Looking for an exotic beach vacation not too far from home and under the protective eye of the Queen? Concerned about terrorism and crime? Then look no further, Grand Cayman Island, just the other side of Cuba and only a hop from Jamaica (on an airplane of course), is just the ticket!
Grand Cayman, one of three sister islands (Little Cayman and Cayman Brac rounding out the three) are three pearls in a sea of blue bliss. The weather is perfect year ’round, with only late summer and early fall presenting the possibility of hurricanes (two have hit in the last ten years, but no deaths; only a loss of sand and trees, which have been replaced now).
The Island boasts seven-miles of beach that claim to have the whitest sand and the clearest water you will probably find anywhere in the Caribbean. If you don’t believe me, just check out the pictures for yourself, you can see your painted toes in water that is more reminiscent of a clear pool than an ocean. And travel out to the deep on one of the many dinner cruises offered from Seven-Mile spots and you can see how clear it is in the deep, from the safety of a boat.
Speaking of safety, the Island’s reputation for visitor safety has tourist traipsing out in all corners of the Island at night: the beach, the bars, and the streets. But don’t think Cayman is totally crime free: You can still get a ticket for driving on the wrong side of the road, as it is part of Great Britain, no less, causing many American tourist pause when they contemplate car rentals upon arriving. However, most tourist taxi or motorbike to where they want to go, since walking the entire Island is too much of a challenge. I should know; I’ve walked it and have the blisters to prove it!
So where should you stay and how should you get there? Delta offers the least expensive flights, rates varying all year long, but the best deals are after the crowds vacate. Think late March; early April or after summer, but before Thanksgiving. And book early for the best deal. It is a two-hour flight with Delta from Miami and you get a great view of Cuba’s topography as you fly over.
For accommodations, the best – and one of the most luxurious places to stay – is the Westin Casuarinas Resort and Day Spa. It is affordable if you sign-up first with Starwood Preferred Guest. If you do it now, you should have your 50% off coupon in time to go at the end of April (this Island Resort is one of the hotels where this coupon can be used, saving you half on your total nights stay). That is some discount! In addition, it affords you some other little hotel perks: complimentary newspapers, for one.
So what are you waiting for? Sign-up at Starwood today (http://www.starwood.com) and your dream vacation is just around the corner!