There are other means to travel from Cebu to Dumaguete.
A) Bus to Toledo City - ferry to San Carlos - bus to Dumaguete.
B) Bus to Dumanjug - small ferry to Guihulngan City - bus to Dumaguete.
C) Bus over Barili to Bato - Roro ferry to Tampi - bus to Dumaguete.
My wife used once route B to get to Tayasan and it worked quite well. Route A and B are good alternatives for people living in Tanjay, Bais or north of it.
Cebu Best Posts in Thread: Cebu to Dumaguete Ceres Liner Bus Schedule
There are a couple of considerations when deciding on travel connection Dumaguete-Cebu v.v. (not considering the direct boats)
If: a. the weather is fine (wind) and b. you have a convenient way to get to/from the Sibulan harbour, then I would prefer taking the Sibulan-Liloan/Santander fastcraft (with Ceres Bus waiting to meet the boat at the Cebu side) any day over the Dumaguete-Cebu bus that leaves from the Duma Busstation.
Reason: It's a fair bit faster. The direct bus takes a ro-ro ferry about half an hour north of Sibulan, thus making you waste one hour travel time, plus, the fastcraft is a lot faster to cross the narrow bit of sea between Negros and Cebu.
Only disadvantage of the fastcraft is that it is much smaller than a ro-ro ferry so more susceptible to the waves.
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Also i know if the buses from either end are full they will leave before time,they will not put another bus on though to accomodate extra passengers. There is always the other option of the liloan bus which leaves cebu around every 30 mins but stops along the way alot.
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To answer my own original question, I show below the times posted at the Ceres Bus Terminal today (24 October 2017) for trips to/from Cebu plus, as a FREE BONUS ('promo' in local terms), I have added those for Bayawan (although they are so frequent it seems a case of just turn up and one is ready to leave ... or is it? ). These times are subject to reports from other posters here that they may leave earlier than the stated times (or possibly later?) .... so this may be a guide only or perhaps best called 'a guess'.
Depart Dumaguete for Cebu (all are listed as aircon): 3.15 am, 4.15 am, 5.45 am, 6.30 am (via Lilo-an*), 8.20 am, 9.15 am, 10.15 am, 11.20 am, 2.15 pm, 10.30 pm. [*Not via ferry Sibulan Port to Lilo-an, but the usual route with the bus just stopping at Lilo-an Port].
Depart Cebu City (South Terminal and again all listed as aircon): 6 am, 7 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11.30 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, 11 pm.
Also, as stated on this forum previously by others, there are many buses travelling within Cebu island which do the route Lilo-an Port <> Cebu City but they stop many times on the way.
I assume the bias in times of a.m. buses Duma > Cebu is because more people need to get to Cebu City for early admin. appointments (and there is more to do there) but it seems anyone visiting Dumaguete from Cebu for the day has to leave Duma at 2.30 pm (too early) or wait until 10.30 pm. Surely there is a case for a bus Duma > Cebu about 5 pm.
Duma <> Bayawan: They state for Duma to Bayawan that non-aircon buses start at 1 am and leave very 5 minutes (can that be true?), ending at 11.30 pm. Seems an excellent service for frequency. For aircon buses the times are many and are from 5 am to 7.30 pm, with a usual spacing of every 30 mins. For aircon Bayawan to Dumaguete they state 5 am to 6 pm with again an approximate spacing of 30 mins. I did not see a schedule for non-aircon Bayawan > Dumaguete but assume (is it dangerous to assume anything here?) they are also as frequent as Duma > Bayawan. I also noticed that they show 4 buses as pm when they mean am .... they posted a bus timetable but did not even notice that error??? Whatever did they learn at school?
I went to the Ceres Bus terminal in Dumaguete today and copied the posted schedule. There are a few discrepancies with your list and I wonder if you know why:
Depart Dumaguete for Cebu (all are listed as aircon): 3.15 am, 4.15 am, 5.45 am, 6.30 am (via Lilo-an*), 8.20 am, 9.15 am, 10.15 am, 11.20 am, 2.15 pm, 10.30 pm. [*Not via ferry Sibulan Port to Lilo-an, but the usual route with the bus just stopping at Lilo-an Port]. Your list shows the 6.30 am as 7 am and does not mention the Lilo-an stop (although it seems irrelevant if there are Ceres buses stopping there all day anyway); your 11.20 am is asterisked but I am not aware why; your list shows a 4 pm bus (also asterisked), which is not shown on the posted schedule (although I was wondering why there are no buses between 2.30 pm and 10.30 pm).
Depart Cebu City (South Terminal and again all listed as aircon): 6 am, 7 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11.30 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, 11 pm. Your list shows a 3 pm bus which is not listed at their Dumaguete Terminal. However, as on the Baywan route schedule they list 4 buses as "pm" which clearly are "am", I cannot be 100% sure of the posted schedule's accuracy.
I think you make a good case for going via Sibulan>Lilo-an but DavyL200 makes the point about frequent stops. I have been on the direct route and found it time wasting to stop for food about an hour after leaving Dumaguete - have people not heard of a packed lunch or eating BEFORE a journey?
I hope you do not think I am being fussy over timings but I just wonder about the reason for different versions (the 'apparent' 4 pm bus from Dumaguete being rather important to anyone planning a quick day trip Cebu>Duma). Anyway, these times are subject to reports from other posters here that they may leave earlier than the stated times (or possibly later?) .... so any posted times may be a guide only or perhaps best called 'a guess'.
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