Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Category: Concierge Column

theReef prepares for the holiday season

Hello everyone, it’s been a busy time at theReef Resort as we all get ready for Christmas and the New Year.

That means making sure all Reef Staff members are trained to assist guests in an emergency. First Aid Training Courses are being held for team members  and I recently completed my course along with two of our front desk agents and a member of the marketing/reservations team. A special thank you goes out to our instructor Doug from Red Sail who put our skills and knowledge to the test with a series of  reenactments.

Once the life-saving training was over it was time for some side-splitting laugh out loud stories from some of Cayman and the Caribbean’s greatest story tellers! Gimistory- a storytelling festival put on by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation- is a favorite among both young and old, residents and guests.

Gimistory Storyteller

Held every year over a one week period in each of the districts and on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Gimistory brings together renowned story tellers and singers from the Caribbean and the U.S. who share traditional stories and songs using an array of props, musical instruments, costumes and sometimes members of the crowd. It truly is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable evenings you can spend with friends and family and something well worth checking out.

With Christmas just a few days away be sure to check back soon for a look at another popular Christmas Tradition in Grand Cayman- the Festival of Lights.

So what do you think of my posts? Drop me a line at crichardson@thereef.com  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays Cathy the concierge

crichardson@thereef.com

 

Happy Thanksgiving from theReef Resort!

Thanksgiving is almost here!

In celebration of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock,  millions of Americans will gather with their family and friends and enjoy the traditional feast of turkey, ham and all the trimmings.

Here at theReef Resort we have employees from all over the world that celebrate a variety of holidays. We have Canadians, Jamaicans, English, Filipinos and Caymanians as well as a few employees from Serbia and one from Australia.

For me Thanksgiving is about being grateful, it’s a time that forces us to stop & reflect on what we have & appreciate all the good things in life. I live here in Cayman on a beautiful island with my family. I have a really fun job as a concierge where I get to meet new guests & make friends every week, and every week I go on a catamaran and play with the Stingrays when we take our guests out, who wouldn’t be thankful for that.

So in this holiday season I encourage you to be grateful for what you do have and not dwell on what you don’t have and let us all be thankful for all the wonderful things we get to experience, for sunrises & sunsets, for laughter & for love, for always learning and for the simple joys of life, like hearing your favorite song on the radio or seeing a child smile.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Cathy

 

The Pirates have Landed!

It’s November at the Reef Resort, the wind is picking up & soon the holidays will be upon us, Christmas Breezes we call it. The forecast says this week we’ll have a high of 82’ & a low of 75’ brrrrr, better get my sweater out.

 It’s also Pirates Week, a festival with fireworks, a parade, street dance & lots of great Heritage Days celebrating the food, culture & traditions that make up our beautiful islands. It’s also a great excuse to dress up like a pirate & say “arrgghh” a lot.

One of the events at Pirates Week that many people miss, is the Cardboard Boat Race, this takes place on the final Saturday of Pirates Week in George Town Harbour. In it’s 6th year, teams make “boats” out of cardboard & race out to a specific spot in the water & then back to shore, teams were judged on design, team spirit & of course finishing. As you can see by the picture, many boats completed the course, but just as many didn’t. The batman team, while especially creative, came in almost dead last, it was blamed on the joker.

Overall it was a great race and the long green boat full of lawyers won bragging rights as the new champions, arrrgghhh!!!

In the next few months I’ll be writing about some great Caymanian traditions, talking about the resort & sharing my own stories about what I do as a concierge & a longtime resident of Grand Cayman. I hope you will follow along and have as much fun reading them as I do writing them.

Take care & Happy Pirates Week.

Cathy the concierge

 

Don’t tell everyone about the ultimate island vacation, Show them!

If a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million- just imagine how powerful your message will be when you combine both your favorite vacation photos with video of the ultimate island resort!

theReef Resort has partnered with Bragfire to introduce VideoMaker- an easy to use application that creates a lasting video of the Ultimate Island Vacation you can instantly share with all your friends, family, colleagues, everyone you know.

The best part, VideoMaker does all the work. All you have to do is visit  video.theReef.com  choose your favorite pictures and then click preview and watch VideoMaker combine those pictures with a pre-made video of theReef Resort. You can be as creative or traditional as you want to be there are no rules, just pure fun! Once your video is made you can then instantly share your masterpiece on facebook, twitter, pininterest, or email.

Here’s my video … now it’s your turn to make your own lasting memories of yourvacation at theReef.

Have fun!

 

Where do you go on vacation?

I am a concierge here at theReef and people always ask me “you live in paradise, so where do you go on vacation?”

My answer, “Walmart”, but that’s just me. Until recently I hadn’t been off this little island called Grand Cayman in four long years and my vacation motto is “when your on vacation you have to do things you can’t do at home” for me that’s shopping as sadly there is no Walmart in Grand Cayman.

