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This post was written with traditional honeymooners in mind, but we'd like to think that we all need a little "honeymooning" in our life. Yea, we just made that a verb! So whether you're planning your first vacation as a married couple, you've been married 25 years or you're enjoying the single life this post has a little something for anyone looking to enjoy the romance that is life. Now let's set the stage!

It’s just the two of you now, ready to start your life of new adventures together and the first adventure is a big one. That’s right, the honeymoon. Before you get in the car and drive or board an airplane, you have to decide where your honeymoon destination will be.

You could choose big city, small country or even Disney, but we sincerely believe your best option is grand beach. Specifically, Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman island.

With stunning beachfront views, crystal clear water and some of the best scuba diving spots in the world, Grand Cayman is the perfect backdrop for a romantic and adventurous honeymoon.

The Cozy Stay

Christopher Columbus Condos on Seven Mile Beach has 30 intimate units to choose from including 16 Ocean View and 4 Ocean View Penthouse units. Each unit includes a fully equipped kitchen for those who like to stay in and cook (for those who prefer to go out to eat, keep reading) and an open concept living room. The entire property also offers free WiFi and provides beach towels so you don’t have to worry about packing your own. To make your stay even homier our beloved Christopher Columbus staff is on site Monday-Saturday to accommodate all of your needs including daily housekeeping services.

With only 30 units the property is quiet, peaceful, and there's plenty of room on our large beach.

Speaking of beaches...

The Private Beach

One of our favorite spots to hang out on the entire property is of course our beach backyard! While on the beach you and your new spouse can relax under one of our 13 thatched huts and read a book, take a nap or:

  • Go snorkeling
  • Swim in the pool or ocean
  • Stand Up Paddleboard
  • Swing under a hut
  • Play bocce ball and so much more

The Food

Food is a basic necessity for survival. Amazing food is found in Cayman. In addition to traditional Caymanian cuisine, restaurants on the island offer Caribbean, European, Farm-to-Table and Mexican to name a few varieties. Check out this list of some of our favorite lunch spots to get your culinary adventure started.

The Memories to Make

After hearing about our private beach we wouldn’t judge you one bit if you and your new spouse relaxed on the beach or poolside everyday of your stay. However, if you do feel like seeing more of what our beautiful island has to offer we have a few suggestions for where to begin.

The Photo Opps

Honeymooning at Christopher Columbus is sure to leave you and your special someone with some amazing memories that you will cherish forever. If you’re wondering how it can get any better let’s talk about photo opportunities and the FOMO your family and friends are sure to have after seeing all your pictures.

Lover’s Wall

Lover’s Wall is a brick wall located along the East End on Sea View Road on the way to the Blowholes. It's red heart sign is the perfect spot for newlyweds to snap a keeper to frame later.

Sunsets

Picking a favorite Cayman sunset is just as wrong as picking a favorite child. The good news for honeymooners like yourselves, is a gorgeous sunset fills the sky every night creating a breathtaking backdrop for honeymoon photos. The unique lighting can also create a romantic silhouette shot.

CaymanKind

Finally, something we are 100% certain no other honeymoon destination will have. The kind, warm and inviting charisma from Cayman residents. They are delighted to share their love of the island and you'll be delighted you chose to honeymoon in Cayman.

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My first trip out to Stingray City was a huge day of firsts for me—first time on a boat in the ocean, first time petting a stingray, first time holding a starfish, and first time snorkeling. Even on a day full of amazing new experiences, getting to meet Winston, crew member extraordinaire, stands out as one of the highlights. 

The first thing that made me smile about Winston was his ability to guess my shoe size just by looking at my feet. He took a quick glance and then handed me a pair of snorkeling fins (which to my surprise weren’t called just "flippers") that fit on the first try. He laughed and said that people with “little heels and ankles” were by far the hardest people to fit. My shoe store trips would be significantly easier if I had Winston along! 

As the boat began to take off towards the Coral Gardens, we were quickly greeted by lots of cold, salty splashes of seawater. Most people squealed and shouted at being suddenly soaked, but Winston opened up his arms, closed his eyes, and smiled as the waves splashed him. “Ahh, you all should enjoy this now because you won’t get any of this on the ride back.” I, like my fellow passengers, was initially a little jarred by the splashes, but seeing Winston enjoy the waves and encourage us to enjoy the experience turned my attitude around. 

Since he seemed to have such a positive outlook on being at work, I asked Winston how long he’d been doing boat tours. He’s been working for Stingray City for about eight years. Winston worked in construction for several years after moving to Cayman from Jamaica for better opportunities for his family. I asked which he liked better and with a big smile he said he liked giving tours much better—he gets to be outdoors in a beautiful, laid back atmosphere, and gets to meet lots of people from all around the world. Of all the destinations on the boat tours, he said he enjoys Star Fish Point the most because of the fun but relaxing atmosphere and how much kids enjoy the spot. 

Once we arrived at Stingray City, Winston also served as our stingray ambassador. As a few stingrays began to swim by our group, one guest got a little freaked out by the rays being so close. She screamed, flailed, and even tried to escape back onto the boat, but Winston took the time to calm her down. He explained that there was nothing to be afraid of, and slowly guided her over to the stingray. After a few moments, she seemed to calm down a little, and by the time we were finished she even gave the ray a little kiss for luck! As Winston said, “You have to kiss the stingray—it’s seven years good luck!” 

All too soon it was time to get back on the boat and leave the stingrays behind, but as I asked Winston if I could give the ray a goodbye pet on the fin, he replied with his signature, “Of course!” Throughout the whole day, any request a guest had—Will you take a photo? Can you explain how starfish eat?—Winston always replied with a cheerful, “Of course!” His kindness and enthusiasm made an already incredible experience even more special. 

Whether it was manning the ship’s anchor, explaining how to use snorkel gear, or wrangling stingrays, Winston did everything with a genuine smile and generous spirit. Every time I think back on my big day of firsts, Winston’s smile is a big part of my memories. The first trip won’t be my last time hanging with stingrays for certain, and hopefully it won’t be my last time getting to visit with Winston. 
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I’m going to dive ;) into my first submarine experience with a lot of honesty and a little bit of a backstory.

During my first trip to the Cayman Islands in the fall of 2015, one of the main activities I looked forward to the most was scuba diving. I imagined the experience would be once in a lifetime and anticipated seeing what the world looks like underwater and the creatures that call the sea home. It wasn’t until this trip that I had the opportunity to make my scuba diving wish a reality. After making arrangements with a local diving company, our instructor for the day picked my group up from the condos and took us to a beautiful location (right in the middle of Cracked Conch and Macabuca restaurant’s) we would dive from.

Over the course of the next hour, I could feel an irrational anxiety building up within me as the very educated and kind instructor explained to my group various hand signals and breathing techniques we would rely on while underwater. I’m not quite sure what came over me since I do not usually chicken out of participating in activities, although I somewhat chalk it up to the day before when I went swimming in choppy water. Let’s just say I struggled a bit, and had a few traumatic flashbacks to when I was four years old and thought I was drowning at my local swimming pool…I’m not exactly a fish. Anyway, I made the decision to stay on dry land while the others in my group continued on with the diving excursion (which they of course said was absolutely amazing).

Although I felt I made the right decision for myself, I still had the longing to go deep underwater and experience the sights and sea life found there. Once we returned to our condo, I started wondering if there was a way to satisfy both my desire to go underwater and be in a comfortable more familiar environment. I mean, I can’t be the only person frightened by the idea of scuba diving, right? I began researching online and that’s when I found the perfect solution. A submarine tour! I chose to book the day dive with Atlantis Submarine tours in George Town. As explained by their website “the submarines are specifically designed for underwater sightseeing excursions”, while the cabin is air conditioned and maintains sea pressure level, which means no effect on the ears.

When the day of my tour came I checked in at the front desk, (they require guests to arrive 15 minutes prior to tour start time) received my boarding pass and waited for my group’s turn. The tour guide Richard, introduced himself, announced our departure, and we boarded our awaiting sub-shuttle to take us to the submarine. While riding the shuttle Richard explained to us a few basic safety procedures boasting over 70,000 dives with no need to use the emergency safety gear! I felt as though I was in good hands.

