Since I wanted to experience traveling on a vessel, I considered taking 2GO Travel instead of a plane to my 5-day Western Visayas adventure. As usual, I didn’t had any concrete plans on my adventure. All I wanted was to visit and explore Iloilo City, Roxas City and Boracay. Perhaps, also visit Antique and Aklan if I’ll have extra time. I checked the travel 2GO Travel website and the fastest way to go to Western Visayas is via Batangas Port to Caticlan Port in Aklan. This route is popular to tourists visiting Boracay.
Tip: Book your discounted Boracay hotel or accommodation HERE.
2GO Travel Time
Manila Port to Iloilo City – 20 hours
Batangas Port to Roxas City – 12 hours
Batangas Port to Caticlan, Aklan (Boracay) – 10 hours
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2GO Travel website has an online booking facility which makes booking easier and faster. Since I wanted to avail a PWD discount, I opted to buy my ticket on a 2GO outlet.
2GO kiosk at Robinson’s Forum, Mandaluyong City. At a discounted price, I paid 1,074 Php for a tourist class accommodation of Batangas to Caticlan trip. The regular rate of Batangas Port to Caticlan is at 1,200+ Php.
The trip was supposedly at 9 PM the same day I bought the ticket. An hour after my ticket purchase, I received an SMS from 2GO that the trip is cancelled. I had to return to the kiosk and had my trip rescheduled at 10 AM the next day.
After strolling outside the terminal. I decided to come inside the waiting area. Well, the terminal fee of 30 Php is much cheaper than NAIA’s. There are various food stalls inside the 2-storey air conditioned terminal. Overall, the area is well maintained.
At 8:30 AM – an hour and a half before the departure, someone from 2GO announced that travelers can now board in the vessel. Before boarding, 2GO security officials will ask passengers to fall in line, drop their baggage and stay away for at least a meter from the baggages. It felt weird until I saw sniffing dogs checking each and every baggage.
As we enter the vessel, we were greeted by the very accommodating and friendly 2GO staff. I should say that 2GO knows what customer service is. I was even accompanied by a 2GO staff to my assigned area.
2GO Travel Accommodations – Batangas to Caticlan (Boracay) Trip
For this vessel (SAP5 Voy 242), there are only 2 types of accommodations, the Tourist Class and the Value Class.
Tourist Class Accommodation
The area is fully air conditioned. In fact, it is very cold in the area. Beds do not have linens, there is a linen station in the area where you can claim your linens. Bunk beds in tourist class accommodation also offer a bit more privacy than that of Value Class.
Luckily, I was assigned on the lower deck. I bet it would be very uncomfortable if you travel alone and will take the upper deck.
While waiting for the 10:00 AM departure, a very informative video clip about safety precautions and what to do during emergencies are shown in the TV. I was surprised that there are actually 3 kinds of life vests provided in each bed in the vessel!
Value Class Accommodation
This is an open air area where travelers can enjoy the wind and smell of the sea. I do not recommend staying in Value class if you are travelling on a daytime as it may get hot in this place when there’s no wind during noon. However, this is a perfect accommodation if you are after the fresh sea air.
I had my lunch and snack at Horizon Cafe and Restaurant. Too bad that I was not able to take photos of the cafe. My lunch costed 190 Php (3pcs. Pork Barbecue, mixed veggies, rice and Mango shake) and 70 Php for snacks (malagkit with sago and soda in can).
Island Fiesta Grill is my favorite spot in the vessel. It has a viewing deck where travelers can enjoy the beauty of sea while the ship is cruising. There is a mini bar for those who love to drink and socialize with other travels. Also, this is the only spot where smoking is allowed.
The vessel anchored for a stopover at Odiongan, Romblon at around 6:00 PM and left for Caticlan after 45 minutes. We were suppose to arrive at Caticlan Jetty port at around 8:00 PM, exactly 10 hours of travel from Batangas port. However, there was a delay as there was a vessel congestion in Caticlan jetty port. We arrived at 9:30 PM instead.
If you are going to Boracay or anywhere in Western Visayas, and you want adventure, I highly recommend taking 2GO Travel. It is definitely cheaper and a good alternative to flying. The travel is obviously longer than taking a plane but cruising in the sea, meeting new friends and experiencing 2GO’s superb customer service is definitely worth the 10-hour extraordinary journey.