Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Author Archives: Linder

Gustav grazes The Reef!!

Good afternoon everyone and thank you for all of the wonderful emails and messages from all of our Reef friends and ‘extended family’ wishing us well through Gustav!

Firstly, we are very thankful to advise that we are all safe and well and that The Reef only received very minor damages on the beachfront and dock areas due to the high waves. Clean up is in progress and, thanks to our amazing maintenance crew, over 70% of the beach and one of our pools is back in perfect condition already! In fact, due to the high waves, we have gained additional beach again which is great news for all of our guests as this adds to our already massive beachfront, even more space to find that secluded spot!!

I have taken some photos around the resort this morning to give you all an idea of how we are doing.

As you can see, our tennis court was an oversized sand pit for a day and our pools have been
pumped out and cleaned ready for action!!
With our brand new hurricane shutters protecting our all beachfront rooms throughout the resort and a very proactive team here at The Reef, clean up will be a breeze!!!

Therefore, to set your mind at ease, we are open for business and all should be completely back to normal within a couple of days! We look forward to seeing you soon!!

Happy Holidays from the reservations elves!

Season’s greetings to all of our lovely guests, friends and future guests from The Reef Reservations Elves!!

We decided to send you a little cheer from Cayman, please click on the following link:
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1484588312

We hope you have a wonderful, safe and fun holiday season!!

Linda, Sandra, Brian and Penny !

Cuban migrant boat stops briefly at The Reef dock

It was with very mixed emotions that guests and staff alike witnessed the latest Cuban migrant boat to pass through the waters of Cayman, making a very brief stop here at The Reef Resort’s dock yesterday afternoon.

The nine men and one woman were in good health and, despite being at sea for 9 days in what seemed to be a very unstable vessel, they expressed their wish to the authorities via our Cuban expat staff member, Enrique, to carry on with their journey to Honduras where family members were awaiting their arrival.

Most of our guests expressed extreme concern and were donating food, water and anything that they could think of in an effort to help make the treacherous journey a little better. We gave them fresh water and fruit, warm bread and diesel fuel to continue with their journey. The occupants of the boat were very grateful and sailed away with about 50 onlookers waving and wishing them luck.

Our guests had many questions, the main one being, why are they being allowed to continue?

According to Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson, Cayman has not granted refugee status to anyone since 1994 when a group of 43 Cuban migrants were given asylum. Mr. Manderson has said Cubans arriving here by boat are generally economic migrants, not refugees. Currently, the Cayman Islands Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Cuba, signed in 1999, states that Cuban migrants who enter Cayman illegally are sent back to their home country.

Under current guidelines, the Cayman Islands government does not provide any assistance to Cuban migrants who show up in vessels off shore. However, those migrants are given the option of continuing on with their journey even if the water craft they travel in is clearly not seaworthy. If the occupants are deemed physically unable to continue or express the wish to be repatriated, or it is very obvious that the vessel will not make it, the Cayman authorities will take them ashore and they will be repatriated after a short spell here in Cayman.
According to the report: “The vessels used by Cuban migrants, even if repaired and made notionally seaworthy, are either makeshift or extremely old and are still at risk during what all are agreed is an extremely dangerous journey.
“If a vessel, which has been patched up with the assistance of the Cayman Islands government was to then encounter difficulties, which in turn led to loss of lives, it could be argued that the Caymanian authorities are implicated in and in part responsible for, such an unfortunate outcome.”

I myself believe that this is one of the saddest, yet at the same time , the most humbling and bravest exhibits of human behaviour that one could experience. To risk your life like this in order to start a new life is more than most of us can comprehend, however, this is a regular occurrence here in Cayman and all over the world.

I know that I left here last night with an overwhelming sense of how lucky I am and how good I have it!

As a final thought, before leaving, they were asked if they needed anything else for their journey, their answer was ‘just pray for us’! I think we all prayed in our own little way last night.

The early love birds catch the Wedding!

Good afternoon from Cayman where the sun is shining and all is wonderful here at The Reef!

The last couple of weeks have been an extremely busy time for me with more and more couples booking their weddings here at The Reef for 2008 and 2009 (even some for 2010!!). From last years experience, I only see this flurry of weddings increasing between now and the New Year with the holidays seemingly being prime season for proposals, as well as plenty of family get togethers which are all important for the Wedding decision making process.

