Travel to the Cayman Islands – Episode 463

categories: caribbean travel

Hear about travel to the Cayman Islands as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kendra Pierre-Louis from about her trip to this island paradise.


Kendra says: “I feel like often times when we going vacation, we go to destinations where we cram so much in that when we come back we need a vacation from our vacation. The Cayman Islands are beautiful. They’re stunning amazing landscapes in the Caribbean. It’s great typography. The people are super welcoming. It’s low crime. It’s everything you want in a beach destination, but it’s so small, It’s so compact that you don’t have to plan everything that you’re doing before you go. You don’t have to overthink it. It’s a genuine beach vacation.”

The Cayman Islands are three different islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. “Most people who go to the Cayman Islands go to Grand Cayman, the biggest of the Cayman Islands. It’s roughly 2 miles x 20 miles. Most people who go, go with a cruise ship. They come in around 10 and they’re gone by 4, so before 10 and after 4 the only people on the island are you and the locals and so, nothing is full. The Cayman Islands post the port itinerary for the day, so you can tell which days have the most cruise ships.” Kendra used that schedule to decide which part of the islands to visit on which days.

Kendra did some of the more touristy things like Stingray City where you swim with and pet (and or kiss) the stingrays. She also visited starfish lagoon, 7-mile beach, and some of the other snorkel sites. All the beaches in the Cayman Islands are public beaches.

Kendra also spent a day on Little Cayman to visit the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.

Kendra gives some restaurant suggestions as well as a nod to Tortuga Rum Company for their rum cake and the Caymen Distillery Company for their rum.

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Show Notes

Kendra Writes
Cayman Islands Tourism
Grand Cayman
Ship Schedules
Sting Ray City
Star Fish Point
Seven Mile Beach
Eden Rock
Little Cayman
Cayman Brac
Cayman Spirits Company
Tortuga Rum Company
Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink
Royal Palms Beach Club
Coconut Joe’s
Rum Point
Central Caribbean Marine Institute


There may not be a show next week

Jenny and Donny write:

Dear Mr. Christensen,

Just want to let you know that my husband and I really enjoy listening to your podcast. I travel overseas a lot, so I always make sure to download enough episodes for the whole trip. Thank you and appreciate your work. Please keep up with the good work and may God bless you and your family.

Jenny and Donny

@markbakerprague tweeted:

@chris2x very much enjoyed the Vienna podcast and made a new friend at the Third Man Museum, a place I would never have known about. Thanks

Travel to Vienna, Austria – Episode 384

Jack writes:

Great episode. I grew up in western NC. Only correction that I heard was that Lake Lure is SE of Asheville not N.

Travel to North Carolina – Episode 461

Gary in Liverpool writes:

Just to let you know Chris, podcasts are just about all I listen to apart from when I watch the box. Whilst they are popular here in England, they are really only very popular with a certain type of person. By that I mean techies and the sort, or like myself, involved in the creative industries. I have in the past let other people know about the podcast world but they don’t seem to keep it up. My commute is a 60 mile round trip which takes 50 minutes each way if the traffic’s OK and for me, it’s podcast heaven. Also, when I’m working in the garden or washing the car, stuff like that, again it’s podcasts all the way. I no longer listen to radio and haven’t for years to be honest. I have subscribed to AmTrav for years and thoroughly enjoy it, and This Week in Travel, keep up the good work.

Cheers, Gary, Liverpool


Chris: Amateur Traveler episode 463. Today the Amateur Traveler talks about stingrays and starfish, beaches and rum, as we go to the Cayman Islands.

Chris: This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. These colorful guide books are filled with great information and are one of my favorite guidebooks. I have 25 of them right here on my bookshelf. Learn more at

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Welcome to the Amateur Traveler. I’m your host Chris Christensen. Before we start talking about the Cayman Islands, I do have that same request I asked last week. If you have questions about travel, I would love to hear them because I’m putting together a course about how to travel. Send those to Host at And now, the Cayman Islands.

I’d like to welcome to the show Kendra Pierre-Louis from Kendra has come to talk to us about the Cayman Islands. Kendra, welcome to the show.

Kendra: Thanks, Chris. I’m happy to be here.

Chris: Why should someone go to the Cayman Islands? Not just to visit their secret bank account, I assume.

Kendra: No, and unfortunately, upon return I still don’t have large sums of money. I thought maybe I would find a way into all those clandestine transactions, but no, unfortunately it’s trickier than that. I feel like oftentimes when you go on vacation you end up going to destinations where we cram so much in that when we come back we need a vacation from our vacation. The Cayman Islands are beautiful. They are stunning, amazing landscapes in the Caribbean. It’s great topography. The people are super welcoming. It’s low crime. It’s like everything that you’d kind want in a beach destination but it’s so small and it’s so compact that you don’t have to plan everything that you are doing before you go. You don’t have to overthink it. It’s just a genuine beach vacation.

Chris: Excellent. And what kind of itinerary would you recommend for say, a one week trip to the Caymans.

Kendra: That’s a great question. I can tell you what I did when I went.

Chris: Sure.

Kendra: The Cayman Islands are actually three different islands. There’s Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Most people who go to the Cayman Islands they go to Grand Cayman which is the biggest of the three Cayman Islands. It’s roughly two miles by 20 miles. So, it’s 40 square miles which is why it is definitely a size you can wrap your head around. For the first day all I did was I arrived midday. I settled into my accommodations and then I went down to the beach and ate dinner watching the sunset on the beach. That’s the great thing about Cayman Islands is that most people who go as a cruise ship, right? So, they come around 10 and they’re gone by four. Before 10 and after four, the only people on the island are you and the locals. Nothing is full. Any restaurant you want to go to. Anything that you want to do, you can go and do it and that’s amazing. I’m so used to being in New York City where you have to plan things so much more and in the Caymans that just isn’t true.

Chris: Is there a place that you can escape to when the throngs of cruise ship people are there from 10 to four?

Kendra: Sure. It’s actually. . . the Cayman Islands themselves, they actually post on the website the port itinerary for the day.

Chris: Oh, interesting. Useful.

Kendra: You can tell which days have the most cruise ships. The first day that I got there, there was only one cruise ship docking and it only had a total of a thousand people on the ship itself. Because the Cayman Islands are ringed by coral reefs, the cruise ships can’t actually dock. What happens is they dock outside of the reefs and then the resorts. . .

Chris: They tend to . . .

Kendra: Right. So a lot of people choose to not get off the boat.

Chris: Which I do not understand.

Kendra: But it works perfectly for the tourists.

Chris: Sure.

Kendra: What I chose to do is I actually looked at that schedule and the first couple of days, I hung out close to the Seven Mile Beach and did some of the more touristy things. There’s Stingray City which is an amazing sandbar that you have within a wildlife preserve or an aquatic preserve. So you have to book with a tour company, which I did, and they take you out to the sand. . . it’s usually a snorkel tour that they do. Stingray City, which, I mean the water comes up maybe hip high. It’s not deep water. Maybe chest high. It’s super not deep water but it’s still filled with really docile stingrays and they’re hilarious because. . . the story of Stingray City is that a long time ago the fishermen used to dock their boats there and then clean off the fish and dump the fish guts into the water and that trained the stingrays to come to the sounds of the boat because they knew that they would get food to eat. Over time that sort of migrated into a tourist destination and it’s incredibly clear water where you can actually pet a stingray. It’s seven years good luck to kiss one. They’re incredibly docile animals.

Chris: Okay. Who talked you into that one?

Kendra: It’s part of the tour. You kiss a stingray. They pull it up from the bottom and you can kiss it and the animals are so used to being handled that they’re really, really calm about it. The humans are actually the ones that freak out like when the stingrays bumps up against you. You’re the one that freaks out. The stingrays are like. . . because they give you food to feed them. The stingrays are like “where’s my food?” and you’re freaking out. It is super entertaining, though. And then they take you further out onto the reef to other locations where you can snorkel.

Chris: Okay.

Kendra: That’s what I did the first day because I knew that’s a thing the tourists like to do and the tours themselves tend to be geared towards the boats so I did on a day when I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of tourists.

Chris: Excellent.

Kendra: Because of that itinerary it’s great. There was one day when 19,000 estimated cruisers and I said, “Forget it”, and I went as far north as humanly possible. There’s a starfish lagoon or starfish park where there’s hundreds and hundreds of starfish and you can go snorkeling for hours. It’s great especially if you have your own snorkel, which I do, but if you don’t all the dive shops rent their own.

Chris: Sure. You can usually get a week package, I assume.

Kendra: Right. You can get a week package. You can get a day package. You can rent only the pieces that you are missing. The second or third day that I was there I decided to snorkeling along Seven Mile Beach by myself. . . or near Seven Mile Beach, this area called Eden’s Rock. I was a little nervous about going by myself because it’s not always a wisest life choice so I rented just a snorkel vest. But I found, I’m not a great swimmer. I’m actually a pretty terrible swimmer but the water was so warm and the currents were smooth enough, I actually ended releasing the air from my snorkel vest. It’s a good thing to have just as back up and I think that nothing can supplement common sense and being vigilant and being super careful, but overall it’s one of the calmest few experiences I’ve ever had.

Chris: And you said Seven Mile Beach. The beach itself is seven miles long or it’s seven miles from something.

Kendra: The beach used to be seven miles long.

Chris: Okay.

Kendra: It’s shorter now because of erosion. It has that name because it’s basically seven miles of really beautiful coastline and one of the other things that’s amazing about the Caymans is that all of the beaches are public. Even if you are not at one of the fancy resorts you can still. . . you still have beach access.

Chris: And they have beach access marked in their resorts like they do in Hawaii. If you want to get to the beach, go this path through the resort.

Kendra: Yep. Exactly.

Chris: Excellent. Now one of the reasons I asked is that in the big island of Hawaii there’s a five mile marker and so the Five Mile Beach basically would be by five miles from something or other instead of being five miles long. It’s actually a small beach.

Kendra: No, it’s been seven miles long.

Chris: Are we still on Grand Cayman?

Kendra: We are still on Grand Cayman. I actually went to Grand Cayman and I went to Little Cayman. I didn’t go to Cayman Brac, which is actually the bigger of the three. In size order it’s Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman, the big news when I was there, they’s just extended the runway so now it’s an international airport. You can fly directly from the States to Cayman Brac if you want to which is mostly divers who do it because the diving around Cayman Brac is supposedly amazing.

Chris: Okay and Grand Cayman isn’t better know for snorkeling?

Kendra: Grand Cayman has really great scuba diving as well but it has a lot more people. So, population wise, Grand Cayman has about 60,000 people on the entire island. Cayman Brac has about a 1,000 or 1,100 full-time residents and Little Cayman has 170.

Chris: Oh wow. Okay.

Kendra: So, it’s divers who really don’t want to be around people that come to Cayman Brac.

Chris: What else should we do on Grand Cayman while we’re there?

Kendra: I really enjoyed the Cayman Distillery Company. There are two big rum companies in the Cayman Islands. One is Tortuga which is a famous one. They make a rum cake and they’re large. You can get their rum almost anywhere in the country and they ship their rum cakes internationally. I’ve swung by to get the rum cakes because I wanted to see what it was like and it definitely feels like a very large operation. They do do tours. Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to go to a lot of factories because I find them entertaining.

Chris: It’s not just you. I have the same thing.

Kendra: It definitely feels like a very large operation whereas oddly just down the road is the Cayman Distillery Company. They’re super new. I think they’ve only been around since 2007. They make award winning rum. It’s called Seven Fathoms Rum and they distill it by burying the casket seven fathoms deep in the ocean. They chain them down there because they say that the gentle…

Chris: What?

Kendra: Needless to say, they’re divers. They say that the gentle movement of the ocean allows the rum, which is in a whiskey casket. They get a lot of their caskets from whoever makes Jack Daniels…I can’t remember. They get them from Tennessee and stuff because those caskets I guess, by law, can only be used one time. They get them. They put their rum in it. They say that the gentle movement of the sea allows the right amount of contact with the barrels themselves. It’s not too rough. It’s not too gentle. And by being underwater they minimize evaporation.

Chris: Right. The angels shares. Interesting.

Kendra: Exactly. They’ve won. . . this rum supposedly is one of the best rums around. They’ve won all kinds of these awards. I know nothing about rum but when in rum country, you drink rum. I’d heard about the tour and I decided to take it and because I timed it sort of funny I actually was the only person on the tour, which was great because the definitely tried their best to get me slightly intoxicated. They even jokingly told me that they’ve often had to call cabs on people because people drive to the rum tour and then they drink a few too many samples and are in no condition to drive themselves back. Definitely designate a driver. It’s definitely. . . Seven. . . I think they’ve been around for seven or eight years. They have a whole bunch of other. . . the Caymans have a really high import tax on alcohol apparently. They also have a bunch of really fun sort of like well rums that they make like banana flavored and coconut flavored. The coconut flavored was amazing. It was so delicious. The best part about the tour was not just how. . . they make vodka now too. The best part of the tour was just learning about how the rum was distilled and the process of making rum. I feel like you can go to any rum company and learn that but it really was how personable they were, how hands-on they were. Also, how chill they were. It was almost like being in college and hanging out in a dorm room only in this case the dorm room was a distillery and you are drinking shots of wine while you were doing it.

Chris: Just like college.

Kendra: Actually, now that you mention it. It was just like college.

Chris: I don’t know what the difference was.

Kendra: It definitely felt like an inside look into what Cayman life was like. There was a bunch of little funny things that you’ll notice when you’re in the Cayman Islands. For example, there are just randomly chickens everywhere.

Chris: Okay.

Kendra: And you’re like, “Why are there chickens everywhere?” And he was like, “There was a guy and he had chickens and they got out.” That’s the cool thing about the Caymans. It definitely has that slow island feel. You know what I mean? The chickens that are randomly around. There are green iguanas everywhere. They’re actually invasive. They’re not native to the Caymans. But, you see them everywhere and the pace of life feels really slow. But, on the other hand, the infrastructure’s there. You can drink the tap water. The roads are paved which is lovely. There isn’t any visible poverty. It was actually kind of. . . I didn’t realize it when I was there but when I got back to New York and immediately somebody would ask me. . . a homeless person would be asking me for money. I realized I had gone an entire week without anyone panhandling me which is kind of. . . I feel like there are very few places in the world where you can go and that’s true.

Chris: One of the things we’ve seen is, there are some places you can go and that you won’t find that because there’s no tourism. So to find some place that has a lot of tourists and not have the panhandling is more rare.

Let’s take a break here and hear from our sponsor who is DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. As I’ve mentioned, these are one of my favorite guide book series. I just picked up off my bookshelf here the guide to New Zealand. Since we are talking about islands today and this is what I used when I was traveling in New Zealand back. . . I think this is the 2010 guide. I opened up to the North Island which was where I was traveling in and to the section on Waitomo Caves and that was one of the best adventures I have. There is a two page spread about all the different things that you can do in that area as well as a cutaway view and some information about the formation of the caves. It gives some of the science and then it also tells you about some of the adventures you can do. The Lost World Adventure involves a 100 meter abseil descent into huge limestone shaft or the black water rafting equipped with wet suits, lights, and cave rafts, inner tubes. These black water rafters drift into the darkness and it has a photo of the different things. You can see what they look like. Then a map of the area and that’s the kind of things that you’ll find in the DK Eyewitness guides. That’s one of the things I like about the DK guides. They’re very pictorial. They have lots of maps and charts and guides as well as information that gives me the background and the history of the place. Get your own DK Eyewitness Travel Guide from

Any particular places to stay you’d recommend or restaurants?

Kendra: Food. There are a few places. I went to Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink which is in West Bay, I think, in Grand Cayman. Mostly because I really wanted to eat lionfish and unfortunately they didn’t have lionfish anymore by the time that I got there. The quick back-story on lionfish. It’s an invasive fish from Indonesia that was let loose in the Caribbean in “the early 1990s” I want to say. It made its way to Grand Cayman four or five years ago. One of the ways that they’re fighting back against this really invasive violent fish is by encouraging people to eat it but not too much. They don’t want it to become a thing where they’re. . .

Chris: Encouraging people to eat it but not too much. Okay, we don’t want you to get overly fond of it but we want you to eat it.

Kendra: They want you to eat it. It’s killing everything out there. They’re afraid it will eat everything on the reefs. But, they don’t want people to become too dependent on it and expect to see it all the time because they don’t want to create a market for this fish. Does that make any sense? They want it to be available on restaurant menus seasonally when available. But, Mike’s Genuine Food and Drink had the best alcoholic mixed drink I’ve ever had. I don’t normally drink mixed drinks but it was a gin drink with grapefruit and lime juice and a little bit of a agave syrup and basil and it was so good that I actually came back home and bought Bombay Sapphire Gin just to try and replicate it, which I failed. It was really amazing. On Seven Mile Beach, there’s also Royal Palms Beach Club. The appeal of the Royals Palm isn’t so much the food which is okay but it’s actually right on the beach. You have amazing beach views and it’s one of the few places on Seven Mile Beach where they just have row after row of the beach chairs you can lay out on. It’s that great mix between a place where you can lay out and eat really casually and not have to get too dressed up again to go back and eat. I think from the best place that I really enjoyed I think from a food perspective was I believe it is Coconut Joe’s. It’s on Seven Mile Beach too. It had some of the best fish I had the entire time that I was there. I ate a ton of fish when I was in the Cayman Islands just because it seemed the thing to do.

Chris: Anything else in Grand Cayman before we talk about your visit to Little Cayman.

Kendra: The history of the Cayman Islands is a little different than the Caribbean countries. Nobody lived on the Cayman Islands before Columbus. They didn’t actually grow any sugar canes so the population is really different. Mostly what was known for is pirates hiding. Blackbeard used to hide his treasure and his booty because it has lots of hidden caves.

Chris: So, this is where the Cayman banking tradition comes from.

Kendra: Exactly.

Chris: Any place that the guidebooks recommend you go and yet you were a little disappointed?

Kendra: Rum Point, it’s sort of on the northern edge of Grand Cayman. The Caymans have a longest history of piracy and Rum Point gets its name from where the pirates used to hide their booty and rum caskets and all this really fun stuff. But, it’s super touristy. It’s parts of the location there are actually cordoned off for different tour groups. There was an area for a Disney cruise ships. Snorkeling is not that great. It’s the one place in a week that I got eaten by mosquitoes.

Chris: Pirates used to hide their booty their so the Cayman banking tradition traces back to that apparently.

Kendra: Evidently. Yes.

Chris: Excellent. Do you want to talk about Little Cayman then?

Kendra: I was only on Little Cayman for a day and the entire island is 10 miles by one mile. It’s pretty much the smallest place ever. There are a few resorts that don’t look like what you’re probably thinking of when you hear the word resort. It’s definitely. . . My understanding is the accommodations are really lovely on the inside but they definitely look pretty simple. They’re not multi-story, massive structures. The idea behind Little Cayman is most of, if not the entire island, is a nature preserve. Everything there is really designed to minimize environmental impact. I was actually there visiting a research station. It was a little bit different but I was fortunate enough to get a really good tour of the island. It’s definitely the kind of place. . . I don’t know if it’s a place where you have to go. The experience of getting there is actually super fun because they put you on one of those prop planes and it’s an island plane equivalent of Greyhound. It stops on your way out from Grand Cayman and goes from Little Cayman and into Cayman Brac on your way back. It clearly was started in Cayman Brac because when you get on there are already people on the plane. The experience is really fun and if you really want to get away from people there’s. . . I mean there’s 170 people in 10 square miles. If that’s crowded for you, then I’m not sure where else you can go to find more isolation. The beaches are beautiful. The views are uncomparable. The beauty of the whole coral reefs and the tranquility of the water, I just can’t explain enough. When you take pictures of it and your friends see it and it almost looked like you photoshopped it. The pictures really do look like that.

Chris: Excellent. What was the research station researching?

Kendra: Mostly they are researching the coral reefs because Little Cayman has so little people. It has no industry. It has no agriculture. It’s missing a lot of the things that normally are directly tied to people impacting the coral reefs. Little Cayman allows them. . . because they don’t have those impacts. It allows them to sort of see what coral reefs should look like relatively speaking when it’s not been encroached so much by human habitation. They’re also allowed to see the impact of a changing climate on the coral reefs.

Chris: Interesting. Is the tour that you did to the research station something generally available or is that something you were able to wrangle your way into?

Kendra: It was something I was able to wrangle my way into. It’s at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute and the station, specifically, it’s a Little Cayman research center. So, they do work in conjunction with a few of the resorts on the island to do lionfish culls. It isn’t completely outside the idea that being able to interact with them and at the end of those culls they do barbecues with the food. You do get to eat it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to do when I was in Grand Cayman. A couple of the guide companies do lionfish culls so you can go diving, get lime fish, and then eat it.

Chris: Lionfish has a pretty nasty sting so there’s some risk involved.

Kendra: There is some risk involved.

Chris: It’s not like it’s fatal but it’s rather unpleasant is my understanding.

Kendra: It’s venomous but not poisonous which is why you can eat them. I haven’t, knock on wood. . . it hasn’t happened to me. But, your hands swell up quite a bit and the preferred treatment until you can get medical care is basically stick your hand into the hottest water you can tolerate without scalding your skin because it breaks down the protein of the venom to make it little weaker and a little less potent. It’s not pleasant.

Chris: Interesting. What was your biggest surprise for the Grand Caymans?

Kendra: Two things, I guess. One, I was unprepared for the traffic. They warned me that there would be traffic but 60,000 people on an island that roughly only has one road…rush hour traffic actually does exist. It’s not stand-still and it’s not. . . I think the speed limit is 40 miles per hour on the island. It’s nothing that anyone who’s ever lived in a major city hasn’t dealt with before but it did sort of surprise me. Then, also, I was not fully prepared. . . it’s British. . . It’s a British Protectorate. So, driving on the wrong side of the road was also something I was fully not prepared for and the frequency which I drove down the wrong road or the wrong side of the road was scary. It made me incredibly grateful for the 45, 40 mile per hour speed limit.

Chris: Any warning you would give about going to the Caymans?

Kendra: No, honestly, I just think…I mean, I think if you are looking for crazy amounts of non-stop adventure, the Caymans aren’t for you but if you’re looking for a place where you can do a little bit of hiking, you like being at the beach, you like nature, the Caymans is the place to go. And the people are really warm and amazing. It was just a really great week.

Chris: Speaking of people, who’s the most memorable local that you met?

Kendra: Definitely one of the guys at the distillery who impressed upon me that he’d gone to. . . a lot of them actually leave the Caymans for college and he’d gone to college in Florida and drunkenly told me that he’d gone to school for 14 years so he wasn’t a moron and then I pointed out that it seem like the average person doesn’t take 14 years to finish college. Then he let it known that it was because he was getting his doctorate.

