Searaider travel info (general)

Thread: Searaider travel info (general)

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  1. #1
    Member T Bone's Avatar
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    Searaider travel info (general)

    A few questions have come to mind that I thought might best be answered (in Forum, so others can benefit from the answers to) by someone who's been there before.

    1. Power. Is GC, and specifically Ocean Frontiers set up on 110v, 220v, or? And what is the plug configuration like? (Important for chargers, computers, etc.).

    2. Comms. Are there available local sim cards for cell service, and is international (to the USA) service reasonable on these? Aprox. cost/denominations to add time, etc. would be great, as well as the frequency band utilized so we'll know if our phones will work (there are 4 bands used world wide, I have an unlocked quad band phone, meaning I can get cell service anywhere I can get a sim card).

    3. Currency. Is the US Dollar a common thing to use, is the local currency a big deal to obtain, and are credit cards maybe the best bet for most purchases (I bet I can already answer that last one!).

    Thanks for any answers, and feel free to post any other pertinant questions you've got regarding our upcoming adventure!
    Regards, T Bone.

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  2. #2
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Quote Originally Posted by T Bone View Post
    A few questions have come to mind that I thought might best be answered (in Forum, so others can benefit from the answers to) by someone who's been there before.

    1. Power. Is GC, and specifically Ocean Frontiers set up on 110v, 220v, or? And what is the plug configuration like? (Important for chargers, computers, etc.).

    2. Comms. Are there available local sim cards for cell service, and is international (to the USA) service reasonable on these? Aprox. cost/denominations to add time, etc. would be great, as well as the frequency band utilized so we'll know if our phones will work (there are 4 bands used world wide, I have an unlocked quad band phone, meaning I can get cell service anywhere I can get a sim card).

    3. Currency. Is the US Dollar a common thing to use, is the local currency a big deal to obtain, and are credit cards maybe the best bet for most purchases (I bet I can already answer that last one!).

    Thanks for any answers, and feel free to post any other pertinant questions you've got regarding our upcoming adventure!
    Good things to bring up. I'll cover them in the order presented......

    1) Everything relating to electrical, is configured exactly like here in the US. No need for special adapters etc. Aside from the cool Caribbean breeze drifting through your room, you'd think you were in Michigan while using your laptop, electric razor, cell phone charger, etc.

    2) Not sure about Sim cards since my iPhone doesn't use one. I had to get my phone unlocked and an international calling plan put on my account. Can't remember the exact price per minute rate, but I don't remember getting killed on it. Of course I didn't use it that much either, mainly communicated back home via email which is free. Your best bet it to check with your cellular service provider to see how they handle international service.

    3)US currency is greatly accepted. If paying in US$, you normally receive change back in the form of CI$. Cash or credit cards are equally easy to use. Here's more info. from the Cayman Islands tourism website. Sums everything up better than I can.

    http://www.caymanislands.ky/general_..._services.aspx
    "The most beautiful objects are those built for purpose. Few things are more thrilling than the unrestrained use of tools most have mistaken for luxuries" -unknown

  3. #3
    Member T Bone's Avatar
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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    On the phone issue, I'll check with Sprint, my regular carrier (Razr) but I doubt I'll go with them. This phone has no sim card and is locked to their network (of course I'll need to find out if it will even work there). I'll post more on this when I get the info.

    I also have a quad band unlocked phone (bought for travel to Iraq), a Motorola V220? Old tech, but it works (having difficulty finding it though ). I'll research the sim card issue too.

    Of course there is another option, a computer based phone system such as Skype. I used it in Iraq with limited success, but our internet connection was shoddy and my lap top computer (since replaced) was rather sub par. It worked when tested here in the USA just fine, and it worked decent in Kuwait also. It is very inexpensive (was free domestic in USA, I think that may have changed). If anyone plans to do this (same with Yahoo Messenger with voice, or other similar programs) I'd suggest setting it up before travelling (some had trouble paying when overseas, getting unheard of payment services, etc.). More info to come.
    Regards, T Bone.

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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    To add to Subkrawlers and T Bones comments.

    The rooms are set up for wireless or wired internet, did have a problem getting on line, (not enough bandwidth I think) it seemed to work better late at night or early in the morning.

    I have Verizon cell service and it worked fine on the west end of the island but was a little spotty at the resort. Only made a couple of short calls but didn't notice any huge bill after getting home.

    Visa credit cards (don't own a Mastercard) were accepted almost everywhere, Discover card you can probably leave at home (not real popular in GC).

    According to a local, the GC dollar value floats with the US dollar 1 Cayman dollar is worth 1.25 US dollars and everyone takes US dollars.

    When you get your rental car they will sell you a temporary GC drivers license at the rental desk (I think it was 7 dollars). As I recall the insurance the rental car company sells is pretty expensive so you might want to see if you can get or have a rental car waver from your own insurance company

    And keep telling yourself as you drive LEFT, LEFT, LEFT. Unless you have THOR or Subkrawler with you in which case they do a great job of reminding you .

    Randy
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  6. #5
    Member jmoors's Avatar
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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Quote Originally Posted by whse View Post
    When you get your rental car they will sell you a temporary GC drivers license at the rental desk (I think it was 7 dollars). As I recall the insurance the rental car company sells is pretty expensive so you might want to see if you can get or have a rental car waver from your own insurance company
    Randy
    I contacted Lesley at the resort concerning the car insurance issue, she sent this link that explains it very well:
    http://www.aviscayman.com/CoverageInformation.htm

    Call me a wuss, but after reading I think I'll op to take their insurance. The last thing I want or need is to run into an issue with my credit card company which normally covers the CDW part. If I was in the states I wouldn't worry about it, plus I don't like the idea of a $1500 hold on my credit card. I might want to buy a watch or something while there ....

    Just my 2 cents ....
    John M.


  7. #6
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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Yah, I know what you mean I checked with my insurance company (Hartford) and they said that I'm covered if I'm in the US or any of its' territories. GC= no coverage. Last year I hadn't checked and was under the assumption that I would be covered, got lucky and had no problems. This year I'll make sure I get the insurance too. Randy
    Overtime: The fuel for the Doxaholic engine.

  8. #7
    Member jmoors's Avatar
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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Quote Originally Posted by whse View Post
    Yah, I know what you mean I checked with my insurance company (Hartford) and they said that I'm covered if I'm in the US or any of its' territories. GC= no coverage. Last year I hadn't checked and was under the assumption that I would be covered, got lucky and had no problems. This year I'll make sure I get the insurance too. Randy
    Hi Randy .... tried to figure out the costs and I think with everything for the insurance, license, additional fees, and the gas ... that free rental car is going to cost me about 200 bucks. hahahahahaha Oh well ... whatcha going to do right oh ya drive left drive left drive left ....

    I need to go listen to Petes video again!!! See ya soon,

    John

  9. #8
    Member T Bone's Avatar
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    More Questions Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Laundry? Wondering if there are facilities at Ocean Frontiers for this, or better yet, in the rooms? The answer may have a bearing on how I pack.

    More on clothes, I'm mostly a jeans/T shirt sort. Is there any need to pack anything more upscale?

    And what evening/night temperatures should we plan for? A light jacket, a sweatshirt, or? What would those who've been there consider as adequate?
    Regards, T Bone.

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  10. #9
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: More Questions Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Quote Originally Posted by T Bone View Post
    Laundry? Wondering if there are facilities at Ocean Frontiers for this, or better yet, in the rooms? The answer may have a bearing on how I pack.

    More on clothes, I'm mostly a jeans/T shirt sort. Is there any need to pack anything more upscale?

    And what evening/night temperatures should we plan for? A light jacket, a sweatshirt, or? What would those who've been there consider as adequate?
    Each room has it's own washer and dryer, so you're covered there.

    As far as clothes go...it's very laid back, so nothing too fancy is required. I remember last year when we ate at the Lighthouse, I wore a decent pair of khaki shorts and a short sleeve polo shirt. I felt a little under dressed and would have been more comfortable if I'd had on a pair of khaki pants/chinos. That was the only place though, as the other places we went, I felt fine wearing shorts at night. I do feel more comfortable wearing a shirt with a collar at night, but I tend to overdress most of the time anyway, so don't take my perspective as the gospel. Whatever you're comfortable with is the best route to go.

    Landmark Jewelers is going to have an open house for us one night with appetizers, beer and champagne. It's a nice store and a nice thing for them to do for the Searaiders, so I plan to return the gesture by wearing something a little nicer as well. I plan on wearing a pair of chinos and a casual long sleeve shirt w/ the sleeves rolled up for that.

    Regarding temps...the temperature for Nov. hangs around 80deg day and night. Last year, I never recalled wishing I had a jacket at night. For some of the ladies who may be more cold-natured, it may be a good idea to have something. Since it'll probably be cool here when I get on the plane, I'll have some type of jacket with me, but I doubt I'll pull it out until I get back home.

    Here's what I'm bringing:

    2 pairs of khaki shorts, either plain or cargo
    2 or 3 knit polo shirts
    1 or 2 T-shirts (maybe)
    1 pair of khaki pants
    1 casual long sleeve shirt
    3 or 4 undershirts
    3 or 4 pairs of boxer shorts
    1 pair of leather "flip-flops"(that's another word I hate)

    Like I said there are washers and dryers in each room, so I try to go as light as possible. As heavy as dive gear is, and with the weight restrictions the airlines put on you, you almost have to.
    "The most beautiful objects are those built for purpose. Few things are more thrilling than the unrestrained use of tools most have mistaken for luxuries" -unknown

  11. #10
    Member T Bone's Avatar
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    Re: Searaider travel info (general)

    Quote Originally Posted by Subkrawler
    Like I said there are washers and dryers in each room, so I try to go as light as possible. As heavy as dive gear is, and with the weight restrictions the airlines put on you, you almost have to.
    To that end, I may try to get away with one checked bag (paying $15 for the first, $25 for a second.... each way!).

    So, this begets the question.... would a dive gear bag (I have one of those old Oceanic backpacks from the 1980's) be either nec. or desirable? Or maybe I wad up a mesh bag and pack it to keep my dive gear in, and put it in my luggage? (My regs will be in my carry on, fins/suit/BCD/etc. in luggage).

    What do you think?
    Regards, T Bone.

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