Trade in your laptop and cell phone for clear water beaches, colorful coral reefs and underwater adventures when you plan an escape to Grand Cayman. As the largest of the three Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman promises to maximize your time in the Caribbean while still treating you to the relaxation a successful vacation is all about. Reserve one of the Grand Cayman travel packages from Vacation by Marriott and let us take care of the flight, accommodations and car rental details so you can focus on the fun.
Day One: You touch down at Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) in the early afternoon, complete customs and smile as you make your way to one of the Caribbean’s top luxury resorts: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Set along the beautiful, soft sands of Seven Mile Beach, the hotel allows you to catch your breath in a luxurious room before changing and going out to the beach, pulling up a chair, taking a dip in the oceanfront pool and sipping a cool drink. One of the many things that attracted you to this Grand Cayman resort in particular is its “Ambassadors of the Environment” program, developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau. You make plans to take part in some of the program’s outings during the next three days and later take a seat for dinner at Andiamo, where classic Italian dishes meet casual Caribbean ambiance on a breezy, open-air terrace overlooking the resort’s winding waterways. The lobster risotto is delicious, as is the tasty gelato dessert. You take a deep breath knowing your vacation on Grand Cayman has just begun.
Day Two: After breakfast, you hop in a convertible rental car, crank the top down and set out to explore the island a bit. It’s about 40 minutes along the southern coast to the Cayman Island Blow Holes, where incoming waves send water into a number of caverns that redirect that water, forming geysers that can reach 20 feet high. It’s pretty impressive and makes for a nice photo op before you complete a loop around the east end of Grand Cayman and eventually arrive back in Georgetown for lunch and a little shopping. Back at The Ritz-Carlton by 2 p.m., you join the Ambassadors of the Environment group for snorkeling. The Cayman Islands truly offer some of the world’s best snorkeling spots, and the naturalist guides explain how every creature you run across has a role to play in the complex ocean ecosystem – from “doctors” to sanitation engineers, gardeners and even sand makers. The water is warm, clear and oh-so-nice, and you’re invited to explore a reef after dark tomorrow night. You can hardly wait.
Day Three: You’re up early to make a visit to Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park in the center of the island. It plays home to the Cayman Blue Iguanas, which are an endangered species found nowhere else on the planet. As part of a small group, you take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program’s captive breeding facility, which has become known as the most successful reptile recovery program in the world. It’s impressive to see the efforts being made to rebuild Grand Cayman’s iguana population — which was once down to just 12. You return to the resort inspired but ready for a nap. Later, you find a good spot to watch the sunset and gear up for something completely new: that night snorkel! You reach the reef as darkness falls and shine your flashlight to observe the nightly “changing of the guard,” as the daytime critters go to sleep and the nocturnal creatures come out of hiding. It’s really amazing – a huge highlight and something not many visitors have the chance to experience.
Day Four: Today is your final full day on the island, so you sleep in before your treatment at the resort’s La Prairie Spa. The spa’s Island Dream is an exquisite skin smoothing treatment that incorporates mango and papaya and includes a full-body exfoliation followed by a warm bath and full-body massage – just what the doctor ordered! Feeling refreshed and replenished, you settle into one of the resort’s beach cabanas – which features a full-size bed along with a pair of beach chairs – and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the beach. The hours drift by under the sun, and after a while you meet back up with the Ambassadors of the Environment for one last Grand Cayman experience. As the sun begins to set, you hop into a kayak and paddle among the quiet beauty of mangroves, the forests of the sea. You explore the roots that extend into the water and provide a nursery for reef creatures while gazing up into the canopy, home to different marine birds. It’s an unforgettable way to complete an unforgettable vacation to Grand Cayman.
But wait, this is just the beginning. With so many Caribbean vacation packages to choose from, it’s never too soon to make another escape for the sun, sea and sand.