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Grand Cayman at a Glance
Welcome to this Grand Cayman Cruise Port Guide where we will show you how to make the most of your day on this little island in the Caribbean. There are plenty of things to do in Grand Cayman but we will start with a brief overview.
Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Three little islands that make up the Cayman Islands. However, to most of the world, Grand Cayman is the Cayman Islands, a flashy shopping destination and global financial centre.
On the west side of the island is the award-winning Seven Mile Beach, a crescent-shaped stretch of beautiful sand. The North Sound is home to a neighbourhood of stingrays famously known as Stingray City. Across the island, the eastern districts of Grand Cayman feature outdoor delights like the rare Blue Iguanas of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
Best Things to do in Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Away from the beaches, George Town is the capital city and a popular port for Caribbean cruise ships. This quaint, tiny and very tidy town is host to a variety of activities – including glass-bottom boat tours, fascinating rum distillery tours, beautiful art galleries, shopping that includes duty-free shops for exclusive brands such as Versace, Gucci and Tiffany. Thrill-seekers will also enjoy excursions like submarine tours, snorkelling, diving and parasailing. The newly opened Farmers’ Market on Huldah Avenue is open Monday through Saturday beginning at 7:30 am
Where do the cruise ships dock?
Cruise ships anchor offshore in George Town Harbour and tender passengers ashore. The port itself exits directly into the most developed areas of Georgetown. Taxis and Tours are easy to find around the cruise port.
What to do with a day in Antigua Cruise Port
A very popular activity for people visiting Grand Cayman is a trip to Stingray City. A boat will take you out to a very shallow sandbar where you can stand in the clear Caribbean waters surrounded by dozens of Atlantic southern stingrays. They will glide around you with balletic grace, nosing for food and allowing themselves to be petted.
Mingle with the Wildlife
Away from the water, the great natural wonder of the island is the native blue iguana – a giant dragon-like lizard found only in Grand Cayman, that grows to more than five feet long and can weigh as much as 25lb. The best place to view these distinctive reptiles slumbering in the sun is at Queen Elizabeth 2 Botanic Park.
Cayman Crystal Caves
An unexpected treat on this mostly flat island is a labyrinth of caverns that are still be explored and opened up. Tours are approximately 1½ hours and take you through the surrounding tropical forest area and 3 spectacular caves. You will venture into these amazing caves where you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations, formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as well as some bug spray
The National Museum of the Cayman Islands
Immerse yourself in the islands natural and cultural history. The museum also displays two rooms of the Old Gaol with recently discovered graffiti by the prisoners on the walls. The museum is only a short walk from the cruise port terminal and there are plenty of quaint souvenir and crafts shops along the way for you to enjoy.
Pedro St. James
Beautifully located on acres of land overlooking the Caribbean sea, the national historic site of Pedro St. James takes you back in time to truly experience the islands heritage, history and culture. The oldest building in Grand Cayman has the best view. This Great House was restored in the 1990s to its former 18th-century splendour. Today you can stroll through the house to experience what life was like here so long ago. There are guided and self guided tours to choose from.
The Mastic Trail
Take a hike back in time through this subtropical forest. The Mastic Trail is a traditional footpath that has been restored and opened as 4km walk passing through the Mastic Reserve. If you want to walk the whole trail it’s about 2.3mile long but as you would have to walk back making it 4.6 miles. This is a great place to see the Cayman Parrot and other wildlife. The trail is named after the Mastic Tree, an endangered tree that was used in shipbuilding.
Seven Mile Beach
This is the main focal point for the islands tourist industry is a glorious stretch of white sand which offer opportunities for sunbathing and swimming. The name is a slight misnomer as the beach is actually only about 5.5 miles long but it’s stunning all the same.
Its is lined with resorts and vacation properties but the beach itself is public. There are numerous cafes, bars and restaurants along the beach as well so you won’t have to look very far for some refreshments
Cayman Islands cuisine is very similar to Jamaican cuisine and it has also preserved specific British influences.
Small, deep-fried dumplings, Johnny Cakes make great starters or sides. These Caribbean delicacies are great on their own, with butter, jam or with sautéed fish.
Lobster in the Caribbean is a delicacy and quite frankly, the best of its kind. You'll find succulent, irresistible lobster dishes in risottos, pasta and even patties all over the island, but one thing you simply must try is Cayman-style lobster tails from 'Deckers' on Seven Mile Beach. Cooked with hot sauce and scotch bonnet peppers, this spicy, tender dish is nothing short of sublime.
Fish & Fritters
A true taste of Cayman, fried fish, usually whole Mahi Mahi, grouper or snapper, originates from Cayman's seafaring past. Fillets are marinated in lime, salt and pepper and fried with onions, peppers, butter and spices for a delicious, crispy, old-fashioned Caribbean dish.
Georgetown is compact. It is also very clean and tidy so make for a pleasurable place for a walkabout.
Local buses are cheap (fares start at CI $1.50/around £1.30), clean and, unlike other Caribbean islands, incredibly safe. There is a limited service on Sundays so please bear that in mind if you dock on that day.
Alternatively, taxis are plentiful (they’re available from the ship dock in George Town) but they are not particularly cheap.
Good To Know
Grand Cayman is relatively safe. You are unlikely to encounter the same pickpocket problems found throughout the Caribbean, although isolated incidents of theft can occur anywhere.
Currency: Cayman Island Dollars. US Dollar widely accepted.
Money: ATMs widespread
Visas: Not required for citizens of the US, EU or Australia