Cruising the Philippines

The Philippines has welcomed scheduled cruises with a number of Cruise Line Companies in the last few years, giving world travellers more ways to visit and see this beautiful country.

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Boracay Island Cruises

Cruise line passengers get a brief window for whistle-stop tours of destinations such as Boracay and Puerto Princesa in Palawan, but often find they are discouraged from booking tours outside of those offered by the Cruise Companies, with warnings of ships not waiting for late boarding guests, tour operators being unreliable or uninsured etc.

 

So how hard is it, to book outside of the Cruise Line’s own Tour Offerings?

Really not that difficult at all!

The Cruises are visiting destinations, with established tourism, tours and activities and it’s as simple as advising the tour operator, in advance of the arrival and departure times, to ensure guests are returned in time to board.

Boracay.travel and GoPalawan.travel have been offering bespoke tours for Cruise Guests for 2 years already.

Sometimes bookings are made by whole families, or by a group of cruise goers who post in the many Cruise Line Forums, inviting others wanting to take tours, to join their group and share the Tour Cost.

Even with dockings at 9am and departures at 5pm, there is sufficient time available for a Private, bespoke Tour to the Underground River, or Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa.  Or to have a range of tours or activities arranged for them, such as a Paraw Sail, Parasail or Helmet Diving on Boracay.

Helmet Diving with boracay.travel

Helmet Diving – Boracay

 

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Underground River Tour – Puerto Princesa

The benefits to the Cruise Guests is they can organise something that they truly want to do, and they can also talk to people who are ‘on the ground’ and able to put them in touch with local restaurants for pre-booked lunch tables, rather than the limited range of activities and options offered by the Cruise Line.  Often at a more reasonable price too.

In addition, the guests can be assured that they are contributing more to the local economy and can enjoy activities that others may not have the opportunity to do.

 

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Paraw Sailing off Boracay

How to go about booking tours and activities:

  • Tell us how many people are in the booking, whether they are established friends or family, or people you have pulled together through chats on the Cruise Forums.
  • Check out our Tours Pages Boracay.travel and GoPalawan.travel and see what is on offer, at least one month before your arrival.
  • Email us through the ‘Customise it’ button on the tour page, with your date and time of arrival, disembarking and departure time.
  • We can wait for you to gather more people via the Forum, if you want to make your tour cheaper, and then will email them a separate payment request.
  • We will then collect details, such as Names, Dates of Birth and Nationalities if this is required for particular tours
  • We can also add in the cost for snorkels and masks, for particular tours, so you don’t have to worry about that on the day
  • Once paid and confirmed, we will send you a Booking Voucher and an email, with all the information that you need and will be on hand to answer your questions.

Halloween on Boracay 2014

So, once again Boracay is preparing for Halloween and, each year, the party’s get bigger and the costumes get crazier.

Until around 5-6 years ago Halloween was barely celebrated at all on the island. In fact the only parties and costumes to be found was amongst the ex-pat communities.

Now the majority of hotels celebrate Halloween. For some it may be limited to decorating their Reception or Restaurant area, for others it may include a special meal, a fancy dress competition or parade and games for the children.

NEWSFLASH!! – Special Promo being offered specifically to us at YCL Hotel Boracay, the newest, funkiest hotel on Boracay

Whats on the Menu? Beach Buffet at Boracay Regency

Whats on the Menu?
Beach Buffet at Boracay Regency

What is Halloween?

Halloween is a night celebrated on 31st October, also known as All Hallows Eve or All Saints Eve, as the 1st of November is All Saints Day.  All Saints Day is a day dedicated to remembering the dead, including Saints (or Hallows), Martyrs and beloved family members, across the World.

Halloween is traditionally believed to have been a Pagan Festival (Gaelic Samhain), which became Christianised. Samhain marked the end of the harvest period for crops and the start of winter, or the ‘Dark Period’ in pre-Christian Britain and Europe. Samhain was believed to be a time when Spirits and Fairies could cross more easily in to the living world. To protect themselves from being taken back to the Spirit/Underworld people would dress up as spirits to disguise themselves, they would light bonfires and would also offer food and drink to the spirits to appease them and pay, in advance, for healthy crops the next year.

Today’s Halloween is very different, and whilst many cultures still see families visiting their Family mausoleums or grave sites to spend All Saints Day with passed family members, Halloween has become a night for parties and Trick or Treating.

Costumes are inventive and are no longer just scary or macabre; on Boracay groups of friends often choose a theme for their costumes which have included a Scout Troop, Avatar and Swan Lake!

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You can see these groups walking up and down the beach path, stopping to pose for photos with tourists and locals, or at the big clubs which run special Halloween Nights; Juice Bar, Epic, Summerplace, Club Paraw and Guilly’s Island

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Parades & Trick or Treating

Many of the Schools, and some of the hotels, now organise Beach Parades for the children on the island.  The parades usually include stop-offs at various beach front establishments and bars, where party games like ‘Bobbing for Apples’ are waiting.

Trick or Treating is left to the children and when asked ‘Trick or Treat?’, you can opt to give them some candy or ask for a ‘Trick’.  A trick may take the form of a short dance, a magic trick, a song or talent OR it might be a water pistol, or flour, or something that will make you jump.

NEWSFLASH!! – Special Promo being offered specifically to us at YCL Hotel Boracay, the newest, funkiest hotel on Boracay

After all those scares and all that partying, you’ll want to find somewhere safe and sound to rest your head and recover.  So Check out these great accommodation deals, which are available for the Halloween Period:-

Low Season Adventure Package

Villa Sunset Promo Package

Real Maris Island Getaway

Boracay Ocean Club Family Package

Boracay Super Group Deal

Boracay Activities: Tribal Adventure Tours

tribal adventures boracay activitiesThe Tribal Adventures 3 Day/2Night Tribal Way Adventure one of the Boracay Tours being offered on the island won the 1999 Kalakbay (National Tourism) Award with Qantas Holidays for best internationally marketed tour.

This Boracay Tour was featured in numerous foreign and local travel shows. The popularity of Boracay activities stem from a unique mix of comfort and the rugged outdoors with just the right amount of pleasure, the bizarre, dramatic and picturesque scenery.

Boracay activities include hiking through the forests of Mount Maja-as, paddling river rafts in white water rapids and soaking in a hot kawa. Some Boracay tours also include a visit to waterfalls and rock pools. Take your pick between a day tour or a 3day/2 night tour. Cap your adventure with a relaxing massage at one of the Boracay hotels that offer masseuse services.