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1. The Weather is HOT!
If you are not a big fan of the sun, then Grand Cayman may not be for you. During our recent visit, the average temperature was 88° with a UV index of 13! I highly recommend that you pack at least 2 bottles of sunscreen in your luggage (yes, our family went through our first bottle in just 3 days). May I also suggest lib balm with sunscreen! Who knew that you could burn your lips? Not me -ouch! We spent most of our time in the ocean, which was a lovely 80 degrees. You can snorkel just about anywhere and a swim shirt would be highly recommended to give you some added protection from the sun!
2. You Drive on the LEFT!
Yes, you will need to drive on the left hand side of the road. This will take some getting used to, but after a couple of days you will be a pro! Most of the rental cars have the steering wheel on the right side of the car, as seen above. There are not many traffic lights on the island, but you will drive through plenty of rotaries. When you approach one, you will want to keep to the left and travel clockwise. I found myself singing Beyonce’s “to the left, to the left” quite often to keep myself on track. 😀 There are taxis on the island, but I would personally suggest a car rental. There is so much to explore!
3. The Currency is CI$
The currency in Grand Cayman is Cayman Island Dollar or CI$. United States currency is accepted everwhere on the island and the exchange is 1.25%. So for every Cayman Island $1, you will be paying $1.25 is United States money. When paying in U.S. cash, retailers will give you CI$ back for change. We ended up leaving our CI$ to tip our housekeeper, though did keep a few for souvenirs. Credit cards are accepted everywhere, however it is important to know that debit cards are not.
4. Tips are Included
It took us a day or so to figure this one out, but tips are included! A 15% gratuity is added to your check automatically everywhere on the island. Of course, we ended up leaving more because the food, beverages, and service were aMAZEing! Be sure to check out Rum Point, where they served the BEST beer battered fish I’ve ever had. And, just look at those mixed drinks -yum!
5. There is SO much to do
If you are looking for adventure, this island will not disappoint! We stayed at Aqua Bay Condos, which was a quiet spot on Seven Mile Beach. The snorkeling there was fantastic! We ventured out to the Royal Palms Beach Club one day, which offered food and beverage service on the beach. Their chair rentals are free of charge, as long as you are staying on the island. They will even let you have lunch in one of their cabanas if you ask. One of our favorite spots was Starfish Point, a beautiful beach with shallow waters and plenty of starfish. There was a resident stingray with no tail that swims around, and he was so fun to watch. Looking for the perfect place to cap off your vacation? The Grand Old House is the place to go! Enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the ocean, while watching the sun set. We especially enjoyed watching about a dozen tarpon and nurse sharks swimming under the spotlight, which they attract nightly, by throwing fish off the deck. What a spectacular experience!
Be sure to check out some of my other travel adventures!