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Monday, November 25, 2013

Cruisin' to Iloilo and Bacolod : 2GO Travel Adventures (Part 1)


Wazzup Pilipinas!


Do we always need to be in a hurry? Should we always race against time? Should we make every moment count as if it was our last day on Earth? I know that life has a lot of responsibilities that need to be addressed immediately, but there should also be times when we need to let loose and let go of the complexities and priorities so we could relax and re-energize.

Pause for awhile, pamper yourself, indulge on your favorites, give in to the temptations and you'll be surprised that you're now looking differently at the world. All it takes is a short pause good enough to show you a different perspective of the world around you.

Taking a flight across the different islands is a splendid adventure! However, your adventure usually starts when you arrive at your destination. Many should also consider making use of the travel time as part of the adventure. It's an unexplored opportunity to bond with friends and families - to strengthen the ties that unite by simply having more time to cuddle up in bed or breathe the fresh and warm sea air aboard a cruise ship via 2GO Travel.


Our adventure began at The Hub @Kilometer Zero located at Luneta Park. It was so easy to find it, just plan ahead bu Googling its location or ask around Luneta Park and you'll be shown the way.

It was a great place to start your trip to any destination. 2GO Travel passengers can relax, dine or drink, surf the web, check their emails and social media accounts, and meet new acquaintances, while waiting for their cruise. 

They also have very clean and spacious toilets. Here's hoping they could maintain it as it is since it is open to the public.


The Hub showcases almost everything you'll find on board their ships. Clean, comfy and spacious areas to hang out. There was so much space to place our luggage and the staff were attentive to our needs. We were served coffee, and were given the password to their wi-fi so we could pass the time conveniently.




They also have plenty of seats and tables where we can have your snacks or meals, and something like a swing - now that's amazing already because it will be a great attraction if you had kids with you. The trip has not even started yet the kids, and the kids at heart - are already enjoying themselves.



Throw pillows even adorned the swing so it won't be surprising if you fell asleep in one of these. I saw two of them at The Hub, but one swing can sit at least three.


A magenta 2GO Travel bus was there to take us to our ship docked at a pier nearby.


But before we begin our adventure, no less than the Vice President of 2GO, Stephen Rey Tagud - acting as the Passage Business Commercial Officer - shared a few words with us. Too bad he will not be able to join us as originally planned.






Fellow travelers joined us for a brief orientation. I believe there was a total of 16 of us (I know a few of them since they were also bloggers I meet during events, and are even members of Wazzup Pilipinas, but many I met for the first time only that day), not counting the organizers from Tagline and the 2GO management staff.




Before traveling aboard the 2GO Travel cruise ship, we were served a satisfactory lunch to keep us full until our final departure.





All of us were carrying clothes good for three days and two nights plus our gadgets like cameras, laptops, and tablets - of course our mobile phones. I even brought along my portable wifi. I really plan to keep myself connected with the rest of the world while we were away on a cruise. 

But too bad technology in the Philippines was still not that advance as we rarely have a signal across the sea. It's either slow or intermittent, so I had to settle with a few of the local channels on TV to spend some of the available free time just to get a glimpse of what's happening way back in Manila. 



With our cameras at hand and the rest of our gear, we set foot on the St. Michael the Archangel cruise ship on our way to Iloilo, and then Bacolod.



The 2GO Travel crew and trainees on board the St. Michale the Archangel greeted us with the sweetest smiles and I also requested them to do the traditional Wazzup Pilipinas video greeting as can be seen below.




 

"Wazzup Pilipinas! Welcome to 2GO Travel!!!"




Before the ship departed from the shores of Manila, we were also toured around the St. Michael the Archangel ship, from the facilities, the rooms, and including the Captain's bridge and command center.



They have a 24x7 operational clinic with one doctor and nurse on board to treat the patients of minor sickness and injuries. Will the ship go back to Manila in case of emergencies they can't handle on board? It will depend on their distance from each location - either they go back or move forward. But we were assured that the priority will always be our health and safety.


They have several types of rooms starting with the Mega Value, Super Value, Tourist, State Room, and the VIP, plus there's an Airline Seater which cost just less than 1K.



A gold and silver St Michael the Archangel signage with a large SAFETY FIRST marked down below. Giving the paasengers assurance that their are riding with people that are concerned with their welfare.


There was a tarp to greet us for this Bloggers' Event to travel on our way to Iloilo and Bacolod - we also did a short tour at those places and saw some of the tourist attractions briefly.


You will often see the ship's crew grouped every morning  for their daily orientation and reporting perhaps.


The first thing that will greet you up front of the ship are the steps.


The main dining area can accommodate a huge crowd. The seats are comfy and classy enough similar to what you see in hotels.


More semi-circle seats at the main dining area with windows to give you a view of the sea and the islands that we pass by.



They also have a dining area exclusive for the VIP and State Room passengers. You will probably see a lot of trainees from different colleges assisting you and they may not be the same individuals to assist you the next day as they are given different assignments as per their training requirements. I've talked with some of the trainees and they told me that they are given exposure in all activities on board - its a great way to train them and learn the ways to probably become the next generation of crew.


The Airline Seaters are the most affordable yet the seats are similar to the ones you'll find on board a plane. For those in a budget, you may opt to just get this one. Anyway, you are allowed to go around the ship unlike a plane where you are stuck in your seat.



The Captain's bridge or what I like to call as his "command center" is where Captain Ariel hangs out most of the time.I made a short interview with the Captain and learned a lot from the guy in just a few minutes.

I've learned that his first job straight after graduating from college was with Negros Navigation, one of the entities that now makes up 2GO Travel along with Aboitiz. So if you are wondering why you don't see Negros Navigation or 2GO Travel nowadays, they've actually combined their resources to now become the biggest shipping company in the Philippines.





Captain Ariel is also a happily married father of four kids, and has been working with the 2GO Group (he started when it was still Negros Navigation) for 35 years already. Such dedication and loyalty deserving of a recognition and an award. Ten years of surviving with a company is already a great accomplishment, what more 35 years. Wow!!!



I'm sure there are plenty of reasons why he chose to stay for so many years with the company - and probably an equal number of reasons why you should consider traveling via ship to reach your preferred destinations.


There were plenty of men manning the ship that day, according to the Captain, he has a first, second and third mate doing shifting assigned with him to manage the ship and make sure everything is under control.

The captain was wearing the operational clothes as their work attire and not the usual uniform with a hat. He said that they only wear the standard uniform during start and end of a cruise. So if you want to see him dressed up the traditional way, you'll get a better chance at the first or last day of voyage.




Of course, I wouldn't miss an opportunity to do some photo ops with the captain, and also took a photo of the entire team, as well as a video greeting from them. It was amazing I was able to make them shout the traditional Wazzup Pilipinas greeting.




I was able to persuade the Captain, along with his mates and other crew from the bridge, to make the traditional Wazzup Pilipinas video greeting! Excellent!!!


Thank you for giving in to my request, guys!!!



The rest of the hours were a lot of views of the sea and of the islands that we pass by. How did I spend it? Well, they have a salon on board - I had a haircut plus a back massage!


Took a lot of photos of the sea, and the islands that we passed by.


I also took some photos of the ship's facilities. Many can be seen at the Wazzup Pilipinas Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/wazzuppilipinas



There were less than a thousand passengers on board, some of them were also at the viewing decks taking advantage of the great view and enjoying some heat and wind as compared to the totally air-conditioned facilities of the ship. It was so cold inside that I had to wear a jacket most of the time.




I also requested a few video greetings and interviews from both the passengers and the crew, and will share them within several parts of this Cruisin' to Iloilo and Bacolod adventure. The video above is one of the best one I got - aside from the interview, they also gave me some samples of their great voices singing acapella. 

It was more than just an interview, it was a display of magnificent talent coming form the youth. You can sense their enthusiasm as they share their passion towards their singing talent and their studies to become future members of the working force of maybe 2GO Travel or other businesses where they can find their luck....and who knows may be they will become the next generation of leaders - what a harmonious future it will surely be. Keep singing, guys!!!

There's a lot more videos on my Pinoy Tekkie YouTube channel.



The rest of the day were were spent listening to the crazy antics of a stand-up comedian called Maui Pacquiao Supsup, plus a trio of singers composed of one male and two female performers who shared some popular songs, plus some games for both the bloggers and other passengers who joined us throughout the night in fun and laughter.





More videos from the other bloggers who participated in the Karaoke singing challenge can be found on my Pinoy Tekkie YouTube channel.

The adventure continues here aboard St. Michael the Archangel ship of 2GO Travel, and will be posted soon on Part 2 of my Cruisin' to Iloilo and Bacolod blogs.

Meantime, I have to spend the rest of the evening listening to the humorous stories from my room mates, Paul, Allan and Rodel. Allan shared the most intriguing topics as he questioned why tentacles are so wrong to name the eight feet of a squid, and other conspiracies surrounding everyday life especially media.

