• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Trip Report & Pics - Cayman Brac Beach Resort

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by large_diver, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. large_diver

    large_diver Loggerhead Turtle

    2,598
    288
    83
    We stayed at Cayman Brac Beach resort March 16-23 – very fun trip. This was as part of a group trip with our greater Boston LDS. Our family group was my wife (non-diver) and our 2 kids ages 24, 22.

    The Trip:
    We flew JetBlue direct from Boston to Grand Cayman and the made the Cayman Airways hop from GC to the Brac. You can definitely see many of the upgrades at the Grand Cayman airport, but there are still things to be done. The positives = much larger departure/check-in area, larger customs and baggage claim area, larger waiting area where the gates are, no more waiting in security line outside the airport. The bad – gate area still feels crowded, additional restaurants are yet to be opened (signs said Subway and Wendy’s coming soon), gate area still apparently has more work to be done, the tent restaurant in the parking lot closed and was packed up during our week there…but no alternative has opened up yet (perhaps moving a restaurant back upstairs where the old one was?). So yes, Saturday in Grand Cayman airport on the way home at this time of year home was crowded, steamy, somewhat chaotic, etc…..but knowing it would likely be like that going in eased the pain.

    The Resort:
    I’ve stayed at Little Cayman Beach Resort twice before; the rooms at CBBR are very similar with one major improvement = every room has private outdoor space. We stayed on the second floor, our kids on the first. Second floor rooms have a small porch with chairs and table that faces towards the ocean; first floor rooms have a small patio that also faces the ocean….making it very easy to walk right out your porch door to the bar, dining hall, etc. Beds were comfortable, A/C worked great, ceiling fans, separate room and beach towels, shampoo/conditioner/soap provided, drinkable tap water, plenty of charging outlets, decent in-room wifi, TV (we never used), dresser, sizeable table which works well for camera set-up. Very nice pool and bar area. Bikes that can be borrowed – beach-style bikes, although on one day my wife rode one of these all the way to the bluff and back. My favorite morning routine was to walk down to the western tip of the island to stretch my legs (an 8 minute walk) and then head back to the resort in time for coffee and sunrise. This western point is also a fantastic place to watch the sunset; there is even a little picnic table to sit at while watching the show. Like LCBR, CBBR also has a lighted tennis court with a basketball hoop on it.

    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20%2857%20of%20139%29-XL.jpg

    Resort Food = very good and variable. We had some special dietary requests that we sent in advance – handled no problem. Coffee each morning at 6:30.

    Diving = very good. Generally deeper starting depths vs. my prior experience at Little Cayman. There were some shallower sites, but most seemed to start somewhere in the 40-50 foot range. Tibbets wreck was definitely a hit especially with our kids. We also made a trip over to LC one day, including lunch at the newly renovated LCBR dining room (very fancy). It was nice to do a few dives on the north side of LC to add some variety to the week. Creatures sighted included most of the “regular” Caribbean characters = spotted drums, lettuce sea slugs, flamingo tongues, the ever-friendly Nassau grouper, reef sharks, nurse sharks, green and hawksbill turtles, squid, morays, gray angels, French angels, butterfly fish, etc., etc. My last dive trip was a Galapagos liveaboard….not a fair comparison, but CB was good, solid Caribbean diving = nice marine life, interesting coral formations, swim throughs, CB walls, the Tibbets wreck, LC dramatic walls. Reef divers (our guides were BJ and Brett) has nice big boats and runs an efficient operation. Separate camera rinse tanks on land, but no separate camera room and no rinse tanks on the boats. That said, crew was efficient and careful in handling cameras and gave camera rigs a fresh water rinse with the hose on the boat before putting back on the camera table. Again, the large, granite-topped tables in the guest rooms make good camera staging areas.

    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%281%20of%201%29-3-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%281%20of%203%29-3-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%281%20of%203%29-4-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%281%20of%202%29-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%281%20of%201%29-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%283%20of%203%29-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%282%20of%202%29-2-L.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Underwater%20%281%20of%201%29-2-XL.jpg

    My wife spent multiple days rock climbing, most of it with Rock Iguana. She highly recommends Angel, one of the co-owners. The 3 of them (wife and kids) also did a full moon/night yoga session with Rock Iguana – candle light, moonlight, the sound of the waves – apparently very soothing.

