Our Plantation Bay Experience in Cebu! (Chronicles Of A Pseudo Traveller - Part 2)
After exploring every allowable nook and cranny of the ship, Superferry 12, it became a general consensus among us that the best place to hangout was the top deck of the vessel. We stayed there until dusk, enjoying the breeze and magnificent scenic view of the sea. Then it was time to retire to our quarters.
As the night wore on, my mind slowly began to drift to our next destination: Plantation Bay in Mactan Island, Cebu!
Our Plantation Bay experience started when we got off the Superferry 12 early morning the next day, May 14th. The heavy bags I'm carrying didn't felt like the burden that it was as I made my way down the steps of the boat because of the excitement I felt. The kids also shared this feeling as we disembarked the vessel.
As we approached the pier gate, we noticed a barong-clad gentleman carrying a piece of paper bearing my name. He introduced himself as the driver of our shuttle going to the Plantation Bay compound. He turned out to be a nice fellow and became a virtual tourist guide for us as our van navigated the roads of Cebu towards Marigondon, the barrio in Mactan where Plantation Bay is located.
When we arrived at the reception area of the resort at about 7:00 am, I surreptitiously handed the driver a tip to which he politely declined. He explained that it was against company policies to accept tips from the guests. Still taken aback by this unexpected response, we went ahead to the check-in counter to register.
It wasn't long before I noticed something pleasantly different about the place: every employee that we meet, anywhere in the place, always had a ready smile and a polite greeting for us. I mean, everywhere! It has a nice effect because we felt very welcome.
Another observation: the place was humongous!
It's a sprawling area of 11.4 hectares and it would be a long walk around the vicinity that's why they employed golf carts with drivers to ferry guests around the resort. However, we didn't ride at first. We wanted to get our feet wet and we did by treading on the spillway footpath across the West Saltwater Lagoon. The children were delighted by the sight and joked about wanting to fall down the shallow water on the side to start swimming. But their mom will have none of it. Breakfast first!
The Kilimanjaro Kafe was filled with lots of people when we entered. A courteous waitress greeted us warmly, as have the other resort staff we met along the way, and helped us settle in our table. The kids, as expected, were not feeling the need to fill up their tummies because of the strong urge of the water calling on them. If they weren't hungry, I was! I devoured the sumptuous feast consisting of bacon, eggs, pancakes and coffee. Lots of coffee! I don't know if the place had a bottomless coffee option in the menu as our waitress generously poured coffee on my cup whenever she saw it was empty. But I was not about to complain. I knew I needed that extra caffeine for the day.
After the short breakfast we were off again and now ready to brave the waters. We change to our swimming outfits and dipped on the nearest body of water we can find. When my 7-year old son found out about the Giant Water Slides near Mogambo Falls, he immediately dragged me to the top of the mountain to get on the ride. He enjoyed it so much that he took to the monster slide not once, but thrice! We then went back to the Kilimanjaro Freshwater Pool to enjoy the relaxing jacuzzis, while watching the kids swim around with their flotation devices.
It was nearing noon, getting too hot for comfort as the midday sun made its scorching presence felt on our backs. Not wanting to burn our skins too much, we headed back to our room to change and prepare for lunch. However, the length of activities took a toll on us and we succumbed to the alluring comfort of our bed for a few hours.
We woke up at around 4pm and our tummies were already growling like crazy. After a brief discussion, we decided to have our late lunch at Savannah Grill and tried what the place proclaimed to be one of the World's Best Hotdogs, the Armour Kielbasa, which was a combination of beef, pork and turkey. It was delicious and my son definitely loved it. After this momentary break, the kids suddenly had the urge to go to the pool again. They're favorite place to swim around is the Kilimanjaro Freshwater Pool. But before we changed to our still-soaking swimwear, my wife convinced the kids that we should walk around the compound first before dusk settles in. So we traveled along the road, marveling at the scenery, until we reached Galapagos Beach. By then, we got on a passing golf cart on our way back to our room to change to our swim clothes.
As expected, we spent the next few hours in the Kilimanjaro Freshwater Pool until it was dark. The kids couldn't get enough of the water. But we have to call it a day and head back to our room again to prepare for dinner. We went back again to Kilimanjaro Kafe for our meal. Our youngest child was too exhausted that she fell asleep as she was sitting on her chair. It's a good thing a staff was there to help us make her a bit more comfortable by getting the chairs together for a makeshift bed. After eating, we headed back to our room for a much-needed rest.
What a day!
This was definitely one of the most unforgettable trips I ever had especially since my kids really enjoyed the experience. If my kids are happy, then I'm happy. So the next day as we prepared to leave Plantation Bay, I have a feeling we'll be making a comeback sometime soon.
Our next stop: Surigao City!
Enrico Monsanto is a freelance writer. He writes mainly about guitars, music, sport-related topics and other interests. Most of his work can be seen at his blog, http://monsaint.blogspot.com
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