Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grand Cayman

Friday, Jan 7 – Arrived in Grand Cayman to sunshine and winds so we were not able to tender directly in to Georgetown. Grand Cayman government provided the tenders and we were banging against the pier as we docked. We are about 3 miles east of Georgetown and the island also provided a free shuttle to town. Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas ship was next to us… a huge behemoth next to the lovely Amsterdam!

We met up with Martha, manager of the Bernard Passman Galleries on Front Street, who is also from Delaware! Unique black coral sculptures and beautifully designed jewelry – you will be amazed by the sculptures! On the way there, we passed a lovely shop called Island Companies and received a replica medallion from the treasure of a sunken ship from long ago. And for the first time, I saw the stone Caymanite. It comes in a variety of lovely soft pastel earth colors (sold in jewelry form or sculpted. I really liked it! Bobett was our sales associate, so put her on your list for future visits to Grand Cayman! It is only found in the Cayman Islands and was formed 20-25 million years ago from volcanic activity.
They are located in the Island Plaza, right off the main street where tenders usually dock. Martha put us in touch with the old Starbucks café and we spent most of the day there using Skype and working. Felt great to accomplish so much in a quicker time than from onboard the ship.

We walked around Heroes Square, created in 2003, on the 500th anniversary of the island. And toured their General Assembly!! Lovely slate walls and slate desk where the mace is stored. The traditional British wigs are still worn and they represent approx. 50,000 people in their part-time legislature.

Grand Cayman is a British colony with no taxation. This was granted by king George III as a reward to the people for the rescue of all in the Wrecking of Ten ships”, which took place in 1788. This has attracted over 600 banks to the island with a population of 44,000. The country is also listed among the top four diving locations in the world.

As we tendered back to the ship, we could see the special insignia Holland America had painted on the front of the ship!! GRAND WORLD VOYAGE 2011. That was impressive!! Announcing loud and clear to all who care to know!

The sun was shining, we prepared for dinner and were called to find a lost guest who had not been heard from since 2PM. Searched each deck and found her asleep in the back of the ship. Relief.
Dinner of lamb chops and a very good dance trio, the STANDER DANCE TRIO, who have appeared on Dancing with the Stars and other professional dance shows.
Room status: only paperwork is now scattered around the room. All suitcases have been stored under the bed OR in storage on the ship. One gold star for that accomplishment! Now to clear out the paperwork and get on to enjoying the moment!