Chris: Alright. Did he get his doctorate in something related to rum production?

Kendra: Absolutely not. I think it was Anthropology.

Chris: That’s always useful to know what to do with that degree. Here’s a question for you. Standing at the prettiest spot in all of the Caymans, all the parts that you saw at least, where are you standing? What are you looking at?

Kendra: Little Cayman has beach at the highest point of the island, most of the island is at sea level or a little bit below, and it’s just stunning. It doesn’t look like people exist. The water is the most iridescent blue I’ve ever seen and it just feels like you are one with nature.

Chris: Excellent. I have three more questions. Before I get to them, is there anything else we should know before we pack our bags and head to the Caymans?

Kendra: No, it’s hands down the easiest travel destination I’ve ever been to.

Chris: Not counting the driving.

Kendra: Not counting the driving but I’m a New Yorker. I’m a terrible driver.

Chris: Oh, Okay. There you go. One thing that makes you laugh and say, “only in the Caymans.”

Kendra: The chickens.

Chris: Although, I have seen those on Kauai also. Finish this sentence. . . You really know you are in the Cayman Islands when…what?

Kendra: When people refuse your tip money.

Chris: Hmmm. Refuse? What do they say, “We just don’t do that here”?

Kendra: Yeah, I was getting gas and I went to a self-service instead of full and figured I could handle this and it turned out I couldn’t. The full-service guy came over and helped me out. I was like I just should’ve gone to full-service. Gave him a little bit of a tip to help him out and he looked at me like I don’t know what to do with this. He was like, “No, I’m okay.” And I was like, “Well, I should’ve gone to full-service and I didn’t and I effectively used full-service so you should take this.” And after a minute of two he was like, “oh, okay. I guess I will.”

Chris: You don’t have that in New York City you’re saying.

Kendra: No. Definitely not. I can’t image tipping someone at their job for doing their job and having them say, “No, thank you.”

Chris: The last question. . . if you had to summarize the Cayman Islands in just three words, which three words would you use?

Kendra: Absolutely perfect sunset.

Chris: Excellent. And our guest again has been Kendra Pierre-Louis. Where can people read more about your travels?

Kendra: You can read more about my travels online at KendraWrites@com.

Chris: Excellent. Well, Kendra, thanks so much for coming on the Amateur Traveler and sharing with us your love for the Cayman Islands.

Kendra: Thank you for having me. It has been a pleasure.

Chris: We’re probably not going to have an Amateur Traveler episode next week because I’ll be with some of you in Morocco and sobecause of that, I don’t see one coming out but it’s possible. In news of the community, I heard from Jenny and Donny who said, “Dear Mr. Christensen, I want to let you know that my husband and I really enjoy listening to your podcast. I travel overseas a lot so I always make sure to download enough episodes for the whole trip. Thank you and appreciate you work. Please keep up the good work and may God bless you and your family.” Thanks Jenny and Donny. But, I should say that even my father won’t answer to Mr. Christensen. He’ll tell you that’s his father so apparently that’s the last Christensen in my family that wouldn’t go by a first name. Call me Chris.

Mark responded on Twitter and said, “Much enjoyed the Vienna podcast. This was from way back in the archives and made a new friend at the Third Man Museum, a place I would’ve never would’ve known about. Thanks.” And for those of you who haven’t listened to that episode our guest was in fact the curator of the museum, The Third Man, about the movie of the same name which is a spy thriller that happened in the city of Vienna shortly after World War II. We heard from Jack about the episode we did on North Carolina. “Great episode. I grew up in western North Carolina. Only correction I heard was that Lake Lure is southeast of Asheville, not north.” Well, if that’s all we got wrong, Jack, then we did a pretty good job.

In the most recent episode of the Amateur Traveler newsletter, I included an article or link to an article about growth in podcasting and I heard from Gary in Liverpool who said, “Just to let you know Chris, podcasts are just about all I listen to apart from when I watch the box. Whilst they are popular here in England, they’re really only popular with a certain type of person but by that I mean techies and the sort or like myself involved in creative industries. I have in the past let other people know about the podcast world. They don’t seem to keep it up. My commute is a 60 mile round trip which takes 50 minutes each day if the traffic is okay and that’s for me is podcast heaven. Also, when I’m working in the garden or washing the car, stuff like that, it’s podcasts all the way. I no longer listen to radio and haven’t for years, to be honest. I have subscribed to Amateur Traveler for years and thoroughly enjoy it and This Week in Travel. Keep up the good work. Cheers. Gary in Liverpool.” Gary, it’s interesting how that has changed here. When I was back at TripAdvisor recently, I ran across someone who is a former co-worker back when I was an employee there and she said I’m going to have to listen to your podcast not because I am now listening to podcasts because of some of the big NPR podcasts. I think in her case it was the Serial Podcast had got her into podcasting. I’d be interested in hearing how many of you are new podcasting listeners or like Gary, long time listeners.

With that, we’re going to end this episode of the Amateur Traveler. Remember send me your travel questions. Also, comments on the episode. You can send them via host at or for comments on the episode, better yet leave them as a comment on this episode at You can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram @Chris2X and as always, thanks so much for listening.

Transcription sponsored by JayWay Travel, specialists in Central & Eastern Europe custom tours.

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Travel to the Cayman Islands – Episode 463”

Barry S. Kramer


Hi Chris and Kendra;

On most cruise ships, the Cayman Islands seems to be an obligatory port of call when sailing from Florida to the Western Caribbean. Over the past few years, my family and I have stopped at the Caymans on 5 different occasions. I must admit that on our last two stops, I was one of those passengers who spent the day on the boat rather than taking the tender over to Georgetown on Grand Cayman.

We have toured and shopped Georgetown, and we have spent some time at one of the beaches. But on our last two visits, I personally didn’t feel there was anything else I wanted to see or do on Grand Cayman. The reason for this is that many of the programs and tours offered on Grand Cayman are very similar to those offered at other port of calls. I was very happy to hear from Kendra that there are indeed some unique things to do in the Cayman Islands. I would also be very interested to hear from Kendra or other listeners to the Amateur Traveler, if there are additional day trips or experiences they enjoyed when visiting these islands.

Thank you for the information presented on the Amateur Traveler. Each episode brings so many interesting ideas on how to enjoy travel. I had almost given up on these islands, but I will definitely look deeper for new experiences to explore the next time we are in the Caymans.

Barry S. Kramer

Al Woodcock


Another great travel destination well presented, particularly enjoyable because I got pictures on my iphone again. Same last week so either you or Apple have done something to solve this long standing problem. If it is in your coding and don’t mind, I would like to share your solution with another podcaster I listen too without his pictures appearing. Keep up the good work.



As relatively new parents, our travel budget for trips further than Disneyland or the mid-West has shrunk and our existing guidebooks are getting old. Thankfully, the books are not quite legally allowed to drink yet, but still… 🙂

Anyway, a lot of our newer books are understandably very kid focused. There’s several series my kids and I really like with great colorful pictures: “My First…”, “Baby Touch and Feel,” “Visual Encyclopedia,” and so on. I never really noticed the publishers before, but imagine my surprise when I found all of these books are from DK, the same publisher that sponsors your podcast. If their travel books are as good as their kids books, we’ll definitely be looking at them for our next trip.

Thanks for feeding my imagination and wanderlust as we begin to talk about our next destination.

Anay Bhide


“Hey Chris!
Thank you for the invitation! And I’m thrilled! The traveler videos definitely vouch for the good points jotted in the blog. The video or audio inclusion is one of the best methods I must say as they are very realistic and worth the try. The islands are amazing wish I had one trip at bay just to get used to the Caribbean marine”

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