Grand Cayman became my favorite spot in the Caribbean as soon as I first stepped onto Seven Mile Beach. The texture of that white sand together with the azure color of that water was exactly my idea of perfection. Yet it was below that water that truly elevated my experience there. More on that later.
Grand Cayman is situated in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, just south of Cuba. It is part of the British West Indies, and as such, a genteel spirit permeates the island. The people are friendly, the town of Georgetown is safe (although expensive) for shopping, and the culture seems authentic.
On my first stay, those features were all I desired for my days. Although Cayman offered many adventures, I chose to enjoy the sway of the palms, and the hours of sun to improve my tan. That’s all many visitors desire from a Caribbean vacation after all. What “ups” the experience here is the food, as the fresh seafood is abundant, from Grouper to Lionfish the choices are many.
A stay on Seven Mile Beach for me meant a condo right on the beachfront. After many years at the Coral Stone Club, we moved to The Beachcomber. Both provided excellent rooms, service and amenities like waterfront pools. Both spots are close to my favorite restaurant, Luca, with outdoor dining on exquisite Italian food. Condos compete with luxury hotels, and Luca competes with many fine dining spots. Everything comes at a high price, often because the value of the Cayman dollar adds 20% to purchases with US dollars.
It was on my second visit that I decided to try the sport that many come here for – Scuba Diving. Red Sail Sports, among others, offer training and tours right from the hotels on the beach. I was attracted for one reason: “Thunderball”, my favorite James Bond movie, spent much of its screen time underwater. I jumped at the chance to don a wetsuit (black, not orange like Sean Connery’s one in the movie) and play out my fantasy. Well, even with a short 45 minutes, I got all the adventure I wanted and more: colorful tropical fish, and a shipwreck too. I came up exhilarated and exhausted, my favorite combination of feelings.
Sure, there are many other excursions and sights on the island, but my memories are always at their peak with that dive. It was something I wanted to do, no – needed to do, to make going to Cayman a vital part of my life when looking back. It crackles my mind with excitement whenever I think about going back.
That’s what you want, some experience that takes you above and beyond. Look for that one thing on your next trip. You needn’t be a Super Spy to get the feeling you conquered the world, just act like one!