Cayman Islands- A vacationers Delight

Just an hour flight from Miami and your in the Cayman Islands, a British Crown Colony of three islands just 100 square miles in area. (Sweeping) white sands and crystal clear blue waters and year-round vacation weather make this a special destination. The Cayman Islands are safe, relaxing and quiet.

Entering The Country Proof of citizenship and a photo ID are required for U.S. and Canadian visitors: a passport, driver's license, and birth certificate together with a return ticket. Passports and return tickets are required for all other visitors.

Money Matters The local currency, the Cayman Islands dollar, is equivalent to US $1.25. American currency is generally accepted as are major credit cards.

Climate The average summer temperature is 80 degrees, dropping to 75 degrees in winter.

History The islands were discovered by Columbus in 1503. In 1670 the first of a number of international treaties to make Cayman a British Crown Colony was signed. Cayman was a dependency of Jamaica until 1962. The islands have a rich seafaring history, and tales of buccaneering feats have reached near mythical status.

Accommodations There is a wide variety of accommodations for Visitors between international luxury hotels and million-dollar condominiums as well as comfortable guest houses and dive resorts.

Watersports The high light of my trip to Cayman island was Christmas morning at String Ray City. The 'City' is an area of water with dozens on sting rays that playfully frolic around your knees and stealthy past you. As we found out everything , I mean everything closed down on Christmas Day, including restaurants. We lucked -in with one tour operators, and got to Sting Ray City. Cayman is regarded as a world-class SCUBA diving destination. Wall, wreck, reef and the famous Sting Ray City diving excursions are conducted daily by over 30 professional diving organizations. Sport fishing is also big in Cayman and the annual Million Dollar Month tournament continues to gain popularity among international anglers. Other water sports include snorkeling, parasailing, board sailing, and skiing.

Landsports Golfers can Tee Off at the Jack Nicklaus golf course, drive at the 18-hole Championship Links at SafeHaven, or take in some tennis, squash, or other outdoor sports.

Duty Free Shopping A number of shops offer the world's best perfumes, watches, jewelry, crystal, and china at duty free prices.

Getting Married You can get married in Cayman in 24 hours. Documents required from both partners are proof of identity, your Cayman Islands embarkation card certified or original copies of divorce decrees/death certificates.

Nightlife Nightlife, is quieter than many other Caribbean countries but this laid back island does have several nightclubs catering to American and Caribbean musical tastes. As well as two comedy clubs.

Dress is more restrictive than other islands and more elegant. Dress is casual and public nudity, including topless sunbathing, is strictly prohibited. A beach cover-up shirt, or dress is required when you leave the beach. For nighttime dining, casual elegance is acceptable fare.

During most sunlight hours I found that I was near, in or on the water. On Grand Cayman, a hotel without a water sports shop is a rare sight, but those who want to check out the underwater sights without getting wet can descend 100 feet on the air-conditioned Atlantis( Not easily accessible)Submarine.

Everyone one must go to the town of Hell, complete with its own velour-clad devil. Make sure you send a postcard 'from Hell'

Grand Cayman's sparsely populated East End will refresh you with long stretches of craggy coast. At Savannah you will find the oldest island structure, a castle rumored to have been built by pirates two centuries ago. Stop by the blowholes for some remarkable pictures of watery spires. On the way back, harborside George Town will tempt you with its Gucci and Fendi shops. Nights in Grand Cayman are laid-back and quite quiet. If you crave some romantic dining head to the deck of the seaside Wharf .

The resort I said at was Treasure Island on the famous Seven Mile Beach. The resort does not indicate accessibility and though not accessible in our North American standard they did try to accommodate, including small ramps into the room. The rooms are a fair size with 2 double beds the bathrooms are not well laid out but if you have some mobility it is acceptable. On the positive side, the staff was good. Though I did find Cayman's somewhat quiet and reserved compared to other Caribbean countries.. The Treasure Island Resort is located at the beginning of Seven Mile Beach, is newly renovated and centrally located just 1 mile from George Town and duty-free shopping and 3 miles from the airport. Facilities: 280 spacious guest rooms all featuring a choice of 1 king bed or 2 double beds, A/C, balcony or patio, telephone, satellite TV, in-room safe and ceiling fan. Guests benefit from a state-of-the art dive operation, coral reef 200 yards off-shore, two fresh water pools and children's wading pool, tennis, gourmet and casual dining, and nightclub featuring nightly live entertainment.

One of the interesting parts of the Treasure Island Resort is that there is not street cut-downs at the front entrance, so a journey through the back parking lot( well lit at night) got me out to the main street. Using my electric scooter for the first time, I found the Treasure Island resort very easy to get around, fairly good ramps, you can get right to the beach but of course the beaches are another problem, assistance is needed. Treasure Island Resort is Not All inclusive and the meals all over the island are quite expensive. Many of the guests indicated they bought crackers and juice for their rooms .One of the best restaurants was one block from the hotel...the best service, friendliness and wonderful well priced food the 'Almond Tree' Christmas dinner on the patio under the huge Poinsettia tree.. what a delight.

The Cayman Islands are experience and you always feel you are surrounded by wealth. If you want the Cayman experience which is safe, secure beautiful, charming and quiet, you will have to pay for it. As I mentioned before there are not All inclusives and I was told quite frankly that "Cayman doesn't cater to the All Inclusives Crowd" But still I recommend this beautiful part of the Caribbean. When you need to unwind and have a lazy hazy vacation then the Cayman Islands is the spot.

Cayman Islands Tourism: www.caymans.com Treasure Island Resort; 1-800-203-0775

Jane Danielson is a Freelance Travel Writer and Poet and has been published in Canada and United States. She became mobility disabled 13 years ago and uses a cane wheelchair and electric scooter Jane believes that traveling is a prescription for a healthy positive outlook, especially for the disabled but really for everyone. Some of Jane's articles include Camping in a National Park and, Whale Watching on Brier Island, Fun in Florida and Healing Powers of Hawaii. Her travel articles always look at the positiveness of traveling, with a realization of the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve this experience. Email: Jane@Disabled-Traveler.com 5


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