A dream vacation to idyllic Grand Cayman isn’t just about ocean breezes and cool drinks beneath a swaying palm tree but an opportunity eat, explore and shop in a true tropical paradise. In fact, with its unique and robust marketplace, vibrant locals and tranquil demeanor, Grand Cayman is so much more than just a picturesque oasis. Cruisers planning a vacation to Grand Cayman – especially first-time visitors – will be absolutely delighted with the many memorable items available for purchase near the port of call.
With its bustling streets and endless pleasantries, George Town – Grand Cayman’s port of call – makes it easy to find items that will surely make your cruise to Grand Cayman one you won’t soon forget. From the most exotic brand names to inexpensive trinkets and gifts that scream character and curiosity, shopping in Grand Cayman offers something for everyone and every budget.
1. Duty-Free Jewelry
Although George Town boasts retail space for many of the most well-known jewelers in the world, it’s the local jewelry artisans that might just catch your eye and heart. Often using caymanite, a semi-precious stone with a marble-like appearance that is native to the island, jewelry makers living throughout the Cayman Islands let their imaginations and creativity run wild with the wares they sell throughout George Town.
Much like the local jewelers, Grand Cayman is filled with artisans that design and create different arts and crafts out of everything from leather and seashells to coral and native wood. For cruisers looking for something unique to Grand Cayman that begs for its story to be told, George Town and its outskirts are filled with locally made arts and crafts, including wall hangings, souvenirs, trinkets and nearly anything else the local beauty might have inspired within the artist.
Again taking full advantage of local ingredients, the food you’ll find throughout Grand Cayman is saturated with a local flair, no matter the dish or occasion. From gourmet sea salt created from saltwater along the Grand Cayman coast to a variety of hot sauces infused with chili peppers grown within the region, every meal can be a memorable one when eating in Grand Cayman. Don’t forget to cap off the meal with some salt water taffy or toffee cake made locally by sweet tooth enthusiasts.
Only second to those sun soaked beaches and swaying palm trees, Grand Cayman has also become synonymous with its world-class rum. Made from local ingredients according to recipes and techniques handed down over many generations, local rum makers take pride in the quality they are able to include with each and every bottle.
5. Rum Cake
Of course, the locally-crafted rum isn’t just for enjoying a beachside drink but for all sorts of dishes as well. Rum cake is sold throughout Grand Cayman and uses the local spirits to give its sweetness a unique twist that makes it special to the region. Although you can find rum cake in different locations throughout the Caribbean, only Grand Cayman rum cake uses the locally distilled rum as its secret weapon. Your taste buds will thank you.
6. Outlet Shopping
Given its unique international flair, filled both with vacationers and residents alike from all over the world, it only stands to reason that Grand Cayman would be a mecca for shopping among some of the most popular and prestigious brands in the world. No matter if it’s your first visit to Grand Cayman or your tenth, you’ll never get tired of the selection and prices you’ll find throughout the many outlet shopping centers in George Town and other cities on the island. Consider yourself warned, however, as browsing everything from high-end jewelry and designer bags to fine china and couture clothing can be found both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.
7. Antiques and Historical Items
With a rich history that stems back even before colonial times, Grand Cayman is steeped in antiques and artifacts that you simply cannot find anywhere else. With a wide selection of rare coins, handcrafted furniture, and historical items salvaged from the many shipwrecks that lie at the bottom of the Caribbean, Grand Cayman’s antique stores provide you ample opportunity to find something truly memorable and historic to take home with you.
8. Postcards From Hell
Part novelty, part intrigue, the famous natural limestone formations fittingly known as “Hell” will leave you with a curious sense of awe. Roughly the size of a baseball field, the blacked pillars of limestone extrusions will make you feel like you stepped into a parallel universe. When coupled with the local lore surrounding the foreboding terrain, your visit to Hell will provide a perfect and memorable counterbalance to the white sands that await you back near George Town. While there, take the opportunity to send postcards from the local post office to your family and friends. A card postmarked from Hell is sure to be a conversation starter.
Aside from the overwhelming natural beauty of the island, Grand Cayman also offers cruisers the opportunity to sample local wares as well as huge name brands throughout George Town and its outskirts. When deciding what to buy in Grand Cayman, take advantage of the amazing selection of retail stores throughout the island to make your cruise even more special and unique.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.