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Cruises to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Grand Cayman (Photo:Jo Ann Snover/Shutterstock)
Grand Cayman (Photo:Jo Ann Snover/Shutterstock)

About Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Imagine the stereotypical cruise port -- one with white-sand beaches, a plethora of duty-free shops selling jewels and liquor, and de rigueur water activities like snorkeling and scuba -- and Grand Cayman will likely come to mind. The cliche might just be based on the destination, with its lovely Seven Mile Beach, George Town's retail center and plenty of sites for diving, snorkeling and other water sports. Grand Cayman also celebrates marine life at Stingray City and the Cayman Turtle Farm, and even offers a twist on island paradise with the town of Hell (THE place from which to send the quintessential kitschy postcard).

Yet the cliche does have a negative side -- the crowds. It's not unusual to find five mega-ships (we're told there's been up to nine) docked in the harbor at the same time, which makes the tendering process slower than usual and the downtown streets jam-packed. (Building a cruise pier at which ships could berth is oft discussed, but it's never gone beyond the "pre-planning" stage.) The constant influx of cruise passengers keeps the waterfront restaurants bustling, so lunch in port is never a cheap affair. A stroll along the beach quickly turns into an obstacle course of sunbathing tourists, sandy children and water sports vendors.

Visitors have two choices -- embrace the crowds and touristy places with a laid-back island mindset, or escape them. Secluded beaches, like Cayman Kai or Rum Point, are a cab ride away, and even Seven Mile Beach has its less crowded spots. A mall at Governors Square offers designer clothes, housewares and even a healthy cafe for a refreshing change from shell necklaces and overpriced seafood. And the seemingly endless stretches of sea never feel too congested when you're swimming peacefully above coral formations.

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DAY 1: Tampa

14 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

14 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

13 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

9 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Cozumel, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Bonaire, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Cozumel, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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8 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Puerto Limon, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Key West, Costa Maya ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Cozumel ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Roatan ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Cozumel, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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6 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Roatan ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Key West, Puerto Plata ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Key West, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Labadee, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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8 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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7 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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56 Night
Cruise to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Leaving:
St. Maarten
Visiting:
Antigua, Sopers Hole ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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Why go to Grand Cayman (Georgetown)?

Pros:

Cruisers will find a pleasant mix of commercial kitsch and off-the-beaten-path fun

Cons:

Grand Cayman can be crowded, with many mega-ships often docking on the same day

Bottom Line:

This is a stereotypical Caribbean port; think beaches, shopping and big-box chain restaurants

Grand Cayman (Georgetown) Cruise Port Facilities?

All ships are currently required to anchor in the harbor and tender passengers on to the island. Ships tender passengers to one of two George Town docks (North or South), both of which are right in downtown George Town.

Good to Know?

Be cautious as you walk along Harbour Drive and Church Street, which only have sidewalks on one side of the street at some places. And, just as drivers need to heed left-side driving rules, pedestrians should stay alert for cars.

Getting Around?

On Foot: You'll be dropped a few steps from town, where you can easily walk to numerous shops and restaurants.

By Taxi: Cabs without meters are available at the dock. Rates are fixed and posted, but be sure to confirm the fare before the driver takes off. Most cabs are actually van-sized, and drivers may require a four-passenger minimum before they'll take you anywhere. A ride to Seagrape, a segment of beach on Seven Mile, is $5 per person, each way.

By Bus: You can hail mini-buses that shuttle passengers along the main routes. To hail one, respond with a wave when the driver toots his horn. The bus depot is next to the library (across from Heroes Square Fountain). There are stops next to popular attractions like Dolphin Discovery and Hell, but you may be taking the "scenic" ride when using the public bus (a good way to see the island).

By Car: Avis Cico offers one-day specials to cruise passengers and runs a courtesy shuttle between the port and the rental office (345-949-2468). Out at Seven Mile Beach, Andy's Rent A Car (345-949-8111) has good online discounts. There is a shopping plaza with multiple car rental agencies across from the airport. Americans are required to purchase inexpensive driving permits, but you can buy them at the rental office. Remember, Grand Cayman is a British overseas territory, so drive on the left.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Local currency is the Cayman Island dollar (visit xe.com for current rates), but U.S. dollars are also accepted throughout the island. The Cayman Islands are an international banking center, so finding a financial institution is not difficult. There are ATMs throughout downtown George Town.

Language?

English is the official language.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Destinations

Grand Cayman (Georgetown) Cruise Reviews

Carnival Conquest
beachbaby830
Sail Date: Jan 2020
I really enjoy Grand Cayman. If you are a first time visitor, you should go out to sting ray city. It is very educational and a lot of fun.... Read More
Celebrity Edge
etamu306
Sail Date: Mar 2020
Went to Royal Palms beach club. We rented a cabana. You don't get anything special for your money and our server was never around. The tip was added in but our server said it was for the cooks and restaurant so... Read More
Regal Princess
MikeB827
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Grand Cayman is always spectacular... Read More
Regal Princess
paba2016
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Snorkeling was scheduled, but canceled due to weather. Port was changed as well, so we were further from Georgetown than we would have been. Stayed on board the ship.... Read More
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