It’s been a month since I realized my mermaid dreams, and it was Summer Cruise who built the bridge to connect my dreams to the other side of making it happen. I’m not a good swimmer but I do know the basics, however, my fear of giant creatures below and the sight of vast emtiness hinders me from learning how to freedive. Thus, making it harder for me to try.
It was the middle of summer last April 2019 and I couldn’t agree more that it’s the best time to pick up that courage and sprint through the waters. But you see, it’s not as easy as you think. Luckily, Summer Cruise came through and saved the day for me.
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Summer Cruise in Batangas
To give you a bit of information about Summer Cruise, they are a dive camp located at San Luis Barangay Balite in Batangas. They’ve been in the business for almost a decade now which makes it the principal reason that they already know the nooks and crannies about freediving and other underwater activities. From scuba diving lesson to free diving lessons, Summer Cruise got everything you need in one dive camp.
How to get there
For DIY travellers coming from Manila, find your way to any bus liners that has a Lemery Tambo Exit sign. Bus liners that caters this route are JAM Transit and DLTB located in LRT Buendia or Cubao. The travel time is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. Get off at Xentro Mall or from the terminal. Hire a tricycle going to Parking A of Summer Cruise – Barangay Balite for P200.00 (USD4.00) per ride. Then ride a boat to Summer Cruise for only P50.00. There’s an option to walk and it’s 100 away from Parking A to Summer Cruise.
Rates & Activities Offered by Summer Cruise
Scuba Diving Lesson
Swimmer or non-swimmer, anyone can learn how to scuba. This is the most efficient way to appreciate the fishes and corals if you’re not into free diving. They have cheap rates for scuba diving compared to other dive centers.
- Php. 1,595.00 – weekdays Monday to Friday
- Php. 1,795.00 – weekends Saturday to Sunday
- Inclusive of gear, equipment, dive master and wetsuit
This is where I learned how to freedive. The lesson includes one dive master to teach you and give you some tips about free diving. Honestly, I already know how to duck dive even before so I didn’t have any problems doing it. However, I only do it in swimming pools because I’m really scared of the ocean. I fear that mommy shark and daddy shark might show up any minute and scare the hell out of me. Yes, seriously.
Sharing what I’ve learned
- The first lesson includes snorkeling, you have to know how to snorkel to get the right momentum before you duck dive.
- Second lesson is learning how to duck dive, this is where you swim in a horizontal position (snorkeling position) and then changing to vertical position to give you that jump start of going below and that’s the time you paddle your feet with your fins on. It’s important to know how to paddle your fins right and not just kicking through the water. There’s a big difference if your finning is right compared to when you’re just kicking and exhausting every single energy and oxygen in you.
- Equalizing. Just like in scuba diving, equalizing is an essential skill to free dive. Without this, you cannot go any further below. There are 2 ways to equalize and that is to (a) swallow your saliva or (b) hold and cover your nose and exhale deeply. By doing so, you’ll be able to release the pressure through your ears. For beginners, I highly recommend to equalize every 5 feet until you get used to it.
- Lastly, practice holding your breath. The trick for a longer time underwater is to take a few minutes rest every after diving. Don’t ever dive when you’re tired. This will only allow you a few seconds underwater which is not enough to reach the depth you’re targeting.
Tip: you can take a rest while snorkeling and when you’re good to go, target the spot you want to see up close and duck dive.
- Free Diving Lessons:
- Weekdays – Php. 980.00
- Weekends – Php. 1,195.00
- Snorkeling (bring your own mask and snorkels, or you can also rent for Php 200.00)
- Free use of the table tennis.
- Enjoy the amazing sunset.
- Amazing star gazing.
Accommodation offered by Summer Cruise
Yes! You can also book an overnight stay here! Summer cruise has a few instagrammable picture spots for your gram. Sounds good? What’s better than learning how to free-dive and getting that shot for your gram? Below are the list of accommodations you can book.
- Sunday to Friday – Php 350 / head
- Saturday night – Php 500 / head
- (Inclusive of entrance fee, mattress, and pillow)
- Sunday to Friday – Php 985 for two persons
- Saturday – Php 1,700 for two persons
- Check-in: 2 pm
- Check-out: 10 am
- (Breakfast not included)
- Corkage fees: Php 100.00 – Liquor; Php 50.00 – Cooking fee per head
Where to eat?
Food & Water: Summer Cruise has a restaurant too, they have silog, seafood, pancit canton and other food on their menu. My friend and I ordered pritong tilapya for our dinner. Coffee and water is free so you don’t need to worry about it.
Stargazing at night and Sunrise watching
Stargazing is always one of the best part of travelling. It simply gives relaxation to your mind and body after a tiring day. We got our tent accommodation from the second floor and the view from there was really amazing. Upon waking up early, the first view from outside of our tent is a beautiful mixture of pink and orange skies. It’s not everyday you see this especially if you’re residing in a busy city.