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New Travel updates needed?

Posted By: spl

New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 04:58 AM

After reviewing all of the 'travel tips' and reviews of many travel writers on AC and Belize in general, I feel a lot of information is outdated.(some even notes it is current to 2001 and some 2003) Further, all of the latest books I have purchased by these writers are not up to date in their information either. In your opinion, do you feel it would be beneficial to have another travel writer submit there advice/travel recommendations for Belize or is this not necessary? Some of you will probably agree with me and several others will simply think this is a rediculous question. Please give me your opinion, positive and negative feedback is appreciated.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 05:18 AM

Good idea!!! The self-proclaimed #1 travel writer is way behind and tries to fake it ftom his perch in the US. We desperately need a fresh approach to tourism travel writing and promotion.
Posted By: spl

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 05:29 AM

This is just some of the examples of not current
info:
1) Here are a few items and their price at "The Island Supermarket", August of 2002...
2) The 1993 population census put Belize's population at approximately 205,000.
3) A new hospital is being built by the San Pedro Lions Club right now.
(this is already built and open)
4) MINISTRY OF NATIONAL SECURITY
AND IMMIGRATION 2 February 1999
(f) Religious, educational and voluntary workers-----------a fixed fee of $50.00 per annum.
(this and other fees are incorrect)
5) Internet and E-Mail Service- Rates are about $7.50US per hour.
6) As for local internet service, the only Internet Service Provicer in Belize is BTL, Belize Telecommunications Limited. For email service only, rates are $30.00bze/month plus $5.00 for additional hours after first 10. For full internet service, it is $45.00/month plus $8.00 for additional hours after 10, $4.00 after 20 hrs. (THIS IS NOT UPDATED INFO-BTL NOW OFFERS UNLIMITED INTERNET SERVICE AS WELL.)
7) The Sharks Bar a bar on a pier (this is now Tacklebox again and remodeled!)
8) Entry is granted for up to 30 days, with renewals of up to a total of six months permitted -renewals cost US$12.50 per month.
(THIS FEE WAS CHANGED MANY MONTHS AGO.)
9) When leaving Belize by air, there is a US$20 exit fee for those who are not citizens or residents of Belize. (THIS IS NOW INCLUDED IN YOUR TICKET AND YOU DO NOT PAY IT WHEN FLYING CONTINENTAL and slightly higher otherwise.)
10) The exact population of Ambergris Caye isn't known, but estimates are that it is now at least 4,000. As of 1999.
11) A 7% hotel tax is added to your hotel (not food or beverage) charges. A sales Tax of 8% is on services and seller-manufactured or prepared goods. (this was changed over a year ago.)
12) Tropic Air has three nonstop flights a day to San Pedro, currently at 7:30, 10:30 and 3:30, for US$35 one-way. Maya Island Air also has three flights a day, currently at 7:45, 12:30 and 4:45, for US$41 one-way, children US$29.
(IT HAS BEEN FOR OVER 2 YEARS ONE FLIGHT EVERY HOUR, AND IT IS $47/WAY.)
13) Hurricane season is June through September. This year (1999)... This talks about last hurricane being Mitch.
14) Gym- Working Out - La Bonita Tennis(we all know this has been San Pedro Family Fitness Center for some time.)
15) the section on the caves to visit fails to mention SEVERAL spectacular caves.
16) On the link for tours and things to do nowhere do they mention Zip lining and a lot of tourists on my plane rides back and forth to the states say they would have loved to do this, had they known about it.
17)"For a review of the events of 2001 in San Pedro, click here' (2001???)
18) Tarzan's nightclub(Jaguars for several years!)
Posted By: spl

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 05:30 AM

Jesse,
thank you so very much for your responce. I was in the middle of writing some of the out dated info and saw someone already replied!!! Do you think the updated writings should be submited to Marty or submit a link to Marty to a seperate sight? Your feedback means a lot!
Posted By: klcman

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 06:12 AM

Why don't you drop him him an email with specifics? Maintaining up-to-date info on any site is extremely time consuming (first-hand experience) and I'll bet he might appreciate copy ready text (assuming it's his site to maintain). Me suspects some of the outdated info is not in his domain to change. So,links to other more current info might be beneficial.
Posted By: spl

