Finally, after what felt like 100 years my family got to take the most amazing trip all together for longer than 2 days!! It was a dream vacation to The Cayman Islands!! This is one we will never forget and it went a little something like this…
On Friday we woke up super early and headed to the airport. Twelve hours and two fights later we arrived in The Cayman Islands. We were also lucky enough to be staying at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. We got in late, but early enough to order room service after we checked in. Our room was a beautiful suite with three bedrooms and a full professional kitchen. The kids of course ran around claiming rooms and screaming with excitement. We basically had a three bedroom condo on the beach. Each room had sliding doors that opened up to the ocean. I knew they were going to have to kick us out after spoiling us like this…it was soo amazing!
The next morning and every morning after that, we ate breakfast at “Seven.” Seven is one of the many fabulous restaurants offered at The Ritz Carlton. The kids were always excited in the morning to get to breakfast before our days had even started. The breakfast buffet was out of this world.
That first day after breakfast, Finn, Mila, and Emma took a cooking class which is part of the Kids Culinary Capital of the Caribbean program. The program is designed to give kids a chance to explore and get hands on with DIY cooking classes and interactive culinary experiences. They made banana bread, fried plantains, and pizza. In addition to all the cooking, they got to drink fresh water straight from a coconut. Finn told me it was the most fun he’d ever had, even with three year olds (that melted my heart). The experience definitely lived up to what it had promised, that being “make your own chef’s hat and don your apron for an adventure in cooking. Blend and cook your way to some delicious local delicacies. Go behind the scenes at Andiamo kitchen, and visit our very own organic garden.” For more information on this tasteful adventure, click HERE
After their cooking class, our whole family spent the rest of the day on the beach and in the sun until it was time to eat dinner. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stay anywhere else if I can’t walk right out of my patio doors to the beach. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this is with two three year olds.
For dinner we ate at Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant which is in a newly redeveloped Cayman Islands Yacht Club and has a beautiful waterfront setting. The food was delicious, I ordered the best surf & turf I’ve ever had. They have a great variety of food both from the land and from the sea.
Before arriving in Grand Cayman we were concerned about bad weather, but only one day was really affected by it. It happened to be Sunday, but we still made the best of it. When the rain would let up we would hit the beach and the pool for a small amount of time until the weather would get bad again. When it was raining we stayed inside and found fun activities to do. I shopped at the gift shops. They had the most amazing selection. Honestly I haven’t been to a resort with better shopping.
The kids were all constantly entertained during our stay and found many other children to play and make friends with. Amongst them was Miller, who’s parents were Anthony and Jeany. It was so awesome meeting them and from that point on we pretty much did everything together. We all ate at Ristorante Ragazzi, which is an Italian Pizzeria & Restaurant. We had a great experience there with yummy food for both adults and children. The staff at Ragazzi’s was so friendly and truly wanted our experience to be memorable.
On Monday, all of the kids joined in for another cooking class in Camana Bay. Camana Bay is the town center near The Ritz Carlton and has great shopping, a movie theater and many other spots to explore. They have kid friendly fountains, a 75 foot observation tower, and underwater mosaics. Click HERE for more details on this fun destination for both adults and children.
The kids all loved the cooking class at Bon Vivant as part of the Kids Culinary Capital of the Caribbean program. They decorated cupcakes and made waffles. Mila and Emma had as much fun cooking as they did eating all the decorations. Mila ate about a half package of marshmallows. The store itself was fantastic too! They offered the coolest kitchen gadgets and appliances. I would definitely recommend checking out their website, if you love being in the kitchen!
After spending time in Camana Bay, we drove to the Cayman Crystal Caves, which was one of our favorite experiences while on vacation. The caves are located in a tropical forest in Northside, Grand Cayman and are the newest nature tourist attractions that the island has to offer. I’ve never seen the kids soo in awe! Although Mila was a tad scared at first but within a few minutes was having a blast naming all the structures she saw.
After touring the caves we ate dinner at a fun restaurant in Camana Bay called the Waterfront Urban Diner. It was like having a home cooked meal. Just what we were wanting too after a long day.
Tuesday was another day in the sun. We spent most of it at the beach and by the pool. The girls got a nap in between but woke up ready to change swim suits and had back out. The girls were obsessed with building sand castles but still too afraid to get to close to the water, which honestly was okay with me.
At night we went to dinner at Taikun inside the Ritz Carlton. Taikun offers a fuse of fresh sushi with authentic ingredients. Sushi is Kaitlin’s favorite and needless to say she at it quite often while on the island.
After dinner the hotel set up a campfire for the kids so that they could roast marshmallows and make s’mores. This was soo amazingly special. The weather was amazing and the setup felt so peaceful. Music was playing from a nearby beach party. That night I knew it was going to be hard to leave. It was such a magical night. I literally looked around and thought to myself “we could totally live here.”
The next day my husband unfortunately had to leave to go back home, but the kids and I went with our new friends Jeany and Anthony on a boat to Stingray City. Stingray City offers everything from snorkeling to sandbars and all of the crew members have at least fifteen years of experience handling stingrays. It was a great day filled with so many new discoveries for the kids. I was in shock because even Emma jumped in the water off of the boat, she didn’t stay in long but still. The boat itself was so beautiful and our private crew were the nicest people. They wanted our experience to be perfect and made it very apparent. We were on the water for about five hours and saw stingrays and starfish and also docked the boat and ate on the island, which had delicious fresh food for us.
The next morning involved even more sea life. We partook in a turtle release with the Cayman Turtle Center and released the turtles on the beach in front of The Ritz Carlton. Since the turtle release program has been implemented, there have been increased sightings of green sea turtles by divers and residents along the coast. It was so exciting for all of us to be a part of something so beautiful and helpful to the environment.
Our last full day was spent by the pool and on the beach, relaxing and enjoying our last hours in Grand Cayman. At night we ate dinner again in Camana Bay at restaurant called Mizu Asian Bistro + Bar which offered great Asian food…it was fantastic! We ate outside and the weather was perfection.
Our vacation to Grand Cayman ended too quickly and we were all sad to leave so soon. Our experience at the Ritz Carlton was one to be remembered, and we all left with such great memories. We hope to return soon, and also that these tips are helpful to anyone who is planning to travel to Grand Cayman or now wants to! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Visit Cayman Islands: great resource to learn about the island and for things to do on the island.