The new Boracay screams huge improvement from the recent 6-month rehabilitation last year. But for me, Boracay was a dream until weeks ago wherein I finally stepped my feet on its white sand and pristine water. Also, thinking of going to Boracay but on a tight budget? Going Do-It-Yourself will do the trick similar to what we did this month. And in our travel itinerary, we chose traveling to Boracay via 2GO rather than a plane. Here’s why:
Travel by plane:
Travel time is less than an hour but the tickets are way higher, likely double the cost and higher if you’ll pick the convenient times. One solution for this is to hunt for piso fares, which requires lots of effort and coffee. 🙂
You have to allot 2 to 3 hours before the departure time due to traffic and boarding process.
Travel by ship/RoRo:
Travel time is around 9 hours and the fare is cheaper than a plane ticket. You can get a ticket for less than a thousand peso. This is advantageous for us since we live near Batangas pier. For those from Manila, it will take around 2 hours to reach the port of Batangas for less than P200 bus ticket. You can also bring in your car or motorcycle since the ship is a Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo).
Our Boracay trip is a little bit unplanned so we booked our ticket online for our convenience. If you do not hold a credit card or just prefer a cash transaction you can opt to pay via travel agents available on malls.
For Online booking, you will see two Batangas listed on Origin. The first one is the Night schedule which will depart at 9 PM and the second one will depart at 10 AM in the morning. We chose the night schedule so we can sleep during the travel at sea. The next pages are self explanatory. After filling up, do not forget to print your tickets as you will need this during boarding.
I went to the ticketing booth at Batangas port to show my ticket. The teller instructed me to go inside and present it to another booth of 2GO. Upon entering, your bags will be scanned. Note that the terminal fee will be collected upon announcement which is not usual. At the booth, 2GO agents will take a picture of you. Then you’ll have to fall in line and wait for the boarding. The process for us is less than an hour as we arrived 8:30 PM at the port while the departure is 9 PM. But do not imitate us specially on peak season as it will be a different story.
During boarding the guards will instruct to make two lines — one for boys and other for girls. This is due to another body screening. Your baggages will also be asked to put down so that the K9 dogs can do their jobs swiftly. Upon the sniffing of man’s best friend, you can now board the ship while the crew are there to assist you up to your assigned area.
The ship we sailed at is named ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA. It’s a small ship but well designed. Upon entering we saw the cool and cute lobby. We were guided by the crew to the path were the cabins and suite room are located.
We got the Cabin since we already had savings versus taking a plane ticket. We also want to experience it if it’s really worth the few extra bucks from the Tourist Class. On St. Ignatius of Loyola, the cabins are four per room. That’s two double-bunked beds, with a 32-inch TV, split-type air-condition your own comfort/shower room.
The comfort room alone justifies the price in my opinion. It has a toilet bowl with flush and bidet, there’s a shower and a faucet with bowl.
For groups, this is an ideal pick as you can have more privacy and freedom. Each bed has a curtain that can cover the whole bed while you’re sleeping or drinking at the bar. The pathway has a CCTV for added security.
Super/Mega Value. This option is for the super tight budget or those traveling frequently and used to this atmosphere. It has no air-conditioning so it can get very cold during night or very hot during the day. We stayed at it for almost 2 hours while waiting for our upgrade during our travel back to Batangas. We cannot stand the heat plus the smell of the oil. Some are smoking near the ladders.
Tourist Class. We got this on our way back after the upgrade. This is like the Super/Mega Value but it has better lighting, with air-conditioning and television. It also has a better and more restroom. Our experience was nice, but if you find it hard to sleep when there’s crying babies or playing children around then I advice you to have a cabin instead. But don’t worry as the midnight comes, almost all were asleep.
Suite/Stateroom. The most expensive one. I am looking forward on trying this one as they say it’s a hotel-experience.
Yes, you can upgrade your accommodation inside the ship! That’s a good news for some if you missed slots online. Just head to the lobby and ask if there are any vacant accommodations of your choice. Here are the fees for the upgrade:
It’s very useful as during our trip back to Batangas, we missed the Cabin and Tourist class slots so we asked the lobby receptionist to reserve a slot for us and thankfully we got one. You will be paged upon confirming an available slot only after the ship left the dock.
The ship boasts cool amenities such as cafe, souvenir shop, restaurant, and even a bar with live-band upstairs. We had our dinner on the Horizon Cafe, opposite the restaurant, Island Fiesta. We thought there would be Frappes and stuff but there weren’t. They had around 3 viands to choose from and each meal cost P250 which is pricey indeed. The restaurant serves food round-the-clock according to the staff.
On our way back to Batangas. St. Augustine of Hippo has a salon named Trip and Trim salon. There’s also a convenience store called Quikmart where you can buy foods and snacks like mamons, cakes, sodas, and more.
There is no cellphone signal inside. You can try to search when the vessel is passing by near island.
The voyages from Batangas to Caticlan Jetty Port is everyday 9 PM or 10A M. But take not that it may change. You can check at their website or their Facebook page for important announcements. Like airlines, they also experience delays. On our way to Caticlan Jetty Port, there are no available slots at the pier so we waited for half an hour.
Some are afraid of traveling by sea as they might get sea-sickness. I was one of those before. But after pushing my luck during our Romblon visit last year, I concluded that it’s not bad. With our journey at the sea, the waves are gentle at that time and it’s like giving us our lullaby’s as we doze off. If you have time to spare, this is a perfect experience plus the bonding you and your companions could have.
Official website of 2go: