Grand Cayman - December '05
Spanish Bay Reef Resort
|We needed a long vacation
break. We still love Aruba but we also wanted to return to the Cayman
Islands for the terrific scuba diving. We contacted Randy at
Scuba One who told us that he had
access to good rates at the all-inclusive
Reef Resort. After hurricane Ivan, the island was just returning to
normal and Spanish Bay only opened the month before we arrived. Randy got us
a very attractive rate for our accommodations because of these circumstances.
Spanish Bay Reef Resort is reopened and better than ever! All of the rooms have been thoroughly refurbished and refurnished with new furniture. The grounds and facilities have been repaired and improved so we were very pleased to see the results. We enjoyed perfect weather and mild seas on a few days of our 10 nights at the resort.
At one point, we were two of four guests at the resort so we enjoyed very special attention by the staff. Incidentally, most of the staff are the same as we met on our 2002 trip to the resort. A majority of the other guests were from the UK which we enjoyed. At the on-site dive shop, Naomi was very helpful and attentive. She is very encouraging for those of us who are new divers so do not hesitate to rely upon the shop to prepare you for wall diving.
The Caymanians have done an incredible job of rebuilding their island. In some ways, the island is benefiting from the opportunity to rebuild bigger and better. However, the traffic on the island is now a big factor. It could take about an hour to travel from West Bay down to Georgetown unless you leave by 6:30 and the afternoons are not good either. On one day, there were nine cruise ships anchored so we did not go anywhere except diving that day. The Ritz-Carlton had its official grand opening while we were there so that was the big event on the local news. We aren't sure, but that opening is about five years behind schedule!
We did some shore diving from the resort and we spent seven mornings in a row with Wall To Wall Diving for two-tank diving trips. We initially called Wall To Wall because of their 8 divers or less policy -- we were not disappointed. Giles and Blair managed to host both beginner divers like us and divers who had logged thousands of dives. We spent much of our week on the West side of the island but the last two days we did make it to the North Wall. On this trip, we brought along a new digital camera (Canon S80) and external flash (Sunpak G-Flash) to ensure that we captured our underwater experience.
The following pages are a collection of some photos that we took while we were there.
Mark and Andrea