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Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman Cruise Port

Popular George Town Offers Plenty of Shopping, Great Excursions
Cayman Islands cruise tips
© 2018 Scott Bateman

Fast Facts


  • Large duty-free shopping district within walking distance of cruise docks
  • Famous Seven Mile Beach also within walking distance
  • The top shore excursion is Stingray City

Overview


The Grand Cayman cruise port at George Town is one of the top five cruise stops in the Caribbean and for good reason.

Its convenient location makes it one of the most popular western Caribbean cruise ports, and it has one of the best cruise excursions at Stingray City.

Seven Mile Beach is often named one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, and of course the capital city of George Town has plenty of duty-free shopping.

Shopping


Most Caribbean shopping destinations offer some combination of products you can buy anywhere and products that are truly local. George Town is no different.

The Cayman Craft Market is one place to go for many items that are locally produced. The market is a short walk from the cruise dock.The vendors offer items of leather, thatch, wood and shell as well as traditional Caymanian food.

Cayman Islands shopping
George Town shopping
©Cayman Islands Depart. of Tourism
The Farmer's Market Cooperative is located at Stacy Watler Agriculture Pavilion located in Lower Valley, known as Market at the Grounds.

It is open every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1p.m. Visitors will find fresh produce, fish, Cayman-made products like Cayman Sea Salt, jams, preserves and hot sauces.

The Tortuga Rum Company offers 10 blends of rums, Taste of the Caribbean sections featuring samples of the Tortuga Rum Cake, Tortuga label gourmet food products and a wide variety of Caribbean speciality foods, coffees, spices and sauces.

Grand Cayman stores accept U.S. or Cayman Island dollars, travelers checks and most major credit cards.

Cruise Excursions


Stingray City easily ranks as one of the top Caribbean attractions. Visitors boat out to a sandbar and jump into three feet of water with a large school of stingray that have become used to human touch.

Stingray City
Stingray City; photo © Lawson Wood
The stingray don't hesitate to glide within inches -- and sometimes rub the legs -- of people in the water.

Visitors are usually given snorkeling equipment so they can see the stingray underwater. Guides will sometimes feed the stingray or even pick them up to let visitors see them up close and touch them. This is a great family experience.

Going to Hell? If you do visit this village on Grand Cayman, be sure to go to the post office like countless other tourists and send out a postcard to family or friends saying, "I've been to Hell."

Boatswain’s Beach is a 23-acre marine park. It also is the home of the Cayman Turtle Farm, which houses a research and educational facility that focuses on the conservation of sea turtles. The facilities also have predators, birds, caiman, and other creatures.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park has 65 acres of displays, walking trail, educational exhibits, a lake and other features.

Beaches


The famous Seven Mile Beach is located within walking distance of the cruise docks. Expect heavier crowds nearby, so either walk farther or take a taxi to more secluded parts of the beach. There are numerous things to do and places to eat.

Most other beaches require access by taxi or rental car. Note that all beaches are public up to the high water mark, even beaches that front hotels and resorts.

The next closest beach to the cruise port is Smith Barcadere at South Sound. It has restrooms, picnic benches, showers and snorkelling.

Governor's beach is located along the Seven MIle Beach strip and next to the Governor's house. Cayman Falls Plaza and Governors Square plaza are located by the beach and have shops, restaurants and other services.

For more remote beaches and fewer crowds, try Rum Point (40-minute drive from the docks), Kaibo (40 minutes) or Heritage (30 minutes).

Getting Around


Public buses run throughout the island districts. Daily services commence at 6 a.m. and fares start at $1.50 Cayman Island dollars. Licensed buses have blue number plates and accept both U.S. and Cayman Islands dollars.

There are a few bus stops around the island, but buses can be flagged down from the side of the road.

A variety of car rental agencies are available, many of which will provide pickup at the cruise terminal.

Taxis are common at the cruise docks; rates are fixed and should be posted. Most taxis are minivans and often require at least four passengers before leaving. Be sure to ask for a rate before stepping into the taxi.

Other Tips


  • English is the official language.
  • One U.S. dollar equals 0.80 Cayman Island dollar.
  • The average temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 in the summer.

 > Category: Cruise Ports   

January 31, 2018

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