I had an opportunity to hop on the first Southwest Airlines flight to Grand Cayman. There was a huge party going on at Fort Lauderdale that day, since they were launching new flights to Montego Bay, Cancun, and Belize that day as well. The flight was an easy hour and thirty-five minute flight from Fort Lauderdale.
I usually rent cars thru National, but the prices for most rental cars were outrageous for that week in Grand Cayman! I ended up renting with Firefly, whose parent company is Hertz. The rates were $9 a day! Here’s the catch, if you do not buy their insurance, they put a huge hold on your credit card. If you buy all of their insurance, they only charge the rental plus insurance and you have the option of using a debit card. When I went to check in for the car, I asked for the full insurance. The rate ended up being about $48 a day, which was still cheaper than the next best rate for that week! I ended up in a brand new Hertz car too, and a slightly upgraded car.
It was about a short 15 minute drive to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Resort. This hotel was much cheaper than the other hotel on the Seven Mile Beach strip. The hotel is on the bay side of the small strip of land in the west of Grand Cayman, but you can see the rooftops of the larger hotel on Seven Mile Beach from the parking lot of the Holiday Inn. The drive to the beach is about 5 minutes, but the price difference can be hundreds of dollars. We ended up saving about $250 a night, just by staying on the bay side.
We ended up with a one bedroom suite, and it was awesome. It came with a balcony, full kitchen, and a washer/dryer in the room! The full kitchen came in handy to make light lunches and dinner, since food can be very expensive on Grand Cayman. There is also a nice restaurant at the hotel called Blue Iguana Grill. The food is very good and the prices are very reasonable! They also offer a kids eat free deal with one adult meal if you are staying at the Holiday Inn.
Seven Mile Beach is a long crescent of coral-sand beach on the western end of Grand Cayman. Seven Mile Beach is known for its beauty, recently receiving the honor of “The Caribbean’s Best Beach” from Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. The actual distance of Seven Mile Beach is 6.3 miles! The whole beachfront is public, but parking is at a premium for the most part. There is a public parking area right on the beach at Governors Beach, right by the Governor’s House. The water is warm and swimmable, as the waves as not intense. You could spend hours at Seven Mile Beach and never want to leave!