Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

Cs @ | 9 minutes | #cayman-islands #carribbean


The bed on the boat is very comfortable. This was also the case on Harmony and here. Although the rocking of the boat contributes a bit…
Next was a sea day, and I can't tell you what we did. There are so many activities that it's impossible to list them all: Shopping, casino, live music, games, gym, pool, jacuzzi, golf course, giant screen, many bars, restaurants, and even some kind of exhibition and auction.
We received a program booklet with the day's activities and important information every day. You could make your own calendar with your activities. But we didn't do anything special. After breakfast, we sunbathed a bit, tried to explore the ship, relaxed, drank coffee, ate cake, and so on.

At the Oceanview Café restaurant, we had the same thing every day, and every day, we had a special dish related to a specific country. So there were Italian, French, German, Mexican, and Caribbean days.

Oceanview Cafe - Celebrity Equinox

But there were always salads, pizza, American food, Mexican and Indian food, fruit (especially melon, pineapple, bananas, apples), sandwiches, and thousands of cakes.
It was disastrous. 🙂
Most of the time we had a mixed plate, usually salad and something small as a side (and always only as much as we eat because we don't like to waste) and of course to leave some room for the cake!
We tried many cakes because they were delicious. You have to think of them as tiny little bites, and we cut them in half to try more.
Most of them were very tasty. Twice, we ate donuts. No need to go to the fancy restaurant, right 😀.

So, the sea day was over, and we arrived in the Cayman Islands at dawn the next day.
Here, we opted for an island tour. We often try to find one because we want to see as much of a place as possible. This way, of course, you don't get to know the area, but at least you get an overall impression and can decide if you want to return for a more extended period.
There are so many different excursions: beach trips, shopping trips, diving trips, exploring trips - so there is something for everyone.

Good morning, Cayman Islands! It's always so exciting to discover a new place. We had to get up early because we had an appointment at the theater at 7:15 a.m. As we looked out onto our balcony, we saw that the ship was anchored on the water, and we would be going ashore in smaller boats.

Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

At the theater, Csibi went downstairs to redeem the voucher (for all the excursions, the voucher was in our room) and, in return, gave us a number to put on our t-shirts that represented our group. In this way, the different excursions were marked.
Then, it was slowly announced which group would be going to disembarkation. We didn't have to wait long and were already on a boat heading for the coast.
It only took a few minutes.
Once outside, we had to wait for the tour guide to arrange the different groups.
We signed up for the "Panoramic Island Drive," there were quite a few of us. While waiting, we could already feel the power of the hot sun.

Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

After about 10 minutes, the crowd started to move, and we had to walk to a small parking lot (it took only a few minutes). Several small buses (for about 15-20 people per bus) were waiting in the parking lot. We were among the first to arrive and got on one of the buses. We were given a great driver.
Our experience on these islands (and in America) is that the driver is also a tour guide.

But first, a few words about the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands consist of three main islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Until today, they are a British overseas territory. The capital is George Town, and the official language is English.
The name comes from a native species of lizard initially identified with a crocodile species.

By the way, we were on the island of Grand Cayman.
The westernmost island, Grand Cayman, is about 185 miles (300 km) south of Cuba and 195 miles (315 km) northwest of Jamaica.
The total area of the islands is 100 sq mi (264 km²), of which the largest is Grand Cayman, 76 sq mi (197 km²).
More than 90% of the population lives on the largest island, Grand Cayman. The islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503. They were named Las Tortugas because of the many turtles found there. The first recorded English arrival was Sir Francis Drake in 1586, who named the islands Cayman Islands.
Since there was no indigenous population, the current population is descended from or was settled by former settlers and enslaved people (slavery was abolished in 1833).
As a result, the population is motley but lives in exemplary harmony.

Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

In September 2004, the island of Grand Cayman was hit by an intense hurricane (Ivan). The damage affected 70% of the island and destroyed many buildings. Immediately, extensive reconstruction efforts began, and within two years, everything was restored.
Unfortunately, the islands are very vulnerable to hurricanes due to their tropical location. On average, they are directly hit every 2.23 years.

Thanks to tourism and the financial sector, the islands now have the highest standard of living in the Caribbean ($91,392 per capita). Today, the capital, George Town, is considered a tax haven and one of the largest financial centers in the world. Approximately 200,000 companies are registered on the islands. The Cayman Islands are considered a tax haven. It is one of the most important offshore financial centers in the world.

The symbol of the islands is the blue iguana. You can see it in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park (the other program that would have interested us anyway).
The climate is tropical savannah. Most precipitation falls in the rainy season from May to November, and the dry season lasts from December to April.
And the hurricane season, like here in America, lasts from June to the end of November.

Now, after all these exciting things, here is what we saw during the panoramic tour. First, we made a quick stop at the "Good mood swing." The swing is right on the beach, with a magical panorama in the background.
I could swing here for hours and enjoy the beautiful view.

#goodmoodswing - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

Afterward, we made a short stop at Colliers Public Beach.
Here, too, the water was in beautiful colors. The different shades of blue are breathtaking. There are no words for it.
Here, we saw roosters and chickens for the first time. The island is full of free-ranging birds. Supposedly, they are protected by law, and it is not allowed to feed them (there are heavy fines and even jail time if you do). Supposedly, they used to be a staple food, and many families had a chicken coop in their gardens. However, when the islands were modernized, people stopped keeping chickens for consumption. They let them roam free, and they have been running around ever since. They seem to be enjoying themselves and look pretty good.

Colliers Public Beach - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

The next stop was the site of the Ten Sails shipwreck. On February 8, 1794, 10 ships ran aground and were shipwrecked.
According to a local legend behind the tax exemption, one of the passengers on board was a royal prince, a son of the British King George III. Local fishermen sailed out to save the crew and cargo. In gratitude, King George III is said to have then issued a decree that the inhabitants of the islands no longer had to pay taxes and were exempt from military service. In fact, however, there is no documented evidence of this. Nevertheless, the legend lives on to this day.

Wreck of the Ten Sail - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

Today, a park commemorates the shipwreck. The late Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, visited the site in 1994 (on the 200th anniversary) and unveiled the memorial plaque. In addition to the plaque and the lookout point, there are 10 concrete blocks set into the cliffs commemorating the 10 shipwrecks.

As we passed the airport, we stopped briefly in front of a house made of shells. Apparently, the inside is also made of shells. We would have loved to see it from the inside. It is called the Conch Shell House.

Conch Shell House - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

Unfortunately, we missed what would have come after that. It is a place called Blowholes, which, at high tide/swell, looks as if the water would rise like a geyser. But since the water that day looked like a pool with a mirror stretched out, it wasn't spectacular at all this time. Instead, the tour guide took us to a place called Tortuga Rum Company, where we could taste cakes and rum and also had the opportunity to buy some. In the back of the store, you could even see how the rum cake is made. They actually pour a bottle of rum down your throat… We only had a little time here and had to wait in line for the restrooms… But we didn't miss the tasting, and we weren't going to shop anyway.

Tortuga Rum Company - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

The penultimate stop on our trip is one of the island's main attractions, Seven Mile Beach, a public beach with white sand and crystal clear water. We had the most time here, but it was so hot and the sun so bright that we didn't see much and sometimes literally blindly took photos.
The water is beautiful!
There are food vendors and all sorts of other vendors and little huts in Caribbean colors, although we couldn't figure out what they were for.
This place was a highlight of the trip!

Seven Mile Beach - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

And our last journey went to Hell. Literally! The place called Hell is named after a group of black limestone formations in the area. Its eerie and sinister appearance gave it its name. Of course, you are not allowed to hike through them, but there are lookout points.
The name is said to have come from an Englishman who exclaimed, "Hell must look like this."
But there is another origin: when a pebble is thrown into the formation, it echoes as if it were falling all the way to Hell.

Hell - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

But no matter where the name comes from, it's now a tourist attraction, with a red post office and a gift store next to it where you can send postcards from Hell.
This is a fascinating place!

Hell - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands

From there, we had to go back to the ship. After a short bus ride, we arrived at the harbor, where the small boat took us back to the big ship. We admired the color of the water for a while, and after everyone had returned, the ship departed. A little earlier than planned.

We ate and then tried again to explore parts of the ship we had yet to see. Next time, if we book our cruise in time, we'll sign up for one of those interior ship tours to get a look at the secret parts of the ship.

We watched the sunset in the evening, and the day was over.

Map - Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands