Right after we checkout from the beach, we jumped in the van to complete the rest of our day tour around Bohol. The thing is we haven’t had a decent meal since that morning during the island hopping tour. We were looking for a place to eat, and while the driver slash tour guide wasn’t very helpful with recommending us affordable places to eat (he kept showing us the expensive beaches along Panglao as we passed by), we somehow ended up in Loboc.. to the Rivercruise Floating Resto.
Loboc Rivercruise and Floating Restaurant
Initial fees: PHP 350 fee for the cruise and lunch buffet, PHP 100 for the entrance. A total of PHP 450/head and you can now join the group for a lunch buffet inside the boat for an hour and a half (or two?). Gonna be an afternoon of singing, eating and enjoying the spectacular views along the river. 🙂
Sidenote: From what I remember the PHP 50 was waived for our group for some reason. I remember this because I only had PHP 400 cash left that time.
After paying, you will be assisted to the waiting area until your batch can be accommodated to be brought to the docking area. You have to wait in the queue, in the docking area, for a couple of minutes before your batch gets their turn to board the floating restaurant. The turnaround time isn’t that long, since the boats can accommodate many people, you’ll be in one soon enough.
Once inside the boat, we picked the table closest to the front because for some reason every other group was rushing in to the back area instead. Now that I think about it maybe it’s because it’s closer to the buffet table, too? 😂 Well we liked our spot, it was easier to take photos and the view was better. A little bit inconvenient at times because the sun hit us directly.. as if we aren’t dark already from spending hours under the sun because of the activities earlier that morning.
The program flow is usually a round of singing from the staff, of top 40 songs with their own country folk twist, sometimes they would insert old songs in the performance but sing it with a modern tune. Guests are welcome to participate or throw in a request, if they know the song.
For us, we were after the food and the sceneries along the river. There were some short stopovers along the way. Different cultural performances, related to the Bohol culture in general await the visitors. We didn’t get off the boat in all of them to see close up though.
We decided to check out at least one stopover, and it was this one w/ people who were waiting for the guests as the boat approached their area. It was a small part of the island along the river where the Ati Tribe reside. You are welcome to join them, interact with them, try out the bow and arrow and take a photo with their group (make sure you catch the fire breather when your photographer snaps the photo). As far as I know there’s no fee but they encourage people to tip after.
I had no money at the time so as much as it would be cool to get a photo w/ the group of Ati Tribe and get that fire breather to breathe fire next to me (lol), I could only look at it from a distance and take a photo of another group instead for souvenir purposes.
Out of the two stopovers you’ll make in the trip, I think this is the one with the most activities you can engage in when you look around. The other one is a platform w/ the River Choir performers.
Food was OK. Lots of choices but the dishes were not the type you would keep coming back to, nor were they new and a must-try (for me, at least). We were hungry so we couldn’t really complain. It was decent and enough in the moment, to fill an empty stomach. It was all, if not most, common Filipino food. One thing I want to note though, is that I wish they kept it heated throughout the trip. It was lukewarm and some of the dishes looked unpresentable and soggy when I saw it. 🙁 Also, more servings to accommodate everyone in the batch. I feel that I did not get my money’s worth because the foods I wanted to try already ran out when I got to it.
On the good side, the fruits and desserts were delicious and I kept coming back for those. Not much selection on drinks. There were sodas, fresh fruit beverages (I think?), iced tea, and water.
As the minutes went by and we were sailing along the river and seeing more parts of it, I was starting to take notice at how beautiful it looked. It can’t be all natural, I thought to myself. Is it possible that some of it or maybe all of this is man-made? Check out some of the photos below.
I say this made the PHP 400 worth it. Sorry to say I was totally ignoring whatever program of entertainment the staff was doing to the entire guests at the time and was busy basking and taking in the view.
Of course, this kind of experience can only be attained if you come by on a good day. Meaning, the sun is high up, nice sunny weather, and at the top of noontime. I believe there’s also a nighttime version of this cruise w/ dinner buffet, and it might possibly be a little cheaper(?), but I doubt you will get the same kind of view. Best to go during daytime and around noon and during a time w/ zero chances of rain.
Towards the end of the trip, on your way back, there will be a photographer roaming around the boat taking photos of the guests in the table. Taking a photo using your camera is allowed too, but they will insist taking your photo using their camera first. Followed by reviewing which shots turn up better, and they will ask you if you would like to have it printed. If I remember correctly, it’s P150 per photo and that’s the one from their camera. You can decline their offer and stick with your photo from your own cameras – this is what we did. They were OK with it.
When we got off the boat, I checked the time and was surprised to see it hasn’t been that long since we got on. More like just an hour or two ago. Time is reaally, really slow when you are away from the city lol.
Would I recommend the Loboc Rivercruise Floating Restaurant to everyone? Yes, but it is not necessarily a must-visit unless you have nothing better to do that day. Visiting it once is enough.
Yes it is family-friendly, even for kids. Especially for families with children and infants, and groups of people and friends. I don’t know if anyone will find that bit of information helpful but yeah. Also couples, but I doubt you want it.. I know it’s all about “us time” with couples lol.
If you are having doubts because you are swayed by my unfavorable feedback about it (gee, (no) thanks, Anna! haha), think of it this way: The fact that there is a buffet is a good reason to at least try it out for once. You’ll leave with a full tummy, and memories of wonderful views along Loboc River.