Manila, for a waterfront city, has a relatively underdeveloped bay area compared to many of its Asian neighbors. Although in the past few years, Manila Bay seem to be playing catch up with the massive boom in development of the reclaimed areas along the bay. There are more planned reclamation projects that are subject of heated debates. Whether these projects push through or not, there is one Manila Bay attraction that is undeniably its best. The sunset.
For many years, I envisioned watching the Manila Bay sunset as a crammed and confined business along the baywalk. That is until I discovered Sun Cruises’ Manila Bay sunset dinner cruise.
Sun Cruises’ Manila Bay Dinner Cruise
Sun Cruises’ website can be terribly confusing with conflicting information on different pages of the site. The information below is taken from a response to an email I sent them.
Monday to Thursday
Includes plated dinner
Friday to Sunday
Includes buffet dinner
4:15 pm, 6:15 pm and 8: 15 pm
Passengers are required to check-in 15 mins before departure time for the passenger manifest inclusion.
Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
(beside Jumbo Palace, just after Folk Arts Theater)
(02) 834-6857 to 58, (02) 831-8140
(0917) 513-2625, (0922) 337-0068
Reservations & Interiors
Unlike Prestige Cruises, I have not seen Sun Cruises offer their Manila Bay sunset dinner cruise on any group buying site. Despite this, seats are quick to be filled. This is why it is paramount to buy your tickets early and make reservations days ahead, especially if you plan on going on a weekend. This is exceptionally true during the Saturdays coinciding with the Pyromusical Competition at SM Mall of Asia.
Sun Cruises’ M/V Spirit of Manila is a small yacht with two decks. The lower deck has air-conditioning, while the upper is al fresco. The ship is nicely decorated with white draperies across the ceiling and down the railings, making for a romantic appeal.
Despite the dark shade, (fresh) stains are noticeable on the table cloth. I don’t think they change it after every cruise. All tables and chairs were covered. No monoblocs in sight. Thank you very much!
Entertainment & Food
The band, whose performance I enjoyed very much, plays at the upper deck. The acoustic songs in their playlist sound current. They also interact with the passengers. Get ready to be bullied into some public display of affection if it’s your anniversary. :)
During our Manila Bay dinner cruise, Sun Cruises is yet to introduce the Buffet Dinner Cruise on weekends which started December 2013.
The plated dinner includes chicken afritada, fish fillet with white sauce, rice, buttered vegetables (corn, peas and carrots), a muffin for dessert and a glass of iced tea. The portions leave you wanting and there’s really nothing special with how it all tasted. There was only one wait staff on each deck, so it may take some time before your food is served. Better than waiting in line to the buffet table. Best take this opportunity to enjoy the view.
The Manila Bay sunset is truly a sight to behold. No wonder a lot of people are against the further reclamation of the bay area and the construction of huge buildings and high-rise condos that block the view of the bay.
With how the system and politics operate in this country, having higher regard for revenue than preserving nature and culture, it is likely that soon only the upper class, in their exclusive posh shopping malls and ridiculously expensive condos, are going to be the only ones who can revel in the amazing natural beauty that is the Manila Bay sunset.
All the more Manila Bay sunset cruises become relevant. It is truly a wonderful service. Like Prestige Cruises, despite being marketed as a dinner cruise, food is definitely not the strongest selling point. The romantic ambiance, good entertainment and of course the Manila Bay sunset makes Sun Cruises’ Manila Bay dinner cruise an experience worth having at least once.