April 18th, 2016 - Day 16 - Anchored off Boracay Island, Philippines

This morning we woke up cruising into Boracay Island, Philippines.  We were anchored off the Island.  There are lots of boats around with parasailing, banana boats and kayaking.

We had breakfast at the Terrace Café.

Our tour today is Island Hopping.  Our group met at 11:30 AM in the Insignia Lounge to go together.

Boracay Island has been hailed by numerous publications as one of the best tropical islands in the world. Millions of tourists from all over the world come and experience it's pristine white beaches, exciting activities, authentic cuisines and wide range of accommodation facilities and exhilarating night life. It is all delivered with a distinct Filipino brand of hospitality.

We took a tender to the pier so that we could board our catamaran for our 5 hour tour.

As got on the boat and we were all given a life vest that we had to put on.  Our guide's name was Loverlee.  She told us we were not old that we were all 19 and we could do anything.  Ha!  One woman said she wanted to be 21 so that she could drink.  Ha!  There were 22 of us on the tour.

We cruised along the water where we could see the coast of Boracay Island and she pointed out different sites to us.  She pointed out the night life section as well as some hotels. She showed us Manny Pacquiao's home, the famous Philippine boxer,  that is running for the Senate in his country.  His home was built on a cliff and looks like a big white clamshell.

Our first stop was to the Coral Gardens where we anchored in the water and was able to get out and snorkel.  Although it was a little difficult to get out on their ladder.  Supposedly this is a popular site but there were maybe 10 little fish and not much coral to look at and most of us thought it was a dud.  We were there 45 minutes.

Then we went to Diniwid Beach and they pulled up on shore so we could enjoy this white sand  beach with time to relax and swim.  We were given an hour and 45 minutes here which we all thought was too much time.  Up on the beach they had bamboo loungers with bamboo umbrellas for shade that were free to lay on but you had to buy drinks.  The bamboo loungers were very hard to lay on.  We ordered the local beer, San Miguel Philippine beer, for $4.00 each.

While sitting on the loungers we had many ladies come up and ask if we wanted to buy souvenirs, have a pedicure or massage.  We finally had to put sunglasses on and lay back like we were asleep to avoid being asked.

A little later there was a guy walking around with a Styrofoam chest that was selling ice cream bars. We bought a magnum ice cream bar and shared it for $5.00.  They were going to return change from the $10 bill in Philippine pesos but we did not have any use for pesos as we were leaving the Philippines so Pat said never mind.  We needed American dollars back and all of a sudden they found a five dollar bill for change.  So we enjoyed the ice cream bar.

Our next stop was anchored off Balinghai Beach for more snorkeling.  They gave us 30 minutes at this location.  Pat went in and Jim stayed on the boat.  This was such a beautiful location and Pat saw lots of schools of fish in different colors, yellows, blues, greens and combination of colors.  She found Nemo and sine stripped fish.  There was beautiful coral with unusual shapes, a big round white ball, purple moving coral and so much more.  It was quite the experience.  Pat remembers the quiet of being underwater and hearing her Darth Vader breathing from the snorkel.  When Pat got back on board she asked if that was all the snorkeling and the girl said yes so Pat turned in her mask and snorkel.

Then we had one last stop for 30 minutes which was at Lobster Rock for more snorkeling.

Since Pat had turned in her gear she stayed in the boat with Jim.  About 10 people went out snorkeling and when they came back they said it was the best spot of all.  So Pat was sorry she missed it but she had loved what she had seen at the stop before.

We were told to stay hydrated because the temperature was 105 degrees and high humidity but in the shade we were ok.  On the water we never felt hot.  There was always a breeze blowing.

We went back to the pier and caught our tender back to the ship.

We set sail at 6:40 PM.

We had dinner in the Grand Dining Room.

Jim had Sturgeon Caviar with Buckwheat Blinis and Traditional Garnish for his appetizer.  He had mixed greens and watercress and radishes with celeriac and mustard seed dressing.  I told Jim I was surprised he was ordering that salad because I didn't think he liked watercress.  Jim said he likes watercress, those white things in Chinese food, and I said those were water chestnuts.  Ha!  For his main course he had Roasted Prime Rib of Black Angus Beef with Bordelaise Sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Pat had Molten Cheese Soufflé  with Chive Veloute  for her appetizer.  Her salad was Baby Spinach with Toasted Pine Nuts and Warm Bacon Dressing.  For her main course she had local fish Lolu Lolu with garlic rice. 

Jim said that Pat's first 2 courses were better than his.

We shared a dessert - 9 minute Molten Volcano Chocolate Cake with ice cream.  Jim liked the cake and Pat liked the ice cream

Good Night Boracay Island!