Manila Bay Sunset Dinner Cruise
When I was younger, my great uncle took me and my cousins on a boat ride around Manila Bay. It was an important day for me because I learned about buoyancy, water dynamics and also discovered that I suffer from sea sickness. It didn’t help that the boat was quite small and the engine was pretty much open and was smack in the middle of the passenger section. We breathed in all the fumes and gases and it was just an old engine that it produces so much bad smelling fumes that you can’t escape it even if you were on the deck.
Last week though, we had to take the kids on a boat ride, as preparation of their trip to Boracay next year. It’ll be the first time they’ll be on a boat and a plane so we wanted to have a test run first and after enough research, we decided that we would take the Manila Bay sunset dinner cruise.
I was a bit apprehensive after all my previous Manila Bay experience was not all that ideal. However, after seeing online the boats that Sun Cruises own, I felt more confident and less queasy. Sun Cruises is a company under the Magsaysay group of companies. Their Manila Bay sunset dinner cruise was reasonably priced and the people that I spoke with over the phone were very accommodating and friendly. I explained what we were planning to do with the kids and they’ve been more than happy to answer my questions and alleviate my fears. So far, so good.
The Manila Bay dinner cruise is priced at Php550 per person (Adults and kids are priced the same) and this includes the 1 hour and 45 minute boat trip, dinner and entertainment. They have three trips daily – 4:30 PM, 6:15PM and 8PM.You can book online or you can just head on over to the dock and make a payment there. I’d suggest calling ahead of time to check if they still have seats available because they do get filled up fast, especially on weekends and holidays.
Sun Cruises dock at the back of Folk Arts Theater and if you have your own transport, you would have to pay around 50 pesos for parking. They also ask you to be at the dock at least 30 minutes before the ship departs. There are small kiosks and a canteen there in case you get peckish. This part of the experience was not so pleasant because you can just see all the garbage that is floating at the dock. Not exactly a good view especially if you have foreign guests going for this. Just a suggestion: maybe these cruises can also clean up the docks and the waters just so they can get better reviews. Maybe team up with the Manila local government to do this. When the kids asked why there was so much garbage there, it was an ideal teaching point on making sure that you throw your litter in the proper place – but still, it should’ve been cleaner.
The people on the ship were very friendly, pleasant and accommodating. They came to our table and introduced themselves and told us to just call their attention if ever we needed anything. The meal was also satisfying – chicken and fish with rice. Nothing fancy but it was more than worth the cost of the trip and more. Of course, there was the sunset. Manila, after all, is known for its beautiful sunsets – a photographer’s dream. The lights on the establishments on Roxas Blvd. were so picturesque that it would almost be criminal not to watch and take photos of it.
Although the trip was excellent overall, there are still some areas for improvement. The sound system could do with a better technical attention. It was too loud and scratchy and it would go off intermittently and it made the singers sound like a badly recorded CD mix. Also, they could do with a better selection of music because there were kids on the boat and they were playing songs that had some explicit words in them. It’s okay for a teenager maybe but not for young children. But other than that, the trip was a very pleasant experience.
Book your Manila Bay Sunset Dinner Cruise with Sun Cruises by going to their website (click here to go to their website) or by calling them at 527 5555 local 4511, 834 6857 or 831 8140. Sun Cruises dock at the CCP Bay Terminal A, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay City near Harbor Square.