Which airlines offer regular, direct flights to Grand Cayman from the United States and from which cities?
There are daily flights from Miami (Cayman Airways, American Airlines), Tampa, (Cayman Airways), Atlanta (Delta Airlines), Philadelphia and Charlotte, NC (US Air). As well, there are direct flights from Detroit (Northwest Airlines — seasonal), Houston (Continental Airlines) and Chicago (Cayman Airways and United Airlines). Cayman Airways offers three direct flights a week from New York (JFK). And, US Airways has announced a weekly direct flight from Boston every Saturday, beginning on January 12th 2008. Direct flights on Cayman Airways from Dallas, Texas are to begin on June 23rd 2012. JetBlue is to begin direct flights from Boston and New York in November 2012. On June 4th 2017, Southwest Airlines began daily, year-round direct flights from Fort Lauderdale at discounted fares.
Are there direct flights from elsewhere in the world (i.e., from elsewhere than the USA)?
There are daily flights from Kingston, Jamaica (Cayman Airways). As well, there are a number of flights a week from London (British Airways, via Nassau), Havana, Cuba (Cayman Airways), Montego Bay, Jamaica (Cayman Airways), La Ceiba, Honduras (Cayman Airways) and Toronto, Canada (Air Canada and WestJet). Cayman Airways began regular, twice-weekly direct flights to Panama in May 2012, but cancelled the route shortly after.
How do we get to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman?
Everyone generally flies to the Sister Islands (Little Cayman and Cayman Brac) and we don’t know of any accessible sea link — unless you charter a boat privately. Island Air and Cayman Airways are your only options. Another popular destination for a “side trip” from Grand Cayman is Cuba, with several direct flights a week on Cayman Airways.
Do we need to change money before or upon arrival -- at a bank?
No, US cash, travellers’ cheques and major credit cards are accepted everywhere on the island, and at the same exchange rate as at the local banks. The Cayman Islands dollar (CI$) is worth US$1.25 — US$1.00 is worth CI$0.80. This is a fixed rate, not subject to currency market fluctuations. We suggest that you reconvert any CI$ you have left into US$ before departing, as not all banks outside of the Cayman Islands will purchase our currency.
What is the CAN$ worth in Cayman?
Consult our website money converter for Canadian, US and other currencies.And, keep in mind that there’s a slight advantage in bringing US$ travellers’ cheques rather than cash — you’ll get CI$0.82 (instead of CI$0.80) for each US dollar, but only at a local bank.
Do we need adaptors or transformers for our electrical devices?
Not if you’re from the USA or Canada — all electrical outlets are 110VAC, 60 cycles. If you’re from elsewhere, and your devices are dual-voltage (110VAC/240VAC), we have a good selection of plug adaptors at the Inn that will work with local outlets. We can also lend you a low-wattage transformer with which you can use a number of small, 220-240VAC devices (e.g., electric razors, toothbrushes, radios, phone chargers, etc.).
Is it the same time in the Cayman Islands and the USA?
Like the east coast of the USA (e.g., New York, Washington, Miami), the Cayman Islands are on Eastern Standard Time (EST), with no time difference between October and April. But, since we don’t adjust our clocks for Daylight Saving Time, there is an hour difference between mid-April and mid-October. During those months, it’s an hour earlier here.
Do US citizens have to have a passport to enter the Cayman Islands?
Yes, they do. Technically, you can enter with either a sworn affidavit prepared by a Justice of the Peace (or Notary Public), or a birth certificate along with photo identification. But, since January 23rd 2007, the US Department of Homeland Security requires that all travellers re-entering the US from the Caribbean by air, carry passports. As such, unless you’re a legal resident of the Cayman Islands, the airlines will not let you board your flight from the USA without a passport.
Can we bring alcohol and cigarettes into the Cayman Islands?