Due to our ‘one wedding a day guarantee’, which ensures that the Bride and Groom enjoy their uniquely special day to the fullest, my 2008 weddings calender is beginning to look very healthy indeed! So, please, if you are thinking about your 2008 or 2009 Cayman Wedding here at The Reef, don’t procrastinate, your chosen date could be long gone!

If you do need more information or would like to check availability for a specific wedding date, please contact me at weddings@thereef.com.

Just the two of us!!


Good afternoon all from the belated wedding blog for this week!

I must apologize for the delay in posting this week, however, better late than never right?

This weeks blog features our latest Reef Newly Weds, Rhonda and Arjen, congratulations!!!!

Arjen contacted us just two weeks prior to visiting us here at The Reef requesting assistance with their wedding arrangements and as you can see, their ceremony which took place on our beautiful beach, was the perfect ‘barefoot ceremony for two’.

Marcus Montana was their photographer of choice and the wedding went off without a hitch (excuse the pun!).

Arjen and Rhonda have proved once again, that weddings here at The Reef are very easy to arrange and don’t necessarily need the months of planning that some destinations in the world require.

By the way, Rhonda had a wonderful little message engraved into the inside of Arjen’s wedding ring, I won’t spill the beans, but it was a fun little surprise for Arjen and made us giggle after the ceremony. A very cool idea!!

Once again, congratulations and warmest wishes from all us here at The Reef Resort for a wonderful future together!!

The Perfect Caribbean Wedding Cocktail!

Ingredients:-

  • Wedding couple who love fun, sun and sand
  • Family and friends who enjoy relaxation, a great party and a memories to cherish
  • Pristine white sand beach with swaying palms
  • Breathtaking, turquoise blue ocean
  • Vividly colourful tropical flowers
  • Amazing photographer
  • Reggae/Calypso/Soca music
  • Delicious Caribbean style gourmet foodInfectious atmosphere and dancing
  • Rum, Rum and more Rum!

Directions:-

Let the team here at The Reef Resort mix them all together to create the ultimate ‘Caribbean Wedding Cocktail’ allowing you to enjoy a wonderfully potent day of romance and fun in a spectacular setting whilst relaxing with friends and family.

The Cayman Islands have become known for our ability to provide a complete array of Wedding professionals, therefore, allowing you to relax knowing that everything is taken care of down to the last detail.

Here at The Reef we pride ourselves on the wonderful weddings that we create and are ever thankful to our Wedding partners who provide the professional services that allow us to exceed even the highest of expectations.

  • Best man forgotten his tux? – No worries, A Formal Affair can get one to us the same day.
  • Your favourite flower is the rare Voodoo lily and you must have it in your bouquet? Not a problem, Every Bloomin’ Thing will order in specially for you.
  • You want a beautiful wedding cake with your initials made out of icing seashells, starfish and fresh flowers or simply served with red rose petals and seashells? Leave it to our wonderful Wedding cake partners, Grand Old House to create your perfectly unique, customized Wedding cake.
  • Want the photographer to travel to your favourite location on island with you to capture the perfect sunset? Rebecca Davidson and Colin Myles are known for their professionalism and flexibility, going out of their way to create the perfect pics!
  • Best friend not able to make it as her baby is due tomorrow? Our Cayman Wedding will provide a live streaming of your ceremony over the website for anyone that couldn’t attend to still share your special day with you.

These are just a sampling of the services available to you for your wedding at The Reef, but the options to customize your wedding are almost unlimited ! If we can make it happen for you here at The Reef, we will!

So as you can see, with our amazing island, gorgeous location and wonderful selection of Wedding professionals and services, we are able to provide the perfect mixture to satisfy even the most demanding of Wedding palates!

As a starting point to mix your perfect wedding cocktail, visit us at www.thereef.com/weddings, then contact us at weddings@thereef.com.

Cheers!!

Your Cayman Wedding – live on the web!

Welcome back to The Reef Wedding Blog!

This week I am writing about one of the most exciting and rare options available to Caribbean Destination Wedding couples, available right here in Cayman to all of our wonderful ‘nearly weds’ who are planning to say their vows on our beautiful island.

For all of us Wedding addicts and travel bugs who can’t miss a wedding, we will jet half way across the world to join in the festivities, no matter the cost or sacrifice involved, to experience the real thing (and probably suffer for a few days afterwards, especially if the groom has 16 Irish brothers and sisters!).

