First full day Plantation Bay experience and review

If you missed my first night at Plantation Bay experience, you may want to read that first before continuing here with my first full day Plantation Bay experience and review.

Our first full day in Plantation Bay started quite late. I think we woke up around 1:00 after about 10 hours of sleep. Some reviews I read online complained about the hard beds. I personally prefer hard beds — My mattress is right on the floor with no box spring or anything. Anyway, every morning my wife and I woke up with sore backs. A little stretching helped tremendously (as did floating around the pools all day I bet).

We called someone (our butler, guest services, or something like that) with a question about which restaurants were open but got hung up on. I called three more times to test their service and had no more trouble. On the third call we asked for a golf cart to come pick us up and we went to the Kilimanjaro Cafè for lunch (or breakfast or whatever).

The freshly squeezed mango juice continued to thrill us even though it was no longer free. I think it was around 260 pesos which is about $5.50. We thought it was well worth it, but I understand why some people complain about the prices online. In a nice restaurant outside the resort you’re looking at about $1.25. Like I said in my overview, if you’re not willing to spend money then don’t go to a resort. I don’t think Plantation Bay is for bargain hunters. No 5 star resort is.

There are bargains to be found however. My lunch was one of them; for about $10 I got a Filipino beef stew, Pochero Cebuano style. The serving was huge — easily enough for two people. My wife got some shrimp in a salty Filipino marinade which she loved.

After eating way too much (and not coming close to finishing my meal) we figured we’d do something to help us digest. You can borrow a bike for 1 hour/day at Plantation Bay (or longer if you pay) so we got a golf cart ride to the game room and signed out a pair of bikes. The bikes are only available until 6:00 PM though.

We rode our bikes around Plantation Bay, stopping at the store where my wife bought an inflatable tube to help keep her from sinking in the water that is almost never deep enough to reach your neck anyway (there are two well-marked deep areas in the lagoon). We also met a rude security guard when we entered some kind of parking lot on our bikes.

The guard wasn’t exactly shouting, but he certainly wasn’t smiling or being remotely polite when he said, “Just go.” I hate being told what to do, and I really hate paying for people to boss me around so this bothered me. I rode my bike over to him and asked him why. “Just go!”

I asked, “So bikes aren’t allowed here?”

“Just go!”

“So bikes aren’t allowed here?”

“Right.”

So I left. I managed not to let that experience bother me but you’d think that they could train these guys to be polite.

After the bike ride, we went to the fresh water pool by the Kilimanjaro cafè and spent a couple of hours there. They have a few hot-tub like areas in the pool and there was always one available. One great thing about Plantation Bay is that it’s really not crowded.

Then we went for a free archery lesson (every Friday). There was no actual lesson, but you did get to shoot a bow and arrow. We did this for a few minutes and it seems that there’s only one bow since other people had to wait for us to feel like we were done. If we hadn’t gotten bored so easily those folks could have been forced to wait a while.

Then we went to the dive shop and rented snorkeling stuff for $7 / hour. The snorkeling at Plantation Bay was neat. The water is mostly quite shallow so the fish are very close. They also arrange diving and snorkeling 2 hour excursions but my wife learned that she was not comfortable snorkeling even with a guy from the dive shop holding her hand and trying to teach her.

I had to send back my first set of equipment to get stuff in better condition. I also managed to cut my finger on something but they didn’t have a band aid for me at the dive shop. They offered me a role of gauze but I passed.

Then we went back to the freshwater pool by the Kilimanjaro. We were thirsty and had to wait a long time (maybe 15 minutes) for someone to come serves us at the swim-up bar. A good mango shake cost us around $5.50 again, 264 pesos. At the bar I met a Filipino guy who said it was his third trip to Plantation Bay. This guy actually lived near Boracay where he said the beaches are much nicer. He comes to Plantation Bay because it’s exclusive. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised that there were relatively few people there. It helps that the place is huge.

He did give us a tip for bargain hunters. He likes to get the number of a call taxi at Cebu’s airport when he flies in. When it’s time to eat he calls up the taxi (which meets him outside the main gate) and then gets the Plantation Bay golf cart to drive him to the main gate. He eats outside the resort to save money.

He recommended a Filipino restaurant named Gerry’s Grill in the Ayala Mall. The hotel car cost us 670 pesos one way for the 45 minute trip. It was a small Toyota but clean and comfortable. However my seatbelt was broken; you expect better when you’re paying extra (the taxi back was under 200 pesos). The rest of that experience isn’t exactly part of my Plantation Bay review so I’ll save it for later.

When we got back to the resort we spent a half hour in the PC room (half an hour is free — any more than that and you pay). There are only 3 or 4 computers there, but I never saw anyone waiting. It’s open from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

We spent the next few hours swimming. I loved swimming in the warm water at night. There were a few other people but we felt pretty much alone. Plantation bay says to request a lifeguard if you want to go swimming after 8:00 PM but I don’t think anyone actually did that.

All in all it was a wonderful day.

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