Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Ahh relax…

Le Soleil

Summer is quickly coming to end, and before we know it the holiday season will be upon us – and we know how much stress that can bring.  As you know by now theReef’s mantra is SimpleRelaxation – so before the inevitable happens the girls at Le Soleil spa are offering a little extra pampering for theReef guests.

From now until Thanksgiving guests can enjoy:

  • Complimentary hot tub and champagne with any massage
  • Complimentary lip and chin waxing with any facial
  • Complimentary paraffin wax with any manicure or pedicure

So chill out and relax before the hype of the holidays!

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Calling all Fans of The Reef Resort in New York City and beyond!

Looking for Reef fans that live in New York? The Reef Resort will be participating in the Second Annual Summer Streets Festival on August 8, 15, and 22.

2nd annual Summer Streets Festival on August 8, 15, and 22

We will be chill’n with the hip folks at the New York Post in their “reading lounge” between Park and 51st and 52nd Street. Hey stop by and grab a read and don’t forget to subscribe to the New York Post to register and win a free, you heard me, free vacation for two complete with airfare fare from Cayman Airlines. The winners will experience a once in a life-time opportunity to visit the critically endangered Blue Iguana Program which is housed in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park, and of course enjoy the wide open beaches, all beachfront suites and the laid back vibe that makes The Reef Resort, simply relaxing.

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94 baby turtles hatch on the Reef beach

1st-turtleIn a rather untypical fashion the turtle nest on our beach errupted yesterday afternoon and ninety odd baby turtles made the dash to the ocean watched by….. nobody!

The Department of the Environment called yesterday morning to advise that a regular inspection of the nest had revealed some hatched babies deep in the sand and that they would usually emerge in the coolness of the evening and head to the ocean.

As this was happening six days ahead of schedule preparations were hurried to completion, lights were arranged to be off, guests were notified of best practice and members of staff were scheduled to stand guard during the night.

However around mid-afternoon three visiting children discovered hundreds of tiny fin tracks in the sand and one baby emerging from the nest. They majority of the turtles snuck past everyone, The Reef had produced their own brand of stealth turtles!

Our one straggler was kept safely until night and was sucessfully released by Lindsay and the kids of the resorts activity programme. This group was lucky enough at the same time to see another baby turtle emerge and make the short journey to the ocean. At least one of the turtles seemed to have a proper sense of timing….

The DOE came up today to excavate the site and discovered that there were 94 sucessfully hatched eggs in a relatively shallow nest (which would account for the early hatch). One baby was discovered still waiting to make the dig to the surface. Our head concierge Jake will oversee his release tonight, bringing to a close, for this year at least, our fabulous turtle adventure.

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You’re invited to a Birthday Party – “so let’s get this party started”

Your invited to a birthday party, but there’s no need to shop for a birthday gift, just pack a suitcase as Cayman Airways, is in a gift giving mood as they are celebrating their 41st birthday. Direct flights from Miami and Tampa start at $89 while flights from New York start at $129, but travelers need to book early and can do so starting today through August 7 and fly until December 9, 2009. Wide-open white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, island parks: Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park; Black Pearl Skate Park; and more plus island farms: turtle and a butterfly farm, and did we mention wide-open, sunny beaches?

Grand Cayman,, is wonderful this time of the year, the island is calmer and the temperatures are a balmy 80º. Blowout the birthday candles and pack a suitcase, as traveling to the island couldn’t be easier and more budget friendly, and of course, check out The Reef’s seasonal fall and winter travel deals.


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Now THIS is something I’d LOVE to see at a wedding at theReef

Weddings are invariably uplifting and life-affirming and our team at theReef is so happy to be a small part of the many weddings we host every year.

Still… we’ve never seen anything quite so cool as this video.

You’ve probably all seen this already… of the most popular videos on YouTube ever.

Watch as the whole wedding party gets into the act of a fantastic dance into the church, you can just imagine how much fun this tight bunch of friends had thinking this up and rehearsing it.

The video is five minutes long.. but don’t skip a moment.. it just gets better and better as it goes along… and when the bride comes in….post a comment to this blog and tell me what your reaction was… honest… tears in the eyes and a smile… ?

View the video here …enjoy !


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Grand Cayman’s East End, an undiscovered adventure

reefcay-bchchairs3Summer is disappearing and the dream of a summer vacation adventure is about to dissapear as well, or is it. Today is the day to book a tropical vacation as many beach resorts are offering huge discounts. If you are looking for a quick escape look to book a destination that has direct flights or is a short flight away to maximize vacation time. One of the most popular and accessible Caribbean getaways on the East Coast is Grand Cayman Island, a unique island offering guests a cosmopolitan stay on 7-mile beach, or an undiscovered adventure on the East End.

Please Google 7-mile beach as so many have written about this end of the island. This story takes you to the undiscovered East End, and a visit to The Reef Resort, a idyllic beachfront property located right smack on the beach. What makes the East End undiscovered? It’s far removed from the hustle and bustle of seven mile beach, the cruise ships don’t dock on this side of the island eliminating the swarms of day-tourists which equates to wide-open beaches, less crowded snorkeling, diving sites, restaurants and more. And, the East End has more of a local vibe, a visit to Vivine’s Kitchen, or the beaches at Rum Point, and resorts like The Reef, where locals gather at the bar to enjoy nightly entertainment, catch up on island life and sip a Caybrew, making the East End of the island very special place.

The Reef Resort understands its place and is offering a new summer adventure package, Simply Summer Adventure a five-night package bookable through December 18, blackout dates September 5-18, and is priced for two travelers in a studio suite. The package also offers a five-day snorkel rental, a five-day midsize car rental (insurance not included) a two-hour paddle board lesson, and a one-hour “power snorkeling” trip, and a Blue Iguana Tour at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park, (The Reef just adopted Tootsie, and yes, he is a Dustin Hoffman wannabe, he even has is own fan page on Facebook). Plus, the resort will donate $25 US for each package booked to help save these critically engendered species. Additional on-site activities include; bicycling, water polo, tennis, volleyball and more for a steal-of-a-deal of $290 a night including taxes. The Reef also offers adventure packages for families call 866 714-2309 or email reservations at

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theReef is taking PRIDE in Customer Service

theReef’s PRIDE team (led by Deputy GM Brian Ebanks) is featured in today’s Caymanian Compass, article here .

An extract :

“The Reef has embraced PRIDE and is making customer service a top priority in its growth and development.

The 162–room resort located on Grand Cayman’s East End is using the Department of Tourism’s PRIDE (which stands for Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence) customer service training programme, with over 75 per cent of the organization’s employees having undergone the training since the DoT introduced it over a year ago to raise customer service standards in the Cayman Islands tourism sector.

“We wanted the Reef to spearhead the movement to transform customer service in the Cayman Islands,” said The Reef’s Deputy Resort Manager Brian Ebanks.”

For more information on PRIDE, visit

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Help theReef design the first #reefathlon event via Twitter


Ok, so perhaps I’m far too geeky, but I’m going to try to take our philosophy of running theReef based on customer feedback to a different level.

On Sep 27th (latest update… as CI Cycling are running an event on Sun 20th) we are going to run the first of our “Reefathlon” events, geared around getting both local and visiting cyclists to enjoy the experience of cycling whilst staying at theReef.

Where did this idea come from ? Well, this year the National Roads Authority in Cayman finished putting a lovely coat of SMOOTH blacktop down on the roads in our area (thank you!), so cyclists now have a fantastic 19 mile loop right in front of theReef !

With virtually no traffic, more than three quarters of the loop being coastal roads offering incredible scenery and cooling breezes, as well as two of the nearest things we have on our flat island to “hills”, this road is fast becoming a mecca for local cyclists.

For our visitors, my master plan (beginning to sound like Dr. Evil !.. but my intentions are good ) is to make theReef THE place to take a Caribbean vacation for cyclists. After all, golfers take their clubs on family vacation, divers their gear.. why not cyclists their bike ?

Anyway, back to Twitter. The first step down this road is our first race, a 19 mile Time Trial on the morning of Sunday September 27th.

Core concept is to set an entry fee that includes an overnight stay at theReef with a beach BBQ / pasta party the night before, then the race, then everyone can socialise afterwards again with some cool drinks at the beach bar.

Already working on some sweet giveaway goodies, plus there WILL be prizes on offers to challenge both visiting and local cyclists to take on our reigning Cayman time trial champion, Jerome Ameline, otherwise know at “TGV”.

So…planning in high gear now, website for the race “soon come”, but help with the planning by following me on Twitter @TomCayman, the hashtag is #Reefathlon

Tweet me !

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Forbes Traveler Picks the 10 Great Family Vacations for 2009

ftdc_header_logoForbes Traveler Picks the 10 Great Family Vacations for 2009 and The Reef Resort makes the grade. Visit to read the full

Of course, the thousands of families who have traveled to the resort already know what Forbes Traveler has recently reported, that The Reef Resort is one of the best family getaways. The resort is family friendly for so many reasons: its far removed from the hustle and bustle of 7 mile beach, it offers the longest stretch (1,600 sq.-ft.) of beach on Grand Cayman island, and every guestroom is beachfront. Add-in dozens of daily activities for families such as noon fish-feedings from the resort’s private pier, a new non-motorized sports program the whole family can enjoy, two pools, and nightly entertainment. Oh, and did we mention how affordable this Caribbean escape is for families?

The Reef Resort is a property that understands what a great family vacation is and delivers plenty of extras, is a great value, and provides kid-friendly activities that will have your family buzzing for months about their 2009 vacation.

Check out all of The Reef’s summer package options at

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Wha ya sayin pt 2 (Mid year edition)

Hello all those out there in Reef land. It has been a busy last couple of months here at the reef with new and exciting developments happening all the time. The island as a whole has also had allot of changes and news to report. As always i like to keep it fun when reporting the events, some are funny some are informative and some are just plain……

Pirates who?


A lot of fuss has been made in the last week over the proposed changing of names from Pirates week. At time of this blog, the new name has not been announced but rest assured there are some sad pirates out there on the sea.

Gimistory 2009


I was lucky enough to attend this years Gimistory event at Pedro’s Castle in Savannah. As i sat down on my seat i thought to myself just how exciting of a backdrop it was to have the storytellers standing on the upper floor of the historical building while reciting different stories both local and international. The mid show break with Fried fish and dumplings wasn’t so bad either. The local storyteller’s were extremely impressive and some even came in old-time outfits to add even more authenticity to their stories. My suggestion would be if you have the chance to visit Cayman next April, take a visit out to one of the many venues that hold gimistory during Cayfest and enjoy a nice cultural experience.

Pelicans Bistro


Frequent visitors to the reef are sure to be in for a pleasant surprise the next time you check in. The old dive shop has now been converted into our brand spanking new restaurant “Pelicans Bistro”. Open for breakfast and dinner this new dining spot gives you all the great taste of Pelicans Reef and The Rusty Pelican right indoors.


Cayman Chili Cookoff


The Reef Resort played host to the Chili Cookoff  last weekend. Local residents as well as Reef guests mingled in the hot caribbean sun while enjoying Caybrew and Hot dogs all day long. There was a children’s section with bouncingcastles and face-painting. On the other side of the Rusty pelican Beach bar  we had the music stage and beer stands. Local music fans were spoiled rotten all day with bands like ‘Gone Country”, The Barefoot man” and “Hi-Tide” performing. The chili cooking began at 1pm and wrapped up at 6 when ”Electratech” were announced as the events winners for best chili.  Even though the chili was the main cause for the event, the combinationof warm weather, barbeque and a cold beverage seemed to be exactly what made the event so much for fun for the attendees.

Everyone that i talked to during the day said they had a great time and many people chose to simply spend the night here at the reef after a long day in the sun. Those who stayed the entire day were in for a treat as the closing fireworks at 9pm were amazing.

You can look forward to the event again next year being even bigger and better.

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Staycations at theReef

Many thanks to my friend and respected journalist, Alan Markoff, for his article in The Observer on Sunday of Jul 5th on his staycation at theReef.

Two things of note on this. First, Alan would definitely tell it like it is (ie if he had a problem, he would put it in the article!), and second, he paid full rate.. didn’t ask for a freebie, didn’t tell me he was writing an article.

Given that high level of journalistic integrity and ethics, makes the fact that his article was a glowing commendation all the more sweet ! :)

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Wow ! New HD360 Virtual Tours – just like being at theReef

Hi folks

I’m so much into Twitter (follow me @TomCayman), Facebook etc, plus being a Destination Expert for Cayman on Tripadvisor… that I’m not blogging like I used to… sorry !

However really must bring this one to your attention.

We recently had the folks at ICEPortal shoot some new HD Virtual Tours for us, and they are AH..MAZING !!!

If you’ve not actually been to theReef yet, this will show you the resort in such high definition (make sure you watch it full screen) that is really is like being here.

Go to our home page and click on the Virtual Tours link on the top right, then click on the HD360 tab… or heck, just click this link here

Enjoy ! and see you here soon.. not virtually, but for real :)

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Mother Nature just announced 2009 Hurricane Season

cdaf275e-120e-4e97-b0a9-34f5c9d4ee38hmediumIt’s like clockwork, Mother Nature just announced the 2009 hurricane season, and Tropical Storm Andres was the first tropical storm of the season brushing across Mexico’s Pacific coast.

The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman is in the Hurricane Belt, but more often than not, this season offers one of the calmest, most tranquil times of the whole year. It’s truly an Indian summer escape as summer vacations are a distant memory, the beaches less crowded and a native vibe takes hold again. The weather patterns that occasionally spawn a storm in the Atlantic and Caribbean also bring weeks of light, balmy southeasterly breezes, and calm seas, which are excellent for kite surfing, diving and snorkeling. Power snorkeling anyone?

The Reef also understands that guests will want to have some type of guarantee when traveling this time of the year, and is happy to offer a “Simply No Worries” guarantee, * which protects travelers for any cancellations prior to a trip. Guests holding a confirmed reservation who are unable to travel to The Reef because of the closing of the Grand Cayman airport or the resort have the following options:

  1. A full refund
  2. Re-booking free of charge with a one-category room upgrade on the next visit taken anytime before the end of the following year. (Valid for the summer/fall season, based on availability, some restrictions apply.)

In the unlikely event that the island does experience inclement weather and guests who are on a rental reservation and are evacuated for safety reasons or would like to depart early due to a potential hurricane threat, will be offered the option of either:

  1. A refund for their complete stay, including nights already stayed at the resort
  2. A refund for the remaining nights that were cut short from their vacation, plus a certificate good for the original amount of nights of their stay up to five room nights in our summer/fall season through the end of the following year, based on availability, some restrictions apply.

*Bookings made not with the Reef directly may be non-refundable and the Reef may not be able to reverse payment.

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Cayman Airlines Announces Buy One, Get One Deal

Hurry deal ends June 26logo1

Cayman Airlines just announced a buy-one, get-one deal. Book a round trip ticket on Cayman Airlines and your companion flies free. Of course there is a catch, must be booked by June 26, with travel through September 30, 2009. To check out your options, contact a travel professional, call 1-800-4CAYMAN (800-422-9626), or visit today. This offer is a perfect pairing with The Reef’s Simply Summer Savings package or the over-the-top Chili Cook Off festival, both are great value vacations to begin with, but the Cayman Airlines deal makes it oh-so-sweet!

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Power snorkeling – a new trend at The Reef Resort

Power snorkeling is all the rage at The Reef Resort. Adults and kids alike can’t get enough of this motorized snorkeling experience. “It fits with today’s tech savvy consumer”, states the folks from White Sands Sports, the onsite professional team that is providing the resort with its new non-motorized sports program. What makes this snorkel activity so popular is you still use traditional snorkel gear with a DVP (dive propulsion vehicle). Using the DVP allows snorkelers to propel through the water at a quicker pace seeing even more than one could on their own.

