Club Getaway, Atlas Travel Vacations & Cruises’ vacation club, has announced its third trip giveaway of the year.
The Prize: Roundtrip air for two to Grand Cayman Island on American Airlines and a three-night stay at the exclusive Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa.
Every person who signs up for Club Getaway between August 15 and December 15, 2012, will be entered into the sweepstakes for this Grand Cayman trip. That is all you need to do. There is no purchase necessary to be a winner. Every current Club Getaway member is also automatically entered into the sweepstakes.
New to the Cayman Islands? Club Getaway Program Manager Marguerite DuBosque recently visited this great destination and wrote a fabulous travel review including history, culture and tips on relaxing in style. Find it below. Plus, click here to learn more about Club Getaway, and for more details on this amazing prize!
When all else fails to soothe, a trip to the Cayman Islands is sure to do the trick! These islands, a mere hour by air from Miami, are relaxing, serene, uncomplicated, tranquil, safe, and home to some of the friendliest people in the Caribbean.
The Cayman Islands are a British Crown Colony consisting of three separate islands. They measure just one hundred square miles in area, and they offer a superb combination of Caribbean charm and American efficiency.
Although visitors to these lovely islands have a wide choice of accommodations – ranging from international luxury hotels and million-dollar condominiums, to comfortable guest houses and dive resorts – I highly recommend staying at a property situated on world-famous Seven Mile Beach. This is where the “action” is, and it is absolutely one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. Graced with sugar white sand and crystalline waters, this beach is unspoiled, pristine, and invites all sorts of water sports, including snorkeling, parasailing, board sailing and water skiing. Or one can just find their own patch of paradise on the sand and sunbathe to their heart’s content.
Cayman is regarded as a world-class scuba diving destination, and diving excursions are conducted daily by over thirty professional diving organizations. Sportfishing is a huge hit in these islands, and the annual Million Dollar Month tournament continues to gain popularity among international fishermen.
For the landlubbers among us, golfers can tee off at the 18-hole Championship Links, or happily play tennis, squash, and other outdoor sports. The climate is tropical and divine, averaging 77-88°F year-round, perfect for tooling around the island, probably in an open-air, gaily-colored Jeep.
There are lots of fun places to visit on Grand Cayman, the largest and most popular of the Cayman Islands. One can spy traditional cottages with pink shutters and white picket fences, which line the meandering coastal roads. There are hidden beaches and secret coves, and fascinating geological landscapes to explore. A trip to the Cayman Turtle Farm is always interesting, and a popular excursion for young visitors.
Grand Cayman boasts a plethora of gourmet eateries, and it is home to some of the first truly gourmet restaurants in the entire Caribbean. Food connoisseurs will have a difficult time choosing from the selection of top-notch restaurants, offering sumptuous dishes from all over the world. The array of ethnic restaurants is mind-boggling, with Italian, Indian, Mexican, Thai, and Chinese establishments offering their delicacies. Luckily it doesn’t matter what your food budget is, as there is a restaurant for everyone.
Cayman has always been known for first-rate shopping, offering some of the world’s best perfumes, jewelry, watches, crystal, and china – all at duty-free prices. A trip to Grand Cayman is simply not complete without a visit to the fine shops in downtown Georgetown.
The Cayman Islands are a dream come true for the traveler seeking a haven of refuge. It enjoys the highest per capita income in the Caribbean, and an equally high standard of living. English is the official language, and even the water is safe to drink! What more could one ask?
- Area Codes – The area code for all of the Cayman Islands is 345.
- Banks – There are approximately 600 banks in the Cayman Islands. You should have no problem finding an ATM here.
- Business Hours – Normally, banks are open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 2:30pm and Friday from 9am to 1pm and 2:30 to 4:30pm. Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, but hours can vary greatly.
- Electricity – Electricity on the Cayman Islands is 110-volt AC (60 cycles), so U.S. and Canadian appliances will not need adapters or transformers.
- Etiquette & Customs – You should pay attention to dress codes in the Cayman Islands, as it still remains a “proper” British crown colony, and its residents are often conservative in dress and manners. Avoid wearing bathing suits or scanty beachwear outside a beach area or cruise ship. Cover up in public areas, especially when walking and sightseeing on the streets of George Town. There are no nude beaches, and public nudity, including topless bathing, is strictly prohibited by law.
- Internet Access – Most large resorts and hotels have Internet access. You can also access the Internet at Café del Sol/ Team Café.
- Language – English is the official language of the islands.
- Liquor Laws – The legal drinking age is 18. Beer, wine, and liquor are sold at most grocery and convenience stores Monday to Saturday. It is legal to have an open container on the beach.
- Smoking – Smoking is not regulated as carefully in the Cayman Islands as it is in certain cities of the U.S. However, most hotels, at least the big ones, set aside some rooms for nonsmokers. Restaurants often lack sections set aside for nonsmokers. When being shown to a table, inform the captain or waiter that you want a table as far away from the smoke as possible.
- Taxes – A government tourist tax of 10% is added to your hotel bill. A departure tax of CI$10 (US$13) is collected when you leave the Caymans, and this tax is included in your plane fare. There is no tax on goods and services.
- Time Zone – U.S. Eastern Standard Time is in effect year-round; daylight saving time is not observed.
- Tipping – Most restaurants add a 10% to 15% charge in lieu of tipping, so check your bill carefully. Hotels also often add a 10% service charge to your bill. Taxi drivers expect a 10% to 15% tip.
- Water – The water in the Cayman Islands is, for the most part, safe to drink. Two desalination plants on Grand Cayman supply good-quality purified tap water to the entire West End, including Seven Mile Beach.