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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
When we arrived at our embarkation point, Mannum, after a 1.15 hour coach trip from hotel pickup Adelaide the temperature was in the high 30c, alas that was as good as it gets! For the next 4 days it was cold & rainy, not the ... Read More
When we arrived at our embarkation point, Mannum, after a 1.15 hour coach trip from hotel pickup Adelaide the temperature was in the high 30c, alas that was as good as it gets! For the next 4 days it was cold & rainy, not the companies fault though. We booked an outside cabin (outside onto the deck) with 2 single beds, as a double was not available unless we paid an extra $200. I am 6+foot tall medium weight, these cabins are not designed for people like me, they are tiny in comparrison to ocean cruises. the bed was too short, the bathroom & shower so small I could not clean my feet in the shower nor shave easily in the basin. The toilet is also tiny. Hopefully the suites are bigger Because of the weather & wind, we were unable to do most of the shore tours as the captain was not prepared to tie up on the bank. The food however was very good, the wine prices reasonable (expect to pay $23+ for a bottle) The on board credit system worked well. There are only 2 x 4 person lifts on the boat so if climbing stairs, some are steep, is a problem then you may need to reconsider this boat. The age profile for our trip was late 60s+ this may not suit the 35+ age group. Probably would be a good idea to reserve some cruises for a younger age profile. The evening entertainment was a very good keyboard & guitar/singer, however it was a small audience after dinner, due to age I suspect. The cruises go for 3,4, & 8 nights. 4 was enough for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
It was something different, than a normal sea cruise. And what a surprise, did not expect the cruise would be so beautiful, and adventurist, while being so relaxing, and fun. The crew always tried to make sure your experience was ... Read More
It was something different, than a normal sea cruise. And what a surprise, did not expect the cruise would be so beautiful, and adventurist, while being so relaxing, and fun. The crew always tried to make sure your experience was everything you could want. Did not realize the Murray River was so gloriously beautiful. The swans on the river each morning was a real majestic ballet of grace to watch. Embarkation was run very smoothly, and we were settled in our cabin within 15 minutes of arriving at the ship. It was well appointed, with bar fridge, coffee/tea making facilities, free chocolate bars, an assortment of luxury toiletries. The queen bed was very comfy. the room was larger than the cabins we normally have on our sea cruises. The for and aft lounges are very comfy, and a grand place to meet the other passengers. I would thoroughly recommend this cruise as a must do at least once. We will be doing it again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The boat looks like it is recently refurbished. Cabin tough small is clean and comfortable. The cabin is serviced like a hotel with a nightly "make up " room with goodnight chocolates It was so relaxing sitting on the bed ... Read More
The boat looks like it is recently refurbished. Cabin tough small is clean and comfortable. The cabin is serviced like a hotel with a nightly "make up " room with goodnight chocolates It was so relaxing sitting on the bed and gazing into the wide expanse of the Murray River watching birdlife and activities along the banks The service is impeccable especially in the dining room, Meals served are up to par as any 4 or perhaps 5* hotel The lounge provides ample supply of beverages, biscuits and fresh fruits There is free wifi in the public areas and its quite high speed But we can do without the entertainment by the crew, It is far too amateurish, On the Captain's dinner night one lady passenger was allowed to speak a lot of "crap" Also not many actually bothered to dress up on that night The boat offers free laundry services. We were supposed to log in our time of use but no one respected this requirement. Also there was no signage to the laundry. We found our way when we saw an ironing board in the lower deck Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to have a more casual and relaxing holiday cruise with snorkelling and beach activities but with a focus on Fijian culture and way of life. This cruise ticked all those boxes for us and then some, so much so that we booked ... Read More
We wanted to have a more casual and relaxing holiday cruise with snorkelling and beach activities but with a focus on Fijian culture and way of life. This cruise ticked all those boxes for us and then some, so much so that we booked the Colonial Flavours cruise for next year. Embarkation from Denarau Marina starts at 12md on a Tuesday and you are sent to the Yacht Club to wait for boarding and are given a free drink voucher. Then we were all called and checked in as we ascended the gangway where we were given a shell lei and a brief safety overview and a lovely outdoor buffet lunch. The Captain was Ken Ballantine and the Hospitality Manager was Carole Crumlin, who did an excellent job. Cabins were available shortly after and we sailed away at 2 pm. Key collection and checkin was done at the reception desk. We visited the Yasawa Islands on the first part of our cruise (4 days) and we had two snorkelling and/or beach activities each day and on another day we visited a school, where the children sang for us then picked their adult and showed us around their school grounds and classrooms. We had taken pads, pencils, stickers and these were given to the teacher for distribution. School books for the teachers themselves are also highly needed. Sweets and biscuits are frowned upon. You also need to dress appropriately with knees and arms covered. This was a great visit. We also visited a village and enjoyed a local lovo (underground cooking) with beautiful salads and fruits and wine from the ship even though alcohol is not allowed in villages where Cava is the main drink. We enjoyed a traditional cava welcome ceremony and wonderful dancing and singing also. We also had some extra activities such as exploring Sawa-I-Lau cave, the famous limestone cave with its beautiful underground lagoon, where we swam in crystal clear water open to the sky above. On this portion of the cruise we visited Tivua, Naviti, Yaqeta and Drawaqa Islands. Meals on board were mainly buffets set up in the Dining room or upstairs in the lounge for casual buffet lunches. We also had some three course dinners served in the Dinng room some nights including the Captains Welcome dinner the first night. We thought the food very very good and never had any complaints with variety, taste or quantity. At set meals you are seated in a group with others and there was a variety of family and work groups on this leg. Service from all staff was superb with typical Fijian friendliness and happiness, so lovely to see and we thought they were all magnificent. Alcohol is very pricey with the cheapest being a sparkling wine at $55 FJD about $38 AU while red and white was $FJD85 and up! They have a special cocktail everyday at 19FJD which are normally 25-28FJD. Drinks and canapés are served from 6.30pm every night which is a lovely way to meet others around the pool deck or in the lounge before dinner was served at 7.30 pm. After dinner entertainment was lovely Fijian singing and/or dancing from the crew members, crab racing, an abba dance party, a Fijian fashion show through the ages, and we had a resident DJ Manasa who sang songs and played keyboard or guitar nightly. Reef and Culture talks were given by the resident Fijian marine biologist and were very interesting and they had a scuba diving team for those that wanted to dive. Snorkelling activities were done from their glass bottom boat or tenders where you jumped over the side or descended by ladder, with ascending the ladder after snorkelling being a very interesting activity in some of the swells. Luckily there was always help on hand to take the fins or cameras to allow you hands free access to the boat. The glass bottom boat was also use for reef coral viewing activities when the snorkelling group returned for those that wanted more gentle activity. Fins, masks and snorkels were available for use on board though we took our own masks and snorkels and just borrowed fins. Life vests and noodles were always available for those swimming or snorkelling and kayaks and sail boards were taken to the beaches for activities there. Cabins are generally small with minimal hanging space and small bathrooms but you spend so little time there it wasn’t a problem as beds were comfy, aircon good and hot water plentiful for showers. Dress is very casual and no ties or jackets were seen, rather Bula shirts, sulus, shorts, casual dresses were the norm. Bathers and coverups were seen at breakfast and lunch but not at dinner. There were Spa treatments offered on board including pedicures, massages, facials, hair braiding and were cheaper than on the big mainline ships. On the Saturday, you return to Denarau Marina and because we were returning passengers we were able to take a free shore excursion while they reorganised the ship for the next load of passengers for the three day cruise to the Manamucas. We chose to visit the Gardens of the Sleeping Giant, Raymond Burrs beautiful orchid gardens, which was a fabulous side trip. Another offered was a trip to Nadi for shopping. We reboarded after our excursion at 12md and headed to a beautiful sand day for a swim or snorkelling, a truly magical experience on this tiny sand island in the middle of the ocean, just amazing. Next day was our visit to Monuriki where Tom Hanks Castaway was filmed. Another beautiful island which you can walk around and where there are still a few remnants from filming. That night being Sunday we visited a village for their church service. Their beautiful singing from children to the elderly was a real highlight for us, and the fire and brimstone minister a real eye opener! On Monday we visited the Sacred Islands, the place where the first Fijians landed. We swam in beautiful blue warm waters and kayaks or paddle boards were available. After our o board bidpffet lunch we visited Waya Island in The Southern Yasawas where you could swim, snorkel, climb to the peak of Waya or visit the village for a tour. Then our final night to dress up in Fijian wear for Pacific Island night. We sailed into Lautoka overnight (most sailing is done from early morning 6 am so you have a nice sleep without any turbulence from waves) so the ship could fill up with water so we were bussed back to Denarau and taken to our resorts by the bus. Overall Impressions Wonderful relaxing happy cruise with wonderful staff, entertainment and food, fabulous snorkelling opportunities and beautiful island and beach visits. You need to be fit to access the boats for snorkelling and the ship is certainly showing it’s age, but nothing about it made us regret this choice for our Fiji holiday. Highly recommended. Y Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
As seasoned travellers we constantly looking for new travel experiences. We have cruised on significantly larger vessels and were looking forward to trying out a smaller boat which could show us the 'real Fiji'. The 100% rating ... Read More
As seasoned travellers we constantly looking for new travel experiences. We have cruised on significantly larger vessels and were looking forward to trying out a smaller boat which could show us the 'real Fiji'. The 100% rating by travellers on this website 'Cruise Critic' was also the allure to booking this rather expensive 4 night cruise. Sadly, we were disappointed by our experiences on this boat. The Reef Endeavor is old (20+ years) and very very tired. Designed in the eighties and built in the nineties, this vessel is definitely not DDA compliant and suitable only for the active and able bodied. The cabin is dated and pokey, mould permeates throughout, the towels are bare and stained and things need fixing or replacement around the cabin. With the lift out of action climbing the four flights of stairs throughout the day was standard practice. We found the boat and crew had significant difficulties attending to those with dietary requirements (e.g gluten free), although at time of booking we were assured by the company directly they could comfortably accommodate our request. Miss 8 years was despondent when the crew failed to serve gluten free options for morning and afternoon tea each day and served the default meal of marinated chicken drum sticks and salad for the 6th time in a row! The saving grace of this small vessel is the opportunity to interact with crew and other passengers. With such pokey cabins you are inclined to spend time on deck and engage with fellow passengers. Added to that the day activities (generally a morning and afternoon snorkel or beach visit) meant one was off the boat and active. Captain Cook Cruises, and the parent company Sealink Travel Group, seriously need to rethink their strategy and offering here with the vessel and its pricing in the market. Whilst the staff are trying their best, they are let down by the vessel and equipment they have to work with. It feels like the Sealink Travel Group are gouging the market in the absence on any competition.... and in doing so damaging their brand. The boat definitely doesn't deserve the 100% rating from the earlier eight reviews for this vessel.... more like 50-60%. Comments listed on Tripadvisor give a more realistic impression of the boat. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise experience and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The boat holds 130 people and there was ample room on the four decks. We appreciated wi-fi on the high seas. There were 3 of us in a 4 bunk room which was adequate for our ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The boat holds 130 people and there was ample room on the four decks. We appreciated wi-fi on the high seas. There were 3 of us in a 4 bunk room which was adequate for our needs. The people - both employees and fellow cruisers - were what made the experience so fantastic. We enjoyed a village visit, a school visit, a hike, several beach, glass-bottom boat, snorkelling and scuba diving experiences, excellent food, and very friendly and accommodating staff. Embarkation and desembarkation went very smoothly. We enjoyed reef talks with the resident marine biologist, Janice. The variety of evening entertainment with Manasa was much appreciated, from happy hour music to crab races to music trivia. We utilized the small gym and hot tub on the top deck, the spa facilities and onboard shopping. We would definitely cruise with Captain Cook again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife and I have done 2 CCC Fijian cruises in the last 18 months and we loved both if them. We've just finished our second cruise and have already booked a third cruise for next year. The Reef Endeavour is a small ship with a ... Read More
My wife and I have done 2 CCC Fijian cruises in the last 18 months and we loved both if them. We've just finished our second cruise and have already booked a third cruise for next year. The Reef Endeavour is a small ship with a very capable and friendly crew. Many crew members learn all the passengers names within the first couple of days; it is so welcoming. The crew are both polite and playful. I love snorkelling and scuba diving, so the 7-night cruise to the Yasawa Islands is perfect for me. Each morning and afternoon we are at a different reef, so there's always new sights to see. There are fully qualified scuba dive masters who can take you diving at amazing sites (at an additional cost ;-). Cultural visits and hikes are also provded. Great itinerary. Food is very good and plentiful. Alcoholic drinks are quite expensive but that didn't seem to bother most passengers, who had a great social time. The passengers we've met on our 2 cruises so far have been really great company. Whether young families or retirees, they were all very, very friendly and great fun to eat, drink, swim and talk to. CCC also offers some special deals, depending on when you book your cruise e.g. 7 nights for the price of 4 or 35 percent off for returning passengers or an amazing 50 percent off if you book a cruise while you are on a cruise. Great experiences, great crew, great company and great prices Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
What a great cruise, relaxing, great sights, made a lot of new friends and had a lot of fun doing it. We were picked up on time by bus from Adelaide. one of three stops before heading of to Mannum, the town that the paddlewheel ship ... Read More
What a great cruise, relaxing, great sights, made a lot of new friends and had a lot of fun doing it. We were picked up on time by bus from Adelaide. one of three stops before heading of to Mannum, the town that the paddlewheel ship departs from, John the driver was a bit of a hard case, and the 2 1/2 hour trip flew by with John's rendition of the local area and history. The ship itself is beautiful and takes 120 guest (only about 90 on out trip). I do recommend a stateroom if you don't like smaller cabins but most people seemed happy with the size of the room as it's really only a place to sleep and shower. The bar is great and stock everything you need, The dinning room is spacious and doubled as a place to do most games, meetings, lectures and videos. The Paddlewheel Lounge is, well next to the paddlewheel and has quite a background noise of the slap slap slap and a bit of vibration. The lounge was still very popular and it isn't a major problem. There is a laundry, spa and exercise area. The sundeck right on top is a great place to sit and watch the great sights and wildlife pass you by. The sights were awesome and the ecology is alive and ready for photos. The first day, the Murray Princess left at 5pm (an hour late but it didn't really matter) and we cruised to our first over night spot. We sample our first meal. The food was very good, there was two choice of entrees, two choice of main and two of desert, all delicious and done to perfection. This was the format for most lunches and dinners with a wide range of dishes and no complaints from anyone. Breakfasts was a buffet of cooked, continental and fruit and toast with some minor variations each day. There were several "special" meals such as the BBQ one night on the river bank, Good food including kangaroo steaks and they even set up a bar. A champagne bush tucker breakfast is available the next day at a price and was well worth it, three courses and very tasty. The Captain's Dinner was another excellent meal with a difference but I'm not letting the cat out of the bag for that one! Entertainment (other than the food and drinks) was also of a high standard with piano music during lunch and dinner. Trivia afternoons, Bingo (not me though), a visit to an aboriginal archeologist sight, guided by the local tribe members with a climb up a cliff (stairs) for a great view of the Murray river and surrounding area. We also stopped for at the small town of Swan Reach (locals were very friendly), had a visit to a winery and more importantly a tasting of their wines. A visit to a farm for a sheep show and viewing of local wild life... the list goes on. The staff were excellent. Always keen to help and Kevin (cruise director) was always on the ball. The most important man on the ship (Gary the barman) was tireless in supplying the required sustenance till late in the night. The Captain and the First Mate were very approachable and a visit to the wheelhouse was no problem for them. They were very knowledgeable and had some great stories about life on the paddlewheel ship. There were so many staff that I haven't mentioned that made our stay great. And yes they even had wifi, Useful for making my friends jealous via all the pics I posted on Facebook. Most guests were retired but there were several couples around our age (47 & 55) but age differences were not a problem. We made many new friends, were always talking with someone new,. The boat wasn't perfect but it was good enough, the price seemed a little high until you take in account of all the staff and all of things we did and then it seems quite reasonable. The food.. absolutely spot on! Would I do it again? In a heart beat! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Overall, the trip on the Murray Princess was worth taking, even though we have a houseboat that travels in the same area of the river. We did not get to Loxton as the Princess could not get through a narrow channel at the 356km marker, ... Read More
Overall, the trip on the Murray Princess was worth taking, even though we have a houseboat that travels in the same area of the river. We did not get to Loxton as the Princess could not get through a narrow channel at the 356km marker, so we returned to Mannum instead. The river was below normal level due to work on the weir at Blanchetown and the wind was ferocious at the time we went aground. You can't help bad luck on the river at times. We were stuck for about 28 hours before some extra water released from weir 2 allowed us to move. Speaking of bad luck, we had a medical emergency and an ambulance had to take one passenger to hospital from an unscheduled stop where a road came to the river. This was all handled with a minimum of fuss. The Sun Deck provides an excellent view of the river, however, the deck surface is very tired and needs to be refurbished. The astro-turf covering was loose in quite a fw places and others were glued down during the trip. In some areas, the plywood under the astro-turf is de-laminating. More importantly, the steps to the Sun Deck are very steep and narrow. While there are handrails, it can be an effort for the elderly and/or disabled. Some of the furniture in the Paddlewheel Lounge are missing a couple of buttons, but still comfortable. There is a wide selection of games in the upper lounge, but the library is rather rudimentary. The daily papers provide some reading material, but I suggest that you bring your own reading material. The crew were excellent and make the trip a joy. The food was good, but sometimes the meals were a bit slow, although that wasn't a real problem as the company was good and the dinner music excellent. The daytime talks about the river and its history was interesting. The concerts by the resident musician were also excellent (if you like Classical & Jazz). There were a few "games" such as Bingo, Trivia and the Murray River Cup, but if you need other people to entertain you all the time, this is not the cruise for you. It is a cruise to enjoy the scenery and wildlife passing by. The excursion to Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Archaeological site was excellent. Don't be daunted by the 200+ step walk up the cliff as the main site can be reached without any steps at all. The visit to the Morgan Museum was good, but the coach for those that had mobility issues did not turn up, much to the cruise director's annoyance. The Mannum "Ghost Tour" was also well received. The visit to Caudo's Vineyard is good if you like wine or a crisp Larger (Hogwash Bend Larger). The dinner and show at Big Bend was also good. The night wildlife tour at Big Bend (AUD$15, I think) was about the only tour not included in the cruise fare. Although this cruise did not reach them, the historic Overland Corner Hotel is worth a visit, as is the machinery musuem at Cobdogla ("Cobby" to the locals) and the historic village at Loxton. For those with their phones glued to their heads all day long, be aware that coverage along the river is patchy. For everyone else, the peace and quiet is bliss. :) The Princess does provide free WiFi access using a password provided via a voucher at the Gift Shop. One last thing. The ship's horn is just above your head on the forweard observation deck. When the Captain warns you that the horn is about to blow and that it is loud, believe it!! If you are nearby, you will feel your body resonating with the noise. I wish I had that horn on my boat. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
After doing a few big cruise lines we decided to try this little boat so see something new and do enjoy some diving. WOW we got more than we expected, with only 60 guests the service was very personalised and the atmosphere was very ... Read More
After doing a few big cruise lines we decided to try this little boat so see something new and do enjoy some diving. WOW we got more than we expected, with only 60 guests the service was very personalised and the atmosphere was very relaxed no crowds not hassle and bustle of 1000's of guests. The tendering on and off twice a day was easy quick and without fault. If you want an itinerary locked in concrete this is not for you decisions are made on the day according to weather and guests to ensure the holiday is the best it can be, which I loved. The staffs flexibility to make you holiday amazing was the best part - I missed a tender one day and no big deal it was my fault so I just sat on deck watching the sea and the staff noticed asked me why I didn't do to the beach I joked about missing the tender next thing a boat was sent to pick me up. I think this cruise if perfect for the water lovers as all the islands are remote so water sports is all there is so if you are a shopper give it a miss. The boat is relaxing and quiet the rooms are good sizes I was on 4 and very happy with the room. Don't expect a casino and fancy stage shows but do expect to relax and feel the friendly happy vibe. Captain Simon was the most chilled friendly guy and was brilliant with teenagers. Perfect for teenage families, I wouldn't choose for little kids but take some board/card games there is a lull of 2 hrs most afternoons and without a lot of wifi teens need entertaining - or take a USB with new movies to watch in the TV room. Food was great the servings and range of meals couldn't be faulted - even fussy teenager enjoyed it and tried lots of new things. The stand out staff members were Sefo, Captain Simon and Matt and Artoo If you are thinking about this cruise book it now ..... Now I just need to find others like it Read Less
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