3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We spent 4 nights sailing around the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the excursions are snorkelling the reef which was absolutely amazing.The ship was very comfortable with good size cabins and nice common areas. The food was very good, well ... Read More
We spent 4 nights sailing around the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the excursions are snorkelling the reef which was absolutely amazing.The ship was very comfortable with good size cabins and nice common areas. The food was very good, well presented and more then enough to eat. The staff were wonderful, very friendly and went out of their way to help. My mother is a weak swimmer and the trip director pull her around with life ring every time we went snorkelling. The staff was very careful to keep an eye on everyone in the water and ready to help you with your equipment. There was glass bottom boat rides as well as snorkelling at each reef. Getting on and off the boat was very easy. This has been my favourite thing we have done on our trip to Australia. I would come back just to do this cruise again. Everything went very smoothly. Highly recommend. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
6-24 August. Leaking old ship poorly maintained. During the voyage constant leaks could be seen coming from overhead Water Tanks (so we were told). Drying machines and buckets were placed in hallway (Deck 9) We were told some cabins had ... Read More
6-24 August. Leaking old ship poorly maintained. During the voyage constant leaks could be seen coming from overhead Water Tanks (so we were told). Drying machines and buckets were placed in hallway (Deck 9) We were told some cabins had damp carpets which they were trying to dry. On route to Komoda Island 16 th August the ship suddenly lurched to port (mid morning)causing concern to many passengers. The ship scraped along a coral reef so passengers were told. In the Waterfront Dining area we were finishing breakfast, suddenly cupboards and shelves were opened and china and utensils flew across the floor. Staff appeared from the galley, and started trying to sweep the broken china together. All looked very shocked, along with many passengers finishing their meal. There was a poor follow up P.A. about an hour later with an explanation “ the problem was caused due to an outgoing tide and the narrow channel the ship was in”! Constant maintenance, painting, welding etc. caused the walking deck (deck 6) to be blocked off in places. The Pantry eating area (deck 11) had water from the adjacent swimming pool wash into the food area when the ship leaned over suddenly. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I have not been on many cruise ships, preferring independent travel and small venues over the crowded, packaged ships we see so often in port at home (San Francisco USA). The sailing on the Coral Ex II for 4 nights on the ... Read More
My wife and I have not been on many cruise ships, preferring independent travel and small venues over the crowded, packaged ships we see so often in port at home (San Francisco USA). The sailing on the Coral Ex II for 4 nights on the Great Barrier Reef appealed to us due to the itinerary, size of the vessel and, of course, the chance to snorkel and dive on the Great Barrier Reef. My rating of Excellent stems from a nearly flawless experience by the ship's crew and the fact that all our expectations were met or exceeded on this cruise. We only booked the 4 night sailing, which has an extension to a more southern itinerary for 3 additional nights, and regret not booking the extension! To be specific, embarkation was done in Cairns, Australia, which is one of the largest towns in Queensland and we spent a few days enjoying the tropical atmosphere (Botanical Gardens were wonderful), and seafood. The Esplanade was an area for strolling and relaxing prior to our cruise. Formalities for boarding were handled efficiently and in that friendly Aussie way, with outstanding cookies and excellent coffee and tea ready while we mingled with the other guests. It was a small group, around 40 people, and a nice mix of singles, couples, and families. Since it was just before the Christmas holidays, we felt we just missed the crowds of holiday travelers. The bookshelves had donated novels, marine life guidebooks, and games for guest use. Cabin was larger than I expected, and once our luggage and personal items were stowed, the area was fine for the two of us. Nice wood paneling and the bathroom was actually larger than I expected with complimentary toiletries and fresh, fluffy towels every day. I was a bit disappointed that there was no card to acknowledge that we would be celebrating our 25th anniversary during this cruise, but more on that later... The itinerary would take us on the first day from Cairns north to Cooktown, the largest town in the Cape York area, and I had an interest in