If you’re a first-time traveller to Grand Cayman, planning your trip can be exciting but also a little daunting. The following is a checklist of items you’ll want to think about including a few of my personal recommendations. I hope you find this list useful!
Flights: Book your flights as soon as you’ve reserved your condo or villa. Don’t wait! We’ve had guests make villa reservations and then not be able to find flights. American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Air Canada, JetBlue, United, WestJet and Southwest Airlines all provide service to the island.
Rental Car: If you’re staying in Cayman Kai, North Side, East End or the South Sound districts of Grand Cayman, you will need to rent a car. All of the major rental companies have offices on the island and are located a short walk across the street from the airport. I generally recommend Budget, Marshall’s, and Thrifty.
Credit Cards – call your credit card company ahead of time and let them know you’ll be travelling. Also, be aware that card issuers typically charge a 3 percent currency conversion fee (FX) on each international purchase.
Cell Phones – Call your cell phone carrier to ask about their international plan. International roaming fees can run into the hundreds.
Grocery Delivery– After standing in line at Customs and picking up your rental car, having groceries delivered ahead of time will enable you to get your toes in the sand and a cold beverage in your hand much faster. We recommend Cayman Shoppers. They charge less than the competition and deliver groceries and alcohol. Note: grocery and liquor stores are closed on Sundays. Cayman Shoppers will deliver groceries and alcohol to Sunday arrivals.
Child Care: The best sitting service on Grand Cayman is AAA Caregivers. They are expensive, however, their employees are vetted and trained in CPR and First Aid.
Snorkeling & Singrays – A private charter is the best way to experience the stingrays and Cayman’s beautiful reefs and marine life. It may also be less expensive when you break it down on a per person basis. Eliminate the crowds and go to places the larger charters don’t go. Silver Thatch Charters gives GCVC guests a ten percent discount on all charters. I also recommend taking the time to purchase a well-fitting mask and snorkel before leaving home. Swim fins are easy to rent once you’re on the island and sizing is simple. Not all masks fit all faces and a leaky mask makes for uncomfortable snorkeling and diving.
Deepsea Fishing – We recommend Slack’em Charters and Crystal Sea Charters. Captain Jon of Slack’em has grown up in Cayman and knows where the fish are biting. GCVC guests paying with cash receive a ten percent discount with Slack’em.
Scuba Diving – Cayman’s famous North Wall offers some of the best diving in the world. Ocean Frontiers and Tortuga Divers in the East End for large boat/group diving. George Evans of White Sand Water offers private charters. All three companies offer PADI Discover Scuba – Resort courses. Resort courses are 1/2 day courses for adults and children 10 years of age and older who are not scuba certified but want to give it a try.
Private Chef: It’s a nice way to dine in and not have to do the cooking. Chefs on the island are popular – especially around the holidays and during the Spring Break months of March and April. Please book your chef(s) well in advance. Click here for our list of recommended chefs and local cooks.
Spa Services – Instead of driving to one of the hotel spas, we recommend being pampered in the privacy of your own villa. Laura Evans and her staff at Perfectly Pampered Cayman are fully trained and use the highest quality products. Our guests receive ten percent off on all services and 20 percent off if you book in advance for groups of 6 or more.
Restaurants – It’s best to make reservations before arriving. Many restaurants are closed Mondays. My personal recommendation is to take an evening boat cruise across the North Sound and have dinner at either Calypso Grill or Catch. It will absolutely be one of the best nights of your vacation.
Yoga – What’s more zen than a yoga session or two at your villa overlooking the Caribbean? Grand Cayman Yoga is our preferred mobile service. Our GCVC guests receive a ten percent discount.
SILVER THATCH GUEST SERVICES
All of our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos guests receive a Silver Thatch Discount Card to use during their stay. The card offers discounts of at least ten percent on fishing, diving, spa services, private charters, restaurants, and more. Click here for a list of Silver Thatch Preferred Vendors.
Beginning in 2018, we will open our doors to the Silver Thatch Welcome Center and take a step up in offering on-island assistance to, and be a touch point for, our villa guests. We will be offering enhanced concierge services and support plus gratis memberships to our fitness facility and business center. We will also have snorkel equipment as well as child equipment such as Graco Pac n’ Plays and booster seats available for guests.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-866-358-8455. We’d love to hear from you. #mygrandcayman