    Cayman Brac Climbing - Rock Iguana Ltd - Rock Climbing and Adventure Tours

    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20-%20Part%202%20%2822%20of%2025%29-XL.jpg

    Since my wife rented a car for the rock climbing (driving on the left…luckily we lived in the UK for 2 years….although traffic on CB is VERY mellow), they also did some cave exploring one day and we took multiple trips up to the bluff (one for sunrise – beautiful!). Getting to the bluff is definitely recommended – not only for the views, but for the topography and the brown-footed boobies nesting all along the edge of the bluff.

    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20-%20Part%202%20%2825%20of%2025%29-XL.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20%2835%20of%20139%29-XL.jpg
    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20%28134%20of%20139%29-XL.jpg

    We also ate out on 2 nights – Captain’s Table for Taco Tuesday (colorful crowd and beautiful night for sitting outside) and Star Island (great for local seafood; CBBR does not generally serve local seafood).

    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20%28105%20of%20139%29-XL.jpg

    All in all a great trip for us given the combination of great resort, good diving and topside activities. I know there have been some discussions here lately regarding LCBR vs. CBBR. IMHO, CB definitely wins in terms for overall resort comfort, better pool, outdoor space with the rooms, larger bar and seating area, same Reef Divers efficient operation, more to do on the island (both activities and culinary choices), the bluff, larger planes (we had jet service inbound to CB and one of the larger Saab turbo props on the way home). I think LC is better in terms of overall quality of diving assuming you are able to dive the north side of the island for the week. So – it all depends on what you are looking for; I’m certainly glad I had a chance to try both.

    Cayman%20Brac%20Pics%202019%20%28119%20of%20139%29-XL.jpg
     
  2. Redfoot

    Redfoot Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    233
    223
    43
    Awesome, thanks for sharing. Looks like a great trip.
     
    KathyV and large_diver like this.
  3. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    874
    581
    93
    Looks like you had a great trip based on your great pictures. My kids went a few months ago for combined climbing and diving. They are really looking forward to returning!!! Thank you.
     
    large_diver likes this.
  4. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,619
    1,173
    113
    Thanks for the report and great pics. I am a regular at LCBR but haven't been to the Brac for about 10 years. Tempted to go back this summer based on your report and other posters positive comments as well.
     
    large_diver and KathyV like this.
  5. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    1,945
    1,134
    113
    Thanks for a great report. Someday:)
     
    large_diver likes this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,185
    3,274
    113
    @large_diver thanks for the beautiful pictures and excellent trip report; it's so nice that Cayman Brac worked so well for all the members of your family!

    I like all the Cayman islands for similar (and different!) reasons, but I think that Brac has the most interesting topography and the offers a lot of good choices for folks looking to enjoy the outdoors and nature, both above and below the water.

    We've eaten at the Captain's Table and enjoyed it, and also stopped at a few other places over the years for a drink or a bite while we are out exploring the island. We are usually pretty happy with the food at the resort even though it is all-inclusive buffet; but I do think that lunch is generally their weakest meal - although there are always several choices and the staff will try to comply if you ask for something else.

    We were planning to dine at the CBBR Island Prime venue while we were there last year to celebrate our anniversary, but we checked out the buffet menu that night and it looked so good that we decided to skip it and stick with the all-inclusive offering.

    I've heard that you should check out the Pioneer Bakery on Brac early in the morning for wonderful baked goods - but we've never made it there.

    Did any of your party get a chance to check out the small spa at CBBR? I always enjoy a massage after several days of diving.

    I really think that Brac and the CBBR and Reef Divers have a lot to offer!
     
    large_diver likes this.
  7. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,185
    3,274
    113
    @tkaelin maybe this could be the year that you venture to the sister islands! I know that you've enjoyed trips to GC in the past and the CBBR is offering a nice special in September, see the link below:

    Throwback

    The price includes accommodations, 2 dives per day, airport transfers, 2 meals per day, taxes and tips - except dive shop tips. And I think that you could probably add on a 3rd dive per day and lunch quite reasonably if you wished. Or rent a car and spend the afternoon exploring that lovely little island.

    It's less than we paid from our trip to Brac last year, and definitely less than we are paying to go to LCBR later this year!

    September weather might be great or it might be windy, you never know!
     
    large_diver and tkaelin like this.
  8. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    1,945
    1,134
    113
    Thanks and that looks like a great special. I'll make it there someday soon. My "problem" is I enjoy too many activities. :)
     
    large_diver and KathyV like this.
  9. large_diver

    large_diver Loggerhead Turtle

    2,598
    288
    83
  10. hilljo88

    hilljo88 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
    448
    276
    63
    Nice pics! Any advice on getting camera gear to Brac? My backpack is close to 50 lbs and my buddy’s is more like 65.
     

Share This Page