I realize that many of our guests live by my vacation motto too. Trying new things like visiting Stingray City, getting out on the water with kayaks or simply relaxing on the beach with a Cayman Lemonade (highly recommended by our guests from big cities!).

 But this year I finally did get off the rock, and besides shopping (lots of shopping!) my family and I went to the Smokey Mountains, to the forests and rivers of North Carolina and Tennessee. I must tell you first hand, that driving down a winding, twisting mountain road at night with nothing but your headlights on, is ten times scarier than any roller coaster ride I have ever been on. We went White Water Rafting and tubeing down a creek. As many of our blog readers know, Grand Cayman is really a small island, so we took advantage of the open American roads and embarked on a few road trips. Something you really can’t do on an island which is less than 100 square miles.

The majority of our staff here at theReef go home to visit family and friends; it can be difficult to be away from loved ones. Others go on road trips like I did, and some explore Cuba and nearby countries throughout the Caribbean & Central America.

We came back to Grand Cayman, our bags filled with bargains and hearts filled with memories. I returned with a renewed energy and enthusiasm ready to make sure you enjoy your vacation as much as we did ours!

At theReef our guests join us from all over the USA, Canada and Europe and many of our staff are from far away places too; that is I think makes Cayman so interesting, a culture combined from many continents, different cuisines and a wonderful history.

Being on vacation gave me insight as to what our guests at theReef need while they are on holiday, for me it was fun family time. So whether you are looking for an action packed family vacation or relaxing romantic vacation, stop by and see me at the concierge desk.

Even though our island is small there is still loads going on! 

- Cathy Richardson, Concierge

Yes we felt the earth move…..but just a little

Yesterday January 19th at about 9:23am Grand Cayman felt a little rumble, a tiny earthquake centered a few miles off of Bodden Town magnitude 5.8.

 I was in the Cayman Concierge shop telling guests about the Barefoot Man show and felt a slight rolling feeling; I paused and said “that feels like an earthquake” but by then it was over and we resumed looking at the menu options. That’s all it was, nothing fell off the shelves, the water in my fish bowl barley even moved, and no one even ran out the lobby. When I walked the beach that afternoon many guests didn’t even realize there was a tremor. Others said it felt like someone kicked their chair, a slight bump in the earth compared to the giant jolt felt by our neighbors to the east. Now there are stories to tell and the internet is abuzz with “did you feel it, and where were you??”

 So it will be a blurb in the history books, just a note to remember this day.

 The last quake to hit the island was in 2004 and that was 6.8 a slightly bigger rumble, but now, like yesterday’s quake, just a story to tell, no drama, no tragedy’s (thank goodness) just a bit of excitement, the day when the ground shook for 3 seconds or so in January 2010.

- Cathy Richardson, Concierge

Pirates Week at the Reef!

It’s Pirates Week again and the Reef Resort is ready.

Grab your hat & sword and join our excursions to the East End, North Side and George Town District Days.

Cayman is full of history and guests can learn the fine art of rope making, thatching, fire pan smoking, coconut oil making and how to knit a fish net. There will be exhibits on how Cayman used to be - in the days when the only way you could get from East End to George Town was by Donkey or Mule on a dirt road!Pirate Of course the best part of any district day in my opinion, is the food, East End heavy cake, fry fish and fritters, fish tea, mango jam and guava jelly, rice and peas, festival bread and of course jerk chicken, just to name a few. Often cooked by women older than your grandma who know how food should taste. Just writing about it makes my mouth water. After dark the music starts and the dancing begins, and boy can the locals dance, and of course there will be Pirates everywhere, because when it comes to drinking and dancing Pirates know how to have fun.

So join us, wear a pirate costume and prepare to have fun.

- Cathy , Concierge

Too rent a car or not ? That is the question.


Apologies to William Shakespeare… but anyway, the answer is a big YES!

Hi, and welcome to my first “Concierge Column”, be gentle with me, this is my first blog !

Many guests ask the concierge, “Should we rent a car?”.

I say ; “Well, it depends on how you want to spend your vacation. If you want to stay on the resort and “Chill” for your entire vacation then perhaps you don’t need a car. On the other hand if you want to visit other restaurants in the area or to see some other great sights of Grand Cayman such as Rum Point or Pedro’s Castle then you will need a car. There is limited public transportation on this side of the island at a variable schedule. The public bus sticks mainly to the major roads which could leave you with a long walk from the drop off point. The other tidbit to note about the bus, is that it runs only during the daytime hours. There are taxis on the island but they are in most cases more costly then a rental car. To put it plainly, for the cost one taxi to Georgetown and back and one taxi to dinner and back you could have a rental car for an entire 7 days. “

Boy, that was a long “spiel”, but you get the idea… rent a car ! :) Hey it’s quite at our end of the island, if you are not sure whether to drive on the left or the right (umm.. it’s the left), we just say “drive in the middle” :)

Seriously though, the concierge team here at The Reef has connections and special rates with car rental companies in Grand Cayman so before you arrive contact us about your car rental options, simply email us at concierge@thereef.com