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udonthani

Philippines night ferry tips

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udonthani

* eat before you get on the ferry. The food on board is shit and a rip off. Bring packed food for longer journeys like hard boiled eggs, pre prepared pancit, sandwiches etc. On some ferries, there's stray plug sockets you can use to charge your phone and plug in your kettle to make 3-in-1 coffee and make noodles.

 

* the beers and drinks are also a rip off. What I usually do is freeze a liter bottle of Coke or Sprite so that it's frozen solid amd then as it warms up and unfreezes, drink it with Tanduay. Bring your own glasses or cups because they might not have any on board the ship. I've never come across even one that had any ice, even for sale. Any sari sari with an ice cream freezer just outside the port will be happy to pop your plastic bottle of soda into the freezer for two or three hours and get it biting cold for 10 pesos.

 

* get your linen straight away as soon as you board. It's no use waiting until you're freezing half to death from the aircon in tourist class on your bunk at 11pm and asking for it then, because they'll be closed.

 

* just because the ship arrives early in the morning, doesn't mean you have to leave it straight away when it docks. You can sleep a few hours extra if you want. They won't throw you off. You might not be able to check into your hotel until noon. They switch off the aircon, but you can still use the showers. You've got at least four hours snoozetime on your bunk after it arrives before somebody in authority tells you you have to leave the vessel.

 

I can think of a few more but if anybody else has any tips about taking night ferries in the Philippines, put them here.

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Paul

Here's some for the not so thrifty:

 

1. If you are going by ferry, travel first class. Get a suite or stateroom which will sleep two, quite comfortably.

2. If you wish to go a bit more moderate on the funds, then request a cabin, which may sleep three, four, up to six persons.

3. Carry cash and eat in the dining areas, buy beers on board, both so you have an enjoyable trip without having to carry a bunch of extra mess with you on board.

 

There is a second reason for taking cash, rather than your own refrigerator full of food and other items on board. You will not wish to be called "kuripot" (Tagalog) or "tihik" (Cebuano) (both directly translate into "whippy") by the Filipinos.

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udonthani

when you're alone its a bit silly getting a suite for yourself, even though it would be relatively straightforward to pull a girl on board, especially from economy - though it's slightly unusual for single women to travel alone unnacompanied by night ferry. There's usually a cousin, friend or some sort of concerned individual looking out for them.

 

some tourist class cabins only sleep four for same price as others that sleep six. It's pot luck if you get one of those I guess, unless you know the name of the ship, the layout of the ship and remember the numbers of the bunks of the smaller berths.

 

plenty of Filipinos bring their own supplies of food and drinks to avoid the totally exhorirbitant onboard prices and nobody thinks to call them kuripot.

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Art

I'm with Undonthani on this the food on the Cebu to Nasipit ferry is crap and overpriced. I traveled first class and I recommend you leave the aircon on even if it gets cold as when I turned it off the room slowly filled with diesel fumes.

 

Keep up the good work Udonthani with the budget suggestions.

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Ricky

And close your eyes to anything safety related; your entering the most dangerous ferries in the world. If you have a choice, fly!

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loosehead

Whippy if you took a blow up doll you would save the expense of maintaining a girlfriend or finding a one-nighter.

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Paul

when you're alone its a bit silly getting a suite for yourself, even though it would be relatively straightforward to pull a girl on board, especially from economy - though it's slightly unusual for single women to travel alone unnacompanied by night ferry. There's usually a cousin, friend or some sort of concerned individual looking out for them.

 

some tourist class cabins only sleep four for same price as others that sleep six. It's pot luck if you get one of those I guess, unless you know the name of the ship, the layout of the ship and remember the numbers of the bunks of the smaller berths.

 

plenty of Filipinos bring their own supplies of food and drinks to avoid the totally exhorirbitant onboard prices and nobody thinks to call them kuripot.

 

But, you are expected to travel higher class, because you are white, whippy. :thumbsup:

 

I'm with Undonthani on this the food on the Cebu to Nasipit ferry is crap and overpriced. I traveled first class and I recommend you leave the aircon on even if it gets cold as when I turned it off the room slowly filled with diesel fumes.

 

Keep up the good work Udonthani with the budget suggestions.

 

The air-con vent in a suite or state room usually is adjustable. However, I do not know of any suite or stateroom I have stayed on board in, that was able to be closed off completely. So, I'm not sure about the "fumes", as I have never experienced them on board.

 

I do know, though, that when traveling in a suite or state room, I was able to get a great nights rest, a good shower in the morning, and had security (my own locking door) so I could leave my bags and other personal things unattended.

 

Oh, I never travel on board a boat by myself. I hate sleeping alone, period.

 

Whippy if you took a blow up doll you would save the expense of maintaining a girlfriend or finding a one-nighter.

 

Good God, man. I'm rollin' here! I almost fell out of my chair when I read your post!

 

And close your eyes to anything safety related; your entering the most dangerous ferries in the world. If you have a choice, fly!

 

Oh yeah? Well, I can swim. Having that same ability is not going to help me at all, if that plane crashes into the water. Besides, traveling on board a boat gives you ample time to relax and get a good nights rest, to take on the next day.

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Bob Ward

Oh yeah? Well, I can swim.

 

Some on one of the boat trips would argue with that one! LOLOLOL Joke lang!

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Paul

I will have you to know that, being thrown overboard, drunk, simply does not count.

 

I was thrown overboard, right?

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udonthani

Whippy if you took a blow up doll you would save the expense of maintaining a girlfriend or finding a one-nighter.

 

have you got any idea how expensive blow-up dolls are? And how messed up you'd get if you got caught trying to smuggle one into the country?

