Do we need a car?
While you don’t need a car while you are here, we highly recommend it. It’s about a forty-five minute drive to Coral Loft from the airport and that translates into about a USD 72 taxi ride (for 3 or less people)…one way…also, if you wish to see some of the attractions, you may want to travel about the island or do some sightseeing or duty free shopping.
It may seem daunting at first because we drive on the left here but it’s really not too much trouble once you adjust to the road rules. We use roundabouts (traffic circles) instead of traffic lights (there are only six traffic lights on island – none outside of George Town and the Seven Mile Beach area) and there are a couple of rules – give way to the traffic in the circle, the person on the inside of the circle always has the right of way leaving the circle and you should be on the outside lane of the circle if you plan to exit in the first two roads in the circle. Rental car plates are white and the residents are always on the look-out for them. Don’t worry about going too fast (it’s a very small island) or missing a road, you can always just keep going around the circle again! Only go as fast you feel comfortable. Don’t worry about backing up traffic as the residents are generally polite and don’t honk or shout; so just enjoy the drive.
There is another option if driving from the airport just seems like it’s too much to do your first day in Grand Cayman (or if you are arriving very late). A local operator named McCurley’s Tours and Rental Cars will pick you up at the airport, allow a short stop for groceries and have your car waiting for you at the house when you arrive. The price of the rental car includes pick up and drop off at the airport. If you wish, you never need to go into town or deal with the luggage. McCurley’s is a very small operation so you must call or email them as soon you know you are coming to Grand Cayman. You can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone them at: 1 345-916-0925. You will also need to pay with a credit card that has rental car insurance as part of its package.
There is no bus service to Rum Point at this time.
Where are the grocery stores?
There are several grocery stores between the airport and Coral Loft, the closest one being near the airport (Foster’s airport), the next one is Hurley’s at Grand Harbour, there is another Foster’s on the way to Savannah (at Countryside Shopping Centre) and another Fosters in East End near the Morritts resort (you will not pass this one on the way to Coral Loft but it is the most convenient store after you arrive). Chisholm’s is a small grocery store about five minutes from Coral Loft where you can pick up some supplies but it will not be sufficient if you are planning a large shopping trip.
The major stores are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday but THERE IS NO SHOPPING ON SUNDAYS (and some stores are also closed on public holidays). Accordingly, if you are arriving on a Sunday, you may wish to use a shopping service on island Cayman Shoppers (www.caymanshoppers.com) This company will do all your shopping for a CI$85 charge. You may want to use this in any event if you don’t wish to waste time at the grocery and liquor stores. Eddie likes a couple of days’ notice but call 1 345 916-2978 if you need something quickly and they’ll do their best to help you out. They also sell beer, wine and liquor – even on Sundays! Don’t worry about the limited selection on the website – they will get you whatever groceries you need (if it’s available on island).
Where are the liquor stores?
There are liquor stores close to each of the grocery stores mentioned above. There are also a couple of liquor stores (called Water Boyz), the closest one being near the corner where you turn on to Rum Point Drive on your way to Coral Loft. Almost all of the liquor stores are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; many are now open until 10 p.m. by special licence including a few near Coral Loft. By law, all liquor stores are also closed on Sundays (and most are closed on public holidays). Please note that our public holidays do not necessarily coincide with the public holidays in other countries so be sure to check before you arrive.
Jacques Scott, one of the largest liquor distributors, just opened a new store at 846 Frank Sound Road in the new pink building not far from the Frank Sound Fire Station. Contact them at www.jacquesscottonline.com. The hours are 10am-7pm Monday to Saturday.
Blackbeard’s will also deliver free to you if you pre-order. Their website is at www.blackbeards.ky.
GOOD TO KNOW
Tipping – the usual tip is 15%; however, many restaurants and bars add a service charge on the bill so do check first. On Seven Mile Beach, the maid gratuities are included in the room charge. There are no such fees included with the charges at our home so, if you do think it appropriate, please feel free to leave a gratuity for the housekeeper. She will appreciate it.
Currency – the Cayman Islands has its own money (CI dollars) and it is pegged against the United States dollar. All establishments will take US dollars but the law requires them (unless they are duty free shops) to provide change in CI dollars. There is no need to change your money as the banks and exchange companies will give you the same rate as everyone else (unless you have a bank account in one of the local banks). One US dollar is worth CI$0.80.