What/Where is Cayman Kai/Rum Point

Cayman Kai means “by the sea” and this prestigious development encompasses about 400 acres on the north shores of the island of Grand Cayman, located on a spit of land that separates the North Sound from the Caribbean Sea. Known for its crystal clear waters and sandy beaches, vacationers looking for a carefree island vacation flock to this part of the island to enjoy more privacy than that found on the more well-known Seven Mile Beach.

The Rum Point area sits within the Cayman Kai area.  When we first moved to the Cayman Islands, we wondered what the residents living in paradise did on weekends and holidays (most everything is closed on Sundays) – the answer: go to Rum Point, lie in the warm, shallow waters of the North Sound or snorkel on the reefs.  After we bought a boat (a 24 foot SeaRay), things got even easier as we then did what all boat owning residents do on Sundays – anchor in the sandy cove and enjoy the warm, crystal clear waters (and, of course, have a libation or two with everyone else).  The water is waist deep for about two hundred yards off the shore and is sheltered from the winds, making it safe for young and old.

What should we bring?

No Big Ting is fully equipped with everything you need – bring your personal toiletries and, of course, your bathing suit and sandals.  We recommend water shoes or sandals with heels on them as there is the odd bit of coral in the water in spots and there are a few rock outcroppings (called “iron shore”) at the entry way to the sea and it can be uncomfortable if you step on these.  Flip flops don’t work in the water because they come off when you are swimming.

Please also bring sun screen and sun block.  It is very expensive here and YOU WILL NEED IT!  The sun is very hot here, even when it is clouded over and a sun burn will ruin your vacation.

You may also wish to bring your snorkel gear (if you have it) although rentals are available at Rum Point Beach, just a half a mile north of No Big Ting.  There is excellent snorkeling in the marine park directly off No Big Ting between the shoreline and the reef, which is approximately 150 yards offshore.

There are also rentals of snorkels and masks, kayaks, strollers, car seats and much, much more at Empty Suitcases.  Chet and his team up in West Bay have a large selection of items for your vacationing pleasure.  They deliver and pick up to our home.

What’s the weather like?

The locals like to quip that there are two seasons in Cayman: “tourist season and hurricane season”.  They’re not really wrong.  Hurricane season is officially June 1st to November 30th – although it is unusual to see hurricanes forming in the Western Caribbean outside of August, September and October.  There has not been a major hurricane to hit Grand Cayman since Ivan in September 2004 (we also had a category 1 hurricane in August 2007); however, we are always prepared.  This also corresponds to our rainy season – the rainiest months being May and October. Usually the rain falls in the evenings or for an hour during the day – it’s not really a rainy season as is usual in the jungles (although it can be quite humid).  The weather is a balmy 80 to 90 degrees F in the summer and between 70 to 85 degrees F in the winter. No Big Ting is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the cooling sea breezes – particularly in the winter season. For more information on weather patterns, try www.weather.com.

The average water temperature ranges from 84 degrees F in August to 78 degrees F in January.

Do we need a car?

While you don’t need a car while you are here, we highly recommend it.  It’s about a forty-five minute drive to No Big Ting from the airport and that translates into a US $72 (plus $24 per person over three people) taxi ride…one way…also, if you wish to see some of the attractions, you may want to travel about the island or do some sightseeing or duty-free shopping.

It may seem daunting at first because we drive on the left here but it’s really not too much trouble once you adjust to the road rules.  We use roundabouts (traffic circles) instead of traffic lights (there are only six traffic lights on island – none outside of George Town and the Seven Mile Beach area) and there are a couple of rules – give way to the traffic in the circle, the person on the inside of the circle always has the right of way leaving the circle and you should be on the outside lane of the circle if you plan to exit in the first two roads in the circle.  Rental car plates are white and the residents are always on the look-out for them.  Don’t worry about going too fast (it’s a very small island) or missing a road, you can always just keep going around the circle again!  The best advice I ever received when I first moved to the island was to only go as fast you feel comfortable.  Don’t worry about backing up traffic as the residents are generally polite and don’t honk or shout; so just enjoy the drive.

There is another option that some of you might want to try if driving from the airport just seems like it’s too much to do your first day in Grand Cayman (or if you are arriving very late).  A local operator named McCurley’s Tours and Rental Cars will pick you up at the airport, allow a short stop for groceries and have your car waiting for you at the house when you arrive.  The price of the rental car includes pick up and drop off at the airport.  If you wish, you never need to go into town or deal with the luggage.  I have also been told that the driver will assist you with learning about roundabouts and attractions while he or she drives you up to the house.  McCurley’s is a very small operation so you must call or email them as soon you know you are coming to Grand Cayman.  You can email them at: [email protected] or telephone them at: 1 345 916-0925.  You will also need to pay with a credit card that has rental car insurance as part of its package.

There is no bus service to Rum Point at this time.

Where are the grocery stores?

There are several grocery stores between the airport and No Big Ting, the closest one being near the airport (Foster’s airport), the next one is Hurley’s at Grand Harbour, there is another Foster’s on the way to Savannah (at Countryside Shopping Centre) and another Foster’s in East End near the Morritts resort (you will not pass this one on the way to No Big Ting but it is the most convenient store after you arrive).  Chisholm’s is a small grocery store about five minutes from No Big Ting where you can pick up some supplies but it will not be sufficient if you are planning several meals.

The major stores are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday but THERE IS NO SHOPPING ON SUNDAYS (and some stores are also closed on public holidays or have limited store hours). Accordingly, if you are arriving on a Sunday or a public holiday, you may wish to use a shopping service on island called Cayman Shoppers. This company will do all your shopping for a CI$65 charge.  You may want to use this in any event if you don’t wish to waste time at the grocery and liquor stores.  Eddie and his wife, Leonie, like a couple of days notice but call +1 345 916-2978 if you need something quickly and they’ll do their best to help you out!  Do not worry about their limited listing – they can supply you with any groceries you need, whether or not it is on their listing.  They can also arrange to pick up beer, wine and liquor – even on Sundays!

Where are the liquor stores?

There are liquor stores close to each of the grocery stores mentioned above.  There are also a couple of liquor stores (called Water Boyz), the closest one being near the corner where you turn on to Rum Point Drive on your way to No Big Ting.  Almost all of the liquor stores are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; a few are open until 10 p.m. by special licence (although none of them are near No Big Ting).  By law, all liquor stores are also closed on Sundays (and most are closed on public holidays).  Please note that our public holidays do not necessarily coincide with the public holidays in other countries so be sure to check before you arrive.

Jacques Scott (one of the largest liquor distributors) will also deliver. Contact them at www.jacquesscottonline.com

Blackbeard’s will also deliver free to you if you pre-order. Their website is at www.blackbeards.ky.

What about deliveries?

Aside from the shopping deliveries above, there are unlikely to be any other deliveries to No Big Ting (unless you need water sports rentals or items for your children – see below).  If you have any special requirements, please call us and we will try to make arrangements before your arrival.

Are water sports rentals available?  What about day trips nearby? Restaurants?

Rum Point water toysThe closest place to arrange for all your water sports rentals and trips is at Rum Point Beach, a half mile from No Big Ting.  Red Sail Sports has a shop there and you can rent all types of items such as snorkeling gear, wave runners, kayaks, aqua trikes and so on.  You can also arrange diving and snorkeling trips, banana boat rides, water skiing and other adventure trips (click on “Activities” and then “Rum Point” on the Red Sail website).  Snorkeling gear can be rented for US$15 per day with a 20% discount if you rent for a week.  Alternatively, you can buy gear at the Treasure Chest (the gift shop) at Rum Point (or at many of the grocery stores on your way to No Big Ting).  Kids’ snorkeling equipment can be purchased from CI$18 (US$22.50) and adult gear from CI$27 (US$33.75).  The gift shop also sells flip-flops, water shoes, clothes, hats and snacks (as well as souvenirs) and is open from 9 to 6 every day.  There is a bar, selling food and drinks during the day, and a restaurant open in the evenings for more formal dining. Check the restaurant hours off-season as it usually closes in September and October (there are beach parties on some evenings during that time).


Kaibo bar and restaurant

There are also activities at Kaibo Yacht Club, a mile and a half up the road from No Big Ting in the Cayman Kai area.  There is a water sports shack there also – named either the Sweet Spot or the Kitehouse (don’t ask…).  There you can arrange for kiteboarding lessons and rentals, bioluminescence tours, wakeboards, kneeboards, stand up paddleboards (best hourly rates on North Side), kayaks and boat tours.  The schedule can be a little erratic so please call 1 345 925-8129 before wandering up there.  They are very good about showing up when they know you will be there.  Kaibo also has a bar, selling food and drinks during the day and into the evening with frequent events (see the website for the upcoming events).  There is also a fine dining restaurant on the second floor, open evenings.

Kaibo dockBoth Rum Point Beach and Kaibo offer free lounge chairs, washrooms, shower and change facilities and a sandy beach.  Kaibo also has a dock where you can dock your boat.  It also has a fueling station and small chandlery (which is open on Sundays – important to know when you need extra ice!).

We have also found a terrific place if you wish to rent stand up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks or other water sports equipment for longer – such as a week – and they also do water adventures with jet skis (not to mention their 7 a.m. Stingray City visit).  Some of their water trips leave out of Kaibo Yacht Club.  Check out  White Sand Water Sports and they’ll be happy to help you out.  They will even deliver your stuff for USD 25 each way!

Another place to rent gear from is Empty Suitcases.  They have a selection of SUPs, kayaks, hobie cats and snorkeling gear.

For restaurants and some of our favourite places to go, please check out our blog on this site.

Where did you get the No Big Ting sign?

The prior owners removed the existing sign when they sold us the house.  Rather than complain about it (it was supposed to stay!), we commissioned Dready (birth name Shane Aquârt), a well-known local artist, to create a new sign for us that reflected the fun, whimsical and relaxed atmosphere of the house and the surrounding Cayman Kai, Rum Point and Kaibo areas.  Dready’s works can be viewed and purchased at many local galleries including Pure Art, the Kennedy Gallery, the Ritz-Carlton and on his own website, www.dreadyworld.com. T-shirts with his whimsical designs are available at either of the Caribbean Canvas Company Stores (in the Flagship Building in George Town or in Camana Bay).