Friday, November 16, 2012

2Go: The New Way to Travel to Boracay

Last year should have been my first Boracay trip and my first ever Visayas destination. But then it coincided with the Malaysia trip so I had no choice but to cancel Boracay. We all know that flying from Manila to Caticlan has proven to be quite expensive and Piso Fare promos can be daunting to book especially if we are a big family plus the scheduling date is also tricky. But when I learned about 2Go (yes, the famous courier service) sailing from Batangas to Caticlan at a very affordable price, I pitched the idea to my parents. 

2Go Ship docked at Caticlan Port

It took quite some convincing before they finally said yes to the idea that we travel by sea to reach Boracay. They probably pictured a crazy, crowded and noisy pier scenario. Well, I can't blame them since those were also my first ship experiences when I traveled from Manila to General Santos many years back. Most importantly, we'll also be traveling with my sister with special needs and her comfort should be our number one consideration. 

But I thought 2Go Travel deserves its chance and after some careful research and  planning, I figured my sister can handle the travel. I'm happy that after hopping on their vessels, it definitely changed how I now view sea trips.


travel during the night time schedule and see Batangas sunset

2Go Travel resulted from the merger of Negros Navigation, Super Ferry, SuperCat, and Cebu ferries. They refurbished the ships and past passengers will definitely feel the grand make-over of these ships interiors. The vessel is actually a destination itself where passengers are offered a fun filled sea travel adventure - well at least that's how me and my family feels. Let me tell you more...

The Land Travel

Fortunately, Alabang terminal is just a 20 minute and jeepney ride away from home. We hopped on a pink bus (buti hindi na nila hinihintay mapuno ang bus) and drove down the picturesque Calabarzon highway. An hour and 30 minutes after, we were already at Batangas Pier. Whew, that was fast!


where we exchanged our etickets to actual tickets

We arrived at the pier past 4pm. I exchanged our e-tickets for actual tickets and walked our way to the building. Just follow the 2Go signs which are so dominant and it's really easy to navigate around. Terminal fee is price at Php30 each. There's a 7-11 and a store selling home cooked meals at the ground level. Boarding area is at the 2nd floor where hot pink chair rules!

 2Go Boarding area

We were at the pier past 4pm and ship leaves at 8pm. Yes we were early, but we didn't get too bored because there are things you can do while waiting. Mom and my sister gave in to a 30 minute massage for only Php125. Even though it's cheap, mom said it was one of the best massage she experienced.  While dad thrills at the fact that he was able to get his first ever pedicure there. Ever!

Cutie Nilo Pillow waiting to see Boracay

The boarding begins


We started boarding minutes past 6pm. Bomb sniffing dogs are around to check on our bags and staff members welcomed us as we walk up the ramp to the main lobby. It was fast and organized.

 mom and dad inside 2Go's lobby

Dad was surprised to see a modern hotel like lobby filled with comfortable magenta lounge chairs. So chic!



We handed them our tickets at the front desk and made us wait at the lobby while they work on our check-in process. We were then guided to our respective rooms. I booked 1 stateroom for 2 and 3 for tourist class. Our roundtrip fare totaled a little less than Php9,000 only. That's already good for 5 and we have private rooms to boot!

I set our travel dates after the long weekend hoping that there will be few passengers onboard, but I didn't expected to be this few..

Tourist class section: where are the other passengers?

Okay so this is just a part of the tourist class accommodation. Of course there were passengers on the other sides, but point is, if you travel off peak, the less crowd there is. Passengers included families, friends, Boracay locals and even foreign backpackers.

After seeing the tourist class section, we were then escorted to the stateroom and were surprised to see this extra bunkbed. A stateroom is supposedly for 2 people only but since this stateroom could occupy 2 more...

Here's Nilo once again inside 2Go's stateroom

So anong gagawin naming nasa tourist class? Lipat!


Family bonding sa stateroom kaming 5. We not only got that extra comfort and privacy, we also loved the idea that we can spend the whole sea experience until sleep together. The room we had has its own private toilet and bath, a TV, ref, a queen sized bed and a bunk bed, set of towels, way thicker blankets compared to those in tourist class, toiletries, a cabinet filled life jackets and best of all - a window!


As the ship started pulling away from Batangas pier, the LCD tv played 2Go's safety video. After watching, we headed over to a smaller view deck that felt like our outdoor private space for a while. There, we watched the lights from the land fade away as we began to sail into open sea. A rare moment we enjoyed as family.



Went back to the room and requested for hot water so we can have our evening coffees. Since we practically paid for our linens, I also handed the tourist class tickets over to their linen department so we can get our tourist class linens. We simply told them that we'll stacked those pillows and linens to the stateroom. More pillows for us!

We decided it's time to check out the main view deck where the bar is so we went up and saw a band playing some of mom and dad's favorite songs. Perfect! Chillax time!


My sister who's taking up Hotel Management has a few tips up her sleeve when it comes to mixing cocktails and other social drinks. She wanted to try some from the bar so we ordered their Php300 Bottleship pitcher (not sure if I got the name right), opened our baon of 1 pack of pistachios and simply enjoyed the smusic, the breeze and the cocktails under the stars on a good Sunday night.

Good morning Aklan!

After a freezing night time sleep, I forced myself to get up at 4am, took a shower and tried to get a good glimpse of Caticlan sunrise. But dad woke up early too and said, "Coffee muna tayo."


Many were still asleep as we passed by the uber cold tourist class section. I took a quick peak outside and saw that it's still dark so we sip our morning coffee in the lobby. Hot water and cup is available for Php8.  Just a few minutes after, mom and my sisters joined us. Napasarap sa kwentuhan and next thing we know, maliwanag na sa labas!


Approaching Caticlan Port


The ship deck/bar

The 9 hour trip has been a very lovely experience. Dad loved the trip so much. It's been years since he and mom boarded ships and nothing spells chaotic than their ship experiences during their younger years. He now seriously considering boarding 2Go to Tagbilaran if our Bohol trip next years pushes through.

But until then, I'm giving Boracay one big hug!

Boracay at last!

We went back to Batangas with a bigger 2Go vessel. For this experience alone, I give two thumbs up to 2Go Travel.


Onboard 2Go Caticlan to Batangas



*Note. This is not a sponsored post.

Boracay series:
Boracay: A Family Friendly Trip
Marzon Beach Resort Boracay
2Go: The New Way to Travel to Boracay
Boracay, Away from the Crowd
Boracay: Itinerary, Expenses and Tips 
A Beach Mecca that is Boracay

16 comments:

  1. I'm a fellow PEXer and I Love this post! Keep it up!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks ka-PEXer :) Got the stateroom idea from PEX too, kaya super thankful ako :)

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  2. :) on ur way palang may bonding moments na agad kayo family..super nice

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    Replies
    1. Tama! Biyahe pa lang nakapag-bonding na agad. Di pa haggard, relax lang sa biyahe. Try niyo! :)

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  3. ang ganda inferness. will try it this summer!

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    Replies
    1. Yes Chyng, maganda ang ship ng 2Go. Aside from their chic magenta chairs, they have wall decors that would inspire any beach and sun lovers out there. ^_^

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  4. ang cute naman ng loob ng ship! hahaha! didn't expect that from 2Go ah..
    pero hmmm... one-way lang ba ung 9k expense nyo for 2Go travel?

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    Replies
    1. roundtrip fare na yun for us 5, mura di ba?! Naka-stateroom pa ang papunta namin. Jackpot talaga!

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  5. Nice blog and a good info for those with tight budget. You mean to say this travel is from batangas port to caticlan port and vice- versa? No docking of several times?

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  6. Nice blog and a good info esp for those with tight budget. Want to ask if the travel takes only one dock from batangas port to caticlan port? Is it a round trip?

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  7. Do you remember what room number is the stateroom? I'm trying to book it kasi. Thanks!

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  8. wow! never thought that 2go is a very classy ship! grabe parang nasa cruise ka talaga and the thing is mas mura sya :)

    online deals

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  9. nasakyan ko nayan galing odiongan romblon

    ReplyDelete

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