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 05:51 PM

Thank you, I'd be glad to email him all of my updates. I continue to find more and more. It is more some of the popular travel writers than anyone else who have either not visited the island in recent years or do not know of so many of the changes or new additions to the island. It is also interesting to note that none of the travel writers have lived in Belize. It is very important for first time travelers to the island or those moving there. I will definately submit all of my travel writings/updates on AC to him. I will also let him know when my book is finished. I am sure it will be beneficial to have info from someone who lives here. Thanks again Jesse and klcman for your great responces!
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 11:35 PM

wow, what a critique!
i have no doubt you could pick apart most websites or books or any human for that matter for being out of date.

the miracle of this website is that it exists. if you want perfection go to heaven.

and fyi, by the time your book hits print it will also be out of date. and you can add it to the list above and we can all pick it to pieces

we do the best we can. any list of updated information i would be glad to receive and fix. i'd love to have a staff of seven and say to 5 of them go out and get the latest fact on these 200,895 facts and send em out each month. we do the best we can.

and most people are very pleased. we get many many comments on how helpful the site is. thousands in fact. so being helpful and having generally good information is actually a good thing, not a hideous thing.

and we have been here for years. you won't find us writing currently to go to the sharks bar. you may however find old postings or articles referring to go to sharks bar.

after ten years of doing the site, there is undoubtedly some old information. but it is overwhelmed by good i would assume from the emails i get.

i do appreciate the heads up tho. i am going thru the places you mention right now fixing them...
Posted By: klcman

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/29/05 11:45 PM

amen

keep up the good work Marty! we luz ya
Posted By: Bobber

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 12:17 AM

Marty, you do a heck of a good job. Check out some of the websites for other Carribean destinations and you will find them to be so out of date it is just pitiful. Also, the message board reports keep adding information that is really up to date. Keep up the good work, there are those who apreciate it.
Posted By: spl

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 12:38 AM

Marty, it is not you that I was 'ripping to pieces.' I think this website is PHENOMINAL!!! I use this site every day, and in my opinion is THE BEST TRAVEL WEBSITE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. I think it provides more info than any other country or islands website I've ever been on. I am very thankful for it and love it! I was simply commenting on 'travel writers' and writings which you have links to on this site. I also mentioned that I was finding many pieces of info up to 8 years old, and therefore I was happy to submit to you new up to date info for the site. I know it is important to travelers to have as accurate as possible info. In no way was I trying to offend you. I THANK you for such a wonderful site with useful information.
If you are interested in any updatated information from other writers, please feel free to contact me.
Posted By: spl

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 12:47 AM

Marty, again I am so sorry and was not trying to be rude. Just one thing to point out you might not have realized, this is the paragraph where you do mention to go to Shark's Bar under "THINGS TO DO" Also, Tarzans is now Jaguars. Thanks, Spl.

"Big Daddy's and Tarzans are right downtown for music, dancing, and a great time.
At the Pier Lounge Bar, you can't miss the World Famous Chicken Drop Game. It is very popular on the island and only at the beach of the Pier Lounge at the Spindrift Hotel. Gambling at its finest. Another favorite is Sharks Bar, on the site of the old Tackle Box. Great place to have a drink overlooking the Caribbean, or stop for munchies, or view their tanks with marine life from the waters of the caye."
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 12:55 AM

cool. thanks for the impetus. got those fixed. send me more i'm on a roll.
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 12:58 AM

no problem man, yah, i know Tarzans is now Jaguars. its not like i don't come to town. i'm there at least every 6 months, and get 400-500 emails a day, and ten phone calls a day, from folks on the island or heading there. even have converted my house into a mini belize for drive bys (i get a LOT of folks driving by to look at pics, maps, etc. driving the I-5 corridor from seattle to LA they come on by here) complete with 6 fish tanks, three birds including a macaw, and the flags here are Belizean and the clocks are on Belize time....

and i am not offended at all. like i just told jesse, i have needed to update this stuff for awhile, just get lost in the daily things, new sites, new pics for old sites, that i hadn't gotten around to doing some of the updating i need to do to the mother stuff.

thanks for the impetus, hit me as mush as you wanna. at first i wasn't sure you were on the up and up, i get a lot of crackpots, (sorry didn't mean to insinuate :>) so i was a lil red but its cool.

:>
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 12:58 AM

my email is [email protected] you can email me anytime.
Posted By: spl

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 01:10 AM

Thanks Marty. Again, I am thankful for your site and enjoy it very much. Maybe we'll meet in San Pedro one day.
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 01:14 AM

thank you sir, i'd be delighted to meet. and i'm hungry for more edits if you find em. i really appreciate the impetus even if i came across bitchy in the beginning. its my baby and i'm sensitive to criticism
:>
overly sensitive sometimes
:>

but i do hate bad info. and i might whine but i get on the work
:>
Posted By: indygal

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 01:27 AM

Marty thanks so much for this site. I have enjoyed it and it has been very helpful to me.
Posted By: Gela

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 01:47 AM

Marty, as I have always said, THANK YOU - YOU ARE the BEST!

I cannot and will not imagine life without this website. You have been the WebMaster extraordinaire and I bow to you laugh

I too hope to meet you one day - preferably in SP so that I can thank you and you family in person.

Gela
Posted By: 1BKeeper

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 02:27 AM

Marty, I want to add my thank you to you for your work on the website. I "visit" San Pedro almost daily on this board and when I have time, I click on other links and read or reread about all of the places I love there. Keep up the great work.
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 03:43 AM

I hear ya, Marty. I go to SP & all of Belize several times a year and it is hard to keep up and keep the info current. You do an awesome job! I'll sent you all my new updates as well in July when I get back.
Posted By: Scott

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 03:50 AM

Marty... Let me add my name to the lovefest! I think many people who frequent this site tend to take it for granted and forget about all the hard work that goes into mantaining it and keeping it current. We travel all over the Caribbean and I agree that this is the best site I've ever seen for a destination. We went to Curacao in March and I would have LOVED to have found a site as all-inclusive as this one! Somebody buy Marty a Belikin (or two)!
Scott
Posted By: Chloe

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 03:59 AM

Marty is awesome, and deserves a lovefest often.
We that visit this site daily, do get the updates from the most current visitors and the locals postings.
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 05:15 AM

golly jeepers! i feel the luv... thanks ya'll
luv u Chloe
Posted By: Wendy

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 08:37 AM

Marty you know how I feel about you and your site. I have been here from the very beginning!
W smile
Posted By: NYgal

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 02:36 PM

laugh ...Hey I wanted to be in the conga line too wink
Marty Rocks!!
Posted By: dbdoberman

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/30/05 02:45 PM

Marty, you da Man! The comments here more often than not, keep folks updated. There is not a site out there than can compare to this one. Not even close. Plus, you post the important things, the critical things, like pix of Ms. Belize, and the Belikin calendar. Yep, you, and this board are the best! laugh
Posted By: taz

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 02:49 AM

My husband and I find this web site to be extremely useful. I am amazed that only one person is responsible for it. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I am only one of many who benefit from your endeavors. Thank you Marty!
Posted By: Hon

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 02:10 PM

I would be lost without my daily ambergriscaye.com fix. I truly appreciate the work that it takes to keep the board up and running...thank you.

