Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sailing the 'Oceanjet way'

I cant remember the last time I rode Oceanjet without ever complaining. I would have never wanted to take another Oceanjet trip anymore but, more often than not, would be left with no choice because they offered more schedules than the other competitors plying the Cebu-Tagbilaran route.

For instance, I couldn't remember the last time Oceanjet set sail on time. My last Oceanjet trip of which I had no choice but to take (since my 6:30 pm Supercat trip was cancelled), was yet another delayed one. Sure it did pay to be early  alright, the fact that I made it to the  5:30 Oceanjet schedule. But I got to  the port a rough 5 minutes before six o'clock and was seated just a few moments before Oceanjet left. Now if you do the math, you'll find that it left 30 minutes late than it's scheduled departure.

That was not the first time I took a delayed Oceanjet trip. In fact, it has happened many times, and I won't be surprised if it's going to happen again.

Seating assignment has also become another concern for me on a number of Oceanjet trips I've taken. One time, my seat number happened to be a dupe with an old woman, in which I had to let it go, out of courtesy. I approached one of the cabin crew and was told to 'just stand and wait' for a vacant seat which I could fill. So much for the inconvenience, eh. Good thing the trip wasn't fully booked, and so I managed to  get  a seat otherwise I wouldn't know what I'd do on that 1 hour and forty-five minute boat ride.

And if you haven't taken an Oceanjet trip without getting a whiff of that really bad smell coming from the rest rooms, well then lucky you. I'd consider myself lucky to be seated far from the toilet knowing I wouldn't have to put up with the stench, which I'd usually experience. While it is one's responsibility to observe proper use of the rest room (and be considerate of other people using it), it surely doesn't take much for their crew to check on them and make sure they're clean and odorless especially before a new wave of passengers board the vessel.

Consider yourself even luckier if you're seated sans getting cramped, bit by insects or getting hot. My last Oceanjet trip from Cebu to Tagbilaran was all that - I had very little space to move about, scratched my legs once in a while because of mosquitoes and fanned myself with the newspaper I brought. I wasn't alone as other passengers close to me did the same as well.

I, for sure, am not alone alright. I once posted on my Facebook, out of sheer disappointment, about what I thought of their customer service when me and many passengers were stranded at the pier because of another delayed trip which took more than an hour. Several of my friends commented on my status post, sharing their rather unpleasant experiences with Oceanjet, some of which were worse than mine.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there was even a time when people aired their complaints about Oceanjet over our local radio station, mainly because of frequent delays.

The number of 'not-so-good' remarks about riding Oceanjet makes me think twice about writing to them, unsure whether or not they will address the points I've stressed (to which others may relate to). So I am blogging this anyway, in my attempts to make myself feel better even when, at times, I'm down with 'sea sickness'.