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just back from AC - my experiences #70584
07/09/03 07:10 PM
07/09/03 07:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 105
new Jersey
booboo Offline OP
booboo  Offline OP
Hi out there, just got home on Tuesday night, really Wednesday morning due to a major glitch in a connection in Miami, but, whatever. I'm posting this report for whoever cares to read it. For the most part we had a nice relaxing time in San Pedro. We stayed at Sunbreeze. A great location central to everything. The hotel itself is clean, comfortable, friendly staff, but nothing fancy here. It provides basic rooms, really no attention is paid to decor, but the rooms are clean, the beds are comfy, the airco is cold, the TV works. All and all a good place to stay. On our first day we had a mediocre breakfast at Estels, and then decided to rent a golf cart and cruise the island. The hand ferry was a trip! really neat. The northern part of the island has a stretch of really nice homes with pretty gardens the southern part was not as appealing. We rode into some of the areas around the lagoon side of the island, and were sorry to see how poor and run down some areas are. Rundown, and just plain dirty. We had dinner at Fido's that night, good fish and chips.
When we booked this trip 3 half day fishing trips were included in the price. Our first trip was with an older man named Manuel Acosta. He picked us up at the Sunbreeze dock in his little boat which is about 18 feet, no shade at all, and two Adirondack chairs with cushions to sit on. We took off and headed to Caye Caulker to catch bait. That took about an hour and a half. Then we trolled the land side of the reef. We caught about half a dozen yellow tail snapper and a couple of other small fish. Not a great fishing trip in our opinion, or maybe our expectations were just to high, or maybe we're just jaded from having some spectacular fishing in other islands. We got back to Sunbreeze totally fried despite having put on tons of sunblock. Manuel needs to get some shade on that boat! The next day we were so fried that we had to get out of the sun, so we took the water taxi over to Belize City to check out the casino at the princess hotel. Being unaware that on weekdays the casino does'nt open till noon we got there way too early, so to kill some time we talk a short walk. Did'nt see a window that was'nt barred to the max and encountered a couple a soldiers carrying automatic weapons strolling down the street. Kind of scary. Finally the casino opened and as we were entering we were asked for ID. We had none, did'nt think we needed it. They decided that we probably were'nt dangerous and let us in. You have to go through a metal dectector to get in there! Anyway, we killed a few hours there, and then headed back to AC. Naturally, we did'nt win, but then we did'nt expect to. The next day we were scheduled for another fishing trip with Manuel, it was more of the same as the first. A bummer. On Thursday, we hooked up with a guy named Hillyboo. We went reef fishing with him, his mate Luis, and his little boy Byron. A real cute 6 year old. The fishing again in our experience was poor. Hillyboo redeemed the day when he spotted a 150 lb. loggerhead turtle and repeatedly dived off the boat until he caught it and brought it to the surface. It was huge! it's head was at least as big as a human head. Then Hillyboo dove for some lobster, he got about a half dozen and then brought us to a beach and cooked us a delicious BBQ of fish, lobster, baked beans and tortillas. It was one of the two really good meals we had in AC. Then we went snorkeling at Hol Chan. Very pretty. The next day we were scheduled for another fishing trip with Manuel Acosta. We decided to cancel it. At that point we were very disheartened with the fishing, so we just spent the day relaxing around the pool and hanging out. On Saturday, we decided to go fishing with Hillyboo again. Since reef fishing had been so unproductive we decided to go deep sea. We caught (4) 10 - 15 pound barracuda which pretty much sucked. On our last day we did another snorkeling trip through Searious Adventures. Did Mexico rocks. Very pretty. Tres Cocos, so,so. As for the restaurants. On a scale of 1-10
BC's BBQ - 5
Estels breakfast - 4
Fidos - 7
Miss Elvis - 4
Bluewater Grill - 7
Caliente - 6
Mambo's - 4
Cannabals - 4
Ambergris Delight - 7
Cocina Carrumba - 8 (We had terrific Conch Fingers, (not fritters) here. We ate here a couple of times.
Pepperonis - 7 pretty good pizza and nice people.
Mannelys Ice Cream - 8 good icecream

Charlie Worthington of Estel's is a trip! Very knowlegable guy when it comes to music, but if you do get involved talking to him, you may spend hours and hours listening to him if your not careful! It's hard to get away once he gets going!

The Chicken Drop is a must!

