. That to me is a "MUST DO" at least once. You can still enjoy the trip even if you opt to stay in the boat. And it is easy to arrange your own tour (I suggest Captain Marvin).

7 mile beach (actually not 7 miles long), and is populated with hotels, condos and public stretches. If you want facilities, get dropped off at a hotel, if you want seclusion and don't need facilities, get dropped off at a public access area and find your own little spot. The turtle farm is interesting, but just depends on how you want to spend your time. A visit to Hell IMO would be ok if you have been to GC a few times and want something different to see.

IF you are considering renting a car there, REMEMBER they drive on the left side of the road, and the rentals will have the steering wheel on the right side of the car.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Actually many, if not most, of the rental cars in Cayman have steering wheels on the left side of the car. Not all certainly, but many do.

We do drive on the left and would appreciate it if you would as well while you're here.

For travelling between the port and Boatswain's Bay, the new home of the Cayman Turtle Farm, taxis and buses will suffice. You only really need to consider a rental car for the more far flung areas of teh eastern districts of the island.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:57 PM
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Sailbum, I agree with you 200%, people should remember that they are not in the US and in addition the point of traveling to a different place should be to see and do different things as well as embrace a different culture.

Showcat
I went to Gr Cay about 2 yrs ago and we went took the Stringray City/Aquarium tour-a must do and when the shuttle returned to the main drag we hopped a bus to hell and then to the turtle farm, we have the best pictures. Of all the islands we have visited Gr. Cay. has the most beautiful water!
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Old February 25th, 2007, 10:14 PM
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Grand Cayman is the best. Its safe and has the best beach. We rented a car last year and drove to Rum Point. It takes about 45 min. and well worth the drive. Theres a resturant and bar, changing rooms ,showers, gift shop, chairs..everything you need. It has a nice small beach with good snorkeling out by the pier. Seven mile beach is the best and easy to get to..just tell your taxi driver what you want and he will take you. I know the royal palms has chairs you can rent. There is also a public beach a little farther down with a bar and changing rooms and rental chairs. No matter what part of the beach your on it will be great. The Caymans are the only island you can totally relax on the beach without anyone trying to sell you stuff. I have stayed on the island several times and always have a great time. If you have never done stingray city it is a great experience...one you will not regeret. Have a great time..wish I was going back soon... 8)
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