March 24, 2006
Morritts Tortuga Grand Cayman 2006
We're back. We're here for two weeks. A penthouse this week and a one bedroom next week. The place is improving post Ivan, they have started on the ocean side unit that they demolised after Ivan, the floor slabs are going in now. Davids is still under construction and looks complete from the outside now but still no dock.
They seem to be replacing furniture in the units, we're in 3000 units this week. Wireless internet is now available but you gotta pay. 8 CI for an hour, 12CI for a day, 75CI for a week. Speedwise it's good, I get 200kb/sec over a wireless 54G connection from my unit. It's annoying that they are charging for internet, I'd prefer it to have been free.
Unitwise, our unit was worse for wear in October but the unit this time has been painted but still had some blemishes on the walls. They also removed a dresser from the second bedroom which is annoying as it was handy space for the girls. The cooker etc are the same ones and look very old now, spiral electric jobs. I wish they'd improve them. But, the unit is still spacious and very comfortable (1300 sqft).
The pools are all working, the grand pool is very nice with an invisible horizon on to the ocean. The gym is ok but a couple of pieces are broken and there is only one running/jogging machine. We started just running on the road, early in the morning there isn't much traffic.
Traffic is pretty bad around seven mile beach, we took 17 minutes at 12:30pm to drive south down the road to the airport turn off. They really need a wider road there. There are quite a few idiots elsewhere with cars trying to kill themselves and anybody else unlucky enough to be close to them. There are a lot of heavy trucks moving loads of rocks around. Wouldn't want to run in to one of those.
We rented a Suzuki XL7 from Thrifty this time, 1200 plus insurance for 12 days. Gasoline is expensive, 60US for a tankful.
Crime wise, the Island seems to be better. We've seen more police cars during our first week than we've seen in 8 years of coming here. Personally, while sad it's needed, I like it. From the papers etc, most crime seems to be white collar or burglary type stuff.
There is still a lot of damage from Ivan. The Cracked Conch seems to be shut down which is a shame. The turtle farm has moved across the road and looks very impressive compared with the old pre ivan one.
Food or dining out is as expensive as ever. Lunch for a family of 4 is at least 60 US, breakfast is 40, dinner is well over a 100. We buy groceries at Hurleys just east of Georgetown and spend probably 400 US a week on food which is a lot better than eating out every day. The grocery store in the Royal Reef beside the Morrits is ridiculously priced. 8US for 1/2 gallon of milk. Head to Hurleys if you have a car, it's much cheaper. There is a strip mall being built on the other side of the road from the Royal Reef, one section looks like it'll be a grocery so maybe that will mean it's not worth the 40 minute trip to Hurleys next time. Please don't make it another sunglasses shop...
The Rum point restaurant is one of the best values on the island, especially for dinner, 60 bucks. They have nice fish and rice dishes. Chicken Chicken is good also, a feast for 4 is 25CI but you can get the same thing at the Deli in Hurleys for 15CI and just bring it home. Quiznos is good value as is Subway. Most of the restaurants are very expensive as mentioned above.
We went to Sting ray city with Red sail and that was very nice. The boat wasn't crowded. Some of the boats were incredibly crowed at the city, almost a person per square foot, packed. Not very comfortable and I hope they are taking safety seriously, a lot of the boats looked a little too crowded for comfort.
Rum point is wonderful as usual, good food, and the beach is just awesome. The kids love it. So basically, enjoying it but it's expensive. The flights are a big cost, Grand Cayman simply isn't a cheap place to fly unless you're at a Hub and even then it's 1400-1500 for a family of 4. Car rental is 800 a week for a SUV/Minivan and then there's food/gas etc. Anyway, I'm here and so far it's a success but I reckon next year, we'll do Florida, same weather, american prices for car rental, cheap flights, cheap food, kids probably won't even notice the difference, a pool is a pool at their ages.
The Royal Reef Resort next to Morritts is still building more units. While the units themselves are very nice, I don't like the way it's laid out. Morritts has like 5 buildings around a pool. You can see the kids in the pool from the balconies. The Royal Reef units are laid out side to side making this view kind of difficult. They are also building condos starting at 160k USD for a 3 month share. Full 2 bedroom condos are 569K.
March 24, 2006 | Permalink