visiting their botanic garden. We stopped on the reef for a dive/snorkel and although bleaching was evident near the tops of the reef, at depth all seemed fine as the water was a bit cooler. I want to say that the staff at the Coral Ex office responded to my questions regarding reef condition promptly and were accurate in their description. Sadly, the Cooktown botanic garden was closed for Christmas holidays, but not after we had hiked uphill in tropical heat for half an hour. Our plan to catch a taxi was laughably overestimating the facilities in this small but charming town. Fortunately there were pubs serving cold beer and the Cooktown museum, with good AC and fascinating: well worth the visit. Our next day was spent at Lizard Island, one of the reasons we booked this particular cruise. I had always wanted to see it, the fringing reefs, though suffering from bleaching, still had wonderful life (giant clams, an octopus, rays, and lots of fish), plus the historic ruins of a homestead in addition to the uber-expensive resort. Upon returning to our room, we found a bucket of sparkling wine and the staff's best wishes for our anniversary. So I am an idiot for thinking they forgot. We shared the bottle at dinner that night, graciously hosted by the captain (Charlie). The next several days were out on the open water at the Ribbon Reefs, another destination I was interested to see. Diving was good, and weather/sea conditions perfect. Now for the stars of the cruise: the staff. Forgive me if I forget the names (pro tip: remember that names of the staff!) but every staff member from the captain, purser, chefs, room attendants, dive staff, and marine biologist were hardworking, gracious and devoted to anything and everything you might need. Seasick? Cut finger? Lost dive gear? On a special diet? More towels? I personally witnessed an attentive and caring staff for four days that made this holiday special. It can be confusing at times: some of the staff did more than one job from food service to driving the Zodiac boats, although to my knowledge only Captain Charlie piloted the ship. And the food. Upon disembarkation, I actually told the Captain that they should market the cruise as a foodie expedition first and reef cruise secondly. The quality of every meal, especially dinners, coming out of the ship's kitchen was extraordinary, considering we were in the middle of the ocean on a small ship. Extraordinary not just for taste, but the presentation of each course. Even in buffet style, it was all pleasing and professional. I personally appreciated having two different salads with my dinner, and the seafood was a treat, especially on the first night. Lots of choice, as well. I am an experienced scuba diver and although I wouldn't characterize this cruise as a 'dive boat', the diving staff were knowledgable and equipment was in fine shape. As I said, there is some bleaching of coral, but divers could still see good sections of reef and I enjoyed my diving. No need to bring your own gear. All in all we enjoyed this small ship experience so much that we are looking at their other offerings for future trips. Well done, you guys, and see you in the Kimberley someday! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We boarded in Cairns which is where we live. We celebrated our anniversary on board. I was quite nervous early on about booking this cruise due to some negative reviews however I was fortunately able to put this into perspective. ... Read More
We boarded in Cairns which is where we live. We celebrated our anniversary on board. I was quite nervous early on about booking this cruise due to some negative reviews however I was fortunately able to put this into perspective. This ship has been running since December 2015 and it carries around 1500 passengers each trip. While it is in Cairns for 8 weeks it will carry 13 thousand passengers. As you can see on this website there have only been 178 reviews since the ship started last year and of those 43% are positive. Of the negatives some are clearly offering important feedback and others IMO are being a bit picky. Due to the negative reviews I made a point while I was onboard to ask every single passenger we came in contact with what they thought of the ship, cruise food etc and apart from one passenger who's complaints IMO were ridiculous (no white table cloths in the Waterfront and not enough variety of food) EVERYONE loved it. So please be assured that atleast during our trip any early day problems have been rectified, everything was fantastic for us and all of the other people we spoke to. The ship was a great size (not too big) it was easy to get around and find things. There was plenty of places to sit and relax or read and although it was school holidays and the ship was fully booked it never felt crowded and we didn't notice many kids. I was a little nervous about dining (due to reviews) and did take some of my favourite snacks onto the ship however my worries were unnecessary and I took my food back home with me. The food was amazing - there was so much variety. We had breakfasts, lunches and dinners at The Pantry and never really had to line up and never had trouble finding a seat. I did find the lower lounge type tables a bit silly for eating at and not sure what the designers were thinking but we were never forced to use these tables as others were always available. Only on the last morning it was very busy and crazy due to all passengers having to vacate their cabins at 7am, however everyone was fed and the food was still great. There was a huge variety of food in The Pantry and serving sizes for us were generous however you could always ask for more and the staff were only to happy to provide. The food variety changed daily e.g different salads each day in the salad area, different soups each day, different curries each day, different roasts each day, different sweets each day, different Spanish food and a variety at the Mexican counter. I liked that we were served by staff - it felt like a more hygienic style of eating. You could take food from the Pantry anywhere on the ship to eat and on occasion we took it back to our room. The food was hot and plentiful. There was no awful smells as some others have mentioned only delicious food smells!! The fish and chips were yummy and the little pastry cases in The Sugar Bar with strawberry or pistachio cream were my favourite!! We ate at The Waterfront also for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. It was a more upmarket feel than the Pantry and the service was excellent. Again you could order as much as you wanted off the menu. One day my husband ordered 3 breakfasts! They also brought around toast and Pastries at breakfast time. There was a selection of juice and fresh coffee and tea. Each meal we had here we enjoyed. We only had to wait one night as we were a table of 8 and went down at 630pm, however they gave us a buzzer and we went off to the Blue Bar (upstairs) to have a drink. 20 mins later they had a table for us - we were able to bring our drinks with us to the restaurant. There was beautiful fresh bread rolls on the table for dinner and lunch and delicious butter. There was no table cloths on the lovely timber tables which did not bother us but for some reason this has been mentioned as a negative by others. The Dragon Lady, Angelo's and Salt Grill should all be booked on day 1 or you could miss out. They are all amazing places to eat and offer a good variety of food. The menu at Angelo's changed mid cruise on our 7 night cruise and we were lucky enough to have both menus. We had one dinner and one lunch at Salt Grill. The food and service here is outstanding and the value for money exceptional. We left here feeling extremely full. They served us the most delicious chocolate cake for our Anniversary, I was going to take it back to our room for later but after one bite we had to finish it! We had Nachos on day one at The Grill and found them to be quite average - mostly chips and little topping but for $3 this was hardly a disaster! The Bars were well laid out and the singers/musicians were fabulous. There was plenty of comfortable seating and while we were there they never felt crowded. We soon worked out it was more economical for us to purchase bottles of wine which we could move round the ship with us each evening rather than buying glasses here or there. Glasses started at $8.50 each and bottles started at $30. The wine we had was lovely. The entertainment was great. We went to the shows each evening and loved the talent of the singers and dancers. One of the shows was hard to follow but they did explain this in the beginning (showing a making of the show) however the technical skills of the dancers was impressive and we still enjoyed it. The entertainers in general were great. The comedians were funny and worth staying up late for. The Marquee Theatre was a lovely intimate theatre with comfortable seating. You could take drinks with you to the theatre or order them in there from the waiters. The service we received was outstanding - we have stayed in some lovely hotels before and the service on this ship was right up there. They were constantly asking for and acting on feedback. We were always nice and polite to the staff and this was always returned to us. These people work extremely hard and take very good care of you appreciating this rather than demanding it worked very well for us as you would expect. I was surprised to learn a lot of the staff board the ship and work every day for 6 or 7 months at a time before returning to their families and then re board the ship to do the same several weeks later. Our cabin stewards started at 7.30 each morning and finished at 10.30 each night 7 days of the week and always had a lovely smile - I found this amazing. We did have one shore trip cancelled due to weather and herd some people complaining. I was happy