 

also you can't fabrictate the shit lifejackets you get on board the ferries into blow up dolls at all. You need to nick one off an aircraft, and fashion one of their blow up lifejackets into one.

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broden

I will have you to know that, being thrown overboard, drunk, simply does not count.

 

I was thrown overboard, right?

only cause they didn't have a plank

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shadow

Whippy if you took a blow up doll you would save the expense of maintaining a girlfriend or finding a one-nighter.

 

have you got any idea how expensive blow-up dolls are? And how messed up you'd get if you got caught trying to smuggle one into the country?

 

also you can't fabrictate the shit lifejackets you get on board the ferries into blow up dolls at all. You need to nick one off an aircraft, and fashion one of their blow up lifejackets into one.

 

 

Ahh, the voice of experience!

 

:thumbsup:

 

Larry in Dumaguete

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Stranded Shipscook

Great Tips, here are a few more from me, which maybe safe your life - AND your beloved ones :

 

Note- this deviates from regular IMO and Coastguard protocols, but so does the entire Shipping Industry here.

And its is not an official position of the Phil. Coastguard, it is my personal and own creation/opinion- i might get in a lot of trouble, but i don't mind that.

 

If the ferry is obviously overloaded (unfortunately still happens, DO NOT BOARD IT or leave it !, Contact the Coastguard, ( even when they seem involved !) Also Send ME a SMS then at 0919 868 2330, i see that this gets reported and followed up.

Your trip is still spoiled, i have no power to unload the extra passengers, but the decision is yours.

 

same applies to very very bad weather and your origin or along the way, as seen in the past, ships travel even when the conditions are not safe! Check the Forums weather websites yourself for your judgement.

 

Room a bit around the boat and check for your emergency exits and memorize them, maybe practize getting to them after you had the frozen Tanduay/Beer (sorry for this sarcasm,couldn't hold it)

 

Read all the safety instruction like assembly points and the like. Go there and see for yourself.

 

Check for your personal Life saving equipment, if it ripped to pieces, ask for new one. You may can try it on, but ask the crew.

 

If by all sensible means the weather gets very rough, good indication is the seasickness around you increasing alarmingly and the crew faces look worried, nothing wrong with putting on those vest already and roam around in areas where you have easy access to the exits. You may decide to stay at the assembly points. I do, but this may include discussions with the crew.

 

if people around you laugh at you, don't bother them, they are usually the bodies we pick up later.

 

Don't expect the crew to give you correct instructions or any at all, when the vessel is in process of foundering, unfortunately this was and may be not the case at all.

 

If you have to abandon the ship by yourself,Check where you jump and swim away from the vessel (100 yards is enough),not because you may get sucked under (that's a myth) but because there will be floating things like crates, containers or self inflating liferafts (!) suddenly and fiercely popping up from below and hit you badly.

 

if you find yourself in the water, stay calm and try to locate the next lifecraft, use the devices to get attention, such as whistle, lights and others, if any there.

 

Look for other survivors and try to assist them, if they got no life saving device, remember, that your Vest only holds your body weight ! I don't want to say much more here, its sad enough that people leave ship without those vests on... It takes a minutes in average to put them on, the bodies we pick up after disasters ALL wear none despite of abundance of life vests aboard.

 

Don't panic, its not the titanic scenario, the tropical water is so warm you can float around for many hours until we pick u up.

The chance of shark bites is almost zero too, they all have been eaten already by us...

Stay in groups, you are easier to find then.

 

However, this is just a worst case scenario, 99 % of trips go absolutely safe and there has been a lot of improvement in the last few years. I just think its worth thinking about it, after one picks up a hundred dead bodies or so, the viewpoint changes a bit..

 

Bon voyage ( That's not ironically meant)

 

Guenther Vomberg

Commander Phil. Coastguard Auxiliary 201st Squadron Cebu City

 

"'We risk our life, so we may safe yours "

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udonthani

also make sure the lifejacket is the correct size. The supply is geared to the age range, and the size of Filipinos which means about 30% of them are for children. And especially on the smaller pump boats, the child ones aren't always marked.

 

so you might end up with a child's one in an emergency if you're not careful. But that's not as serious as a child ending up with an adult one that's too big for them. If that happens, they can flip over, float in the water upside down and drown.

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Stranded Shipscook

here are a few tips for seasickness -

 

Buy those tablets in any pharmacy against motionsickness, the ones based upon gingerextracts are the best, because the dont make you tired and dizzy.

 

If you cant by them, you can try to eat Ginger, either u make candies or pure or you can brew a Gingertea beforehand.

 

try not to worry too much, most motionsickness is psychologically.

 

Keep the meals light an healthy, avoid acids and anything to upset the stomach. Crackers and water is usually nice.

Or eat nothing.

 

if you are caught seasick or feel uneasy, try fresh air and get orientation pojnts at the horizon, keep yourself busy watching stars and other vessels or so. There is not much you can do when you are sick already.

 

if you are really really sick, don't go to the shipside to trow up, unless someone to hold you is with you, most man-over-board happen because of vomiting or urinating passengers. That is no joke.

Ask the crew to assist you if you have too.

 

There are a lot of other tips, such as wearing an eyepatch like a pirate, clogging up one ear and the likes, some of them worke for one, some not. But in the 21st century the pills are usually the best.

 

One example- when we travelled on the SAR004 to Palawan, all 30 Coastguard auxiliary guests took those tablets, only 2 got sick.

 

One the way back, none took the pills and 28 got sick. Weather conditions were the same

 

Little side remarks, the crew of the ship had a 50/50 rate of seasickness, so even Seaman get sick, so there is no shame in it.

The poor bastard just had no pills due to budget restrictions.

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