Part 2 will tell the stories of our road trip in Iloilo and then Bacolod so be sure to watch out for it! Thank you and hope you are already wanting to go on a cruise aboard a 2GO Travel ship. I guarantee it will be loads of fun!

Part 3 will be dedicated to the people I met on board the St. Michael the Archangel ship.


If you haven't read Part 2 and 3, be sure to read it also. Here are the links:

Cruisin' to Iloilo and Bacolod : 2GO Travel Adventures (Part 2)

Cruisin' to Iloilo and Bacolod : 2GO Travel Adventures (Part 3)


More photos can be seen at the Wazzup Pilipinas Facebook fan page : https://www.facebook.com/wazzuppilipinas

Please also visit the 2GO Travel website: http://travel.2go.com.ph/ or Facebook page page: https://www.facebook.com/2GoTravel

About ""

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34 comments:

  1. Very informative article. Congrats...i will try this soon

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  2. Very nice looking cruise ship. It seems fun to travel around the Philippines in a high grade cruise ship that offers everything from food, safety, entertainment and rest. It is one of those occasions in which the travels is already part of the vacation.

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  3. This article provides me enough information and aside from that I am somehow interested to try this cruise ship which is undeniably good. Especially, now that summer is approaching I can feel the heat and I'm very excited to have some vacation or an outbound. Hopefully my family and I would try this real soon!

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  4. This is a very nice article because it is not only informative but also entertaining. The pictures and videos made me feel like I was the one who experienced all that is on the article. I'm hoping that I will really get to experience this sooner or later.

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  6. The author of this article was able to persuade his readers to try and experience riding a 2go ship and take a break from all of their worries. He was able to describe and help the readers visualize what would they experience if they were the ones on that cruise ship. Still, words are not enough to describe the beauty of the scenery that is why he was successful in posting pictures and videos along with his article.

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  7. Twenty years from now, I see myself travelling different parts of the world. And where else to start, than right here in the Philippines? And on that journey I planned on using different modes of transportation. I've always wanted to try riding a cruise ship, and end up seasick. Hahaha! Plus it would be a great place to shoot a cover video. But what I look forward to in trips is making new friends and meeting other people. Right now, I have to focus on the present in order to fulfill my future plans. Baby steps. :)

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  9. All Aboard! When I saw this article, I want an immediate vacation to overcome stress caused by previous school works and activities. This article contains the words expected by local and foreign tourists to have a reason why they must choose Philippines. The services offered by 2Go Travel are awesome, why? Because your whole trip is maximize and optimal. From their rooms, transportation such as the bus and the cruise ship, food, and entertainment, you wouldn't need to ask for anything. Actually I’m a loyal passenger of commercial ship, because it requires a ship to reach our province. I hope they will have a trip to Marinduque. I want to experience the life of having a relax voyage unlike when vacation comes, ships that travel to our province are always full-loaded or what I see is overloaded, instead to enjoy the trip, headache and heat replace it. The deck of St. Michael the Archangel is a breathtaking structure, complete package for a long travel, even wifi is also present in here, while on the sea, you can surf. They also prioritize the safety of the passengers where it’s a ten points for them. Amazing! #Where2Go

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  10. It's proper to give ourselves time to relax, to forget our problems and just enjoy life. This cruise ship offers right treatments for those who really need a break. It's quite fascinating to see a cruise ship with so many things to offer. Judging by the photos and videos posted in this article, it really is a fun trip. It would be an honor to be able to ride in this cruise ship :)

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  11. Cruise ships provide the best experience, in terms of travelling comfort and ambiance. Judging by the high quality experience that you had, it must have been very expensive, yet I know it is very worth the cost.

    The thing that I really adore when travelling is the experience you get while travelling. That is where 2Go Travel won the fight. They provided a very suitable and enjoyable environment for everyone whilst in the journey. They had a numerous space for different activities, not diminishing the quality and enjoyment factor that their guests will experience.

    Overall, The Joy is in the Journey. Every experienced traveler should know how to enjoy a journey and the destination alike.

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  12. These cruise ships are one of the best ways to relax and unwind. It provides great experience for those who travel with it. I can't wait to try these cruise ships and experience ultimate relaxation.

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  13. This is very interesting. The author told where they went first and ,I like that there are so many pictures and I can see what the ship looks like. And I can think how wonderful the trip was in the ship and the breathtaking views that comes with it.

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  14. I can see that our country may not be provided with the latest technologies faster but I am proud that our fellow Filipinos are raised hospitable and caring. I am interested about the feeling when you begin to step your foot infront of The Hub until you step off from the ship. What a nice memory experiencing this kind of thing. Good job!

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  15. Travelling, one of the sure ways of living life to the fullest, it refreshes our mind so we can make more beautiful ideas. How I wish I can experience this myself.

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  16. Very encouraging! I feel the urge to travel by a cruise ship. I'm looking forward to have the same kind of experience the author had. I could just imagine how happy would I be! :D

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  17. The article was very interesting. Travelling is one of the best things to do to be able to give ourselves time to relax, unwind, and overcome with the stress that we experience in our daily lives. The cruise ship was very beautiful from the food, facilities, and the company that the passengers and the rest of the crew offer makes the whole journey worth it. Lastly, the fact that they prioritize the safety of their passengers makes the readers want to experience it too.

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  18. “To travel is to live.” And some never realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. Because of this article I will really find time and save money to travel with a cruise ship, The author experience just proved that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.

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  19. Very nice! This cruise ship looks comfy and relaxing. It seems very,very good to travel to different places in an excellent cruise ship like this that provides delicious foods,high class facilities and safety to the passengers. I want to try this with my family or friends :)

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  20. Cruising with my family or friends is one of my goals. You could actually feel that Titanic moment when you just feel the breeze from the wind. The great food, rooms, facilities and the all-smiling crews from the ship could really make your day.I would definitely cruise with you guys. This article made me to look forward for that goal of mine and I can't wait for it. :)

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  21. Travelling enriches our thoughts and everyone deserves a time to relax. This cruise trip is worth something. This articles tells us the Philippines is a beautiful place to live in.

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  22. The article was very informative and encouraging. The contributor was amazing in elaborating every detail of his travel with 2go cruise ship. The travel did explore many places without no worries because of the excellent services and environment of the said cruise ship. The article did well to encourage as readers to experience the travel that's why i am pretty jealous to the people who experience that. Kudos to the author :)

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  23. This article is very informative. The writer is very articulate while writing this article. It'll not only help others but also give an idea on where to hang out and where to stay. I'd like to go this cruise ship. Someday, I'll be able to take this cruise ship. Also, the writer lead the readers to every place that cruise ship go. I hope this article would help the tourism of our country.

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  24. It is an informative article. It encourages me to try this one in the near future. But I know, it's a bit impossible because I'm too you to afford this cruise ship. With the help of this article, it helps me know what it feels like to be in a cruise ship. It will also helps the tourism of the Philippines to attract more foreigners to have a vacation in our country. Also, the writer lead me to every part of the cruise ship. I'm thankful of that, Mr. Writer.

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  25. Good article, the author elaborates well his experience with the 2go cruise ship. Every detail along his travel was great. Hoping to experience this cloud nine feeling someday! Feels. And congrats to the cruise ship, you did a good job on serving the passenger. It made them feel comfortable and relaxing.

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  26. this article gave me an idea to try the 2go cruise ship. but of course I will try it after graduating college. Looks like everyone who will try it will have fun and be comfortable. Im looking forward to try it :)

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  27. A really good article. It's a kind of persuasive article that makes the reader to try the cruise ship of 2go. It gives also an excitement to try this. I hope I can try it someday! :)

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  28. A really good article, it provides detailed information about it's ship. I hope that I could ride on this someday.

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  29. Very interesting! I can now imagine myself traveling with that cruise, just enjoying how beautiful world is. But I can't imagine how wonderful it would be! How I wish I can go by myself. :D

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  30. At this point of my life, I wasn't really able to travel a lot, I rarely go any farther than Metro Manila. That is why, It is really my dream to travel the beautiful spots of the Philippines, and after that I would like to travel the world. I want to travel through cruise ships instead of airplanes because you can enjoy the view and the travel time when you are traveling through cruise.

    When I saw the cruise I remembered the song Cruisin. "Music is played for love, cruisin' is made for love. I love it when we're cruisin' together" :)

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  32. Very informative article. I hope to see those places someday.

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  33. I noticed too many pink color in the pictures =))

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  34. My family were dining in a food chain along Raymundo Ave. in Pasig one time when a van of 2Go passed by. I remember my mom asked my dad what 2Go is all about. My dad said a cargo business. It was funny because my mom thought it was a food business maybe, because of the words 'to go' which is equivalent to 'dine-in' in the Philippines if a customer opted to take the foods out of the food chain in the US. I did'nt know either. This was the reason why I liked this blog mainly for my parents who were not aware of 2Go Travel and for my mom who hates and is scared of sea travel. I showed this blog to them and became curious of 2Go. My mom said 2Go might lose her fear of travelling the sea. She said, my family could give it a try someday and I love it!.

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