To the best of our knowledge, all arriving passengers aged 18 years or older may bring with them up to one litre of spirits or four litres of wine or one case of beer (not exceeding eight litres). They can also bring in up to two hundred cigarettes or one hundred cigarillos or twenty-five cigars or two hundred and fifty grammes of tobacco. While alcohol is more pricey here, cigarettes are actually less costly on Grand Cayman than in most US states.
Are public holidays the same in Cayman as in the USA?
Although some are the same, like Christmas, and of course New Year’s Day, etc., many are not. There’s no Independence Day, President’s Day, etc. You can find the official list of holidays at the website of the Cayman Islands government. Supermarkets are closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Opening hours are limited on all other public holidays, from 9:00am to 6:00pm (instead of the normal 7:00am to 11:00pm.
Do you recommend renting our own vehicle a car or jeep?
We’re certain that you’ll get more out of your vacation with your own vehicle — and save money as well! There’s really no other way to fully explore the island and have access to the full range of restaurants, including the more reasonably-priced ones. Grocery shopping at the supermarkets is difficult without a car. And, renting one for pick-up right at the airport is simple and affordable, given the discounted rates we’ve negociated. Other than the fun of open-air driving, there’s no need for a jeep — roads are good, there are no mountains, and driving on the beach is illegal.
Do we need a local driving permit?
Yes, but getting one is just a formality. The car rental agency will issue you a temporary driving permit for about US$20.00 (per driver), simply upon presentation of a valid driving permit from your home country. It’s valid for six months, and no driving test is required.
Anything to rent on two wheels, like a moped, scooter, or bike?
Yes, they are available. We don’t have rates posted at our website and don’t recommend them because of safety concerns — there’s a high incidence of serious accidents involving tourists on scooters. And, although we have had guests who’ve arrived with their own bicycles and survived some long-distance biking on the island, there are no cycle paths, quite a bit of truck traffic, and most roads have just one lane in each direction.
Are taxis a viable alternative to renting a car?
Taxis are available, particularly at the airport, but phoning for one from elsewhere can be frustrating. And cab fare is very pricey. At about US$45 fare from the airport to the Inn (one way), renting a car for the whole day will cost you considerably less during low season — and a couple of dollars more during high season.
Is there regular bus service on Grand Cayman?
Public transportation is fairly efficient during working hours, with buses usually every 30 minutes and a bus stop right next to the Inn. The bus from the Inn will take you to the central terminus in George Town, with a transfer and additional fare required to go on to anywhere along Seven Mile Beach. But service is limited to the island’s main road, and sporadic during evenings and weekends, with no service to the airport.
Can we be picked-up at the airport?
We regret that we can’t. Hotels are prevented from picking up guests at the airport by local regulations adopted to protect island taxi drivers. And, the public transportation system does not include the aiport. Other than a taxi, the only option is a rental car.
Can we use our own cell phone while in the Cayman Islands?
Some guests with a wide-range roaming or satellite-based service have been able to use their phones, but you’re best to check ahead with your cell service provider. If it doesn’t work here, you’ll have to go to a local phone company for connection and buy a “Pay as You Go” phone card sold in various denominations. Of course, your best bet is to leave your phone at home — and check out our “World Phone” plan (see link far left).
Grand Cayman vacations have to be very expensive?
Although Cayman does tend to be a more “upscale” tourist destination, you don’t have to be wealthy to vacation here. Once you’ve shopped around for affordable airfare, choose reasonably priced accommodations with a kitchen (like our Inn). Even if you dine out in the evenings, you’ll save a lot on breakfasts, lunches, drinks and snacks. If your holiday period is flexible, check out our “Package Specials” and “Late Summer/Fall Rates”.
What's the weather like on Grand Cayman what about hurricane season?
The weather here is typically sunny, warm and beautiful, all year round. It’s hottest between mid-July and mid-September, and it’s rarely below 80°F during even “winter” days, when evenings can drop as low as 70°F. There’s usually little rain, even during the rainy/hurricane season (June 1st to October 31st). With a couple of (serious) exceptions, hurricanes this century have been very rare. If visiting between August and October, you might consider travel insurance, to cover the cost of both airfare and hotel.