Hon
Posted By: Boston Divers

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 02:38 PM

We were in AC 5/13 Ė 5/19 Just returned ahead of the storm. I had reviewed this posting before we left and had a preference list when we arrived. I would like to confirm some picks.
Breakfast: I could do Estelís every day. Best jacks. Second would be Monkey Bites. Although there seems to be some pride in the local coffee I did find it a bit like under-roasted chicory.
Lunch:
El Divino: We went for the Brazilian rotisserie and they did not have it. Went for lunch to have the gourmet pizza based on the reviews...they were out. But the waiter recommended the 12oz burgers and they were great. The seats in the bar are fun after a few.
Blue Water Grill was disappointing to me. I walked over to a place next door because I could smell the BBQ. It was very good, but since I just walked in from the beach side I donít know the name. I think this was DJ's on the Beach or some such two letters.
Vendors by the park took some effort to find since we were looking for a New England style park. We sampled from three and found it an excellent escape from shopping with the better halves. Bring a few Bilikins with you.
Calienteís: Sat on the patio first day.....good service.....good food.... introduction to premium vs. regular.
Dinner: Victoria House was fabulous. I had been trying to get a reservation and had no response from my E-mails. I finally called an 800 number and was told that Amy could allow us early seating. When we arrived, the dinning room was half-empty. We stayed for several hours and it did not fill. This gave me a bit of snob resentment. BUT the food and wine were excellent, as was the service...best dinner of the trip.
Casa Picasoís: There were six of us and I think we ordered everything on the menu except pasta dishes. The tapas were excellent. The desserts were very good except for the creme bruleí, sorry over done for me. The cracked coconut definitely came out on top, followed by the bananas rum caramel. They have Van Gough chocolate vodka so I had them make one of my favorite martinis chocolate raspberry...Van Gough and just a splash of Chambord. The rest of the group sampled various martinis from the menu and they were all great. I was a little disappointed that we were told there would be a movie, but it never happened. Is that a regular thing?
Jambal jerk pit: Even the not too spicy among us loved it. We have a couple of jars of the jerk in the fridge and it will be used for Memorial Day.
Carambaís: We walked in sat down and two bowls of a kind of ceviche were put on the table with chips. The best! Yes, even better than Papiís dinner. I tried to order another bowl for my dinner but was denied. It appears itís their version of free chips and salsa that other places offer.
Lost my money clip in that area, initials HJM. If anyone finds it I will pay for shipping.
Rendezvous, the winery up north: No way to say this delicately.... Sharply inhaled! The service was very good (and we tipped accordingly) but there was no other saving grace. The drinks were measly...I watched the bartender measure my rum as if it were liquid gold. Not the way to deliver at the prices charged. The wine sampled would not bring $3 US retail. We went here because three of the crew is vine enthusiasts (winos) and they were more than disappointed. The food did not improve the opinions. The French / Thai seafood stew not only tasted bad, but the two who ordered it had a lot of porcelain squats to do that night and all the next day.
Thanks for the heads up on the service charge. Since we were a party of six we expected some charge to be on all checks. Itís fairly standard in the states. We were surprised to find it was seldom there.
Diving....Hey, thatís why we came. (to the drinking town with a diving problem)
We found the inner reef diving to be about average for the Caribbean. Perhaps our expectations were set too high. On the upside the proximity made for short boat rides and we would be back from two tanks in time for lunch. The Blue Hole trip saved the day. The crew at Amigos Del Mar has this down. Edgar gave the best assertive pre-dive briefing that I have ever heard. He definitely set the tone for what to expect and how to respect the dive masterís decisions. The crew was efficient and knowledgeable. The Blue Hole is a dive that you need to check off your list if you are a diver. The combination of poor vis and short time make it hard to appreciate. The dives at Crescent moon caye and the Aquarium made complete redemption. These two dives are a reason to come to AC and endure a two hour + boat ride to dive. Best of all no PICA PICA for me....just one of the dive masters. Could not find vagisil anywhere on the island for him.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 02:51 PM

Great review! Thanks
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 05:41 PM

Great job Marty - this is my favorite website because Belize is my favorite destination. I can tell you that the price of Belikin has gone up a tad!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 06:19 PM

Marty
I'm in on the love fest. Your assistance before our first trip was invaluable - both with info on local needs and in connecting us w/ people living on the island to get stuff to once we got there.
I too have noted some of the info is outdated, both here and in the travel books we bought, but that's been our experience anywhere we've ever vacationed. Besides, who wants to know everything before they get there? Where's the fun in that? Also, I agree that the message board helps keep things updated. Your willingness to take a little constructive criticism (although I think the bulk of it was aimed in another very specific, thinly veiled direction) says as much about you as this great site you've developed. Keep up the great work -
LA
Posted By: HavinFun

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 05/31/05 10:01 PM

I love this site and message board - there's a ton of updated info everyday - maybe not statistical - but useful info none the less.
I can appreciate Marty's effort it takes to keep up with everything. The only problem that I have seen that bother's me is the Snowman hasn't melted like last year! Was I imagining that?
Posted By: klcman

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 06/01/05 12:05 AM

the Snowman is from a webcam in my back yard :rolleyes: will summer or even SPRING get here???
Posted By: Carib Traveler

Re: New Travel updates needed? - 06/01/05 02:15 PM

Marty, I simply found this site and msg board to be invaluable in my pre-trip planning for several months and, being in the web biz, also grok the maintenance issues. I'm also a professional writer, but tend to shy away from facts and figures when travel reporting to get to the heart of What's Now, which the msg board provides, and nicely. Keep up the much appreciated efforts- yours is a model for many would-be Carib destinations!
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