Just returned from Grand Cayman and wanted to share the experience. The downtown area is pretty much back to normal with many of the shops open. The Westin Hotel on 7-mile Beach is open for business, but many properties to the north are closed and have not been touched since the hurricane. Seven Mile Beach itself is well covered with sand and is back to normal, other than the debris from the shoreline inland.
We toured the south side of the island and were amazed at the total devastation. Expensive homes were simply torn apart. Automobiles, boats, appliances and other heavy items are piled up in the debris and many of the homes remain as they did the day after the hurricane.
It will be years before Grand Cayman is back to normal, in my opinion.
One of the things that touched me was the universal appreciation of cruise passengers by the local population. Everyone seemed genuinely appreciative of the cruise lines and their passengers and are anxious to receive themn with open arms. Everyone has a hurricane story.
I would not hesitate to visit Grand Cayman and would encourage everyone to take some extra spending money to help the local economy prosper.
One local shared with us that the local population feels betrayed by the U.K. for not stepping up to the plate to help them. They feel that the U.K. believes everyone in Grand Cayman is wealthy and that they do not need help. He pointed out that there are many rich people on the island, but those in the working class struggle to simply make ends meet and are very resentful.