Anyway that's about it, in our opinion AC is a been there, done that destination, I guess if the fishing had been good I would be far more enthusiastic in my opinion of the place but the fishing was not good at all, the snorkeling was o.k., the food for the most part was not good. I do have to say that almost all the people we ran into were very nice. And now our search for the ideal island destination continues. Have Fun all! Booboo

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70585
07/09/03 07:51 PM
07/09/03 07:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,251
NYgal Offline
NYgal  Offline
Well, AC or Belize is not for everyone.
Sorry your trip wasn't what you expected.
Happy travels. smile

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70586
07/10/03 06:00 AM
07/10/03 06:00 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,429
dogmatic prevaricator Offline
dogmatic prevaricator  Offline
I'm all for throwing a pity party once in a while, however, I sense the character of a chronic complainer in this post, or one that has set the bar too high for their Belize experience. I can see how this can happen for a first timer, if you lose balance and key solely on the level of enthusiasm expressed on this board.

While I agree that Belize is a "been there done that" destination for me, my personal experience was quite different across the board regarding the food and restaurants.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70587
07/10/03 06:19 AM
07/10/03 06:19 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,336
toad Offline
toad  Offline
i knew we saw eye to eye, now i know

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70588
07/10/03 07:31 AM
07/10/03 07:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 115
Georgia USA
f095 Offline
f095  Offline
This fishing report is really scary. This is what we are coming for. Who has ever heard of having to catch your own bait? I am not opposed to it but it is a time waster. Please tell me that this is not what the fishing is all about on AC. frown

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70589
07/10/03 07:54 AM
07/10/03 07:54 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 232
Ambergris Caye (part time)
tincup Offline
tincup  Offline
We fish on AC quite a lot and always go out for bait first. This does not usually involve going very far, but you can expect to spend half an hour, maybe 45 minutes getting bait.
Bt the way, we have used HillyBoo and have not been disappointed, although we always go for a full day rather than half. Sometimes you try a few things and they don't work that particular day, so you change the approach and try something else. It helps to have a little more time.
If you can, try to contact the guide before you go out and tell them what kind of fishing you would like to do. Often the weather dictates what your day will be like. On a calm day I would suggest slow trolling just outside of the reef.
Include a beach picnic in your day and you should come back satisfied.

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70590
07/10/03 08:02 AM
07/10/03 08:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 157
Baton Rouge, La
yat Offline
yat  Offline
FO95...Your fishing experience will usually depend on a couple of factors. One is the weather and the other is the guide that takes you out. I have learned from this board that Hillyboo has an excellent reputation as a guide.

For booboo...Sorry AC wasn't for you. Keep looking for your perfect island. For me, AC is it!

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70591
07/10/03 08:26 AM
07/10/03 08:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 98
Winder, Georgia, USA
ga peach Offline
ga peach  Offline
boohoo, I was just wondering what kind of food you are used to eating?

Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70592
07/10/03 08:54 AM
07/10/03 08:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Maple Grove, MN USA
Bobber Offline
Bobber  Offline
I guess this is another instance of a place not for everyone. Keep looking, the perfect place may be out there for you.
I just got back from a week in an all-inclusive 5 star on the Mexican Riviera. Not my choice, family function. As I waited in line to be seated for a large buffet of steam table food, I dreamed of sitting at Estels with my toes in the sand with a mutt snoring under my chair sopping up my eggs with fry jacks. As I sat around sipping cheap beer in a plastic cup, I thought of a cold bottle of Belikin. No lobster or conch, not even any Corona. As I walked around I was assaulted by ill mannered screaming whining kids during the day, or loud drunks coming back from the disco at night. Masses of people being entertained 24 hours a day. A pre-planned assembly line vacation. So many people saying things like "Isn't this place the greatest thing on earth?", to which I could only roll my eyes back in my head in response. My worst day on AC was better than my best day in that resort.
I would gladly trade what you might consider your mediocre vacation for my expensive one. We are all different, different expectations, different satisfactions. Keep looking, your spot is out there, but I will stick with AC for the near future. Conch fingers? I think I will stick with ceviche or fritters also just to be old fashioned. I do consider your report to be even handed, both the positives and negatives, so your opinions are respected.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
Re: just back from AC - my experiences #70593
07/10/03 09:09 AM
07/10/03 09:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,057
South Texas
Chloe Offline
Chloe  Offline
Boohoo, thanks for sharing your vacation report with us. Appreciated your candor. Seems you did enjoy yourselves.

Understandable, when one has high expectations of catching alot of fish, if that does not happen it does dampen the vacation. Good fishing depends on so many factors, and most uncontrollable. I travel with men that expect good fishing everywhere we go, does not happen often, and they leave with dashed hopes. They are off to another location next trip.

Dare To Deviate
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