My Love Hate Relationship with Cayman Islands
For some reason Cayman Islands has always been on my bucket list of places to go. I'm not sure why (I really don't think it's because I met the sexiest body builder in Jamaica who was from the Cayman Islands.....uuuughhhh...his body....I just wanted to lock him in a room and do very bad things to him.) Phew, is it hot in here??? But I'm sure that my fascination has nothing to do with that at all!!
So I said to myself 'World Boss...I think it's about time to make this dream a reality.' I really put zero thought into it and just booked. No but seriously, I was at work and haunted. I'm pretty sure there was something more productive that I could have been doing; but I instead decided to surf the net for deals. I went ahead and booked a flight and hotel package. The package didn't include airport transfers, so I booked a shared airport shuttle in Caymans to get to my hotel.
I really don't like bothering anyone to drive me to the airport, especially when I have really early flights. So I went the Park n Fly route. As soon as I parked I felt the dreaded knots in my stomach. I am definitely not afraid of flying. But I think it's a fear of the unknown that always gives me anxiety. So my stomach started to do the rumble. The 'I need to make a run for the border' rumble. The cold sweats kinda rumble. Man where is this shuttle bus??? This reminds me of my trip to South Africa a few years ago. I was warned not to drink the water. For the most part, I was good. The day before a very long bus ride to Lesedi Cultural Village, I went out to a club. The vibes and the music was awesome. Drinks were poppin as well. But I totally forgot to avoid the ice in my drinks!! The next morning before we left on our bus ride I was cool. But I'd say probably 30 minutes in, I got the cold sweats. We're all adults here....so listen, I had to clinch my butt cheeks together and think happy thoughts. But the chills weren't going away! We were on a bus similar to a Greyhound. I silently made my way to the on board bathroom, and of course the toilet was out of service! Are you being serious right now??? I looked up to God to find out what I had done so badly in life that I deserved a fate like this. I had to whisper to my brother that he needed to get this bus to stop at a rest stop immediately! How embarrassing. Everyone on the bus thought I was having a medical emergency. Of course I didn't deny it either. At that point I'd say anything to make sure the bus stopped! Thankfully I made it to the facilities at a gas station. My shame bag was full! But the point is I made it! This was the same feeling I had on this park n fly shuttle bus trying to get to the airport...the chills! I really need to buy stocks in Pepto Bismol, because I'm like a really loyal customer. But like South Africa, thankfully I made it to the airport in time!
I arrived in the Grand Cayman Islands. After collecting my luggage I headed outside to meet my shuttle. I saw a gentleman holding up a sign with my tour operators name on it. So I approached him and told him that I believe he's waiting for me. So he greets me with a smile and goes on to say that he has some good news and bad news for me. Siiiiggghhhhh...whhyyyyyyy??? I asked for the good news first. He says "Welcome to Cayman, I'm here to greet you." ok....and the bad news? "Well we currently don't have any drivers, so you'll have to take a taxi to your hotel." Insert blank stare here. So a shuttle service, has no drivers?? One of those things that make you go hmmmmmmm. So taxi it is.
One of the first things you should know if you are planning to go to Cayman Islands is that their Cayman dollar is doing better than the US dollar. So can you imagine how poorly my little Canadian dollar was doing there? They wouldn't even look at it. You can pay for products or services with Cayman dollars or US dollars only. They really weren't trying to hear from me with my Canadian money.
On average I was paying approximately $30 Canadian per meal. Again, because I wanted to get a feel for the island, I didn't do all inclusive. Plus my ass couldn't afford all inclusive in Caymans anyway!! Ha! It got to the point that I'd order dinner, eat half of it and then save the other half for lunch the next day. Thank God the hotel had a fridge and a microwave.
I checked out one amazing restaurant called Cimboco. I wanted to order everything on the menu. But I ended up going with a tasting platter of codfish fritters, callaloo wrapped in fried ripe plantain and bruschetta. I topped it off with some jerk wings. Delish!
Overall, Cayman Islands is stunning. 7 Mile Beach, the beach that my hotel was located on was gorgeous. White sandy beach, clear blue water and little fish swimming all around you as you swim. Absolutely gorgeous! It actually made me forget that I was being financially abused there.
What I was disappointed about though was the lack of locals around. I visited a few restaurants and establishments in the area, and they were all run by British immigrants. I totally get that there are amazing business opportunities in Caymans for the wealthy. But when I travel, I like to be amongst the locals, and eat local foods. At one point I had to go to the front desk and ask where all the locals were??!! Very disappointing for me.
My trip was very low key and relaxing. Unfortunately no parties or fetes, a few tours and plenty beach time. On my last night there, I ordered a pizza for dinner since A. the hotel gave me a coupon and B. I could save some for my breakfast in the morning since I had an early flight. My delivery driver, King David turned out to be awesome. My first convo with a local. Of course he commented on how fat and lovely I was (Yup....that's the Caribbean for ya!)
And like that, my trip was done. Thank you Grand Cayman. Just a side note: the same tour operator; Treasure Tours that was supposed to bring me back to the airport at 5am for a 7am flight never showed. I had to beg a taxi driver to take me and offer the few Cayman dollars that I had left in my wallet. Please do not book with Treasure Tours. You'll never arrive at your destination.
Things to Know:
-The same shuttle service operator who greeted me at the airport, that had no ride for me made time to try and pick me up! hahahahaha... I swear, only in the Caribbean do the men never miss an opportunity to give you a talk...How about you go talk to some drivers so I can get the ride that I paid for??? How bout dat?
-To change $500 Canadian dollars, you would receive $308 Cayman dollars!!! $308!!!! Nah...this place is for the lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
-Turtle soup seems to be their thing. I couldn't bring myself to try it. They had tours to go visit turtles. My heart wouldn't allow me to try it.
-I totally planned this trip wrong. They are having their Carnival this weekend May 4-6th . I bet for sure I'd see some locals then!! UUgghhh...well now I'm just gonna have to go back. Maybe I'll have a sugar daddy by then! hahaha...kidding...not kidding...ok ok I'm kidding.