I recently booked a fishing trip through The Palms. I was deciding between a friendís father-in-law and the ďlegendaryĒ guide spoken of by the staff member at Palms. The hotel staff talked me into it by saying specifically that the guide they use is an older gentleman, and one of the only people left on the island that fishes for a living. (although he also guides??)
Our guide was not the one who we booked. The guy on our activity voucher and the one spoke so highly of was Guerrero. It was raining the day we booked and our guide said it was going to do this all day. I asked him if he could come back in an hour and he said we will do it tomorrow. Sure enough the storm passed in about an hour and it was beautiful for the rest of the day.
The next day he showed up complaining about how hot it was, but we luckily didnít push it back another day. We went to catch bait fish but after a half-hour or more we were unsuccessful. One of the twenty other guides in the spot had to give us bait fish so that we could begin our fishing trip.
We had three rods in the boat. On one of the rods the real was completely broken (the actual metal housing) so then we had two (It was broken before we even started). The drag wasnít set right on my wifeís rod so on the first hook-up with a fish, all the line was ran out by a fish. The guide didnít have any extra line in the boat. Obviously, one would think a fishing guide would have at least one extra spool of line in the boat, but ours didnít. He tried to run the line from the broken rod to the rod without line (which is pretty easy to do, I have done it many times), but he didnít do it correctly so now there was a huge tangle of line on my wifeís reel. This caused the rod not to function correctly to where we couldnít even cast it. The guide had to attempt to cast it and was successful on about one of every three attempts. When it did cast it would stop abruptly (because of the enormous knots) and fall about five feet from the boat.
I was told that the guides would clean the fish so that a restaurant could cook it. I asked our guide about this and he said that he guessed he could give us some. I thought it was the other way around. He would clean a fish, and after each one ask rudely if we wanted another.
I donít even know if this guide was an actual guide. He was not wearing ďguideĒ clothes like all the other ones we saw that day fishing the reef. I believe the person we booked pays other people to take his clients out. The Palms did not notify us of this. Upon questioning the staff, they said this was because the guy we originally booked with was already booked. If this was the case, I would have chosen to fish with a different person, and would have booked my friendís father-in-law. However, I donít think this was the case because we went fishing on Tuesday instead of Monday because of the rain and the staff knew this.
As if this wasnít enough our guide brought his seventeen year old cousin with him who was hungover. They spoke to each other in Spanish the entire time (even both spoke perfect English), and didnít speak to us at all. I went fishing to fish, but it would have been nice for our guide to talk to us. I tried asking about different kinds of fish but got nothing.
It seems The Palms has no idea who or what goes on with the company it books through. This company was booked because of the false details provided by the staff. I have gotten mostly blank stares, and an offer of a 10% discount from the fishing company because of this. The staff also continued to blame the fishing company. At least the fishing company has admitted some fault. I typed a version of this story and gave it to The Palms while we were in Belize. I was told the manager would speak to me but they never did. I left all of my contact information and asked for the management to please contact me but so far no one has. I can guarantee if you took your family on this same fishing trip you would agree. It wasnít about the money. In fact, I was paying my bill a few days in and the girl forgot to add my hammock rental so I told her about it so that she could add it. Again, I was paying the rest of my bill on the last day and they forgot to add a snorkeling trip for two so I went down to the office and added this as well.
HOWEVER Ė everything else was awesome. All other guides and restaurant staff were completely professional and personable. We went snorkeling and diving and everybody was great. I will be posting a trip report shortly.