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New booking policy for Clearly Cayman Beach Resorts

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by RCB1882, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. RCB1882

    RCB1882 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Michigan
    22
    26
    13
    Was attempting to book a trip for next winter and learned that all of the Clearly Cayman Resorts are, as of 2020, only accepting Saturday-to-Saturday bookings. I inquired about why this was the case and the rep I spoke with said she was unsure.

    I told her that this was really disappointing since a big advantage of the CCR resorts over a number of other destinations is that you can arrive/depart as best suits your travel schedule. I work on a college academic year calendar and seek to squeeze as much out of my breaks as possible both in terms of warmth and diving, so the prospect of losing 2 days of diving makes these resorts quite a bit less appealing to me.

    I could understand this policy if the flights were primarily on Saturdays (e.g., Roatan), but that's one of the great things about the Caymans is that you have daily flight options to Grand on the major US carriers and then numerous options for connecting onward to Little or the Brac. I also recall reading on these boards that Saturday arrivals/departures from Grand can be rather chaotic, which is a further disincentive.

    Anyhoo, I thought I'd pass along this bit of information to the community. She encouraged me to email my comments so that they could be passed up the chain to management. If you are of a similar view, you might consider letting them know: reservations@clearlycayman.com.

    Was hoping to start the week knowing my next trip was booked but now I need to do some thinking about just how much more I want to be at a Clearly Cayman Resort -- big bummer!

    cheers,
    Ryan
     
    KathyV likes this.
  2. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Tacoma, WA & Channel Islands, CA- USA
    1,693
    1,609
    113
    Thanks for passing that info along- if that is the case, I sense it will be a big disincentive for a lot more people than you!
     
    KathyV likes this.
  3. South4Scuba

    South4Scuba Capt. Scott ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tiki Island Texas
    146
    20
    18
    I’ve booked our group already for 2020 but we always do Saturday to Saturday. I will check on this new policy out of curiosity. Could be for individual bookings only.

    I think all resorts face the same dilemma. If someone books Wednesday to Wednesday, for example, the resort may have an empty room from Saturday to Wednesday before and from Wednesday to Saturday after. In a worst case scenario the resort would actually lose money on a Wednesday booking.

    However, I agree that traveling through GCM on a Saturday is frustrating at best. I returned from Little Cayman through there last Saturday about noon and the Cayman Immigration line was outside along the sidewalk. Someone said it took 1 hour. I never arrive at GCM on Saturday.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  4. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,763
    1,306
    113
    Doesn’t fit what we usually want, and makes no sense relative to the Saturday airport situations (in a place with, as said, flights every day.) I get why they might like that, but it could backfire on them. It would certainly cause us to choose a different place.
     
    ReadyDiverOne likes this.
  5. South4Scuba

    South4Scuba Capt. Scott ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tiki Island Texas
    146
    20
    18
    I emailed my contact at Clearly Cayman. I’ll post the response.
     
  6. South4Scuba

    South4Scuba Capt. Scott ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tiki Island Texas
    146
    20
    18
    It is confirmed. Clearly Cayman resorts will only be booked Saturday to Saturday starting in 2020.
     
    ReadyDiverOne and KathyV like this.
  7. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,066
    2,131
    113
    That may also mean that the boats are more likely to be crowded all week, sometimes you catch a break with people coming and going during the week. It will be like a liveaboard with everyone starting and ending at the same time. I can also see the delayed and lost luggage problems escalating because larger numbers of people will be flying on Saturdays. And it will be harder for resort staff to get the rooms ready in time for early arrivals, and for the dive shop to get everyone registered and provided with weights.

    I'm surprised they didn't offer a little wiggle room, like Fri to Fri, and/or Sat to Sat, and/or Sun to Sun, because that would lessen the demand for seats for flights to the sister islands. It's usually not hard to get a flight to Brac because their airport accepts larger planes and even jets; but finding seats on flights to Little Cayman can be problematic. We've had to adjust our dates in the past when the LCBR had open rooms but there were no flights available.

    I can kind of see it from both sides, right now we have reservations for LCBR in the fall (we wanted Sat to Sat) but they could only book 6 nights from Sat to Fri. They are currently holding a block of rooms for a large group that will have to give up any unsold space in July - so hopefully we will be able to get an extra night. We may have to change rooms during the week but I can live with that. Or maybe we will get lucky and they will have a cancellation before our trip.

    I'd really like to have a full week on LC and autumn is the low season - so I'm sure that the demand for rooms really escalates in the winter and spring. It would probably be easier for them to offer full weeks to dive shops, dive clubs, and smaller private individuals (like us) all year round if they only booked Sat to Sat.

    Recently on TripAdvisor someone posted a complaint about the difficulty of getting flights to the sister islands and the Clearly Cayman resort manager replied that the "Reservations staff are working with Cayman Airways to try and ensure that an adequate number of seats on flights are regularly available." Perhaps this new booking policy is part of a deal that they've worked out with CA? If the resorts can guarantee large numbers of arrivals and departures on Saturdays, perhaps the airline will guarantee extra flights to make sure that the seats are available?

    Business is booming for the Clearly Cayman resorts, they are buying more boats and investing money into their resorts. We've read that they are planning to build more rooms on both CB and LC so maybe this is also part of that project. "If we build it they will come - but only on Saturdays!"

    They offer a good product at a reasonable price so they may figure that the customers will accept a new system that will make their lives easier and more profitable. It will be interesting to see how it works out, if customers are dissatisfied and stay away, they may decide to loosen up a bit.

    My husband and I are talking about retirement next year and I was looking forward to traveling during mid-week to avoid the airport crowds, but you know what they say "it's always something!"
     
  8. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,763
    1,306
    113
    Even if they can get more airlift to Little Cayman - not that I really want to arrive and depart there in the same window as all 80 or eventually 110 people - there is still GCM to contend with. We just left GCM Monday noonish, and the new departure lounge got pretty full. The way they're building on the island, I wonder if that new airport will be over capacity before it's actually finished. GCM aside, we prefer traveling off times anywhere we can even on the US side - more likely to get upgrades or at least not be on a packed plane by avoiding weekends.

    Caribbean trips for us, a week is too short and 2 weeks is too long. We tend to do 10-12 nights, maybe all one place, maybe split between 2 spots. We may be outliers but this allows none of what we prefer. Oh well.

    There are other models they could follow. Even timeshares that rent mainly on a week basis usually seem to have staggered start dates such as Fri, Sat, or Sun to choose from. Some resorts have a midweek option, which allows them to timeblock better while giving people the options of 3/4/7/10/11 nights.
     
    Trailboss123, Joneill and KathyV like this.
  9. ReadyDiverOne

    ReadyDiverOne Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Bethesda MD
    124
    31
    28
    If true (and sure sounds like it is), this is a freaking tragedy.
     
  10. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    1,521
    726
    113
    They are not the only show in town.
     
    Joneill likes this.

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