that the Captain made this decision and was looking after our safety. It seems easy to make throw away comments when you have no knowledge of what is involved in getting 1500 passengers off and then BACK ON a ship safely. All different ages and abilities need to be considered. If you want to guarantee to get off at all ports don't go on a ship - fly there. The Captain sent the Tender across to check if it was safe and we watched it return with water crashing over the bow - it would have sat much lower in the water with 60 or so people on board. I listened to a couple of people whining and then met some of the staff who were booked to have a day off that day to go snorkelling on the island. Instead they had to throw on their uniform and come back to work to serve us in the bars etc. They did this with professionalism and a smile - no complaining. At least we were able to stay on the beautiful ship and keep relaxing while they looked after us. Yes it was a shame we didn't get off but I still had a great day. Shore tours - we did the full day Tawali resort and skull cave in Alotau. It was a great adventure for us. We were first off the boat and last back on at the end of the day. It is a 1 hour 30 min bus ride on a bumpy road each way with no toilets along the way - so DO NOT have that extra cuppa with breakfast :-). The first toilet is on the boat they use to transfer you to the resort. The snorkelling at Tawali (unfortunately only 1 hour) was amazing and lunch was delicious in the most picturesque setting. They did not tell us we could use the resort pool after lunch and only found out as we walked past it while looking around after eating but we had already changed and left our swimmers back at the restaurant and then we ran out of time. Please do not expect any luxury the people here live a very basic lifestyle. After lunch when you visit the skull cave and waterfall take some small Kina notes with you as the locals have a few small things to sell like carvings and necklaces etc. We found the tour very interesting. Tendering on and off to the other islands was easy for us. Unfortunately when we stopped at Kitava it was raining until lunch time and then most people decided to quickly exit the ship as they were running out of time as the ship departed at 4pm. This of course caused long lines and delays and some unhappy customers. We went to the island mid morning when it was still a little rainy and had no wait. People must remember they are on a ship with 1500 people and at certain times there will be lines for tenders - if this bothers you don't cruise. Snorkelling in Kitava was lovely off the little island it costs 5 Kina each way for the locals to take you across - make sure you have 5 Kina notes for this purpose. The only other time we had to wait for a tender was in Kiriwina at lunch time. We were going back to the ship for lunch and as it turned out there was only 1 Tender running as the other one had engine trouble. The line was long and in the sun and again I am sure some people were not happy. They replaced the broken tender as quickly as they could. Unfortunately they did not inform us of this difficulty I only found out later when I spoke to someone who was on the broken Tender. It would have been better if passengers waiting inline were informed. If I can offer some other tips they would be: Take your own goggles and fins if you have them. I think it is $40 or $50 to hire on the ship. Take an umbrella to protect from sun and rain (ours was well used). Take a highlight pen to highlight what activities you would like to do on the daily schedule. Try and take small Kina notes - if you can't get small notes try and change larger Kina notes in Alotau before getting to the smaller remote islands. On the smaller Islands locals will ask you to exchange Australian dollars to Keena as they have no other way of doing it and some tourists have unfortunately paid them in Aus dollars. Please change it for them - they will give you a better exchange rate then if you sell it back to the ship or money exchange for example if they give you $20 you will give them 40 Kina which is $1 for every 2 Kina. Buy back on the ship was $1 for every 3 Kina. The locals really appreciate you helping them exchange money they can't really use. Please donate to schools and community groups these people are very poor and donations are really appreciated. We had a local teacher as one of our guides and she said they need donations of writing books, pens, library books, balls, dolls, Caps and fishing gear. If everyone took a couple of items it would be great - you just need to find the right person to give it to. The school children are often in groups singing so try and find a teacher. PLEASE do not take lollies! There are so many children and the people who were giving out lollies were actually causing sadness. These communities have no way of dealing with tooth decay and we all know what it is like to have a tooth