250px-nurse_sharkThe guys at White Sand make the experience simple and fun. Guests are taken to a secluded beach via bus about ¾ of a mile up the road. Everyone gets powered-up and then heads back down the coast stopping at the best snorkeling spots and fishing holes in the area. Remember, the East End is less disturbed so the clear turquoise waters and plentiful wildlife make it easy to spot nurse sharks, rays, turtles and other cool sea creatures. An hour later everyone is back at The Reef Resort, for a yummy Caribbean cocktail and an exhilarating exchange ensues about the many sea creatures spotted on the journey. The Power Snorkel excursions include transportation, all snorkel equipment, safety vest and a DPV unit. For a mere $40 it is a steal of a deal for this memorable experience.

Even the mama Loggerhead Turtle is on board with the non-motorized sports program as the resort’s new Ms. Green reports that The Reef does indeed have a turtle nest with hatchlings due in August.

No Jet Skies here! Yeah!

Book in advance as Power Snorkeling is hot and often sells out way in advance;

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Loggerhead turtle nests on The Reef beach

Our nest!

Our nest!

Great excitement amongst staff and guests at The Reef today! Keen eyed staff members noticed the tell-tale signs earlier this week and the Department of Environment have just confirmed that we have a loggerhead turtle nest on our beach.

The mama turtle will have hatched many years ago on this same stretch of white sand and has returned and nested right in front of the hotel.

We are terribly proud of our nest and are constructing a bamboo fence around it to keep it safe.

In 55 days time, on or around th 5th of August, staff and guests will dim all the lights, ensure that each tiny turtle makes its way safely to the water and then celebrate the fact that, safely launched into the big wide world, they will one day travel back to us.

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Ms Green and goings on at The Reef

The Reef now has its very own eco-consultant. Ms Green is co-ordinating exciting, environmentally friendly projects and is working hard to ensure that the resort suceeds in its quest to be an ecologically responsible host.

First things first! We have begun composting our kitchen and grounds refuse on site, thus dramatically reducing our garbage output and creating our own wonderful fertilizer.

Last night we played host to Bradley Johnson of the DOE who came to talk to East End divemasters about the lion fish invasion and train them in capturing techniques.,4332603&_dad=portal&_schema=portal

Watch this space for updates and news! If you have any comments or ideas please contact Ms Green at

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Simply Summer Savings

image0032Seeking deep tan lines, large uncrowded beaches and a tranquil getaway this summer? Oh, and are you also looking to save big? The Reef, is launching a new sizzling hot summer savings vacation package entitled Simply Summer Savings. The resort’s ideology of ‘simple relaxation’ is easy to understand as they offer the largest stretch of beach, a great location on Grand Cayman (the undiscovered East End) and all of their suites are beachfront. Wait, there’s more good news! The new Simply Summer Savings, saves travelers 35% (suite rates start at $149 per night for a Beachfront Suite) when booked through June 30th for travel through December 20, 2009, visit for additional details.

Of course, if you grow tried of lazy days by the beach or pool(s) the resort has a whole lot more to offer. Why not try the latest craze; on-site power snorkeling? A motorized snorkeling experience in the cerulean waters right off the resort’s coastline as the pristine ocean off the East End is brimming with flora and fauna. The on-site complimentary concierge,, can arrange an off-site kayak experience in the mangroves, a trip to Stingray City, or the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park for an up-close and personal experience to visit the critically endangered Blue Iguanas which roam in the park’s natural habitat.

The resort also offers nightly entertainment with celebrated local musicians including the legendary Barefoot Man,, or enjoy a Caribbean cocktail at their oceanfront bar. Anyway you slice it The Reef Resort is simply relaxing!

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Fabulous wedding photos from theReef

Another great wedding at theReef… phew, wedding season this May has been very busy.


These and more great photos on Courtney Platt’s blog

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$79 for a beachfront suite in Cayman – no way !

Yes way !

(dude !)

Call us crazy, but we are doing our part here at theReef to snap people out of their hesitancy to book their summer or fall vacation…as we figure you just won’t be able to resist this crazy low rate.

Come on.. $79 for a beachfront suite in the Cayman Islands… you just gotta do it, huh ?

All that gorgeous sand and clear blue waters await you.. the perfect recipe for some Simple Relaxation !

