Thursday May 22:, 2019
We were supposed to be disembarking at Boracay Island, Philippines, but we did not because the tides were too high and it was deemed unsafe to get off the ship. Many passengers and crew were extremely disappointed as this port has one of the nicest beaches in all of Asia. Many of the crew members are from this area and they had their families and friends waiting for them. Few, if anyone was happy with this change in our itinerary.
Oceania did do an excellent job of immediately scheduling a full day of shipboard activities. Spent a lot of time with Pat and Paul Farren with whom we were planning to spend the day in port.
Although Oceania saved money because docking fees did not have to be paid, all excursions fees paid to Oceania had to be refunded. Anyone who had booked tours privately and paid for them lost their money because we did not know until an hour before we were scheduled to disembark that we were bypassing this port. The reason we had to skip this port is that the water was too rough for the tenders that were needed to take everyone to shore,. Hence, the following:
HOT TIP: BOOKING EXCURSIONS PRIVATELY IS SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER THAN BOOKING THROUGH THE CRUISE LINE. HOWEVER, IT IS RISKY TO BOOK PRIVTELY AT PORTS WHERE ACCESS TO THOSE PORTS IS BY TENDER. FIND OUT BEFORE BOOKING EXCURSIONS WHICH PORTS ARE ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY TENDER AND CONSIDER BOOKING EXCURSIONS IN THOSE PORTS THROUGH THE CRUISE LINE. IN THE ALTERNATIVE, IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN A CANCELLATION POLICY THAT REFUNDS ONE’S PAYMENT IF THE SHIP DOES NOT STOP BUT THAT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE.