Living in Cayman is such a totally different experience than visiting here. True, I work at Stingray City, but it’s a bit different being behind the camera at a tourist attraction than in front of it. Which is why I was so excited to get my Mom down here to visit! She and her friend Cathy came down for a week to enjoy the sun and sea and I got to hang out at their condo and pretend to be on vacation. So anyway for the benefit of future Cayman visitors and for recounting all the fun we had, I hereby introduce the Cayman Tourist series. Kicking off with a relatively low radar attraction: The National Museum.
Lowdown: One of my biggest criticisms of Grand Cayman is that is seems to lack a strong cultural presence or history. However I’m willing to admit maybe I’m just not well informed, so we decided to head to the source. Plus I love museums. This one is oddly positioned directly in the middle of Georgetown’s cruise ship mania, bringing a sense of history to the otherwise shopping mall feel of the port. The exterior is modest and adorable, and one of the things that drew me in. You enter through the giftshop, and the woman behind the counter was busy ringing someone in and told us to just go in and pay on our way out. A nice small islands touch, I thought.
Before entering the exhibits we were brought into a small theatre where we realized there was some serious money behind this little museum. The multimedia show was impressive and informative, if a bit long. After we were let out into a medium sized room with exhibits on Cayman’s geography and wildlife. My favorite was this “submarine” with buttons that made different underwater movies play in the sub’s “window”.
We then moved to the upstairs, where there were displays on Cayman’s population and inhabitant’s history. There were more interactive displays as well as some “artifacts” such as a hundred year old loggerhead turtle’s skull.
Everything was tastefully laid out and had a small town charm to it. While my mind was not totally changed about the island’s lack of culture, I did learn a bit more about its modest history.
Cost: $6 USD per person
Time: The museum is tiny, an hour is more than enough to see the whole thing.
Overall: 4/5 stars. The reasonable cost, impressive presentation and cute setting can’t totally make up for the fact that the subject matter just isn’t that fascinating. But for the small investment of time and money, its totally worth it to learn a bit more about this tiny island nation.