Now, just to make sure you get out the credit card and send the email / make the call /book online, we are giving you a few days to think about it.. but then only a short window to actually book.. miss the window and the rate goes up !

So.. visit our “One Beach’In Suite” page at , then be ready to book anytime between 5pm EDT Wed 13th and Midnight Sat 16th !

To make sure you have no reason to stall any further, we have also introduced our “Simply No Worries” guarantee ,  so you’ve got nothing to be worried about.

Still, for those who always procrastinate, the regret if you miss the window will be tempered by our Simply Summer Savings sale, giving low rates on ALL our room types all summer and fall long. These rates represent savings of at least 35% from our regular low summer rates, so the deals are there all year long for you in 2009 !

Finally.. and straight from the horse’s mouth.. you WON’T see these rates again next year.. this is the silver lining in the dark clouds that 2009 have brought to the global economy.. carpe diem !

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“Simply No Worries” Guarantee

image0031Everyone is frazzled, way too much going on in today’s upside down world. Maybe we all need a break, or better yet, an escape.

Of course, the folks at The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman are now offering a “Simply No Worries” Guarantee. The Reef’s mantra, ‘Simple Relaxation’, is always on their mind and they’re now offering the simplest of cancellation policies. Guests can cancel their stay, for any reason, up to 48 hours before scheduled arrival, with the option of either re-booking without cost or paying only a one night penalty for a full cancellation. Visit The Reef Resort online at

Way cool, did they take a page from Hyundai’s playbook? Either way, gotta love’m for giving everyone a break! A toast to The Reef!

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It’s time to re-think Grand Cayman

Summer Here and it’s time to re-think Grand Cayman – think East End

kbrderinmotionjpedBooking a trip to Grand Cayman for a family vacation?  Pass on the hustle and bustle of 7-mile beach and head over to the undiscovered East End and vacation with the locals.

The Reef Resort,, is strategically located on the undiscovered East End of the island. It’s close to Vivine’s Kitchen, a locals favorite, and Rum Point Beach, a family favorite. They offer the largest single stretch of beach on the island, (1,600 ft.), everyone’s favorite.

Just launched in time for summer is the resort’s non-motorized water sports program with crazy cheap rentals at just $20 per person per day. Try kayaking, kite surfing, paddle boarding and power snorkeling. Jamie and Cathy Myles were the first to experience power snorkeling (motorized snorkeling) and they loved it, “it was a blast” adds the Myles. “Power snorkeling” has become the hottest activity at the resort, so much so that the motorized sports crew can’t keep up with all of the requests. To book in advance, contact the on-site concierge at

The Reef  also just announced a new summer soft adventure vacation package the whole family will enjoy; the new Junior Adventure Package. This five-night package starts at $2,075 (no resort or services fees), and can accommodate a family of four.  Package value adds; snorkeling, mid-size care rental, ½ day paddle boat with canopy, one-hour glass bottom two-person kayak rental x 2, behind the scenes tour at the Blue Iguana sanctuary and a $25 donation to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme made on the families behalf.  Visit the Blue Iguana website to learn more about the perils of the Blue Iguana:

A little too relaxed for you? No worries! An off-site trip to the renowned Stingray City, or a snorkel or dive adventure with the resort’s on-site professional dive partners, Ocean Frontiers, will liven-up the day. On-site activities are also plentiful ( Sign up for stargazing, water aerobics, and yoga, or just get lazy with a read in the shade of a Palapa.  Evenings at the resort are also happening as nightly entertainment, restaurant specials and daily happy hour are also on tap.

Quite simply: The Reef Resort Has it All!

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To blog ? Twitter ? Facebook ? Tripadvisor ? Yikes !

Ok, so we’ve not been blogging much lately. Been a busy time for the resort, but the other Reef bloggers have good excuses (Linder is in the middle of a very busy “Wedding season”, Brian is fully into his new role as Deputy Resort Manager (congrats Brian!), etc etc).

I said the others have good reasons… me ? Not so much..just getting addicted to Twitter, Facebook and Tripadvisor… all new ways to talk to people.

