Scuba diving is one of the items long stuck uncheck in my bucket list. I have wanted to try it during my backpacking trips in Palawan but traveling on a budget have always limited me since scuba diving, for me, is pricey. Fortunately, I was invited by Summer Cruise and Diving to try scuba diving at their house reef. Without hesitation, I said yes to this opportunity! I also tagged with me my freediving buddy, Jay, who also has a PADI certification.
Summer Cruise and Diving
Located at Brgy Balite San Luis, Batangas, near the jumpoff for boats going to Binukbok Viewpoint, Summer Cruise is a hideaway resort backdropped by a hill, isolated from among other residential and tourism establishments in the area, with a lively house reef just in front, making it a perfect spot to relax and do water adventures.
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Upon arriving, we were welcomed by the chill summer ambient of the resort. Indeed, the atmosphere lives up to the name of the place. Its bamboo and wooden overall structure facing the vast ocean gives a rich native feel to anyone longing for nature’s touch.
We arrived at 10 am and were given the keys to our room which pleasantly surprised us. I think we had the perfect spot in the entire resort! 😀 The room is quite spacious with two beds (one single, one double), clean, and has a terrace offering a sweet ocean view. The spacious toilet is also good enough because of the hot shower. 🙂
My First Scuba Dive Experience
After resting for a couple of hours, we then met our dive masters, who prepared our gears. They provided the wetsuits, masks, fins, oxygen tanks and buoyancy vests. Because I am doing this for the first time, I had to be briefed of the basics. I forgot most of it by now (lol), but my experience in freediving made it easy for me to get it quick. I personally believe though that even complete beginners to diving can get it right easily. After all, all you need to do is breathe naturally through the regulator.
After being able to duplicate the skills that Sir Masoi taught me, we started submerging down the water. The dive master (that half-faced guy in the photo, I forgot his name) was making sure I am moving in the right depth and direction. All I had to do was look around the underworld. 🙂 The maximum depth we reached was only around 10 meters because I am a beginner. Eventually, the master didn’t bother with me anymore since I can already manage my way. What’s so difficult about breathing, anyway? Haha. I know that there’s still much to know about scuba diving but based on my first experience, it’s not that hard.
Gone Fishing Too!
After 30-45 minutes of scuba diving, we went out of the water, drank some free hot coffee to warm our freezing selves, and got ready to ride the boat to catch some fishes. At the resort, we saw some pictures of their guests with big catches, so we were hoping to catch big fishes, too. Unfortunately we were not good at it! We’re only able to capture small bisugo fishes which we asked the staff to cook into a spicy sinigang.
Sunset By The Sea
After fishing, while the staff was cooking our fish soup, we just chilled while staring at the amber sky and listening to some relaxing music. I and Jay are self-proclaimed certified sunset chasers so it was bliss for us to witness the sun sink into the sea on a clear cloudless horizon.
Summer Cruise Rates
How to get to summer Cruise
- Ride a DLTB bus from Buendia to Lemery Batangas. There are trips as early as 3 am here. Fare is around P210/person. Alabang is also an option but I am not sure what time the first trip leaves.
- From DLTB terminal dropoff in Lemery, ride a tricycle going to Brgy Balite, a Summer Cruise Parking A.
- From here you can either ride a boat for P50 per person or walk the 100-200 meter pebble shore to the resort.
Recommendation and Tips
Overall, our experience in Summer Cruise was incredible. Being weekday warriors, we visited Tuesday-Wednesday so we were almost the only guests during our stay, plus rates are cheaper on weekdays! Guests are also allowed to bring their own food at no corkage fee. If you wish to cook, you may use their kitchen at P50/meal/head charge. You will also not run out of activities while having your vacation at Summer Cruise: you can scuba dive, snorkel, freedive, do fishing, play pool billiards. The staff was also polite and approachable. If you can book Room D (where we stayed), go get it! It’s worth it. 🙂 For bookings, just contact Summer Cruise on Facebook.
Summer Cruise & Diving Review Sept 2019
This place is recommended for divers and snorkelling lovers as a jump off and resting place and not recommended resort for beach enthusiast and simple group or couple who is looking for a quick escape or a simple swim. This place may offer cheap room rates but this place may also rip you big time for the following reasons (This is all based on our experience and we are not paid doing this review):
* Parking – There is a claimed parking for the resort but it’s not free as you would expect. Charge is 150/day
* Going to the Resort proper – There’s two options walk or ride a boat. If you choose to walk, be ready for an ultimate adventure along the rocky, dangerous walking route of your lives. You will be assisted by friendly locals will soon be cost once you get to the resort. If you choose to ride a boat, this is not available if you are going to the resort. This is only available from the resort going back to parking for 50 pesos per head.
* Food is expensive an example is Tapsilog for 200 pesos per order and it’s only a small plate that in the metro would cost you 50 to 65 pesos only.
* If you choose to bring your own food to cook and drinks there, it’s a holdup since there is a corkage fee of 100 pesos per bottle and for food that’s 50 pesos per head per food cooked. Please take note that San Mig Light and Pale Pilsen cost 80. No ice available.
* Additional Person in Rooms – It’s 300 pesos per head in excess of 2 people per room.