Next up, we arrived at the submarine anchored to a small tug boat at the Jackson Point dive site. Once in the submarine we were introduced to Captain Rodney who has 28 years of diving experience under his belt, as well as our Co-captain Delroy. Before we began our dive underwater Captain Rodney went through several safety and security checkpoints with the crew members staying above water to make sure the sub was in prime working condition. During this process everyone on board was also informed that Captain Rodney would be in constant communication with the crew above throughout the entire dive. 

Since I was by myself for this particular tour, I chose to sit near the front of the submarine and make friends with Richard and Captain Rodney. They were both incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. They also took the time to answer my questions and point out a specific fish or other marine life swimming by the submarine to ensure the passengers wouldn't miss a moment! At one point we even saw an eel which Richard said was very rare during the daytime since they like to hide in the dark! 

We descended for awhile finally reaching our maximum depth of 102 ft. although the particular submarine we were in can go as far down as 150 ft. Before I knew it, we were back up to the surface boarding the sub-shuttle back to land, but not before getting our certificates stating that we completed the dive. I enjoyed this special little touch, and I'm sure the kiddos would love receiving these even more!

I had an enjoyable experience with Atlantis submarines, and since no two dives are the same I would go back under in a heartbeat!

Read reviews for Atlantis Submarines on Trip Advisor

Atlantis also provides a night dive for a chance to see the creatures that only come out at night. (Wednesday nights only.)

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Swimming with the Dolphins

If I had to guess I’d say most people have a “bucket list” of some kind. You know, that list of things you want to do or see and places you want to go before you die? My personal bucket list has varied a little bit here and there over the years, but one thing that has been at the top for as far back as I can remember was to swim with dolphins. I’m not exactly sure when the desire began, but I think it was a result of seeing characters in a T.V. show or movie. From that moment on I was hooked on the concept.

This past November while visiting the Cayman Islands for the very first time I finally got to cross this major item off my bucket list! A few days before the big day "Dolphin Day," I called Dolphin Discovery to make the reservation. *Before you do this be sure to talk to CCC’s wonderful concierge Georgette to see if she can hook you up with a discounted rate. ;)

We arrived on the island on Thursday and my reservation wasn’t until the following Tuesday afternoon. Every day we were in Cayman I had a new amazing experience, but I was still most looking forward to swimming with the dolphins.

When the day finally arrived I showed up not quite knowing what to expect but excited! Fortunately, my appointment was at the end of the day so while most encounters are in groups I got the dolphins all to myself!

After putting on my life jacket, I was greeted by a worker and escorted to the water where the trainer Ernesto and two male dolphins Cappie and Capirnico were waiting. Ernesto began explaining a bit about what makes dolphins unique and the work that Dolphin Discovery does training and helping to conserve dolphin life.

My first interaction with the dolphins was to pet them as they swam by. They were so soft and docile, I was immediately comfortable being around them.

Throughout my half an hour interaction I clapped, danced, splashed, kissed and hugged my new friends Cappie and Capirnico and finally towards the end the moment I had been waiting for came. I swam across the water to the other side of the pool and put my arms at each side as the dolphins swept me up and I rode across the water holding on to a dorsal fin in each hand! 

My experience at Dolphin Discovery was amazing and it was so great to finally get that bucket list item checked off. Although... I wouldn't be opposed to doing the whole thing all over again! 

A few interesting facts I learned about dolphins:

  1. Dolphins are so soft because they shed their skin every 2 hours!
  2. Dorsal fins located on the top of the dolphins have distinctive nicks and wear patterns that are unique to individual dolphins, just like a human fingerprint.
  3. Dolphins swim with their tails moving in an up and down motion, while sharks swim from side to side.