ache. I heard some one say one or 2 lollies wont hurt but if every visiting ship was bringing in lollies it becomes a problem. If you are happy with staff on board offer them a tip - it is never expected but always appreciated. Take ginger tablets regularly until you get used to the movement of the ship. Lastly the Internet. We purchased the unlimited package within the first 24 hours for $89. It does not work so well in the rooms but works well (and fast) in most of the public areas especially near the Dragon Lady and Angelo's. Initially it worked well for me but then the pages seemed to be unable to load. It was trying but just couldn't load - I became frustrated. As it was unlimited I didn't think I needed to log out. However for some reason either not using it or moving around the ship it just automatically logged me out with out me knowing. There was nothing to state this and the pages kept trying to load but wouldn't. In any event I quickly worked out as soon as it stopped loading pages I needed to re log in and as long as I was in a public hot spot area all worked fine. I was able to send videos and photos galore. I needed to keep in touch with my family while we were away as my parents were ill. I was able to help a couple of other passengers once I worked this out who were also frustrated with the internet - they were very grateful. I have informed P and O via the feedback form asking them to give people clearer instructions re logging out and back in. If you are thinking of cruising give this ship a try - we had a lovely relaxing time and were looked after so well. It was definitely the romantic break we were looking for. Can't wait to cruise again!! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Well as all my previous reviews I try to keep things real giving my honest opinion of good and bad, the good news is there is not much bad to report here! a real pleasant surprise. First we have never considered a P&O cruise before, ... Read More
Well as all my previous reviews I try to keep things real giving my honest opinion of good and bad, the good news is there is not much bad to report here! a real pleasant surprise. First we have never considered a P&O cruise before, this is mainly due to the 41% ratings by previous reviewers, very offputting. We have mostly travelled with Princess.who regularly have 80% ratings. However never say never, we were made an offer on a suite which we could not refuse, embarkation was a breeze due to priority check in, took about 20 mins to suite. I did notice that even without priority check in the queues were moving quick, my impressions were they were very organised. Our suite was incredible, huge amounts of space inside and out, so good we eat breakfast on our balcony each day, a lovely perk. We were concerned about kids on board due to school holidays but there were only around 50 and were mostly well behaved. We found the food at the pantry very good, the watermark very good and Angelos very good. If I was to find fault it was not easy to eat healthy in the pantry, I had one choice per day, the rest pretty junky. There was much confusion regarding the Asian restaurant, on booking we were advised that Gluten free was not an issue, but upon checking at the restaurant we were informed that there were no GF option so it was back to the Watermark. My wife has a sweet tooth, but unfortunately requires Gluten Free, despite numerious little tasty afters, most days she was limited to ice cream or jelly! At night we eat at 5.30pm with no problems, however I think readers should be aware that if you are a 7.30pm diner you face long queues and can be sent away with a buzzer to await a table. You are in a different table each night so you don't really build any rapore with staff. Also as per other diners there does not seem to be enough drink staff, we were left on many occasions with a meal with no drinks. We solved this issue by buying a bottle of wine with our meal. There did not appear to have dedicated drinks staff. TIP You need to book the speciality restuarants in person as soon as you board, they do not answer the phones and get booked up quickly. The excursions were interesting, however we were unable to visit Kiriwani, although as stateroom passengers we had priority tendering this was nil and void because the ship had stopped tickets to get ashore, we sat along with 200 others in a very hot corrider which did not move for an hour so we gave up. Also very disappointing we could not get to the Conflict Islands due to swell, they did not have a plan B and sailed away shorty after arrival. Bars were very good and the service was excellent, I had a drinks package but unless you are a very serious drinker you will not get the full value of this. Cant' comment on the shows as we did not attend any but can say the entertainment in the Mix Bar was very good with acoustic and piano sessions very enjoyable. Kudos to the young passenger who played a few