I spend far too much time on these places, but if you can’t find anything to watch on TV, you can follow me on Twitter @TomCayman, and I’m frequently found hanging out on the Tripadvisor Cayman page on their forums.

And no…TV bores me.. except BBC News America, The Daily Show, and the Colbert Report… but normally got the laptop with me then too !

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Women jump-start the travel economy

image001-1It takes a village, well in this case, a few million women and their girlfriends to jump-start the travel economy. It seems the folks at Fine Living Network, Gutsy Women Travel and The Women’s Travel Club can all agree on one thing, women are traveling and they are traveling smart, read more here;

The Reef Resort, Grand Cayman has always been gal-pal friendly; remember last year’s Cheatin’ Husbands package complete with a trip to hell? This year, the resort wanted to focus on escaping from today’s gloom and doom so they created an Escape from the Everyday – Gal Pal Adventure, read on for more details. Are you and your gal pals seeking a fun new adventure? An escape from the everyday? The folks at The Reef Resort designed a new package to inspire you to take a risk, try something new and of course, relax a bit. Four nights (4) in a beachfront 2-bedroom suite, jeep rental, snorkel gear and snorkel map, paddle board lesson, Stingray City trip with snorkel stop, one-hour windsurf/paddleboard/kayak session per person per day, unlimited bicycle use, 50 minute massage, a manicure and pedicure at the new Le Soleil Spa, and chilled glass of champagne upon arrival. Package is priced at $700 per person, and is available from April 19 – December 20, 2009.

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A Profusion of Weird and Interesting travel stats have been released from TripAdvisor

A Profusion of Weird and Interesting travel stats have been released from TripAdvisor

tripadvisorlogoTripAdvisor announced its airline and airports survey of more than 1,500 U.S. respondents. Fifty-one percent of travelers plan to fly between one to four times in the next 12 months, and 45 percent will fly five times or more in the coming year.

Checked bags are the most annoying airline fee, according to 54 percent of U.S. respondents. Sixty percent of travelers said they factor checked fees into their overall airline ticket price. However, 36 percent have been surprised by the cost of checked baggage fees upon arrival at the airport. Nineteen percent said they always carry-on a bag to avoid additional fees, while 39 percent often do.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they have tried to swap their airline seat for a better one after boarding a flight. Thirty-one percent of travelers get frustrated when another in-flight passenger asks them to switch seats with their travel companion. Eighty-five percent have been asked to switch seats in the past.

When asked about their seating preference, 53 percent of travelers prefer the aisle, while 42 percent would rather have a window seat. Forty percent of travelers said when selecting their seat, they request the emergency exit row.

Sixty-five percent of travelers are aware that flying first or business class allows them to avoid most airline fees. Sixty percent have tasted the high life and flown first class, 43 percent have bumped up to business class and 22 percent have upgraded to a premium seat outside first or business class. When it comes to paying for higher class seats, 63 percent said they received a free upgrade from the airline. The favorite thing about flying in a premium class is the bigger seat, according to 64 percent of travelers.

Only six percent of travelers said they purchase food on a flight. Fifty percent said they typically satisfy their hunger at the airport, and 37 percent bring food from home.

When asked what factors they would not be willing to endure for a significantly cheaper flight, 75 percent of U.S. respondents pooh-poohed the idea of coin-operated restrooms on planes.

Travelers have experienced some unfortunate behavior from their seatmates on flights, below are the lowlights:

  • 44% have experienced loud snoring
  • 25% have experienced obvious intoxication
  • 19% have experienced excessive flatulence
  • 11% have experienced couples that cannot keep their hands off one another
  • 9% have experienced vomiting

Travelers are willing to splurge for a more expensive flight for the following top three factors: Convenient departure/arrival times (69 percent), non-stop flights (67 percent), and good experiences with the airline in the past (44 percent.)

“It’s apparent that travelers are frustrated about checked bag charges and are looking for more clarity when it comes to domestic airline fees,” said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. “By using TripAdvisor’s new flight search and fees estimator, travelers get the whole picture on the cost of a flight and can take advantage of some excellent flight deals to stretch their vacation dollars farther.”

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