Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#251894 - 10/05/07 06:17 AM Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some)
Sandra_rx Offline
Just want to start by saying we have been to many places and so far this was the best! Best resort, best service (hands down), best diving and snorkeling, best food, best pizza list goes on and on.
We started off a little shaky with our connecting flight to Belize City being delayed. We ended up almost being too late to fly to San Pedro, but the powers that be came together and got us all there safely. We were staying at Victoria House and they had a cab there waiting for us but because we went to the tropic air terminal (donít ask I have no explanation because we took mayan air there) we missed our taxi. No problem they sent another one and in minutes we were on our way. The front desk crew was incredibly gracious. They realized we had a long day and asked if they could take our luggage to our room for us so that we could go straight to dinner. We gladly took them up on that. We had dinner in the bar where I had the best pina colada ever made. I ordered the best black bean soup (and I am a black bean soup connoisseur) we shared guacamole and ceviche, also very good, and enjoyed the breeze coming through the bar. After we ate we headed to our room, a plantation room on the bottom floor, #21. Our room was delightful with flower petals placed with perfection, it was decorated very nicely. The air conditioning worked very well, the shower was nice and roomy- but the best part was the bed. Itís the only place weíve ever been that my husband said he was more comfortable in their bed than our own. He loved the mosquito net and wants to buy one for our own bed (we live in phoenix and have minimal mosquitos). The room has a safe and a hair dryer for your convenience.
We woke up the next morning and couldnít wait to get outside to see what it looked like- It looked very much what I imagine heaven to look like, only with white beaches. We took a cab to the golf cart company, rented a cart and off we went. We really didnít want to miss our football game as we are RABID Arizona Cardinals fans (no wise cracks please) so we headed to Cholos. We hung out there drinking Belikins for a little while. After a while we headed off to eat, the bartender recommended Carambas and thatís where we headed. We were not disappointed. I had lobster fajitas and they were awesome, my husband had ceviche. They put the game on for us and we hung out there, pretty cool place. We headed back to Victoria House and walked the beach a bit, heading towards town taking in the sights. We had dinner in the bar again and it was a great meal.

Monday we hung out at the resort. We had breakfast at the resort- the potatoes are very good as is the French toast. We snorkeled at the end of the pier and saw a ton of fish, a sting ray and some trumpet fish. We ate lunch at the bar and played cards looking out at the ocean. What a life.

Tuesday was our trip to the Blue Hole. Awesome day. I met RN Diver from the board which was totally cool swapping stories with her. When we came up from the first dive (blue hole) there were several sharks swimming in the area. It was the coolest experience. I think they were black tip reef sharks and they were pretty good sized. The other two dives were also awesome and the lunch that Amigos Del Mar provided was outstanding. I didnít bring my camera (cannon IS 710 with casing) on the first dive because the depth rating on my casing is 130 ft and I didnít want to ruin my camera. So on the second dive I get my gear together and jump in the water, I start my decent and go to turn on my camera and realize it is half filled with water! Yes, in a hurry I closed the casing with a piece of the strap caught inside of it. Oh, did I mention on the way out to the blue hole I had our dive cards in my pocket, went outside to sit on the bow and heard someone yelling from above. I look down and my dive card is on the deck, I check my pocket and hubbyís is gone- into the deep blue it went- boy our luck ran high this trip!!! Anyhow, I highly recommend this dive shop they showed us a great time. We ate dinner at the Blue water grill; I had a Japanese style grouper that was very good. My husband had some sort of pork sitr fry with noodles that he liked but it wasnít his favorite meal.

Iím skipping Wednesday except to say that we had dinner at the resort and I had the cashew crusted grouper that is, as many people have said, to die for.

Thursday ate breakfast at the hotel and really just hung out there. Itís very peaceful, absolutely beautiful. Forgive me that I do not remember if we went to Pedros for pizza and poker on Wednesday or Thursday but I swear they have the best pizza. We met several people from the board all very fun and gracious to us- Peter is a blast of course and we loved hanging out with them. They kicked our ass in poker.

Friday- we booked the Hol Chan/Shark Ray alley snorkel trip through the hotel. Hacinto escorted us and another couple. We stopped first at Hol Chan which was amazing. The jacks hear the boats pull up and swarm the boat so when you enter the water theyíre everywhere and they follow you when you swim off- very cool. We saw a turtle, some sharks, a spotted eagle ray, a green moray eel (had to free dive down to catch sight of him) and a ton of other stuff. Hacinto stopped and explained what everything was as we went. Off to Shark Ray alley which was one of the best experiences weíve had. There were tons of sting rays and nurse sharks. Also, there were so many blue tang around it was really surprising to me. I love this fish and I am always trying to get close to them wherever we dive to photograph them. So finally I am in a scenario to capture them up close and no camera!! I think we ate at Elvis this night- great place. The setting is too cool with sand on the floor, the service was outstanding and the food was wonderful.

Saturday we did a two tank dive in the morning with Amigoís del mar and again, we had the time of our lives. Sharks everywhere (nurse) and very large grouper followed us like puppies. The diving in Belize is the best- just incredible. We weíre going to go back to Pedros for another beating at the poker table and a much needed pizza fix on Saturday night- we were faced with a minor inconvenience in the afternoon that prevented us from going and having fun, but definitely on our next trip weíll make up for that.

Sunday we checked out and said goodbye to our dear friends Brent, Janet and Javier, the management and activities director that we have truly grown to love. As most of you know we attempted to board our flight home and I was stopped by the immigration officers. I feel no need to report about this portion of our stay, except to say that I called VH immediately from the airport because I was scared and they came through like I never expected. Brent and Javier took the first flight the next morning and met us at our hotel. A few hours later Tim from Banana Beach and Peter from Pedros flew in to see us also. The guys stayed with us all day, we were never alone. Brent called the Radisson and arranged for us to have a very nice room for Monday night. We flew home the next afternoon, the minute our plane landed I turned on my phone and I received a very warm welcome home email from Brent and Janet- unbelievable people and an unforgettable resort. Thanks everyone for the time of our lives. We'll see you all soon.


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#251898 - 10/05/07 07:02 AM Re: Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some) [Re: Sandra_rx]
seashell Offline
smile
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A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#251905 - 10/05/07 12:45 PM Re: Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some) [Re: seashell]
Nova Offline
Great trip report Sandra, thanks! Don't forget to post some photos!
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It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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#251979 - 10/05/07 08:44 PM Re: Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some) [Re: Nova]
Leah-Ann Offline
No matter how many times I've been, I never grow tired of reading a trip report from the perspective of a first timer!
Thanks for sharing. smile
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I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?

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#252026 - 10/06/07 12:32 AM Re: Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some) [Re: Leah-Ann]
pedro2
Your style of understatement is so English you must have got it from Peter! It's wonderful that after everything that happened towards the end of your stay you can still write such an upbeat report.

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#252549 - 10/11/07 03:21 PM Re: Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some) [Re: ]
Scuba do Offline
Amen Peter--THAT's where LOL-your right Leah-Ann--the reports of a first-timer makes us feel that we sometimes take things for granted on AC.
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People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care

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#252630 - 10/12/07 02:36 AM Re: Trip Report September 22nd- 30th (plus some) [Re: Scuba do]
RNdiver Offline
Sandra-rx

Pics will be in the mail on sat. Im glad you guys got home safely. come back in Jan Ill be on the caye for 5 days- after 5 days in Corozal. It was nice to meet you as well on th eblue hole dive.

smile

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