The busy port of George Town on Grand Cayman Island was the last shore destination of our Panama Canal cruise before it would end a couple days later at Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Our first impression of this island as our ship docked was of a cheerful and prosperous port city -- and that was confirmed when we got off the ship for our day on the island.
The Caymans are a British Territory -- all three of its small islands take up only 102 square miles.
The Islands are about 235 miles South of Cuba, and Cuba is less than 90 miles from Key West Florida. So it wasn't too surprising that we began to feel almost at home here as we neared the end of our cruise.
Downtown George Town looked a lot like a combination of Fort Myers Beach and Key West -- the same plants and flowers, the same beach condos and hotels, the obligatory roosters strolling the sidewalks ... and the downtown mall was even called Bayshore -- which is the name of the main street near our Canal Cottage in Florida.
Very much the same -- except there were a LOT more banks. (Grand Cayman Island is known as an offshore banking haven.) I didn't try to take any pictures, because banks aren't very interesting (unless I suppose you are someone who has hidden -- I mean deposited -- a lot of money in them), but there is one I caught accidentally in the background behind this pretty flowering bush.
We soon wandered off the downtown streets to the beach where we enjoyed the tidal pools and the views. We didn't patronize the Paradise but I had to smile at the sign. "Please dry off before entering" seems a fair request for a beach bar and grill. .. nobody wants to be dripped on as they drink.
A little more off the beaten track we found this sign outside a small storefront restaurant. I think it's fairly obvious that this one catered to locals -- and I wish we'd been hungry enough to try it. (That is the trouble with having all that good food on board ship -- food you've already paid for since meals aboard ship are included in the cruise cost.)
We had enjoyed every day of our cruise from one ocean to another and at the same time, we felt fortunate to be getting close to our winter home -- knowing our weather would be much the same as we had enjoyed on this day. (Most of the people we met on board ship would be going home to more harsh winter weather -- quite an adjustment.)
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