Costa Atlantica: Grand Cayman + Buyer Beware

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We anchored off Grand Cayman around 7am and got ready to get off the ship early. Because I didn’t have an excursion in port I was able to get off the ship early and head to downtown. When I stepped off the ship and onto the tender the territory looked very unfamiliar to me. Turns out that the wind was kicking the waves up off Georgetown (downtown area) so we had to anchor off another side of the island where the wind wasn’t as bad. The waves were still choppy but not as bad as on the other side of the island.

The ride from our new disembarkation point to Georgetown was about a 10-minute ride on the taxi. It was a flat rate of $5 and they crammed us in there like sardines. Grand Cayman is so much different than the other ports because there’s no begging from anyone. The shop owners don’t even hound you when you walk by the shop. You can tell it is a very wealthy and classy island.

I walked down to a place called Paradise, a nice waterfront dining venue with free wifi and a great view so I stayed for a couple of hours. I’ve never been to Margaritaville in Grand Cayman so I walked over there to check it out all. Jimmy Buffett is a marketing genius. He has a venue at every cruise port and knows how to keep the guests there and coming back.

The menu at Margaritaville was in Cayman Island dollars and not USD. Turns out that one American dollar is equivalent to 80-cents Cayman Island dollar. So the US dollar is weaker than their dollar. It really threw me off because I wasn’t expecting that when it came time to pay, in my head I figured the tab would be around $24 but because the menu was in Cayman Island dollars, it was $39.81 (15% gratuity was included too). I would say that is definitely a buyer beware type thing.

The tender ride back to the ship was a little calmer than going to land.

Dinner tonight was great. Everyone showed up and we had great conversation. I went with the shrimp cocktail, veggie soup, cheese plate and roasted duck, all great. They had cheesecake for dessert and it was OK. When I left for dinner I made a bonehead mistake. I put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on my door instead of the ‘Please Make Room.’

After dinner we all had a note in our daily program:

Dear Guest,

We inform you that tomorrow, February the 13th 2012 at Noon there will be a one minute’s moment of silence in memory of the victims of the accident that occurred one month ago onboard Costa Concordia.

Captain Paolo Viscafe will announce the beginning of the silence over the loudspeaker.

We thank you for your participation.

Navigational Highlights:

Navigating into the Caribbean Sea on a south west course at 12 knots. The average depth of the water here is 15,600’.

Tomorrow is our day at sea. As I type this the ship is rocking, it started getting noticeable around 10pm.
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