However, I believe that at every wedding I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to a few, my own included!!) there are always some very dear family members, or friends of the couple, who have not been able to attend for any number of reasons. This is especially true for Destination weddings and can be a major factor in making the decision of whether or not to say ‘I do’ in the idyllic, picturesque location of your dreams or to keep the nuptials closer to home.

This is where Our Cayman Wedding is soooo valuable! At an extremely affordable cost, the Bride and Groom can opt to have their ceremony, and any other part of their big day, streamed live and unedited through the web. Thus allowing their missing favourite Grandma, Aunt, high school friend, long lost cousin, pen pal (you get the idea) to log in, at no additional cost, and experience the festivities as they are happening. Such a great concept and the perfect answer to those Wedding day ‘I wish Aunty Ethel or Grandma Flossie were here’ blues!

As an added bonus, this webcast can be edited and viewed by the couple and their loved ones over and over again via the Internet through a personalized Wedding Web page that Our Cayman Wedding can create and design for the couple.

I can think of many weddings that I have been to, in fact most of them, where this would have been the ‘cherry on top’ of the perfectly iced day and would have made for a much less stressful Destination Wedding planning experience!

For further information, please contact live@ourcaymanwedding.com or you can contact our Weddings team here at The Reef at weddings@thereef.com.

Your Mini Moon at The Reef

Greetings to you all again from the blog team at The Reef. For this weeks wedding blog spot, I am going to tell you about our new ‘Mini Moon’ package (no this doesn’t have any reference to the size of the moon here in Cayman! As any previous guest or Cayman resident will tell you, our moon is the same size as anywhere else in the world and is a beautiful sight to see reflected on the silvery ocean on any given night!).

The Mini Moon is, in fact, a relatively new trend in Destination Weddings which I had the pleasure of learning about during a recent Destination Weddings seminar here in Cayman, hosted by Wedding expert and Champion blogger, Rebecca Grinnals. Thank you Rebecca!

During the early stages of planning destination weddings, one of the toughest decisions for the couple is choosing the perfect location that will suit their needs and their attending group of family and friends. We’ve all experienced or heard about the ‘vacation disasters’ where everything looked perfect in the brochure or on the website, only to arrive and be in the worst vacation nightmare you could have! Oceanview being two miles from the ocean through a quagmire of dirty streets and busy traffic, full size pool being the size of a your kids paddling pool plus a few inches and a family friendly beach with topless sunbathing and lunchtime shot drinking competitions.
The ‘Mini Moon’ is designed as a short getaway for the couple, where they can visit the location that they are considering for their wedding to confirm to themselves that they are making the perfect choice. During their getaway, they can meet with Wedding professionals, explore the island, sample local food and restaurants and envision, first hand, the Wedding experience that awaits them and their guests. This is also a perfect break for the couple, who can enjoy their spare time relaxing and enjoying their mini break together.

Our ‘Mini Moon’ package is available to all future Wedding couples (whether The Reef is their chosen Wedding destination or not!) during our Summer Season (until December 20th) here at The Reef Resort and includes a three night stay in a beautiful, beach front (and yes we do mean beachfront!) Deluxe Studio, breakfast in bed each morning, a jeep rental for the entire stay(minimum age restrictions do apply) and a full consultation meeting with our Wedding coordinator (that would be me) here at The Reef. This three day package is available to all ‘nearly weds’ for US $895 per couple including all taxes, additional nights can be added upon request.

Please contact us here at The Reef at weddings@thereef.com for further details on your ‘Mini Moon’. Please also check out Rebecca Grinnals fabulous wedding blog site for wonderful wedding tips, news and new trends.

Weekly Wedding Blog – We did it Our Way!!

Greetings again from the Reef Resort where we have just spent the last week sprucing and beautifying our already idyllic setting during our annual maintenance week. The entire staff of The Reef have pulled together again to ensure that The Reef is in tip top condition for our wonderful guests to enjoy and relax in our little unique piece of paradise!

Feeling all fresh and new after our annual “spruce up”, I’ve resolved to write up a wedding blog each and every Tuesday for you…. some blogs will show weddings we’ve done in the past, others will feature some of the insider “tips and tricks” we’ve picked up over the years of helping our guests..anyway, watch out for the “Weekly Wedding Blog”, and here goes with the first one !

Our favourite Wedding thought here at The Reef is :

Your Wedding, Your Way!