tunes on the piano after the show, very entertaining and must have took a lot of bottle! For people (like me) who want to stay in shape I was very impressed by the gym, it was never crowded and was larger than average. Disembarkation was again a breeze. So overall we had a great time and really cannot believe the amount of bad reviews this ship has had in the past, I definitely recommend it and as we speak we are trying to book another! best value cruise we have ever been on. Do not believe the bad reviews, you will not regret it if you go on this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise was fantastic! It took my wife and I back to how travel used to be, and is meant to be! The things that make this trip exceptional are the staff, destination, and fellow cruisers. To give you an idea of a typical day on the ... Read More
This cruise was fantastic! It took my wife and I back to how travel used to be, and is meant to be! The things that make this trip exceptional are the staff, destination, and fellow cruisers. To give you an idea of a typical day on the boat, breakfast for us was at 0700. My wife and I were generally 10 minutes late, but the bounty from the kitchen would still be there when we got down and there were always seats at a table with other guests ready to talk about anything but work. After breakfast we generally snorkeled on the reef for an hour or two. Not as many people did this as I was expecting, I think because the crowd trended older. That said, the seniors who snorkeled with us loved it and would gush about it at meals! The others generally rode the glass bottom boat with the top notch marine biologist. Her enthusiasm was more than enough to get anyone genuinely curious. Now it was time for morning tea. Being Americans, we don't do this. However, being on vacation got us ready for new experiences, this being a welcome one. Like a Hobbit from the Shire, we settled right in to our "Second Breakfast". By the end of the trip, we were sitting with the rest of our cruise companions companions for brunch talking about what we saw and where the best place to find ______ fish was while sipping coffee and munching on pastries. Post morning tea we would hop back into the water or take a nap in our room, then get ready for lunch! Lunch was top notch, and extremely welcome after the time we spent in the water. Some days the biologist put a program on after lunch, and some days we snorkeled or scuba dived. I should add, the SCUBA diving on this boat was top notch! James, the good hearted, but technically savvy instructor generally only had 2-3 pupils at a time, and had plenty of time to make us comfortable with the situation. While I was a little bit more than slightly apprehensive about the whole thing, every time I would show him my air gauge or point at something to make me nervous he would put his hands together and strike a pose like a genie floating in water as if to say "namaste". In diving we also got a chance to see even more sea life than we did snorkeling...On our trip in August we saw giant (GIANT!!!) clams, octopus, cuttle fish, an eel, and more beautiful fish than you can shake a fist at! Now it is time for a nap before pre-dinner drinks. Some days we would motor to our next anchorage in this window, and the captain would call out whale sitings. Some days we would gently bob on the very slight swell. Finally we get to the best part of the day! Predinner drinks with our traveling companions and dinner itself! The timing worked out in august that we would head up to the top deck for drinks and watch the sun set before heading back down to the dining room for our meal. To be clear, the meals were incredible, with us usually leaving slightly uncomfortably full in the best possible way. Like breakfast, at dinner we would sit with fellow travelers at the table and make new friends while enjoying great food. Everyone we sat with commented on how flat out incredible the food the chef and his staff put out, and that it was even more amazing that they put it out with only 3 people in the kitchen! If you decide to go on this cruise, first and foremost you will have a completely unique once in a lifetime experience. You will also make friends with your fellow travelers such that you'll end up with a rolodex of email addresses of people to visit when you go to _____ country. You will also want to do it again, as soon as possible. It is how I imagine travel from the golden age of travel. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The service, the food, the crew, the accommodations, the Great Barrier Reef Queensland, AU, it doesn't get any better than this for an active fit adult experience. We did the 7 day which is the 3 and 4 day combined of north and ... Read More
