Are you headed out on a Western Caribbean cruise? Chances are you are headed to some fantastic ports of call. Today I am discussing how to plan a day trip to Grand Cayman Island.
I am not the world’s most accomplished traveler. In fact, I have only been out of the country a few times, all of those trips were to Sandals Resorts. Since this all-inclusive does all the work for you, there isn’t too much you need to plan for.
But when I am headed to a place I have never been, I love to do my research. I have been busy doing my homework so I can plan a day trip to Grand Cayman Island. Well, I do have a secret. Keep reading, and you will find out below.
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Purchase A Guide Book
The first thing I ALWAYS do when I am traveling somewhere new is to purchase a guide book. Part of it is the bookseller in me, but mostly it is the curiosity that drives me to grab some reading material. Here are a few I have bought or read through:
See What Your Cruise Line Says About Your Destination
I am sure you have already chosen your cruise line as a means of getting to your destination. Their website is a great place to start to plan a day trip to Grand Cayman Island. You can read about excursions, places to eat & shop, and more. Since they are often the ones that arrange time at the port of call, they should be your first resource.
Should I Go With An Outside Tour Vendor?
Many people are tempted to go with an outside vendor for their excursion, mostly because the prices are lower than the cruise lines. That is great, but you need to be wary of the vendor, duration of tour, etc.
Booking with your cruise line may be the smart thing to do. Why? The primary benefit of booking excursions through the cruise line is that they guarantee your return to the ship. This generally means that if you’re on a tour that’s scheduled to finish 30 minutes before sail-away and the tour is in some way delayed, the ship will wait until you’re safely back onboard to set sail.
Just something to consider when you plan a day trip to Grand Cayman Island.
Decide Your Activity Level
This is where some people get in trouble. They want to try something new, but they don’t realize how strenuous activities are. Or that there swimming skills may not match the level needed. This is why doing your research before booking is most important.
For example, on the website for the Carnival Paradise, each excursion lists important things like:
- Where: Grand Cayman Cayman Islands
- Easy Activity Level
- Minimum age 6 years
- Duration of trip: 2.5 hours
These are all important things to consider, and why I believe booking with your cruise line is the safest thing to do.
Determine Your Excursion Budget
When you are on a cruise, it is really easy to get caught up in the moment and spend more than you intended. After all, you just swipe your card and it gets charged to your room. If you plan to do an excursion, check the cost online. Determine it is in your budget.
Then do this simple tip: Take the cost of the excursion in cash, and when you return to the ship after completing the excursion, immediately put that money on your account to cover the excursion cost. That way, you aren’t spending more that you wanted to and you aren’t wracking up a huge credit card bill.
What Do You Want To Accomplish While On Shore At Grand Cayman Island?
Do you want to shop for souvenirs? Try some local cuisine? Sit on a beach? Write down what you want to do, then head to the internet to do some research. I recommend checking out the Cayman Islands Tourism website. It has tons of information and recommendations.
Also remember to use your cruise line’s website, advice from friends, and some reputable travel forums or websites.
Things You Need To Take With You When You Get Off The Ship
Well first, and most importantly, you need to have your ship’s cruise card AND your id. That is how the ship knows you got off, and how they will let you back on. You can use a passport or photo id.
Other things to consider for your port of call, but not limited to:
- Day Bag for Cruise Shore Excursion
- Shoes for Cruise Shore Excursion
- Comfortable Outfit
- Large plastic bag to put wet bathing suits in
- Sunscreen(Be conscious and get reef-safe lotion if you plan on any water activities) and Bug Spray
- Hat and Sunglasses
- Snacks and Water
- Change of Clothes
- Hand Sanitizer & Personal Care Wipes(for the places that may be out of toilet paper)
Other Important Things To Keep In Mind
- Have cash(in small bills)for tips. You will also need cash for souvenirs. Most places are happy to accept US dollars. Check the local website to verify.
- Remember to go by the cruise ship time, not the port of call time. Don’t rely on your phone. Have a wristwatch with you that is set to the ship’s time. You don’t want to be left behind.
- Make sure you have a portable charging block for your phone.
- Stick to main streets, and don’t wander off too far on side streets.
- Try to stick together in groups of 2 or more.
- Be mindful of your surroundings.
- Don’t want until the last minute to head back to a tender boat.
- HAVE FUN and take lots of pictures!
Planning ahead of time for things helps you to be freed up to enjoy your time in port. You can relax knowing that you have prepared for an enjoyable day. Hope this helps!
I am so excited to share that I am setting my feet onto Grand Cayman Island as we speak. Many of the tips I am sharing with you I did with the help of my wonderful influencer sisters that are accompanying me on my first cruise journey. Interested to know what this high seas adventure is? Read more below.
Want to hear something exciting? I am headed on my first cruise adventure. Join me on Feb 29-March 5, 2020 as I set sail with Carnival as part of a #sponsored event! So make sure you follow along on my sea journey. You can head over to my Instagram page, Twitter account, or Facebook page to follow along using the #PTHCarnival hashtag. #ChooseFun #CarnivalParadise #CarnivalCruise
More Travel Posts You Will Enjoy Reading:
- Best Snorkeling Excursion On Grand Cayman Island
- How To Travel Carry-On Only(Even If You Think You Can’t)
- The Ultimate Cruise Shore Excursions On Grand Cayman Island With Kids
- How To Stay Safe On A Cruise Ship
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