The Legend of the Seas Visits the Philippines Again

The disembarking passengers
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The Legend of the Seas Visits the Philippines Again

Having been known worldwide as a great cruise destination, Philippines welcomed again the Legend of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International (RCI) last May in Manila. RCI is a luxurious and huge cruise ship.

A DOT lei reception form part of the welcome
A DOT lei reception form part of the welcome

Hospitality is unique among the Filipino people and it was felt by more than 2,000 passengers of the cruise ship as they come ashore the port of Manila. They were greeted by the local music of Banda Kawayan and supple performances of the Ati-Atihan dancers.

Aside from that, the passengers were also welcomed by the Officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

DOT information officers assist the other guests for walking tours of Rizal Park, Intramuros and environs
DOT information officers assist the other guests for walking tours of Rizal Park, Intramuros and environs

Manila was part of the vessel’s 18-day Southeast Asia itinerary which started from Australia to Hong Kong. Aside from that, Puerto Princesa was another stopover of the Royal Caribbean International. Some passengers of the cruise ship rode buses going to different cities like Pangasinan and Tagaytay for another tour. However, other passengers chose to stay in Manila for a tour in Intramuros and Rizal Park via Tranvia Tours administered by the Intramuros Administration (IA).

Interestingly, the DOT National Capital Region (NCR) launched Wheel mobile for persons with disabilities among the cruise visitors in order to increase the accessibility to major tourist spots for all the passengers.

Getting ready for the out-of-Manila tours
Getting ready for the out-of-Manila tours

According to DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr., “It could be recalled that the Legend of the Seas first visited the Philippines in 2012. Since then, the Philippines had been a part of the regular itineraries to Asia. With the recent launch of the ASEAN Cruise Brand and the recently completed National Cruise Tourism Strategy, efforts are strengthened towards attracting not only more cruise lines to include our country in their programs, but also more frequent schedules from regular cruise company clients. In this way, we are bringing a steadily growing stream of revenues for millions of Filipinos in the tourism industry.”

Knowingly, the Legend of the Seas has a schedule in the Philippines twice in a year and the second call will be in October. The cruise ship is equipped with lots of fun and entertaining venues such as a conference room, kids play area, spa and fitness centers, shopping centers, casino, themed bars, theatre, rock-climbing wall, and a nine-hole golf course.

The colorful and lively Ati-Atihan dancers fete the docking Legend of the Seas
The colorful and lively Ati-Atihan dancers fete the docking Legend of the Seas

The RCI is a Norwegian and American cruise line based in Florida and touted as one of the world’s largest cruise firms.

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest cruise firms and is a Norwegian and American cruise line based in Florida.

The disembarking passengers
The disembarking passengers

“This shows that more big ships are taking to our shores. Slowly, the country’s sea connectivity has been improving through the repair of terminals, harbours, and ports. The DOT has stepped up its promotional activities to increase awareness of the country’s offerings as a cruise destination. Cruise tourism is part of the strategy for the Philippines to get a slice of the tourism luxury market. Having an archipelagic configuration is our edge and brings to the table many cruise possibilities. Public-private partnership is key here in developing this burgeoning industry,” said DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development, Benito C. Bengzon, Jr.

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