> Destinations > Cayman Islands > Trip Reports > Trip Report
We just got back from a week in Grand Cayman and stayed at the Westin
Casuarina. We loved the island, but are still reeling from the restaurant
prices. Taking the advice of previous posters on this NG, we tried Edoardo's
on our first night, and just about fainted when the bill came to $180 US for 2
adults and 3 kids for agreeable, but far from extraordinary Italian food--not
including tip. None of us had desert, and two of the children shared an
entree. My husband and I each had one glass of wine, and the kids had soft
drinks. The other restaurants we ate at were also extremely expensive, with
Christmas buffet at Ferdinands' (one of the Westin's restaurants) costing $250;
and dinner at Bed (which has really excellent continental cuisine) running
about $200 US. We were able to get much cheaper food at Eats, a diner across
the street from the Westin, but even there prices were about 60% higher than
comparable food in the US. We also had a terrible meal at Ragazzi, which I'd
advise anyone going to GC to avoid.
The Westin has a lovely white sand beach, large roped-off swimming area, and
tasty, but expensive cocktails (I was charged $12 US for a frozen margarita,
and $9 for a strawberry dacquari). Our rooms were very pleasant and
comfortable. Our only complaints were 1) the two swimming pools were both very
small and only 4 feet deep, so not good for real swimming 2) music tapes of the
same 10 or so songs are played all day long and 3) there was no evening
entertainment of any kind, making the resort a bit dull for our children. We
found good snorkeling 50 yards down the beach at Governor's Reef.
We rented a car from Avis for about $50 US, which was a great thing. We drove
to Hell (a tourist spot where blackened jagged rock formations rise from the
ground and you can send people postcards from Hell), and to Cemetary Reef, an
excellent snorkeling spot where we saw an abundance of exotic fish, sting rays,
squid, and even an octopus. There is also a coral covered wreck of what
appears to be a ship's winch, with coral encrusted rope and a large ship wheel.
It's a beautiful spot. We also went to the grocery store and got some
inexpensive food to eat in our hotel room. Driving on the left isn't as hard
as you might think, my husband says, though it took him a little while to get
used to having the road signs on the "wrong" side of the road.
Since our hotel charged about $175 US for hairbraiding, we got our 12 year old
daughter's hair braided at a local beauty parlor called Annie's for about $60
US. Despite the amazingly high prices we found on this island, I still think
it's a lovely vacation spot. The standard of living is very high (all those
tourist dollars no doubt!) compared to other Carribean countries, the crime
rate is very low, and we felt extremely safe. People were friendly and polite,
and nobody came up to us on the street and tried to sell us stuff, as has
happened frequently at other islands we visited. In retrospect, I would have
preferred a resort that had more entertainment for children, but am delighted
with the good snorkeling we found.
Thanks to Lisa for this trip report ...