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Customs and Formalities

Life in the Cayman Islands is pleasantly laid back, although not as slow-paced as other Caribbean islands. Things run fairly efficiently here and you will find you can get most of the goods and services you are used to at home.

Caymanians are easy going, friendly people who are proud of their islands and will gladly share their knowledge with you. They also have a strong Christian tradition and as such are modest and respectful people and will appreciate being treated with the same courtesy. There is a strong emphasis on politeness and modesty, partly due to the history of Cayman as a matriarchal society and partly due to the strong British influence. Handshaking is the usual greeting. A person may be introduced by his or her first name (such as "Mr. Tom" or "Miss Lucy"), because of the large number of people with similar surnames (such as Ebanks or Bodden). It is customary to open any conversation with a “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” and if you know the first name of the person you are talking to, it is polite to preface their name with Miss or Mr (Miss Annie, Mr Charles), particularly if they are older than you.

Unlike many tourist destinations, there is no "beach-hawking" culture; topless bathing is illegal, and wearing swimsuits off the beach is frowned on, although casual dress is acceptable. As it is a tropical climate, light organic cottons, silks and all-natural breathable fabrics are the best selections for apparel.