Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Manila Bay Cruise by Sun Cruises Inc.

Pakyaw held a widely-popular promo for Sun Cruises' Manila Bay Cruise (Regular price: P550, discounted price: P188). It was for a 1 hour and 15mins cruise of the Manila Bay waters, with live music and a set dinner included.

A lot of people availed the promo (13805 vouchers were sold) but there were three sailing schedules everyday from Sept 23, 2011-Jan 31, 2012 (excluding holidays) so everyone could be accommodated. A month after purchase, Pakyaw sent emails to the voucher holders, informing us that for safety and legal reasons, pregnant women on their 4th month and up would not be allowed to take the trip unless they had a medical certificate and were willing to sign a waiver. It would have been better if that info was posted in the deal's terms so that such pregnant women would have known that limitation before they bought vouchers, but it was good that Pakyaw took the time to email that update to the buyers.

Voucher holders were asked to call for reservations at least 3 days in advance (6 numbers were given - 5 landline numbers and 1 cellphone number) but the reservation was not without hassle. I texted the cellphone number and got no reply. I called around 4:30pm to confirm if my text reservation was scheduled but the person who answered the phone told me that reservations were handled by another department and were only entertained before 4pm. I called again the next day to reserve two slots, but the reservations agent gave me their email address and asked me to email our voucher numbers, order number, and our names, ages, and nationalities. Then why did they bother to post a lot of numbers in the deal's terms? They should have spared the buyers as well as their staff the hassle and just posted that buyers should email them the needed info to book for reservations. I also wondered why they asked for our nationalities, but bf said that it could be for statistics or marketing purposes. Fine!

Sailing schedule was as follows: 1st sailing 4:30pm-5:45pm, 2nd sailing 6:15pm-7:30pm, and 3rd sailing 8:00pm-9:15pm. Buyers should be at the docking area behind Folk Arts Theater at least 30 minutes before sailing time. We arrived around 4:30 and since it was such a beautiful day, we used the extra time to walk around the area - stalking cats, eating barbecue, and taking pictures of plants and the surroundings.

Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Sun Cruises Manila Bay cruise ships at the dock
Sun Cruises Manila Bay cruise ships at the dock
Manila Bay cats
Manila Bay cats
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay bus
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay

At around 5:45pm, passengers began boarding for the 2nd sailing. The girl manning the Sun Cruises booth looked stressed out and annoyed, we weren't sure why. The other staff we encountered as we boarded the ship were in a better mood, though. They greeted us and looked ready to assist passengers if needed.

We were instructed to go to the upper deck. There were several tables and chairs there, and soon enough, the other passengers arrived and we were ready to go. A member of the staff stood in the middle and demonstrated how life vests were worn. When that was over, our food was served - a clear soup, a rice meal, and dessert served in a small glass. Beverages were not included in the deal but they served water so no need to pay extra. You could also order softdrinks, mineral water, beer, and fruit juices (in cans) or a bottle of red or white wine. A female singer and a male guitarist provided live music while we ate and cruised. I normally disliked contemporary pop music, but the singer had a cool voice and sang softly (no annoying "birits") so it was okay. They accepted requests and later on asked if anyone in the audience wanted to sing.

Sun Cruises Manila Bay cruise
Sun Cruises Manila Bay cruise

The good weather continued and so we had an enjoyable cruise - not too warm but also not too windy or chilly. The live music was not disrupting and the other passengers were nice, even if several kids were onboard. I was a bit worried earlier that kids would be running around and screaming. Thankfully, our co-passengers were considerate and their kids were well-behaved. The lights were turned down low but visibility was not a problem. The food was average but the trip was smooth and peaceful. The families got to have fun, the couples out for a romantic evening looked satisfied as well. For those who like being by themselves, I think the cruise will also be a good opportunity to just relax and clear your head.

As a bonus, the SM Mall of Asia's weekend firework display coincided with our cruise time, so we were able to see that.





Manila Bay Cruise
Sun Cruises Inc.
21F Times Plaza Bldg.,
Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila
Web site
Facebook page


34 comments:

  1. Ouch, sucky customer service! At least you had an enjoyable cruise, without any additional hassle. And wow, a night capped off by watching fireworks!

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  2. i want to try this for experience but i always read bad reviews.

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    Replies
    1. If you want to try it, better try it before the rainy season starts :D

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  3. I wanna experience this too!
    It would be great to have a photo of the Manila Bay looking at the shore instead of looking the at the horizon..
    This must have been a great night with fireworks to cap it

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  4. Hi sis! I actually purchased the same cruise deal. But I got mine from Prestige Cruises. Also had a hard time communicating with the people behind the deal since they weren't very punctual with responding to emails. But I would have to give them some credit for at least texting us our booked reservations later on...and your cruise seemed better than ours since no one did the safety measures. they also did not include the drinks in our buffet meal, not even water. So we had to buy our own. And the buffet wasn't a buffet at all since we were being handed a set meal of sorts. Although the nice crew and the beautiful view of the bay made up for some of the little annoyances. =) This is super long na, you can check out my post on this deal at my website if you'd like to know more. =) budgetbiyahera.com

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    Replies
    1. same here. the sights and the calming motion of the sea really made up for all the little annoyances :D

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  5. you guys are lucky to have been inside the cruise with the fireworks at the same time!! such nice view!!

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    Replies
    1. I actually forgot about the fireworks, so when they started, I was pleasantly surprised. too bad my camera doesn't take good videos lol.

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  6. The only cruise I have tried so far is the one in Putra Jaya and Dubai dinner cruise. Hope to try our very own soon! Would love to take photos. sounds like their customer service is not that great yet, hope they can improve on it very soon, it would be a big turn off for the tourists.

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  7. heard about this manila bay cruise from a common friend, sarap ndw ng experience,,, will try that, for sure may mga available vouchers for sale and metrodeal or ensogo,,, kulet nung cats photos jejeje

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  8. can't help but comment on the photo of the cats that looked like they were talking to each other. so cute.
    customer service can be improved, but at least you enjoyed all-in-all. :)

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    Replies
    1. they were flirting I guess hehe. because later on we saw them uhm, getting intimate ;)

      yup the cruise was okay overall, esp for P188/pax. :)

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  9. glad you were able to enjoy the cruise despite the earlier hassles. i still have yet to try the cruise bec when we went there last Jan 2011 with Taiwanese guests, there weren't enough number of people to complete the tour. we ended up just having dinner at the resto near the docking station. it is in one of your photos but i forgot the name of the resto!

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  10. Their customer service is a big turn off. I don't like being needlessly hassled by inefficient reservation systems and unfriendly staff. Good thing you wrote about that. I don't think I'll allow myself to go through that just for the cruise. Thanks for the info.

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  11. Grabe naman yung customer service na ganun? Kairita lang. Sana mas maayos naman ang gawin nila next time. Aba eh customers kaya kayo. Tsk tsk tsk.

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  12. I wouldn't care less if the service is that bad, still good customer service is a top qualifier for every deals online right?

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  13. I wanted to buy tickets when I saw that promo before but I still can't walk at that time.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're on your way to a full recovery Cha :)

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  14. Me and my hubby tried this too last month. And we won't be going back. Tsk.

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  15. Kinda discouraged doing this upon reading some of the comments and anecdotes about what a hassle this "cruise" would be. I'd rather watch the sunset by the bay instead. Less hassle, and it's free.

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    Replies
    1. it's not that bad, just call their office early to book reservations. but your alternative is spot-on. I was thinking the same thing while waiting for our loading time. you can just stay by the bay til sundown. maybe a little picnic. you get a great view and free too.

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  16. atleast you enjoyed it.. they should improve their customer service cus i've read a lot of bad reviews about this. tsk.

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  17. i have yet to experience this. but we did experience sailing along manila bay but i'm not sure if it was sun cruises. there was no dinner and singer kase.

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  18. kanya kanyang experience about sa cruise.. katuwa!.. at least positive experience ung sa inyo! I have yet to experience this!!!

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  19. That is a great deal. how's the dinner? :)

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    Replies
    1. to be honest, it was average. just a simple set meal. but no one was focused on the food during the cruise. everyone was chilling :D

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  20. If not for the bad reviews, I would love to visit the place. I like the first pic though :D

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  21. glad you had a lovely night... and in a cruise... wow. Yahweh bless.

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  22. It was such an exciting cruise.
    i wish i can get a chance to try it
    with my husband and kids.
    i'm sure we will enjoy.

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  23. Lucky you to be able to avail that Pakyaw deal. About two years ago I experienced cruising together with my friends. Hope some group buying sites will have that again :)

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