April 1, 2015





A Taste of George Town


We woke up at around 7am and got right up and ready to head to the top deck. We walked around a bit, then headed to the front and found a nice spot to watch the ship drop anchor at Grand Cayman. And while we got closer we could see a few other ships already in the bay. We crept closer and closer and finally it was time for a crew member to raise the Disney Cruise Line flag. And while we watched we say quite a few tenders going by and one ship even tendering their guests in what looked like lifeboats.

There were tenders coming in and people were leaving to head to the D-Lounge to check in for their excursions. We were in no hurry as we had not booked a DCL excursion and knew that we would have to wait until people on a DCL excursion had been tendered ashore. So we just strolled back to our stateroom to drop off our cameras and it was already made up. Nothing better than to come back to our stateroom and find it nice and clean. Perfect stateroom host to say the least. Quick restroom break and we were ready to head to Lumiere’s for breakfast. Lumiere’s was pretty empty and we were quickly led to a table and served coffee and orange juice. Today we stuck with our favourites and were happy to order a hearty breakfast. Soon our trusted starters, the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with Raisins, Shredded Apples and Yogurt and the Mornin’ Tug Boat, fresh blend of Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, Raisin Granola and Low-fat Yogurt arrived. Once we had cleared our bowl and glass it was quickly taken away and our main breakfast course arrived. No surprise there, we had both opted for the Traditional Eggs Benedict, Toasted English Muffin with Grilled Canadian Bacon served with Poached Egg and topped with Hollandaise Sauce. Breakfast heaven. About half an hour after we had entered Lumiere’s we said goodbye to our servers and went to the elevator and up to our room. By now we thought it would be safe to head to the Buena Vista Theatre for a tender ticket, so we changed, got our things together and walked downstairs.

When we arrived at the theatre they asked if we were on a tour and since we were not we were handed a tender ticket and ordered to step aside for a second. It really took only a second, as a crew member was just taking a group of people downstairs to the tender and we were told to just go along with them. Yeah, that was easy. We got onto the next tender and were soon on our way. It takes only a few minutes and soon we arrived at Grand Cayman. And after getting of the tender we just walked around and did some window shopping as we still had over an hour’s time to kill. So after visiting the Tortuga shop, a liquor store, several other stores that sold clothes and a peek into Del Sol we headed toward the ray sculpture fountain and a little market.

And after checking it out we decided that since we still had quite some time and were thirsty to try out the restaurant/bar, the Paradise Seaside Grill, that was across the street, directly at the water. We walked over, asked if it was okay to only order a drink and were then taken to a small table right at the water’s edge. We had an awesome view of the Magic and some of the other ships that were anchored in the bay. There was also what looked like a little yellow “island” which belonged to a diving school. The server had handed us a menu and we were deciding on what to try. Their Strawberry Mudslide, Irish Cream, Vodka and Kahlua with a good amount of strawberries mixed in sounded very interesting to me.

Tom wanted to try a Sharkarita, a mixture of Tequila, Triple Sec, Sweet & Sour and Cranberry Juice. We ordered a bottle of water as well, as we were really thirsty too and soon all our drinks arrived. They looked pretty yummy and even yummier when photographed against the backdrop of the Disney Magic. And now it proved helpful that we had had a rather opulent breakfast, as both drinks were pretty strong. We sat for quite some time before settling our bill and with only 5 minutes to spare we made it to our destination, a small church right opposite the restaurant. There we met the rest of our small group and the guide of today’s tour, “A Taste of Georgetown”.

The guide introduced herself as Allison and told us what was to come before we all introduced ourselves as well and then we were off to our first destination and our first sample of Georgetown food. It was not far to walk as Guy Harvey’s restaurant was just a few steps down the road. We were all led upstairs and there was a table set for us on the patio and we were quickly served some ice water while Allison explained what we were to taste, Red Snapper Cayman Style, which was Pan seared Red Snapper over a bed over roasted peppers in a mild sauce, rice and beans and fried plantain. Allison had explained that the portions would be small but they were enough to get a taste of the island cuisine, it was delicious. The skin of the snapper was crisp and the actual flesh was moist, the peppers were super tasty and while rice and beans on their own were a bit underwhelming, eaten with the peppers it was perfect. And the fried plantain was just wonderful. It was the first time I had tried one and I really liked it. While sitting and eating Allison told us more about the island and how some of it came to be and how their food culture had developed before we said our goodbyes to the restaurant and headed outside again.

