It’s been a week since we flew all the way here from Manila to Boracay and I think the 6 day vacay wasn’t enough! It’s quite different if you will travel alone, with your hubby or with the whole family. In this part 1 of my BORACAY special, I will tell you about my experience when we have traveled for the first time in group. Because we traveled with the kids and with a senior citizen, we couldn’t think of our own happiness and comfort. You had to think about them first before you make a decision.
Let’s go back to the main reason why we traveled with my 5 year old kid and my father– primarily because I wanted them to witness our renewal of vows. Next, It was their first time to travel in Boracay and ride on a plane and lastly, I thought it would be fun to spend the summer together as a family. Well, here in the Boracay series, I will give you tips on how you can save money and where to stay when you are in the island.
As early as 3:30am, we were all awake to prepare everything– the luggage, itinerary vouchers, IDs and boarding passes. Nobody would drive us to the airport so I just booked a 6-seater car via my Grab app. We left at 5am and we were able to reach the NAIA Terminal 4 at past 7am.
INSIDE THE AIRPORT
All of us have our boarding passes already and we all have baggage allowance of 7 kg, but I prebooked additional 20kg baggage allowance since I have a large suitcase plus one travel bag and a backpack. Hubby bought another suitcase for Shane’s clothes to reduce the number of bags that we will take with us for that trip. When I checked in the 2 suitcases, the attendant said that I already exceeded 9 kg and I need to pay additional P3,300 for that. Had I known that I would pay that much, I should have prebooked another 20kg for just P500 online. We didn’t have any choice so we paid for the additional fee, but that 3k is already a big help for the groceries but it vanished in just a flash (sigh!).
The kids were not able to charge their phones so they went to the charging station to charge. At 9am, we were able to enter the boarding gate.
IN THE PLANE
I also prebooked the inflight meals online because I anticipated the 1.5 hours trip from Kalibo to Caticlan Jetty Port.
When we have arrived at the airport, I waited for the BPHT staff to approach us. I was expecting a signboard with the title of my blog (The Travel Blogger in Pink) but there wasn’t even a sign with my name on it. Ms. Liza wasn’t as welcoming as our previous guide, Ms Jhoy, but probably they were busy in the office so they forgot my requests. I trust Ms Mariel so much that every time we go to Boracay, I contact them to book our roundtrip transfers. We also waited for few minutes for the van to arrive when we were already in Kalibo.
In the Jetty port, Mark welcomed us and guided us where to fall in line and verify our identities with our IDs and hotel vouchers. After the boat ride, we rode another vehicle to take us to Ambassador in Paradise Hotel.
THE CHECK-IN PROCESS
As soon as we have arrived, the staff were attentive and asked for our IDS and payment for the balance. We were given seashell necklaces and welcome drinks in their small lobby/reception area while waiting.
FIRST IMPRESSION: Honestly, it doesn’t look like a 5-star hotel and I was expecting a large lobby.
Upon check in, we were given the key cards, info about WIFI access, towel cards and a basic mobile phone (because they do not have a landline in their rooms) that you can use to dial the front desk, housekeeping and the restaurant.
We were assigned to room 501 (a family suite) in the ground floor with pool view at the veranda. (The detailed review about Ambassador in Paradise will be written in a separate post).
I was satisfied with the suite but I could have enjoyed more if we have a bathtub in the toilet. I super loved their free toiletries and the location is super nice as well. In the veranda you can relax because you have a pool and beach view.
After checking the room, resting and unpacking, we decided to walk from Station 1 to D’mall to buy groceries. I also told hubby about my surprise for him the following day so we can prepare in advance. It took me almost an hour to unpack, organizing the clothes in the closet (I placed the tops, bottoms and dresses inside and the swimwears and cover ups in the suitcase) and the beauty supplies on the table.
Aside from the bathtub, lighted closet and vanity area, I also looked for the pressing board and the iron. I had to press my wedding gown for the renewal of vows the following day! I didn’t bother to avail the pressing service because it would cost me around 1k approximately.
First, we walked in the beachfront– (we were tempted to swim in the beach but we didn’t do so because we had to get back at the hotel soon as my Papa will get hungry and there was nothing to eat. We opted instead to use the way leading to the main road.
And here is what we saw: TRAFFIC everywhere because of the road construction.
I would like to thank Mr. Russel Palmer of Crafts of Boracay for allowing me to document our grocery shopping in their store. We bought red wine and dark chocolate for the renewal of vows the following day (wine and chocolate ceremony). We also bought plastic plates, spoons and forks, powdered detergent, chips, bread, cup noodles, coffee, sugar, crackers, candies and bottled water.
After eating dinner (we just bought food in Andok’s), we went out for a walk to see how is the nightlife in Boracay now. There were NO parties in the beachfront and firedancers just like before– we actually loved the NEW Boracay. The people seem to be disciplined already.
As much as we would like to rest already, the night won’t be complete without the night swimming so we called the kids because they were looking forward for this.
The pool has floaters already that the guests can use. They also have a lifeguard to look after the guests especially the kids. We used our towel cards to exchange for towels in their booth so no need for the guests to bring the hotel towels in the pool area anymore.
OUTFIT FOR THE DAY:
Top: From Cynthia’s House of Sale in Marikina (P100)
Shorts: Barbie at around P500-600.
I would like to thank Ms. Mariel of BPHT for her patience. We have changed the time twice– at first when I told hubby he thought the 1pm island hopping would be super hot so we changed it to 9am. ms Mariel immediately informed the boat provider and the pastors about the updated time. After dinner we realized that we would be in a hurry because the breakfast at Al Fresco restaurant will begin at 6:30am and if we would finish by 7am or 7:30am, I only have 1,5 hours to prepare and we still have to go to Astoria because that’s the pick-up point. I called her to inquire if we can have the activity at 11am so I can still do my make up and hair for the special event. It’s a good thing that she understood that and granted my request.
It was such a tiring day so we slept early to recharge and to prepare for the important event the following day. (My Renewal of Vows will be written in another post)
- It would be better to prebook the meals and baggage allowance to avoid paying expensive fees. We should have brought larger suitcases instead of travel bags.
- Was it the right decision for me to book Ambassador in Paradise for the first two nights? YES because its location. I just didn’t feel the sincerity of the staff– I mean they do their job because they are obligated to do it and not because they like to do it. Since it is tagged as a five-star hotel, I have very high expectations about the service and the hotel itself. It can’t be compared to Shangri-la and Discovery Shores. There were no welcome fruits and they didn’t make us feel special and feel at home.
- In the first night, we realized also that we just can’t think about ourselves– we need to consider the other members of the family.