Tips for first timers:

  1. Bring your own beach towel to dry off after your swimming adventure.
  2. Dolphin Discovery does let you bring your own camera so someone in your group who is not swimming can capture all the memorable moments. However, they don't let you get super close because they provide a professional photographer who takes posed and candid pictures the entire time, too. You can view and choose your favorite images to purchase before you leave.
  3. If you brought a change of clothes or other personal items with you, lockers are provided free of charge.
  4. There are several different encounter packages to choose from based on the dolphin experience you want. Click here to find the best option for you and your group:  http://www.dolphindiscovery.com/grand-cayman/cayman-deals.asp  
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When planning my recent trip to Grand Cayman, other than remembering my passport and sunblock, the most important item on my check list was to schedule an unforgettable dive experience. Something extraordinary that would carry me through the long, cold winter that was waiting for me on my return home to the States. I knew that Grand Cayman was already recognized as being one of the absolute best diving destinations on the planet, so I certainly had that going for me. However the biggest question was which diving operation to hire. So, after Googling “best dive operations in Grand Cayman” (which left me no shortage of options) I started the interview process!

After a few nondescript calls, I struck gold with Living the Dream (LTD) Divers. Within the first few minutes of my conversation with Liz (one of the owners), I could clearly sense that there was something really unique and special about her operation. She seemed to be more excited than I was, and was going to do whatever she could to make it memorable. After sorting out the logistics, we decided on a two tank dive for the following day at noon. As advertised, Scotty showed up at Christopher Columbus Condos right on schedule in the brightly wrapped LTD van. Immediately he welcomed me in his thick British accent and within 5 minutes we were telling jokes and poking great fun at each other. He also shared intriguing stories of his diving adventures all over the world as a PADI Master Scuba Instructor. It became very apparent that Scotty loved his job, but more than that, he seemed to be genuinely happy doing it. I later learned that Scotty’s nickname is “Happy”, which was certainly appropriate.

Within 10 minutes, we arrived at the dock where I was immediately greeted by “Captain” Carl. Like Scotty, Carl is super friendly and welcoming with his British wit and demeanor. And like Scotty, he is a 10 year PADI professional that has traveled all over the world. He started with a quick tour of our boat, which was clearly the nicest dive boat I had ever boarded. He pointed out that it was custom built for Living the Dream Divers down to the smallest detail. Before we launched to our first destination, Carl gave us a very thorough safety briefing and made it crystal clear that our safety was his top priority. Our first dive spot was along the North Sound wall of the Island which is called Eagle Ray Pass. It was a spectacular choice. Along the wall are a series of canyons that eventually feed to a sheer drop off point into the deep blue abyss. As I descended to a maximum depth of 102 feet, the area was teaming with marine life such as sea turtles, eels and lobsters. With Carl in the lead, he took the time to educate our group by pointing out creatures and plants that I would have certainly missed otherwise. It was a great education. After a brief rest and a snack, we were on to our second destination. We motored around to the northwest side of the island not too far from Seven Mile Beach and Christopher Columbus Condos. Our next dive spot was “Bonnie’s Arch,” named after a famous Cayman photographer Bonnie Charles.

Bonnie’s Arch was a great choice for many reasons. Not only was it a more appropriate depth (50ft) for our second dive, but it was a really unique natural structure that was well decorated with magnificent sponge and coral. Teams of fish like parrotfish, squirrelfish, and snapper shared their home with us, as a hungry sea turtle grazed his way along reef. We spent the next 45 minutes or so just relaxing and trying to blend in among the magnificent world of blue and vibrant colors. After we surfaced and unloaded our gear on the boat, Carl was kind enough to put back on his professor hat. On the journey back, he was very eager to discuss and unpack all that we had just experienced. Once we returned to the dock, he more than thanked us for being part of his day and allowing him to “Live his dream” of diving in Grand Cayman.

As a business owner myself, I am constantly in “evaluation mode” when it comes to studying organizations and their ability to deliver. LTD Divers have accomplished something that is rare in the business world. They have developed a clear vision for their entire team and a culture of ownership from top to bottom. Not only do they have fun with their vocation each and every day, but they are grateful for the opportunity to share it with others. I would highly recommend Living The Dream Divers to anyone looking for a first class diving experience in Grand Cayman, and look forward to seeing them again on my next trip to Christopher Columbus Condos!

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There are approximately 1,000 species of fish swimming around in the Caribbean Sea, and diving and snorkeling in Grand Cayman gives you the opportunity to swim with some of these beautiful creatures. Below we've identified 10 fish that our guests and condo owners have recently spotted while vacationing in Grand Cayman. All of these photos were taken by either guests or owners of Christopher Columbus Condos, so we have solid proof they're out there! :) Keep in mind there are many more fish and even mammals, crustaceans and more to see while underwater in the Cayman Islands. This is just a small sneak peak!  



  10. French Angelfish

Photo taken by our guest, Christine Bart. 


   


  9. Blue Tang

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

  8. Queen Angelfish

Photo taken by our guest, Christine Bart.

     

  7. Foureye Butterflyfish

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

  6. Spotfin Butterflyfish

Photo taken by our guest, Jason Hawk.

     

  5. Silver Side Fish

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

  4. Lionfish

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

  3. Horse-Eye Jack Fish

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

  2. Trumpet Fish

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

  1. Remora

Photo taken by one of our condo owners, Marsha O'Daniel.

     

Have you seen any of these fish while diving in Grand Cayman? Share your exciting snorkeling and diving experiences with us in the comments.

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It's not often my father and I get to dive, and it is especially rare for us to have the opportunity to dive such a tropical locale as Grand Cayman. Hailing from southeast Missouri in the Heartland of the United States, the availability of sparkling translucent, turquoise-blue ocean water is nonexistent. Rewind a decade to the last time I dove the Cayman Islands, having just exited the training pool after an incredibly expedited scuba training session aboard a cruise ship. The water was picturesque, but our time on the island was short and our dive experience so limited as to ensure a far more cautious, less relaxed environment than was anticipated or hoped for. The experience was memorable, but after sucking in a regulator full of salt water, enduring a leaky mask and salt-stung eyes, and struggling with equalization, the "fun" was well finished before the dive was.

Fast forward a few years, a few murky lake dives, a few local scuba classes, a few more years, a few more uneventful lake dives, and then an extended dive hiatus. Finally, we arrive in Cayman once again, only this time with at least a remedial amount of experience, and with experience, confidence, and with confidence, excitement. Coupled with this excitement; plenty of time.

After a solid 24-hour period of comfortable island acclimation, we set off for a laid back afternoon dive session with the Cayman Turtle Divers. Although I had spent some time awake the night before conjuring up any number of irrational apprehensions; hostile marine life, sharks, equipment failure, user error, etc., all of my inconvenient fears were assuaged the moment we met our guides. Approachable and friendly, their cool attitudes represented a norm we had already encountered and were to continually encounter throughout our entire trip, that of a consistently amiable attitude from pretty much everyone we met. It was this same calm, rational, and humorous persona projected by our British guide, coupled with breathtaking reflections of light off the gently rolling, bright blue waves that steadily quelled all worries and heightened expectations. By the time we were in the water, I knew this would be our most unforgettable dive to date. And it was.

With light penetrating in shards from the surface, even at 50 feet our visibility was astounding, and the colors were vivid. The coral was elaborately detailed, setting off in all directions like fingers, harboring all sorts of life from its cavernous base to its castle like spires. Brightly colored fish danced and darted in and out of the sponge-like holes in the coral, orientally armored lion fish hovered stoically under crags, sting rays and eagle rays passed by flowingly, their bodies moving steadily yet seemingly oscillating in place, and care-free sea turtles floated nearby. At the sandy bottom lay interesting bits of wreckage to explore, as well as a bicycle I did attempt to ride. Our guide maneuvered us effortlessly through the winding reef, looking back occasionally for a sign of "Ok," rubber band spear gun in hand for the lion fish. Although our time underwater was relatively brief, the experience was incredible and the location could not have been more accommodating to novices such as ourselves. In addition, it was not just the environment and geography, the magnificent beauty and diversity of life that surrounded us throughout our dives that realized the adventure. As special as Grand Cayman is, and indeed it is a special place to experience, it was the people that made the trip complete. My father and I cannot wait to return as soon as the next available opportunity arrives (and it won't be long), for it was this unique combination of natural wonder and benevolent personality that thoroughly ensured the end to our scuba hiatus was that much more exceptional.

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 4.75 star by 2 people.
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