We all followed Allison down the road and finally into a small souvenir shop. Allison laughed as we all tried to figure out what we were to see or eat there, but she then took us to a glass covered area in the floor and explained that one of the first wells was right underneath our feet. Photos done we moved on past the ray fountain again and over to a small building at the crossroads which was protected as it was very old. Allison went inside and then opened up the booth and we were to try another speciality of the islands, Hot Pepper Jelly. We had seen it many times before, but never cared to try it or to even think about it and now we got to try it there.

Allison had put out Carr’s Water Biscuits, the jelly and some Hibiscus tea for all of us to try. We tried the tea first, but I am very picky with my tea and it was not really my taste, then when it was our turn, we both picked up a water biscuit and with the little spoon we put some of the jelly on top and tried it. It was really good, mild first, but then the heat kicked in. A great accompaniment for cheese. It was so good, we went back for seconds. Allison told us that they sold the jelly in the little shop and to come back later if someone wanted to buy some. We were sure we would come back for some. And while Allison closed up the shop again we had time to enjoy and take photos of the beautiful flowers all around. Soon we found ourselves on the move again and our next stop was the Post Office.

 They do not allow photography inside, but the architect had been in the marine and all his buildings reflected ships in some kind of the way and this building was no different. The ceiling looked very much like an upside down ship, very beautiful. Sightseeing done in there, we walked on. We walked away from the busy main street on onto the back streets and finally came to another unique eatery, Singh’s Roti Shop. Would we have been on our own, we would not in a million years have gone inside, but here we were on a food tour. They had set up two tables that were pushed together for us and we all took seats in the plastic garden chairs, waiting for things to come. First off, Allison brought out small cups of a locally brewed beer.

I don’t drink beer, so Tom got a double dose and while it was not the best beer he has ever tasted, it was quite nice and refreshing. Next we were served a Roti, an Indian flatbread, filled with various things, and folded together into a little parcel. We were served three different sauces with it, a Mango based, pretty sweet, rather runny one, a Tamarind sauce, which was rather on the “dry” side and a hotter yellow pepper sauce. We put a little bit onto our plates and I tasted each of them just like they were. The Mango one was a bit too sweet for my liking, the Tamarind one was my least favourite, it tasted a bit bitter and the yellow pepper one was my favourite, rather harsh and hot, but it tasted really nice with the roti.

We had the Vegetarian Special Roti, Pumpkin, Spinach and Potato. It was nice but a little under seasoned for my taste, but with the hot sauce it was just perfect. There was time for a restroom break for some and once everyone was ready to leave we started to walk back to a more lively area of Georgetown. Allison led us to Heroes Square and told us all about the brave people whose monument we were looking at.

And after exploring the square on ourselves and taking a lot of photos, we walked towards our next food tasting. We stopped at the Tortuga Rum Company where we had a few minutes to look around the shop while Allison and an employee prepared our tasting portions. We were served some rum punch and a sample of the rum they sold plus everyone got to try half a beef pasty and a whole rum cake. And while I was still munching away I remembered that when I had booked the tour I had read that “though the portions are just tasting size you will not walk away hungry”. How true that was. After we had finished our feast we moved on again, walking past a tile mural that had all the important dates of Grand Cayman embedded in the artwork.

We had one more food stop ahead of us, but before we reached it we stopped and looked inside a small church which had been designed by the same architect that had designed the Post Office. And indeed you could see his touch on the inside of the church. Our last stop of the day was an Italian Restaurant, Casanova’s, which was important to the Georgetown, Grand Cayman community because of its way to help the community. We could see the restaurant, which sits right at the beach from afar and when we walked closer we could even see the fishmarket, which was two tables underneath two tents by the side of the road. And finally we had reached the last stop of our tour.

Inside the restaurant we were led to a nicely decked out table where we all sat down. Soon we were offered some ice water and some crusty Italian bread and some olive oil to dip it in. And while Allison was still talking about the restaurant’s history and importance to the community we were served a small, but very tasty portion of Pasta Contadina, Penne Pasta with tender strips of chicken, fresh mushrooms, cream and touch of Pesto sauce, topped with freshly grated Parmesan. And there was still a dessert waiting for us, a wonderful Tiramisu, Ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with light and fluffy Mascarpone cream and flavoured with cocoa. It was delicious and since Tom does not like Tiramisu I got double the treat.

Some of the other members of our group were a bit in a hurry as one couple in particular needed to be back on board in ¾ of an hour, so we said our goodbyes, chatted with Allison a bit more and finally said goodbye to her and headed outside. We did a little bit of shopping, Tom had seen a liquor he had wanted to purchase, we stopped at Del Sol and a jewellery store where we got a Grand Cayman Pandora pendant for my bracelet and finally picked up some of that Hot Pepper Jelly, then walked through the shopping mall again before heading back to our pier. While walking towards Disney’s tenders we had to walk past a line of other cruisers and would you believe it, our tour mates were still in line.

Turns out that there was only one boat, the “lifeboat” going back and forth and they were way past their “all aboard” time and so were quite a few people behind them. We chatted while they stood and waited before we said goodbye and wished them a pleasant rest of their cruise before heading over to our pier. When we arrived the well loved tent and drinks dispensers greeted us and we picked up a cup of pineapple water, which was nice, cold and refreshing. Cup emptied and put in the bin we just walked onto our tender without any waiting at all and were on our way back to the Disney Magic again.

From the ship we could still see the people in line for the "lifeboat" and were so happy to be on the Magic. Soon the boat docked alongside the Disney Magic and people started to get back on board. We sat in our seats on the lower deck until most people had cleared and then just walked up and onto the ship. Our belongings went through the scanner and soon we were in the elevator up to deck 7. When we returned to our room our host had gotten rid of the “little mess” we had made before we had left the ship and we could not believe how much better the service was this time compared to our last cruise. We both took showers, then went to sit outside on the veranda with an adult beverage, some new beer for Tom and I was finishing off the Prosecco.

Tonight’s show was Villains Tonight, which we have already seen and do not like that much to repeat it. We were a bit tired after all the walking around in the sun and dinner was over 2 hours away, so we thought about not going to dinner at all and just order room service, but then we remembered that Cabanas was an option as well. So after a while up we went to Cabanas, where we were greeted and led to a nice little table. Our server and assistant server introduced themselves and soon we were served our Diet Cokes and a breadbasket and some Mint Yogurt Dip was placed in front of us. I remembered not liking the Dip previously, but tried anyway and I had remembered correctly. Didn’t like it, so while Tom braved it, I stuck with butter.

Soon our starters arrived. I had ordered the Princess Madeleine Salmon Royal, marinated slices of Salmon with Honey Mustard Dressing. Tom tried a soup, The Beast’s Potato and Sausage Casserole Soup, a hearty recipe with a touch of Paprika. Both were really nice and soon after we had finished them, we were brought our main courses, grilled New York Strip, served with seasonal vegetables and Steak Fries. The server insisted we needed some ketchup and again we were served a three blobs of ketchup in the form of a Mickey Head. Both steaks were perfectly cooked and very nice, the veggies were fresh and still had a bit of bite to it and you cannot go wrong with fries.

There was nothing on the dessert menu that we really wanted, so after our mains we packed up our stuff and left after tipping our serving team. We walked outside and past the soft serve ice cream machine and in the spur of the moment decided that this was the perfect dessert. I cannot remember what the flavour was, but it was a bit on the runny side and we quickly finished our cones. We picked up two cups of ice each on the way back to our stateroom to fill up the ice-bucket and when we returned, we found the beds turned down and a funny new towel animal. And after a little while Tom took out the laptop and we watched a few episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, while sampling some of the sweet and salty treats we had found in our fish extender so far and some nice cold beverages out of the fridge. And when we started to fall asleep while watching Gordon shout at his kitchen brigade we knew it was time to finally call it a day.