I personally love eating. I love going out, trying different restaurants and food hubs. I always check out food blogs and as much as possible, take a personal experience of menu, service and ambiance that these restos can offer. I can say that not all food hubs I went through can fit in my three personal criteria.
For this summer, my family and I want to try a new dining experience. While browsing Metrodeal, one of the leading local E-Commerce Website in the Philippines, I found a deal for an Eat-All-You-Can Dinner Buffet Cruise along Manila Bay. It’s really cheap and offers a 50% off on its original price of 650php. The first time I saw the deal, it was sold out so I just decided to see it again next time but months passed and it is still sold out. So when the deal finally opened, I immediately bought 8 vouchers, which makes the whole family included in the dining exploration.
The voucher states that I should reserve, 7 days prior to the date that I want to avail the service. Right after I read that, my family and I fixed our schedules and decided on when to have our family dinner. I booked for April 19, at first I wish to be booked at 6pm time slot but the costumer service representative of Prestige Cruise said that the only vacant slot is at 8pm on the day that we chose (the dinner buffet cruise of the mentioned company runs just twice every night 6pm and 8pm) with that, I opted to have the second option which is later than what we really want. That way, I thought that Prestige Cruise is really in demand because of their almost always sold out vouchers and fully booked schedule.
Booking for 8 pax is quite tasky. Aside from their two busy lines, the CSR asked me to dictate all the voucher codes to her.I should understand (maybe) because it is really part of their standard operating procedures. Good thing that their CSR are accommodating and always at their low tone.
The day before our booked dinner, I received a SMS confirming my reservation, thus reminding me about my schedule and some details about registration and boarding. But the time that was mentioned in the SMS was 6pm, to which I try to book ahead but they refused so I opted to have it at 8pm. With that, I call their customer service and mention my concern. I also try to move it back at 8pm because my sister and his boyfriend will be coming from work before dinner and it is quite a time before reaching the boarding venue if they will be out at 5pm (my sister will be coming from Makati and her boyfriend will be coming from Manila). Hays… It stressed me out a bit but still, they said that my reservation was listed at 6pm and I cannot move to the 8pm slot because it is fully booked already. So again, i try to understand and my sister and his boyfriend adjusted their schedule. My sister filed a leave and her boyfriend had his under-time at work.
We’re very excited to go to our Dinner Buffet Cruise! It was our first time. We arrived just in time and the registration was easy. I just have to write all their names and submit the printed vouchers to the receptionist. They put a stamp on out right hand just like mine below (what’s written? Buffet.)
We are instructed to occupy the lower deck of the ship (maybe because, we pay a lower price). This made me remember the first two chapters of Rizal’s El Fili. If you’re not familiar with it you may read a good article about it here: http://www.promdiliving.com/the-tabo-and-philippine-society/ (It’s really interesting.)
Anyways, the other members of our family seems didn’t mind that instance so I just shoo it out among my concerns. The ambiance feels so good when we arrived! It was so quiet and relaxing while watching the sun set of Manila Bay in a cruise ship. We took a lot of snap shots before we sail. My siblings and I took turns in taking pictures of our experience.
At 6pm, we started sailing and food were set at the buffet table. This time, I made my expectations quite lower because we availed a discounted price. Though, I lowered my expectation, I was still surprised with the courses they offered. It’s a buffet but there are still some waiters to help you out and give you servings of the dishes. On my plate, I got these servings: plain white-steamed rice (you can get as many as you want), 3 strips of pork tonkatsu, a half serving for beef and mushroom and tofu and vegies, and an omelet looking dish (but has a strange sour taste) and cheap looking pansit (without any meat or veggy toppings). So then, I thought that at the beginning, it is not enough that I lowered my expectations, but it would be better if I extremely pull it down. Oh! Before I forget! They also have this dessert (I think), which is green in color but definitely taste like maja blanca (which is the only food I enjoyed). I just got a slice of it. We also had our bottomless iced tea but it has a separate payment of 75php per head! (Pricey!)
I did not even bother myself to come back at the buffet table to get more food because I can’t even finish what was on my plate (maybe due to disappointment and poor taste of the dishes). So there, “buffet dining” at that cruise ship was so stressful for me.
After eating, I just took sometime to enjoy the venue and asked my siblings to took some pictures of me. We had fun taking photos of each other! And the fireworks display along the Bay Side of MOA made the night livelier! Oh! There was also a karaoke but only the Koreans and other costumers who are in the upper deck were able to use it. So my family and I just jive with the music even most of the time, the singer doesn’t care much about the tune, timber and lyrics of what he or she is singing.
It was my first time riding a ship and the sailing made me quite dizzy. But still manageable. Our journey lasted 2 hours and I felt that it was quite long. My other sister, Angela was able to took a nap on our journey back. I must say that its quite boring, but if you really want to find peace and relax, it is okay.
The experience was okay. But i won’t recommend it to someone who wants to enjoy and get the value of his money. Going back to my three criteria: menu, service and ambiance I would like to rate it with a smiley and a sad face. So here it goes:
I think my long post can explain already why I rate our dinner buffet at Prestige Cruise Ship as such. There was our latest family dinner. I hope my blog post gave you an idea of our experience. Maybe next time, I would really think twice before buying some discounted vouchers. Also, I learned that not because it is always sold out, it means that it’s nice, maybe those people whou bought the vouchers are just victims of circumstances just like my family (hehhehehe… but seriously!) What do you think?