Whether your idea of the perfect wedding is :

a) 100 of your favourite friends and family spending the week together, relaxing in the sun and spending quality time together with your lavish wedding and reception party being the ‘grand finale’ to the vacation of a lifetime, or

b) Just the two of you spending an intimate week in the tranquil seclusion and romance of our East End location with a simple beach wedding for two surrounded by the picturesque turquoise Caribbean ocean and a private candlelit dinner for two on the beach afterwards

Either way, we can take care of it all for you to create the most personal and unique wedding experience.

Some of the best wedding memories we have here at The Reef are of the fun and spontaneous couples whom, after arriving here at The Reef and being inspired by our beautiful beach and setting, took the plunge.

One couple- Dena and Smitty – literally did just that and jumped off our dock right after their ‘I Do’s’ to the surprise of a passing snorkeler!

That was great fun and I’m sure will make for a great conversation piece for years to come. Actually, we will be welcoming them both back to The Reef this week as they are celebrating their First Anniversary back here with us – congratulations Dena and Smitty!!

Here in Grand Cayman, we are very lucky to be able to process a Wedding license and required documentation within 24 working hours and therefore, the preplanning required in most other locations is not an issue. If you both have a passport (which is required for all visitors from abroad now), your disembarkation card from your flight to Cayman and any divorce decrees if necessary, we can arrange your wedding within 24 hours of arrival! However, due to our ‘one wedding a day!’ guarantee, we would strongly suggest checking the availability of your chosen date with us prior to arrival here at The Reef.

Please see our Weddings section on our website for further information on weddings here at The Reef or email us at weddings@thereef.com, we will be happy to help you create ‘Your wedding, Your way’!

Reef beach weddings

Welcome to The Reef’s Wedding Blog…

TomCayman has been bugging me to share some of the weddings that we host here at The Reef, so each blog I’ll feature one of the many beautiful beach weddings that have taken place here at The Reef along with useful information and tips on Destination Weddings here in Grand Cayman and in particular (of course!) at the idyllic Reef Resort

So, to our first wedding blog (I’m new to this, so hang in there with me !)

Amber and Andrew – April 2007

Amber and Andrew first came to stay with us in October 2006, where they decided that we were the chosen location for their April 2007 destination beach wedding. Along with 45 of their closest friends and family, Amber and Andrew enjoyed a week of relaxation and fun in the sun before their big day. All of their plans were finalized, down to the last detail, prior to arrival thanks to Octopus Wedding planners and our wedding team here at The Reef, thus allowing Amber and Andrew to spend time with their group knowing that they had nothing to worry about for their special day.

The morning of their Wedding was a little overcast and a mildly worried Amber was watching closely as their reception tent was being erected on the beach. As the tables were being decorated and set for their beach dinner reception and their decorated ceremony chairs were set up for their guests, the wind picked up and the heavens opened with what we can only describe as a ‘freak squall’.

Meanwhile, renowned wedding photographer, Rebecca Davidson arrived for the pre-wedding photos, only to find a distressed Amber and Andrew. In order to utilize their photo time and to cheer the wedding couple up, Rebecca decided to transport them both to the still sunny Rum Point for their pre wedding photos, Amber wearing her dress bag over her wedding dress to keep dry!

This turned out to be the perfect plan, the Rum Point photographs were gorgeous and upon their return to The Reef, the rains had passed and their dream wedding plans were back on track with the set up dried out and once again completed. I should add at this point that this kind of weather pattern was really unusual, as here in the East End we tend to get a lot less rain year round than the rest of Cayman… but I guess it showed how the whole team, including Rebecca, could think on their feet !

As you can see from the photos, Amber and Andrew had a beautiful wedding and thanks to our amazing F + B team, their beach dinner reception complete with DJ and dancing was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Here are Amber and Andrew’s comments on their Reef Wedding experience:-


I have to say that Andrew and I along with all of our guests had an absolutely wonderful time at the Reef Resort. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. We could not have asked for a better place to have our wedding…

It went exactly as we had planned and envisioned it to be – only better!! (and too short)!!! :) We are so happy with everything….!

Thank-you again for being such a big part of our special day. Your hard work (& Valentino’s) in regards to all of the hotel accommodations, logistics of everything, food & beverage, etc., made our stay/special day a huge success….we never worried about one thing and simply enjoyed our time on the island….which is what we wanted.

For further information on The Reef Resort hosting your beach wedding and guests, please contact us at weddings@thereef.com.

For larger weddings here at The Reef, Octopus Event planners can be reached at octopusevents@candw.ky.

Please visit Rebecca Davidson’s website at www.rebeccadavidson.com for examples of her amazing photography and contact details.