Grand Cayman-- Sunset House--March, 2009
We zipped down to Grand Cayman on the spur of the moment because friends were going and we were suffering from “dive withdrawal” after the Papua New Guinea trip. We also wanted to see what Sunset House was like and if it would make a good group trip destination. Reality exceeded our expectations!
It’s an easy flight from Pittsburgh to Grand Cayman on any of several different airlines. Transportation from the airport to Sunset House was picked up by the resort.
We knew from past trips to Grand Cayman that everything there is expensive, so we figured we would eat the included, very filling breakfast, purchase some snacks for lunch, and walk into town for dinner. All those plans changed the first day when we discovered Sunset House has three different menus with different price ranges, available at the indoor restaurant and the outdoor bar/restaurant. Portions were large enough for us to share and the food was quite good. The outdoor bar seemed to be the place for the locals to hang out, which was a good sign. We ended up eating all our meals at Sunset House and were happy with our final bill. We did walk to a nearby convenience store for snacks and drinks; we also did the 20 minute walk into town a couple of times just to shop and watch the cruise ship tourists, but mostly we stayed on property to dive.
Two boat dives each day were included in our package, along with unlimited shore diving. The boat was comfortable and fairly roomy and the staff was friendly and well-organized. The first couple days we could not board the boat in front of the resort due to weather conditions, so they took us via van to a more protected bay where all the boats anchor when the weather is bad. Since we also could not do a shore dive, the staff took us on an island tour at no charge.
Much of the coral looks beat, but you can see tarpon, 2 foot lobsters, many groupers, barracuda, enormous green morays, turtles, and other various fish. There is a small wreck off shore with a huge green moray eel living in it. There’s a mermaid statue that the Atlantis submarine comes cruising by every day—it was fun waving at the tourists and they like to see divers as they pass. It felt like being part of Jules Vernes’20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Notwithstanding our bad weather, the water is usually calm and warm, and the visibility outstanding. The wall is about a ten minute swim from shore, if you make it that far, there being plenty to look at on the way out.
Sunset House has been around for ages; The furniture is basic, heavy, and sturdy, but the rooms are nice sized. We stayed in a courtyard room so we had a two-minute walk to the water. There are also suites, apartments, and ocean-view rooms. All were air-conditioned, had refrigerators and televisions, and we could access the internet from our room.
We had a great time at Sunset House—convenient flights, nice staff, large rooms, easy diving, good visibility, and good food at reasonable prices. All-in-all a great Caribbean destination.