Sunday, September 26, 2010

First port: Grand Cayman

Our first port was Grand Cayman. I did not schedule an excursion for us here because we were hoping for a beach day. This was our first experience with tendering too. Luckily, the weather was good, though overcast. Even still, the tender was rocking over the waves and I could see how, if it had been raining or windy, that short ride could become very unpleasant. Right at the dock are the typical souvenir shops and jewelry stores that are so popular in the Caribbean. Most of the shopping, I heard, was a short cab ride away. Much as I would have liked some new jewelry, I knew we had paint to buy at home. We toyed with the idea of taking an island tour with one of the guides holding up their signs on the dock. John is always worried about these people though, convinced we’ll be kidnapped and our fingers cut off to send back to our families. Ultimately, we just took a cab to the Royal Palms area on Seven Mile Beach. Here, there was the Reef Grill, where we had a delicious grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich and tried a Caybrew, the local beer of Grand Cayman.

The water was perfectly turquoise and as we walked a ways down the beach to try and find a good spot. There was no one around just steps from the beach club at the Reef Grill. It was gorgeous. John and I got in the water for a bit but then, realizing that I wouldn’t be finding my massage on the beach any further down, decided we’d head back to where the chairs and amenities were. I was bummed about the massage but for $24 we rented 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella. Life is good.

The drinks and food at the Reef Grill were kind of pricey for beach fare. Plus the exchange rate wasn’t great. A few chairs down we noticed a couple mixing their own drinks with some rum and coke they bought at the port. We were kicking ourselves and wondering why we hadn’t thought of that. Brilliant! Next time, I guess. We didn’t realize until we were leaving that there was a small store behind the Reef Grill that sold liquor. Duh.

After a few hours (it was a short day in port), we changed out of our suits in their facilities. The ladies room was nice; John said the mens’ was atrocious. Poor John. Took a cab back to port and tendered back to the ship. We didn’t buy anything in Grand Cayman at all. Not even a Tortuga Rum Cake. I used to buy souvenirs everywhere I went. I guess I’m changing my ways.

Back on board, we hung out by the pool and had second lunch. We split the lunch on the island so I guess this was actually 1 ½ lunch. I don’t remember what else we did before dinner. Probably napped. LOVE pre-dinner naps. But, this night after dinner, we discovered a great piano player in the Schooner Bar. His name was Jon Li and he could play anything! People just requested songs and he sang and played. He was great. I should have bought his CD. Maybe I’ll see him on a ship in the future. I can’t remember if we saw a show this night. I should have written these thing down. Or, if I knew where I put my Cruise Compasses, I’d just consult them. Anyway….another great day of vacation!

Was I right about that water or what?

Next stop: Cozumel

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