It’s been a really long while since I last wrote
something anything in my blog! In my shallow defense, Macky (my trusty Macbook) stopped working for about a month and then internet signal was fluctuating due to the successive typhoons that hit Manila.
Lo! Got a working laptop already and internet is back to normal! So shall my blogging activities.
Enough about this crap. Palawan it is.
We went to Palawan via group deals from Ensemble E-Travel. And boy were we in for a disappointing experience. But don’t worry, the Palawan Experience was terrific, just several problems brought by the travel agency.
ENSEMBLE’S POOR SERVICE
1. Several months before our scheduled travel, Ensemble (“The Agency”) booked us in A&A Hotel, a city lodge/hotel, instead of Kookabura Lodge which was supposedly walking distance from the shore. This was five months before our trip, how could have it been fully booked then? But, giving them the benefit of the doubt, we agreed PROVIDED that they gave us the a room with the same price.
2. Promo hotel < Originally included Hotel
The declared value of our room in Kookabura was around 1500PHP and we were expecting the same room value in A&A Plaza hotel. However, when we checked in, we were assigned to a promo room – no windows, 2 single beds (and the deal was titled romantic getaway) and we eventually learned that the room rented for 599PHP per night. What a cheapskate right? We talked to the front desk officer named Princess and she told us she would try to get us a queen sized bed. After several minutes, she called back and said there no available rooms. We complained about this but she said that Ensemble was the one who picked the room, not them and they are only authorized to carry out what was previously agreed upon. Boohoo.
3. Honda Bay Island Hopping fiasco
On the second day of the trip, the schedule said Honda Bay Island Hopping. We waited for the van to fill up with people. The driver said “6 tayo lahat” (We’re 6 all in all). Knowing that we were the first ones their, we headed back to the buffet to eat some more. When we thought that we were the ones being waited on, we went back to the van. The driver now said “9 pala tayo” (We’re 9 now). Surprised but curious we waited in the van. Then, the last upgrade – “12 pala tayo lahat (There will be 12 of us)”.
The questions we had in mind were: 1) did we bring enough stuff to accomodate 12, 2) did we have enough food to cater the 6 additional pax, 3) was the trip going to be overcrowded? Fortunately, Manong (our tour guide) was kind and caring enough so the Island Hopping turned out well. But, what we didn’t know was that Manong wasn’t even supposed to come. His duties ended with providing transpo and getting us a bangka (boat). Just imagine if he had not had the kind heart to assist us. Then we’d really lose it with this Ensemble agency.
While in Honda Bay, we learned that Ensemble f*cked up not only our arrangements but all the other sub-groups in our Island Hopping escapade. The other group of girls were being threatened by Ensemble that they’d cancel the island hopping if they really wanted to go on a separate underground river tour. What’s that about? Then there was this family that had to pay extra 900 per head for the airfare because they couldn’t find a trip on a Cebu Pacific plane on the dates the family wanted to go so they booked a more expensive flight. That’s not the family’s problem if I’m not mistaken.
Over-all it was a PISS-POOR SERVICE from Ensemble E-Travel. Their representatives do not have an ounce of ownership to their work and their hotlines do not work. They are such a bad travel agency.
Though cheap, always think about the quality of your trip and make sure to be makulit and always on top of the details of your travel.
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