We tried various samples of rum cake while walking back from seven mile beach. Tortuga was the one they were pushing on the cruise ship so we figured it would be a rip-off, but actually they were more potent and more flavorful than the others. Dad was happy to get Tortuga rum cake for his birthday this year!
We didn't go to the Tortuga Rum Factory but you can find these delicious rum cakes in just about every convience, pharmacy or local souvenir store around the Islands.
These rum cakes come in various sizes and flavors. They are so spongy and soft and very flavorful. We bought ours at a convienence store that had a lot of traffic/sales (we wanted to make sure we got fresh cakes and not stale-be careful). They also sell them at the airport which, I'm sure get a lot of traffic so they must be fresh.
The flavors are all good, but my favorites were defiantely orginal golden, chocolate and banana. They also offer blue mountain coffee, coconut, and key lime. Most stores let you try samples of each flavor to help decide. We bought a ton a various sized cakes to bring back to our family and friends. All enjoyed them!
I am so hungry thinking about them...I think I will place an order after I finish up this tip!
What to buy: Their Rum Fudge is pretty good too, original rum, banana and coconut.
They also sell Rum flavored coffees and Carribean Sauces!
Bring a taste of the Islands home!!
What to pay: Check their website for pricing, but it was pretty feasible.
Very interesting, colourful shop with works from local artists like watercolors, wood carvings, lacework. It is about 1½ mi (2½ km) south of George Town. I enjoyed looking around there is so much to see.
Open daily from 10 to 5:15, except Sunday and Wednesday
What to buy: With the right amount of $ anything your heart desires.
We had to come into the Cheeky Monkey just because of the name. The store is another souvenir shop that carries the usual tee shirts, post cards, magnets, shot glasses and other island themed merchandise.
I found a nice Grand Cayman tee shirt I wanted in blue with a simple design on the back. Liz picked up two shot glasses for her friend Koky back home. The tee shirt was $20 and the shot glasses were $3 a piece.
There are about 4 or 5 stores in Georgetown that you can go & compare prices, find the most desirable piece, etc.
What to buy: This is a hot buy for the Cayman's. There have been many shipwrecks off the coast of the Cayman's as well as many finds on land, or so I have been told, but either way, this is a good investment to make a purchase in. I'm talking about treasure coins. The Cayman shops that sell this treasure trove has dutch, greece and spanish coins. Personally I like the greece coins the best......mythological gods, dolphins & peagus are found on the greece coins & best of all their gold. The dutch and spanish coins are silver, but just as interesting. These treasure coin stores sell the coins individually so that you could set them yourself or purchase the coin already to be worn out the door. They are lovely pendents and are bought & worn by men & women alike. Some stores even have them set as earrings, but personally I prefer the pendents
What to pay: The price range on the coins varies according to whether you are purchasing dutch, spanish or Greek. The spanish is the most affordable with the lowest price I saw at $125.00 for a loose coin. From there the price goes up depending on the condition of the coin & it's setting. I found a gorgeous greek coin pendant I wanted till I heard the price - $6,000.00. Yikes!
The Tortuga Rum Company is a duty free store right by the cruise port. The store specializes in "Tortuga Rum Cake" and assorted island rums. They also carried a large selection of hard liquor, wine and champagne.
After perusing the store and checking out the prices we left empty handed. The liquor prices onboard the ship were better than they were offering in the store.
OK, despite what you may be thinking about the name of this shop, just remember that Big Black Dick was a real character. It is believed that he was of Royal African parentage, and was kidnapped by French slaves who named him "Richard Le Noir." His captors eventually tossed him overboard near Grand Cayman, where he then began to make a living laboring in the sugar cane fields, which he then turned in to the Caribbean's finest rum. Big Black Dick's sells this famous rum as well as rum cakes, rum candy - ANYTHING that involves rum. It is definitely worth a stop, even to just look around.
What to buy: Besides rum, Grand Cayman offers duty-free jewelry shopping. There is a jewelry shop on almost every corner.
Yes, you can buy Tortuga products on any cruise ship. However, this little bakery offered free samples. Plus, selection was much better than gift store aboard the ship.
Also, I thought it was much more fun buying these delicious cakes from the real bakery. Yes, it's a touristy thing to do and cakes are definitely overpriced. Yet, they are sooooo good! :-)
The Blue Iguana is a typical souvenir shop. The store carries a variety of inexpensive to moderately priced souvenirs from shot glasses, post cards, tee shirts, photo albums, Christmas ornaments and children's toys. My wife and I decided to check this place out after we saw some Christmas ornaments through the window.
My wife and I collect Christmas ornaments from every place we visit; so we were happy to find some nice ones here. We decided on a nice Christmas ball that had a pretty beach scene painted on along with the location and year. The ball was very inexpenisve at $6 and made me happy to add another ornament to our tree at home.
Effy is a chain of jewlery stores that are scattered across the Caribbean. During our visit to Grand Cayman we stopped here to check out a few items that my wife was interested in trying on.
The store has the usual rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and watches to choose from. They have special Effy specific collections which are quite nice. My wife found the necklace she was looking for but wasn't thrilled with the quality and brighness of the saphires. Although she did love the pair of blue and white diamond Diversa earrings she tried on. After some haggling we agreed on a price and my wife had a new pair of earrings as well as a free jewelry case.
I think the store's specific collections such as Diversa are a nice quality but with most jewelry shopping you have to know your prices and quality before you buy. Over the years my wife has given me a good education on these things so now I can see the flaws that make her say no to an item.
When shopping in Georgetown the prices get lower to further from the port you go. Don't purchase right away. Walk down a few blocks and you will find better deals.
What to buy: Jewlery or anything with rum (i.e. rum cake, etc.)
Gem Palace (Milano Diamond Gallery) is one of Carnival Cruiseline's recommended stores. Carnival cannot be trusted when it comes to their port shopping program... it is all a ploy for them to make more money by receiving a cut when you make in-port purchases. The guarantee they offer is completely worthless.
On May 10, 2011, I purchased a 14 karat white gold diamond ring from Milano Diamond Gallery in Georgetown, Grand Cayman for the amount of $3395.00. I consider the item purchased at Milano Diamond Gallery to be a fraudulent product.
34 days after purchasing the ring, a small diamond fell out (one of 58 small diamonds surrounding 3 larger diamonds). I became uneasy about the product I had purchased, so on June 20, 2011 I took the ring to a very trusted and reputable jeweler whom I have done business with for years. After inspecting the ring, he informed me that it was a "total disaster" and that there were several more diamonds on the verge of falling out at any time.
I received a certified letter from the jeweler (and certified gemologist) who inspected the ring. He stated the following:
“Upon inspection of a 14K white gold diamond ring belonging to Katie Morgan, it is evident that the reason for a diamond falling out of the ring is because of inferior workmanship in the setting process of the diamonds. It is evident that more diamonds will fall out of this ring because of the lack of stability of prong work when the diamonds were set. It is not an option to rebuild all prong work because of major expense involved and the initial instability of material to work with. We are custom-design manufacturers of jewelry of all types, and have over 30 years of experience in the field of manufacturing of jewelry, for not only the public but other stores as well. “
I have since made numerous attempts to settle my dispute with Milano Diamond Gallery who has been extremely uncooperative and difficult to contact. My emails to the company have gone unanswered and when I called Milano headquarters in New York on June 22, 2011, my requests to speak to a supervisor were repeatedly denied.
After having no success reasoning with the merchant (Milano) I turned to Carnival and The PPI Group (who is in charge of the port shopping program) to take responsibility. I sent multiple emails to corporate leaders, contacted customer service many times, and even sent certified letters to The PPI Headquarters. I have only gotten responses from one staff member and she has repeatedly denied my requests to demand a refund from Milano.
Flagship is definitely one stop shopping. The store carries everything you could want in the jewelry, crystal, silver, watch and china department. My wife had a grand time perusing the merchandise especially the watch department (she'll still looking for the "perfect" watch and has yet to find it). The sales people are very friendly, helpful and not pushy. It was a pleasure shopping here without having the hard sell you can get on some other islands.
We usually like to bring home a trinket from our trips but I don't get into the shopping like many cruise passengers do. But if you do, the cruise will likely provide you with all kinds of information on where to shop in port, all of it within walking distance of the cruise docks. I imagine that the stores that the cruise ship recommend might be a little more pricey than some of the others but as I said, I've never done much shopping in the Caribbean. We popped into a couple of shops but nothing really caught our eye, after awhile the crafts and tshirts and shot glasses all start to look the same in every port in this part of the world.
This little shop happened to be right across the road from our hotel. We decided to check it out, it was like a 5' x 7' walk-in humidor. They carried all types of cigars; mini Romeos, Romeo y Julieta, Cohibas, Partagas, Montecristos and the list goes on.. Also a decent selection of accessories carrying cases, capsules, humidors and lighters.
We picked a few up and enjoyed one almost every night. No, we didn't smuggle any back home! :)
What to pay: various prices ranging from 7.00 up till 20.00..I'm sure some Limited Editions were higher.