Cebu Island Buffet: Food and Water (not Island) Hopping


Cebu Island Buffet is one of the newest “adventures” one can enjoy in the island of Mactan, Cebu, Philippines. It is now widely discussed on forums and facebook among locals as many were wondering what this Company or Service or Adventure is all about.

Unlike the Floating Restaurant in Loboc, Bohol, Cebu Island Buffet is a SWIM and EAT all you can package. Note that it is NOT an island hopping package. Many believed that if you’re going to avail the service of Cebu Island Buffet you will get to hop in the islands that you’re going. Sad to say you will be frustrated once you learn that this tour is literally what they published on their website, SWIM and EAT all you can. You won’t be able to stand in the island and take your pictures of the different scenery unless you pay. If you choose to hop in the island be sure to bring some cash. Entrance fee to the different islands is around P100 per person. In Cebu Island Buffet package you will only experience swimming nearby the islands at around 3-5 meters deep.

Because of the growth of tourists wanting to explore the many different islands near Mactan, a team of individuals in the line of food and beverage, design and creativity, and customer service decided to put up Cebu Island Buffet. Worthwhile adventure and sumptuous food are their main offer. Life jackets and goggles are included in the package fee so you will be able to be more intimate with the marine life. Life jackets are enough for every person but goggles and snorkels are not one is to one. Good thing we brought 3 personal goggles but sad because we lost one which unnoticeably fell to the deep blue ocean.

Cebu Island Buffet

Cebu Island Buffet

The three main destinations of Cebu Island Buffet are Gilutongan marine sanctuary, Caohagan Island and Sulpa Island. Special requests to go nearby island such as Olango Island and Pandanon Island are accepted but should be negotiated prior to the activity day. The motorized “bangka” (outrigger boat) of Cebu Island Buffet arrives at Marigondon Beach at 9:00 o’clock AM. If you are instructed to be there at 8:00 o’clock AM, just choose to be late and arrive at 9:00 o’clock or later. One bad experience with Cebu Island Buffet is waiting for more than 1 hour for their boat to arrive which made me anxious. Anyway they made it clear on their website that the activity will start at 9:00am and will end at around 2:00pm or 3:00pm.

Cebu Island Buffet Crew

Cebu Island Buffet Crew

Marigondon Beach

Marigondon Beach

After leaving Marigondon, things (and emotions) got back on track and we appreciated the wonderful weather that came with the clear blue sky and the blistering sun. The crew of Cebu Island Buffet started to decorate their table to be used as display board for the food. They put on their blue shirts and “flowery” board shorts so they would be more-than-the-usual boatmen and crew. A free sandwich (with sandwich spread) plus Coca Cola Sakto is offered after the boat has gone 2-3 kilometers away from the beach. Free mineral water, ice cubes, glasses, plates and utensils are also included in the package.

Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary

Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary

Cebu Island Buffet service costs P800 each, for a minimum of 10 persons. Take note that if you’re more than 15, you can ask for a discounted price. My second bad experience is that we did not ask for a discounted price even though we were 17. They could bring the price down to P600 per person based on a recent interaction with a friend who also experienced this. They also provide a half-price discount for kids.

Cebu Island Buffet is very much different than the usual island hopping activity offered by locals in Marigondon and the Port near Hilton Hotel. Cebu Island Buffet offers a clean outrigger boat and provides world-class dining experience. They usually cook Filipino foods but on special requests, they can cook American, Japanese, Korean and European cuisines. They also make one of the best tropical juices in the Philippines.

The Tropical Juice

The Tropical Juice

Cebu Island Buffet has a large variety of boats. Personally, I think they don’t really have their own outrigger and just simply outsource the use of boats to the locals who already have one. This is why they can accommodate groups of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30. Overloading an outrigger is not tolerated as safety is one of their main concerns.

You have an option to do this activity without availing the services of Cebu Island Buffet. Let me give you a ball park figure. Let’s say you are 10 in the group and you want to avail the services of Cebu Island Buffet, therefore you’re going to pay P8000 for everything. But if choose not to, you can rent an outrigger for P2000-P3000 with the same route. You can bring your own provisions, paper plates, plastic utensils and cups and spend P2500 at most. You can ask the local boatmen to grill and cook your foods as most of them bring their grills and cooking pan. This service is usually free as it is already included in the boat rental. But if you can give them food and hand them P200, it would really delight them.

My brother Chris is sight-seeing

My brother Chris is sight-seeing

If you want excellent service and opulent food, opt Cebu Island Buffet. Most (not all) of their crew are smiling and accommodating. Another bad experience is that there was one guy who just seems so problematic and stressful and even answering our queries was not his joy. To the management of Cebu Island Buffet who can read this, better figure out for yourselves who that crew is or just disregard this, maybe he was just having problems during that time. Maybe you can train them how to answer simple questions such as “What’s in that island?”, “How many people lived there?”, “What’s the name of that sea creature?”, etc and LET THEM SMILE ALL THE TIME and don’t act as if they don’t want to be questioned. People always tend to ask questions and interact with the crew as most people believed that the crew are more knowledgeable.

Caohagan Island

Caohagan Island

Sulpa Island

Sulpa Island

Swim and eat all you want with Cebu Island Buffet and be amazed of the different views and scenery of Mactan and its nearby islands. Be amazed by the sea wonders and crystal clear waters. Eat in one of the best floating restaurant in the country only at Cebu Island Buffet.

For more information about Cebu Island Buffet, you may visit their website at http://www.cebuislandbuffet.com or you can contact them at telephone numbers +6332 5831310 and +6332 3410140 or you can text or call them at mobile number +63922 8713122 or you can email them at cebuislandbuffet@yahoo.com.

My family enjoying our swimming adventure

My family enjoying our swimming adventure

About the author

  1. Garry says:

    We tried it last week! It’s really a good experience :)

  2. Vincent says:

    Their staff is very approachable :) We really enjoy our Island Hopping in Cebu!

  3. Marge says:

    We would like to try this, but we are just three in the group, too bad. will they allow us to join a group?

  4. Jean says:

    is there an entrance fee?? how much???
    aside from the 800 or the 600 payment is there another which we will need to pay or none???
    just like the activities or the bangka???
    is the 800/600 payment includes all???

    • Jean,

      The P800/P600 payment already includes the food, bangka and the activities (with snorkels/goggles). It does not include the entrance fee to the islands (which I don’t know how much).

  5. Dominic Alejandrino says:

    Its unforgettable and wonderful experience. I have a great summer experience as well as our Team Building activities with my co-workers in Trax Tech.
    Thanks for the island hopping, snorkling, the foods the approachable crew and specially on the banana boat experience…

    Cebu Island Buffet, Your the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Frank Rizzo says:

    I just went in Sep 2011. It was nice and highly recommend it. The entrance fees are somewhere between 100 to 150 depending on which island. I never went on any of the islands, because we hired jetskis to be delivered at caohagan island. I would not hire jetskis with cebu island buffet. You can hire an independent company (nearby the designated pickup point) and negotiate one jetski down to about 2200 per hour and 2500 if you want them to deliver it to a specific island. The jetskis made the trip awesome to be swimming around and play with those bad boys. They had a karaoke machine that accepted coins and it was fun to sing while on the water. The food was good and plenty. They had water and a punch with fruits inside of it. They gave us tuna sandwiches as a snack during the intial trip to the first island.

  7. Queeny says:

    What are the directions to the drop-off/ pick-up place? Is Marigondon beach the same as Vano beach?

Leave a Comment to this Article





Sharing is caring!

Get Updated Alerts! Enter your email address:


PREVIOUS:

NEXT: