Has anyone ever rented a car for the day? If so, is it safe to drive around,or do people drive like maniacs there? We have 2 kids and would like to see the island on our own. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks
It is safe to rent a car in Cayman, however the roads are very narrow and they drive on the opposite side of the road (so your steering column and shifter will most likely also be on the opposite side of what you are used to). I have not been there for a few years, but the drivers used to be very friendly and courtious, which is very nice but hard to get used to (i.e. they will stop to let anyone in, at any time, so do not follow too closely behind them and when they honk it is a nice gesture as they are letting you in or letting you know they are around a corner). The only place it is terribly hectic to drive is right in town where you might be better off to park and walk.
one more thing....this may have changed in the past few years, but there used to be heavy traffic jams in the afternoon as there was only one road with one lane entering from either side to get to the ship. Please account for this when you are alloting your time.
I am not quite sure. We haven;t been there before. I do have 2 kids ages 5 and 8. The stingray trip would be cool for hubby and me, but I know my kids would freak out. I was thinking turtle farm and 7 mile beach. I would also like to find some good jerk chicken! Any suggestions? Overall, I wanted to see the island and see things you cannot see on a tour.
An islander would know the best place for chicken, although I don't remember there being a lot of jerk chicken. (Try TripAdvisor as they seem to attract locals to their forum).
The Stingray Sandbar (only a few feet deep) is not as frightening as it sounds and I highly recommend it, but you obviously know your kids better than I would. If you do decide to do the tour make sure you ask for the Stingray Sandbar(only a few feet deep) and not Stingray City (deeper) and book thru a tour operator who has 30 people or less (your kids will get more attention then and not have to compete with adults jumping into the water making it more firghtening than it needs to be).
If you do decide to rent a car, it is not a big island (I think you can drive from George Town to the West side of the island in about an hour and from George Town to Rum Point in just over an hour.) On the West side you could likely see the Turtle farm (this will only take about half an hour), go to Hell (which will take about 15 minutes) and snorkel at Cemetery Beach (a public beach that has lots of colorful fish but you would need to bring your own snorkel gear). On your way to Rum Point you could go to the blow holes (again, wouldn't take long and a local would know the best time to see them), the Botanical Gardens if your kids would like that and Rum Point for something to eat and swimming - this is a fairly laid back beach though and I am not sure if you can rent water sports equipment there or not. & Mile beach is pretty much part of George Town (and then stretches for 7 miles) and that is where most cruise passengers will be laying in the sun. It is beautiful as all beaches in the Caribean are and there are more water sports to rent here.
There are maps available to help you plan your trip if you look for them, I just don't have the links handy at the moment.
Hope this helps and didn't just make things more confusing!
Thanks so much! You have more info than I do. Have you ever been to Montego Bay? I was there 10 or so years ago and did Dunns River falls so I would like to do something different. We are going to leave the kids on the ship that day, so I may do Margaritaville or something "fun." Any suggestions? I know MB can be a little intimidating. I am really watching the hurricane. We are supposed to leave out of Galveston on the Oct 2 sailing. I hope our dock doesn't get blown away!
I just read your post and noticed saw that you had climbed Dunn's River Falls years ago. Mind if I ask what you thought about it? We'll be going on a cruise of the Western Caribbean on October 9th out of Port Canaveral, FL. One of our stops will be Ochos Rios. We have two daughters, ages 8 and 13. Is that something they would enjoy? Just to let you know that we took an excursion to Stingray City (Captain Marvin) about a year ago on another cruise. I did not care for it, at all. The stingrays swarm around you and brush up against your legs. It really freaked me out and my girls didn't care for it, either. The stingrays, to me, seemed quite aggressive and persistant. They didn't harm anyone to my knowledge, but they were big and everywhere! So, just know what you're getting yourselves into before you book it. I know lots of people, however, who thought the experience was phenomenal.
Thanks for the info about the Stingray excursion. We will probably pass. I KNOW my boys would freak out. Last year I paid for my 8 yr old to swim with the dolphins, and he was okay until he saw the little fish in the water. He then freaked out and would not go back in. I wasted $56 on a trip! As far as Dunns River Falls, I loved it. I think your kids are old enough to climb. It isn't very steep. Its definately a place to go if you haven't seen it. It's not like the falls in Hawaii, but is neat to see and do! Be sure to wear water shoes. It tends to get a little slippery. I would also book through an excursion to go there. You would not want to get lost out there. The falls are great, but other areas of Ocho Rios are a bit intimidating. Hope this helps!