Saturday, April 19, 2014

First Class Baguio-Manila Trip via Victory Liner Bus

I wanted to try Victory Liner's First Class (aka De Luxe) ride to and from Baguio. Unfortunately, taking the ride to Baguio conflicted with our plans so we opted to try it on our way back to Manila. The Baguio-Manila first class ride only stops at the Cubao and Pasay terminals but we went ahead even though the most convenient terminal for us was Monumento.

Soon after arriving in Baguio (and enjoying several cups of regular and strawberry taho from the vendors right outside the terminal), we went upstairs to buy our return tickets. The cashier showed us a seat plan so we could choose our seats. Outside, the sun was just beginning to rise so while bf was paying for the tickets, I snuck out and took a picture.

view from the second floor of the Victory Liner terminal in Baguio City

The first class trip goes for P715 per person, compared to the regular trip which costs P445. You can find the list of trip schedules in the Victory Liner homepage.


So, what are the perks of the deluxe ride?

Comfort room. The bus is equipped with a toilet. Drank a lot before leaving? Got a weak bladder? No problem!

Snacks included. We each got a bottled water and some snacks (small brownie and a small pack of macapuno candies).

snacks
bottled water
Shorter travel time. Unlike the regular trip, there are no stopovers since the passengers don't have to get off the bus to go to toilet or buy snacks and drinks. We left Baguio at 1:10pm and reached Cubao after a little more than 5 hours.

More comfortable seats. There are fewer seats (most rows only have 3 seats) compared to a regular bus hence there is more leg room. The seats can also be reclined and there are leg rests available.

the cubicle beneath the second monitor is the toilet

Solo seats. Perfect for solo travelers! No need to sit with a stranger if you're traveling alone.

Newspapers. There are newspapers that you can read during the trip.

Easier movie viewing. There are two video monitors inside the bus (one near the driver and another at the middle of the bus, right above the CR) so everyone can watch the movie properly, unlike ordinary buses where people at the back cannot really see or hear the movie being shown.

Service Attendant. She hands out the snacks and the newspapers. You can also ask her if you have questions or other concerns.


Other thoughts...
  1. There were only two movies shown during the trip even though there was still enough time for a third one.
  2. The toilet was clean. There was running water and toilet paper but I was not sure if there was soap. There were liquids in bottles at the sink but they looked more like cleaning liquids than hand soap.
  3. The pretty attendant was a breath of fresh air compared to the usual "konduktor" we encounter when riding buses.
  4. Our attendant did not roam much after distributing the snacks and newspapers soon after boarding time. So if you have questions, better ask your stewardess early on.
  5. Only light snacks are available during the trip so bring along some (non-smelly) food or eat a filling meal before traveling.

Want to go to Baguio via Victory Liner? You can purchase regular and deluxe tickets either in person at the Victory Liner terminals or by online reservation. The online reservation system is archaic though. First you have to book at least 8 business days in advance then wait for Victory Liner's email reply containing the payment information and/or Paypal invoice. Then you pay over the counter at Metrobank branches or through Paypal (subject to additional fees if via Paypal) then wait again for Victory Liner's reply. The company will then send your tickets via courier but you have to pay an additional P100 minimum delivery fee. Such a system works for small online businesses but for a big long-time travel company like Victory Liner? They can afford a more sophisticated and convenient online booking system that lets customers pay via credit card, choose their seats, and print out their tickets -- similar to what airlines use.

Nevertheless, we found Victory Liner's First Class trip enjoyable. The only thing that dampened our mood was that upon reaching the Cubao terminal, we had to face reality once again. After four days of stress-free and pocket-friendly taxi rides in Baguio, the first thing that greeted us back in Manila were the asshole taxi drivers who either chose their passengers or wanted a fixed, overpriced fare. It took us quite a while to find a decent driver.


8 comments:

  1. This is a great option if you hate those stopovers. Plus, it looks so much more comfortable than the regular bus. Definitely worth it if you're not looking to save a few hundred bucks for comfort.

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  2. Perfect timing that I got to read this post. I was looking to ride a bus going to Baguio for an alone time vacation this week.

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  3. Next time try Genesis :D. But the snacks in Victory is better than the ones give to us.

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  4. is the toilet big enough for a person on the heavy side? you have no picture of the actual toilet?

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  5. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

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  6. do you have any contact number of the Victory liner bus terminal at baguio city? I have questions about the schedule of their trip on sundays and If they give discounts to students. thank you. and by the way this article you made was really a big help. thanks for sharing! (Y)

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  7. Hi what are the eschedule of the trip from baguio to manila?

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