Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Imperial Palace Resort Day Tour Registration

That’s the “Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort & Spa” for a complete name. Yep, it is in the province of Cebu, in the city of Lapu-lapu, on the island of Mactan. Capice? Alright, how I got to this resort, you probably have already read the previous blog entry. If not, and you really wanna know, go read it and come back here. It wont hurt, I assure you! And no, I did not go there to gate-crash or go there without reservation. I called up the day before to ask about their day tour rates and its inclusions. So there I was… at the lobby.

Oh it’s a big lobby, probably as wide and as 5-star as Shangri-la Mactan’s, if you can call it that. And being the ‘right-handed’ that I am, I veered towards my right where I could see the bellhops and another desk that said Customer Service. As I walked towards it, I did wonder with a thought as to where could their front desk be! Am not joking, I could not see any hint of the usual long counter of a front desk, where the concierge is usually at one end, and probably some other special desks like for day tourists, if not anyway a function of the concierge. That’s how it is in most hotels on earth, right? Not here. So the nearest and safest that I could approach was this customer service desk (more of a podium or lectern) with a computer and manned by a lady with a charming smile.

“Anyongaseo” and with a bow, she mumbled some other things that, of course, I did not understand. I told her “I’m sorry I do not speak Korean” (she is) and as if she saw a ghost, she immediately said “oh I am sorry sir, I thought you were…” I cut in with “no problem, it happens all the time, even Koreans like you mistake me for another Korean”. That made her at ease and back to her ever-smiling composure, then she promptly asked “how can I help you, sir?”. So I told her I called up yesterday that am going on a day tour with buffet lunch, and that I needed to know where should I go next to register and/or pay for the package. She pointed me to the tables at the other end of the lobby (behind me) and told me to look for the table just beside the Duty Manager’s Table. I said thank you and started walking towards that end of the lobby. As I went, she still said “I’m sorry again, sir”. I, just turned back, smiled at her and waved a hand to indicate that ‘its okay”. For what else could I do about it, anyway hehehe…

So I was at the other side and there was no one manning any of the three tables nicely positioned beside each other. Table on the right has a sign that said “Duty Manager” while on the left, the sign said “Condo Owners”. Both had one guest chair each. The one at center did not have any signage and it had 2 guest chairs in front of it, so I said “this must be it”. I just looked around, turning around at where I stood waiting for some human being to appear. At a long counter, there was someone over at a desk labeled “Taxi / Rent-A-Car” while those named “Tour Desk” and “Spa Information” also had no people. That girl at the “Taxi / Rent-a-Car” desk did look at me and attempted to speak but I turned around. I was just sure, she wouldn’t be of any help anyway. How rude of me hehe!

When a lady appeared at the table beside the Duty Manager’s, two K girls were exactly approaching and they went right for her. Hmm, okay I let them be… and the talking, signing of forms, payments took more than probably necessary. I stood just about 2 steps away, and noticed that what made everything lengthy was the girls kept discussing amongst themselves while seated in front of the lady in charge – even when they were done with the payments and were already holding their tickets. They probably thought the seats were very comfy and have mistaken them to be their sunning beds hehe. I was about to excuse myself at the two girls when the lady in charge noticed me and said “yes, sir?”. Ah that time I really had to motion for the 2 girls to scram. They did giggling - but not after both made deep bows saying "very sorry" to me! See, age is a virtue hehe.

As the lady in-charge processed me, I couldn’t help but comment that she should know how to properly end a transaction with a subtle hand gesture to let guests get off her desk. She thought about it for a quick while and I showed her examples. “Oh thank you sir, I will take note of that” she finally said hehe. I had to fill and sign forms, and after giving my payment, she gave me what looked like a card where some of the ticket stubs for facilities / services were attached. No receipts issued, so nothing for me to check back for the amount. But I think that was either P2,100 or P2,200 or somewhere there but definitely less than three thousand.

Alrightie, done with all the “paper-work”, I was finally 'released' hehe. That final ceremony was sealed with the lady attaching a water-resistant strap on my wrist – an identifier that I was on a daytour in their facility. Later in the day, I got to compare the colors of those wristbands. Like mine was green, others were red and so on. Ah am not telling you all about those anymore. You'll have to go and enjoy Imperial Palace for you to know. And btw, looking at my pictures, this whole hullabaloo of ceremonies, from arrival at the lobby until I got “strapped” took almost an hour. And when I looked it was just a few clicks to noontime. So instead of hitting the waterpark, I just roamed around the hotel lobby and other facilities to get myself more hungry for the lunch buffet hehe.

More about those on the next blog entry, k?


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