The service, the food, the crew, the accommodations, the Great Barrier Reef Queensland, AU, it doesn't get any better than this for an active fit adult experience. We did the 7 day which is the 3 and 4 day combined of north and south cruises out of Cairns, pronounced Cans, and loved it. There is a bit of a shakeup when you lose shipmates and pick up new crew and passengers after 3 nights, but the new were just as friendly as the ones who left. We happened to pick the shoulder season so with a crew of 11-12 and 11 passengers on each of the passages the service was fantastic. But pictures of crystal clear water with depths of 100-120 feet wasn't what we saw. Our only disappointment was our first stop for snorkeling at Fitzroy Island. When we got back on board from snorkeling, we looked at each other and said what a waste of money if this is what we came to see. Yes, it was overcast, but the coral was brown and there were very few fish. Surely there is a better introduction to the GBR than this stop. And perhaps everything else wouldn't have been as good if we hadn't been so disappointed in Fitzroy Island. Pre dinner cocktails every evening in the top lounge with a preview of tomorrow's activities and then to exquisite dinners in the dining room. Tonight it was a seafood buffet with bugs (AU lobsters), oysters, smoked salmon, heads on prawns, a fish similar to whole red snapper assorted salads and sides. Saturday we arrived at Nuggin Reef for scuba and snorkeling. I was the only certified diver which was awesome. Ricci, the dive master, and I had an incredible dive. Lots of fish and soft coral. The afternoon we anchored at Nathan Reef which was just as beautiful as the prior one. the engines started at 7 am and breakfast at Saturday we rose to a beautiful sunrise anchored in the Hinchinbrook Channel. We took a glass bottom boat tour through the mangroves looking for croks, dolphins, turtles, birds and other wildlife. Although there were none of the above, it was a beautiful tour and a nice diversion. I jut realized how much I've done and only touch on the trip. Needless to say, it was amazing and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. There are beach bar bqs, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, great presentations on the reef and history, amazing people, fantastic food, unbelievable fish and soft corals snorkeling and diving. I couldn't have spent my 60th birthday in any better place with any better people. Thanks to my wonderful husband, Richard, and our new friends. But it is NOT for people with limited mobility. There are steep stairs that cannot be avoided. The activities do not require Olympians, but they do require good knees, hips and feet. Meals are about as good as they get on any large or small cruise line. The accommodations although smaller than large cruise ships are more than adequate with good storage. You only need a few bathing suits and shorts and casual shirts. A carry on is more than enough clothes. Suntan lotion of SPF 50 and insect repellent are provided. When you go to the beach, the crew sets up chairs and shade and brings water and drinks. Access to the water is unbelievably easy with the hydraulic lift for boat rides and snorkeling access. I would add this cruise to your bucket list. I crossed it off mine and couldn't be happier. The crew is outstanding. Eliza, purser, Evie, marine biologist, are the best - I miss you guys. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I had the opportunity to travel to the Great Barrier Reef with my partner for 3 nights in November 2015. This is only my 2nd time on a cruise ship (the other being a large ship experience) but am comfortable in saying that the small ship ... Read More
I had the opportunity to travel to the Great Barrier Reef with my partner for 3 nights in November 2015. This is only my 2nd time on a cruise ship (the other being a large ship experience) but am comfortable in saying that the small ship experience definitely surpasses that of the larger. The smaller guest numbers meant that I got to meet and share the experiences of the trip with almost all of the other travellers. So by the end of the trip it felt like I had really connected with everyone and made some good friends. The staff were brilliant, with special thanks to Roberto in the kitchen, who continually amazed with the variety and flavour he was able to deliver. The fresh scones and cake were great after the snorkelling / diving (if you hadn't guessed I loved the food, still the most important part of any trip in my opinion). Yasmin and Bec were both excellent in their knowledge, helpfulness and professional attitude. They were still friendly very late one night when my partner and I couldn't work out how to change the air conditioner settings and needed to wake them up. Kristy was very patient with us when she took us diving and I will forever be greatful with the effort she went too to show us the various corals and coloured fish. Overall very happy with the experience and will definitely be adding it to my yearly plan. Coral Expeditions, 5 thumbs up. Read Less

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