Grand Cayman Island Vacation Diary + Travel Guide

I have to admit, when my mother-in-law Yana invited me to join her on a girls’ trip with my sister-in-law Rachel to Grand Cayman Island last month, it wasn’t an immediate “yes!” Before having Adina, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought - after all, my life motto is #YOLO. But as a new mom, I started running through the list of reasons it would be easier not to go… How would Adina sleep while we’re away? What would the flight be like with a six month old? Feeding her would be harder since we started solid foods. It would be the longest time we were ever away from Michael. And the list went on… 

But after a quick pep talk from Michael, I knew everything would be fine and I couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity. So to Grand Cayman we went! Yana, Rachel, Adina, and I spent 5 days and 4 nights on the island and it was so beautiful! We stayed at the Beach House by Marriott, which was the perfect vacation getaway! From the moment we arrived and were greeted by delicious mango welcome drinks, I knew we were staying at a little slice of paradise! 

My sister Jess had been to Grand Cayman Island twice before and gave us some great restaurant and travel recommendations:

Da Fish Shack: A tastefully rustic "waterfront chill spot” with a Caribbean vibe, Da Fish Shack makes guests feel as though they are visiting the home of good friends rather than eating at a restaurant. Da Shack offers an array of fresh, locally caught seafood as well as sandwiches, hamburgers & steaks.

Brasserie: Cayman's leader of the field-to-fork, or rather sea-to-fork, movement, The Brasserie is celebrated for being a sustainable cooking innovator. The restaurant’s links with the finest local growers, thriving kitchen garden, and very own deep sea fishing boat keep things fresh every day.

Anchor & Den: With its original design and ultimate comfort food menu, Anchor and Den offers diners an innovative, authentic environment. It uses locally sourced products to create memorable experience through fun food and eclectic cocktails. 

Royal Palms: Beach club + restaurant by day, Bar + dance club by night, Royal Palms has live entertainment on their oceanfront patio almost every night from 9pm- 1am. Just a short walk from our hotel, Rachel and I checked out the live DJ one night and had so much fun dancing the night away. Great place for happy hour and watching the sunset on the beach.  

Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market: This weekly market is open every Wednesday from 12-7pm in the Camana Bay shopping plaza (which has over 40 shops and restaurants) and includes growers and purveyors offering fresh produce, speciality foods, gifts, jewelry, skincare products, crafts, teas, flowers, jellies, seasonings and more. From 3pm onwards, the Market is infused with entertainment, ranging from live music and artists creating their craft in real time, to cultural demonstrations of thatch weaving, rope making, conch blowing, soldier crab racing and traditional games.

Salsa @ The Wharf: The Wharf is a waterfront restaurant that marks the beginning of 7 mile beach. It offers beautiful views, yummy food, and nightly entertainment. Every Tuesday, you can dine and dance the night away there. “Salsa King,” Kirk offers free salsa dance lessons from 9:30pm-12:30am.

Stingray/Snorkel Tour: This was by far one of the best highlights from our trip! While grandma watched Adina for a few hours, Rachel and I went on a snorkel excursion with Captain Marvin charter boat tours. The two-stop trip goes to the Stingray City sandbar plus one snorkel stop, either the Barrier Reef or the Coral Gardens. The vibrant underwater life in the coral reef was breathtaking, full of many different types of fish and beautiful colors! When we got to stingray city, there were SO many stingrays all over!  Although I was scared to swim so close to the stingrays (after all, they do have the word “sting” in their name), I quickly got over my fear when I saw how cute and friendly they were. I loved holding, touching, and even kissing the stingrays! This is a MUST-DO if you come to Grand Cayman!

Other fun memories:

  • Adina tried watermelon for the first time and LOVED it! It was so cute to watch her suck out the watermelon juice.

  • The water was so clear and warm. We took Adina swimming - she kicked and splashed like a little fish. If she’s anything like her papa, she’ll be swimming like a fish in no time!

  • Our room had a view of the beach so we could watch the sunset - so beautiful!

  • I got up early with Adina each morning (because of the time difference, she would get up around 5:30 am) and we would go for a walk on the beach to watch the sunrise.

  • Loved the yummy crepes and smoothies at the hotel. We coincidentally met up with a local mom + baby group while enjoying our breakfast one morning!

  • Loved relaxing on the beach everyday and taking time to swim and read and unwind.

I am so grateful that I got to go on this special ladies’ trip and make so many wonderful memories with Adina and our family.