While planning for the Coron trip, Lei suggested we ride a ship back to Manila because there is only one flight out of Coron to Manila, and if we take the Sunday flight, it would mean having a shorter stay in Coron (since flights are early morning), and if we take the Monday flight, it would mean us having to pay another night in the lodge.
Since the ship will leave Coron at 11PM, we could just stay in the ship and enjoy the ride home.
All of us were first time ship riders. Even if my sister took her internship at a local shipping line, I had no clue how it was traveling by ship. When Lei found a seat sale, we all just went for it. After all, it would be great to do something for the first time, right?
Picture Taking. I was the first one to have my ticket checked, and each passenger has to have a picture taken, so if something happens to the ship, the company can post the pictures of the passengers. Anyway, when it was my friend Kei’s turn, I told her to hold her pose so I could take a picture, too.
Excited yet Bored. Our ship was scheduled to leave around 11PM, but we were already there by 9:30PM because the ticket indicated passengers have to be at the port at least 2 hours before the departure. By 10:30PM, they called for the passengers, and we had to line up outside. I guess it’s very typical for everybody to want to at the front of the line, so at times people get a little cranky. For us, we just tried to keep our cool and share jokes while waiting.
Boarding. After a few more minutes, the gates were opened. But being first time riders, we still stopped to have some pictures taken.
It was a very difficult thing to get inside the ship. We had to line up – men separated with the females, our bags lined up about a foot far from us. K9 dogs sniffed each bags twice, and just by the gangplank a security guard would check our bags again. With so many passengers, it was just so tiring.
Since we purchased the sale tickets, our sleeping area wasn’t as good as we expected. I didn’t mean to look down on it, but when I saw it, I kinda feared for myself. Bunk beds were very close to each other, and it was like a very big room filled with different people. No lockers, too, so as much as we feared for ourselves, we also got worried how to secure our things.
All passengers have the right to upgrade their ticket once they enter the ship. My friends wanted to upgrade our tickets, but I was a bit worried because upgrading would mean I have to pay 100% more of the ticket I was already holding. I told them I needed to survive after this trip, so I will just have to stay with my current ticket. Ryan also opted not to upgrade his ticket, so we just arranged that I will take the bed nearest to Ryan so he can watch over me.
The ship left at 12MN. I was already tired, so I tried to sleep despite my qualms (first time jitters). After sometime, I woke to Lei and Dianne’s voice – they told me they can’t sleep knowing Ryan and I were at our location, and they were in the cabin having a private room. Before boarding the ship, they bought a bottle of vodka and soda, and since it was allowed inside the ship, they just asked me to get out of the room, and we can just drink and play. They also woke up Ryan so us four can just party at the ship’s canteen. Actually, they tried to wake up Erick and Kei, but Erick preferred to sleep, while Kei told us she will join us around 2AM.
We took a table from the corner of the canteen – ate cakes for midnight snacks, played cards and took vodka shots. When the bottle was empty, we bought a can each of beer from the canteen, and since they have the videoke, we just chose our songs and partied. It was really funny – when we got a hold of the microphone, it basically stayed with us!
Around 5AM, we decided to call it a night. They let Ryan and I sneak into the cabin and us six cramped in the room.
Morning View. I woke up around 8AM, and I immediately went out of the cabin to check the view outside. I don’t know exactly where we were already, but it was so great to see an island!
Their Lunch. By 9AM, all of us were awake and we decided to take our breakfast. It was there we found out that people who had the “low class” tickets had to eat by the canteen (where we partied last night), while the “cabin class” tickets had a separate, much better canteen for them. The four cabin ticket holders still took the “normal” breakfast (rice, beef jerky, and scrambled eggs), but when lunch came, they opt to have lunch in the better canteen, and the ship staffs were nice enough to let Ryan and I eat our lunch there, too, but of course we had to take our food from the “normal” canteen. 🙂
Cabin. We tried to take pictures, roam around the ship, and enjoy the ride while we were there. We were told the ship will dock in Manila by 2PM, so around 1PM, we just went back to the cabin to fix our things, and yes, take more pictures.
Disembarking. Since everybody just wanted to be the first, we pretty much let all people go out before we disembarked. We arrived on time, and from there, we just walked out of the Manila South Harbor to find a place for us to have a quick talk.
My first ship ride wasn’t as smooth as I hoped it would be, but it was very memorable. I loved the ride, though I admit, I got a little sea sick. Will I ride the ship again? Heck yeah!