Got to go to Phi Phi yesterday on the Phi Phi Cruiser ...opted to try out their VIP service. Got to the boat about 8:00AM, getting on was easy, was shown to the VIP area immediately, which was up on the pilothouse deck.
They give you these stickers to put on your shirt so they can differentiate the various trip packages people bought. Anyway, the VIP room is closed in, has 40 very comfortable seats, a big flat screen TV, and food and drink that is part of the deal....coffee, tea, water, soft drinks, croissants, just help yourself to as much as you like.....room has air con and big windows to look out and a sort of stewardess, very nice person named Chalee.
We were supposed to go at 8:30, but they waited for stragglers and we actually got going about 8:45. Lots of folks out on the top deck getting sun.
Got up to speed pretty quickly and had a nice smooth ride..the boat is quick, I've made that trip on a dive boat and it takes at least twice as long...we saw the big island Phi Phi Don up close by 10:05 am, then pulled into Ton Sai Pier about 10:20.
The folks that were staying overnight got off then, and then the day trippers like me got a sight seeing tour that took us over to Phi Phi Ley, we cruised into Maya Bay, where they filmed part of "The Beach", didn't go in, too crowded and the boat is too big, then we cruised around to Loh Sama, Pileh Bay and past the Viking Cave...all very pretty, then cruised back over to Phi Phi Don, got to near Monkey Beach and stopped and transferred to a smaller boat, that was taking everyone who wanted to, snorkeling. Then the big boat went off to Ton Sai Pier to wait for us.
We continued over to tie up to a barge that was moored in Coral Bay. Now it's 11:30.
The VIP people got to get on the barge, the others went into the water or watched from the snorkel boat. We got to go down and enjoy the Undersea World Aquarium..the only one like it....you go into an air lock, then it is pressurized and you go through another door and down into the hull of this barge...they cut the bottom out of it, built sort of a frame around the perimeter so fish can swim in and out of it, put sort of a screened floor that you can stand on, once you go down the steps to reach it...very cool, fish swimming in and out and all around, water is about knee deep on the platform you are standing on, but it is quite a ways below the surface...they gave us some bread to break up and feed the fish with, crazy how they swarm to get the crumbs..quite exciting for those who don't swim or snorkel but want to see what the others see and very safe....
After that back on the top deck, where the VIP folks got fruit and soft drinks and so on...after about an hour, we took the snorkeling boat over to Ton Sai Pier and went ashore. So about 12:45pm we went into the Phi Phi Hotel and sat at our pre-assigned table..we had soup, steamed fish, squid, chicken, shrimp, two vegetable dishes, rice...all excellent.....usual fresh fruit for dessert.
After lunch we got to explore the island a bit, probably had about an hour and then back to the boat for 2:30PM.
On the way back they had a great movie in our lounge, (OK I thought it was good.Iron Man2.), followed by some Mr. Bean shows...lots of people just slept, inside the lounge and outside...lots of sun and activities had tired them out, had another smooth ride back, got in to Phuket for 4:30PM.
If you've only got a day to see Phi Phi, then this was a good way to go..a little nicer lounge to sit in out of the sun, the deal with the live aquarium, and I think we got more sea food at the restaurant too. I'd do it again.