"They're back in style, and the reefs are fine!" Top 5 Page for this destination Grand Cayman by catalysta

Grand Cayman Travel Guide: 444 reviews and 902 photos

What's not to love?

Want to visit someplace warm, clean, lovely & friendly, famous for its excellent diving and snorkeling reefs, with no serious crime problems, no particular hassles, and a 7 mile long beach of soft white sand? Then you'll definitely want to consider the British Cayman Islands.

These islands are a major tax shelter for the wealthy, so they aren't about to allow the riffraff to harrass the wealthy landowners & tourists. There's a very big reason why Jamaica is so much cheaper. The Caymans are gorgeous, clean and safe!

Turtle Nest Inn Redux

No new photos of the Inn itself are necessary, it is just as lovely as it was pre-Ivan, and the rooms have all been completely refurbished with Marleine's inimitable style. This place has an ambiance I can't find equaled elsewhere, even though other spots have captured a piece of my heart. along the way. Yet somehow the Turtle Nest Inn specifically, and Grand Cayman in general, are so worth visiting again & again.

This time the trip was different, I took my Mom with me and we snorkeled together, so I only went on one little shore dive. I'm here to report that the snorkeling was excellent too, for those of you who are non-divers! And I'm resolved that next time I'm down here I'll take some underwater photography classes with Cathy Church. It seems I've got the bug now. Check out the new fish fotos in my General Tips, and in the Travelogues.

Summer 2005 Reports are good!

Sport Diver mag just published a review of current conditions on GCM, and it is good news. Not only are the reefs still in great condition, but cleanup efforts island wide are progressing rapidly. Seven Mile Beach is gorgeous once again, ready for miles of beach walks, and many of the favorite hotels (including Turtle Nest Inn & Sunset House) have renovated rooms, so fly on down there and help their economy recuperate.

According to this list from a previous article, even the Butterfly Farm is back in action: Cayman Islands Bouncing Back
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9/25/04 Post-Ivan Update, Down but not out:

Just heard from Marleine & Alain that the Turtle Nest Inn is under repair, & they expect to be open again by mid-December! Bodden Town was one of the most severely hit areas on the island, but the Turtle Nest is taking donations for their friends & neighbors to assist in rebuilding the town (see their website for details, & for post-Ivan pics of damage to the Inn). Marleine said their own repairs should be adequately covered by insurance, but many others are in need of help.

More good news - the Sunset House & the Seaview Hotel are both expected to repair & reopen, and Ocean Frontiers Divers in East End are still up & running as well.

Tortuga Rums is a locally owned company that has stepped up to the plate with organizing relief funds & supplies distribution, etc. for their island neighbors. Please visit their site to assist in contributions.
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9/14/04 update:

Just got word online that Marleine & Alain on Grand Cayman are fine, but Ivan has done a lot of damage to the Turtle Nest Inn. Grand Cayman is devastated, as bad as Grenada though hopefully with less casualties. Virtually every home on the island has sustained damage, and at one point flooding cut the island in two. Reports said coconuts were firing past like cannonballs, as Ivan ripped roofs away and snapped palm trees like matchsticks.
Looting is widespread on many of the damaged islands, though not as prevalent on Grand Cayman - as if it's not all bad enough! Looters in Jamaica are armed and shooting at the police.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful, clean, relatively crime-free, incredible snorkeling & diving
  • Cons:Expensive
  • In a nutshell:You get what you pay for, and the Caymans are SO worth it!
  • Last visit to Grand Cayman: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated May 23, 2006
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catalysta

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