I’m back to one of my first loves — the ocean! Before the pandemic, we would go to different spots in the Philippines to swim and snorkel. Summer Cruise Diving Resort is a place that I always recommend for snorkeling, freediving, and scuba diving in Batangas.
On our first visit here, we tried intro to scuba diving. I still remember it because a friend and I had an amazing time seeing the variety of corals, fishes, and other marine creatures underneath the sea. I even remember wanting to get a certification after the activity!
This is our second time in Summer Cruise Diving Resort. This time, I went with my boyfriend so he could take a freediving course. We’d actually enrolled in a similar course years before, but like I said, we’d mostly been home the past years and our water skills were mostly rusty. So it was a needed refresher course.
Our Freediving Course Experience
So what makes Summer Cruise Diving Resort a great place for snorkeling and freediving?
For one, they offer affordable rates (including rooms and activities). Second, they have a convenient location — there is a reef wall right in front of the resort, you just need to dive in! They are also close to other nearby dive sites, such as Binukbok Point and San Luis fishing boat wreck (which goes up to 33 meters deep). Third, they have cats in the resort. Meow.
The resort has seen some developments since the last time we were here. They now have a saltwater pool! The pool can be used for practicing freediving and scuba diving. Two more pools were still in construction when we visited.
We stayed in the Island Room, a rustic-style accommodation good for couples or small groups. It has a queen bed and a single bed, airconditioning and ceiling fans, en suite bathroom with hot & cold shower, and its own veranda overlooking the ocean. I love the rooms in Summer Cruise because they are so quaint!
Take note though that there are no sockets here, only USB chargers. You need to go down if you need to charge thru a socket.
We were a little tired when we arrived, so we took the basic freediving course the next morning.
We first started with a briefing, where our instructor, Coach Ondoy, asked us about our experiences and taught us what to expect in freediving. I learned new things during the briefing, such as slowly breathing in using the mouth (instead of the nose) to store air in the stomach and so on.
Then we tried practicing in the saltwater pool first. We had to clear a few things first before we proceeded to the open water: using a snorkel properly, clearing water from the mask and the tube, using the fins correctly, and doing the duck dive.
Then we went to the open sea for the line training and then duck dive practice. Like I said the first time, learning to freedive is about willingness to conquer your fears and practice, practice, practice. Sometimes you don’t get it the first time and that’s okay. It’s an introductory course after all!
Coach Ondoy is a great coach and what I personally liked about him is that he is encouraging, but not pushy. Hali practiced doing equalization and duck dives, and after a few tries, he said he’s tired and it was fine to end the lesson there.
Oh, and coach also takes great pictures! He positions our old GoPro camera in front of the new installations and corals underneath for great shots. So not only are you learning to freedive, you’ll also get to take home fantastic photos of your first try! (If you do not have an action camera, you can rent from the resort.)
After the freediving lesson, Hali and I snorkeled a bit in the home reef. I felt relieved being back to sea and regaining some of my confidence. There were many colorful fishes here that it was so fun just watching them go on about their ways.
Overall, here is our experience about the freediving lesson in Summer Cruise Diving Resort:
- Freediving lesson: Our coach is very experienced and he’s a great teacher. I highly recommend going here for an intro freediving lesson in Batangas! Bonus points — you get to practice immediately since the resort has its own home reef.
- Accommodation: Nice, quaint room with a veranda with lovely sea view.
- Food: The resort offers delicious Filipino and Japanese dishes at affordable prices. The food here is just as good as I remembered! They also offer unlimited barako coffee.
- Overall: Summer Cruise Diving Resort offers great value for money and is still one of my favorite resorts in Batangas.
How to get to Summer Cruise Diving Resort
Summer Cruise Diving Resort is located in San Luis, Batangas, about 2.5-3 hours from Manila.
Here are the commute directions:
- Ride a bus bound for Lemery. Alternatively, ride a bus bound for Batangas Grand Terminal and then transfer to a bus to Lemery.
- Get off at Xentro Mall or at the terminal.
- Take a trike to Barangay Balite, San Luis, and look for Summer Cruise Parking Lot.
- From the parking lot, take a boat to Summer Cruise. There is a rental boat you can ride for P50 per person, or you can contact the resort to fetch you as well (free). You can also walk for 100 meters alongside the shore to get to the resort.
If you are bringing a car, make sure to input Summer Cruise Parking Lot in Google Maps/Waze instead of Summer Cruise because the latter will lead you on a steep, narrow road up the mountains. At the parking lot, the parking fee is P150 overnight.
Things to do at Summer Cruise Diving Resort
Water activities: Summer Cruise Diving Resort is a great place for snorkeling, freediving, and scuba diving. Check out our diving experience here.
They also offer fishing, if you want to catch fishes and grill them later. The resort doesn’t have a regular beach area, but there is a small pebble beach on the side of the resort where kids can swim.
Sunrise and sunset watching: Both can be seen at the resort. During our stay, we watched a fantastic sunset where the sun slowly turned to orange then red before disappearing on the horizon.
Relax. I honestly think that staying one night at this resort isn’t enough! It was so relaxing just sitting in the alfresco area and feeling the refreshing ocean breeze.
Enjoy good food and BBQ: The resort offers ala carte meals, as well as BBQ stations in the open cottages. Samgyupsal, anyone?
Side trips: The resort is close to Dambana ng Pagkabuhay, which offers sweeping views of the coastline and Mount Makiling from afar. Take note that the road there is steep, and a local told me it’s best to ride a habal-habal to get there.
If you’re coming from Manila, you can also stop by Taal to see the Taal Basilica (the largest church in the Philippines), the heritage town, or to buy pasalubong such as tawilis.
Summer Cruise Diving Resort Rates
Here are the current rates (Updated as of 2023):
- P3575 for 1 person
- Includes 2D/1N accommodation, freediving course (2 days), gear rental (2 days), four meals
Group freediving packages:
- 2,999 per person for 1 student / P2,350 per person for 2 students / P2,250 per person for 3 students / P1,999 per person for 4 students
- Includes 2D/1N accommodation, freediving course (1 day), gear rental (1 day)
I recommend inquiring to the resort directly if you want to customize your package.
Here are the rates for accommodations:
Reminders and Tips
- There is no free WIFI at the resort, but there is stable mobile data.
- The resort is open for both day tours and overnight stays. Personally, I suggest staying here for longer. We stayed here overnight and it felt so short!
- As I said above, Summer Cruise Diving Resort is best for water activities. If you simply want to beach bum, you can check our guide for the best beaches in Batangas.
Book your stay here
For inquiries and booking, you can contact Summer Cruise Diving Resort via Facebook.
Disclaimer: Our stay was provided for free. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Summer Cruise Diving Resort in San Luis, Batangas? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).