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17 Captain Cook Cruise Reviews

Reef Endeavour is a small ship adapted for sailing amongst the tropical reefs and islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. It attracts divers, snorkelers and those who enjoy the cultural and historic byways of Fiji. It is not a conventional ... Read More
Reef Endeavour is a small ship adapted for sailing amongst the tropical reefs and islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. It attracts divers, snorkelers and those who enjoy the cultural and historic byways of Fiji. It is not a conventional cruise ship and certainly not a party ship. It is comfortable rather than luxurious and has its challenges for older or mobility-impaired travellers. as it has cabins entered off the outside deck with heavy doors and quite high sills which have to be stepped over to enter the cabins. Going ashore by tender presented challenges for some as sometimes you were let out into knee deep water which has rocks and coral. On one occasion, returning from an event ashore we had to wade out to the tender in the dark which was problematic. Food was excellent on 'a la carte' nights and good at barbeques and buffets. Their superb cheese plate was the best that I have ever had on a cruise ship. Entertainment was basic with a pleasant resident musician and occasional presentations of Fijian cultural activities by crew and by school children at the villages visited - the Fijians have beautiful singing voices and incredible natural harmony. Bar prices for beer and wine were expensive (Fiji taxes were blamed by the bar staff). Each day you could go ashore or take a glass bottom boat trip to view the reef. A visit to a native village was a highlight where we were welcomed with a kava ceremony, entertained with singing and fed a meal from the underground ovens common across the Pacific. Overall, an interesting trip for the divers and culture or history buffs, and for those who enjoy cruising tropical waters. The Fijian way is a little disorganised and inefficient, but they are pleasant people who always give you a smile. . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date January 2018
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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date March 2017
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 2016
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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date September 2015
We booked the four night cruise on the Murray River Princess and travelled with my husband, my sister and our elderly mum. Hubby and I booked the Stateroom as we were after a bit more luxury. It had been recently refurbished with very ... Read More
We booked the four night cruise on the Murray River Princess and travelled with my husband, my sister and our elderly mum. Hubby and I booked the Stateroom as we were after a bit more luxury. It had been recently refurbished with very nice decor, including the bathroom. The Stateroom features a coffee/tea station which most cabins do not. I did think that given it's supposed to be a more luxury option, they might have supplied at least plunger coffee or a coffee pod machine so that was a bit of a disappointment given that most people these days have a coffee machine at home and have moved passed instant coffee. My sister and Mum shared a disabled cabin which is yet to be renovated and is in need of an overhaul. The concertina door to the bathroom is covered in mould on the bathroom side… a bit gross. The shore excursions were very nice, relaxed, informative and enjoyable. The woolshed tour and the winery tour were particularly enjoyable, and the Aboriginal Reserve Ngaut Ngaut was extremely interesting. We chose the optional coach trip from Adelaide to Mannum rather than driving… very handy. You can also drive and park in a secured area and pick your car up at the end if you prefer. The boat is a replica paddle steamer and is really quite lovely. Four levels on board… two with accommodation cabins, one with dining, and one a sun deck. It's a shame that there are no outdoor places to sit that are accessible for the elderly (the top deck is a sun deck with nice outdoor tables/chairs but access is via a very steep set of stairs so it's not an option for those with mobility issues). The only two outdoor areas which are accessible to all are both smoking areas so there's really nowhere to sit except in the indoor lounges which we found too warm and stuffy. The decor in the coffee lounge/games area/bar is a bit tired… seats are worn with wobbly arms, and the carpet and coffee station need to be updated. Meals were pretty plentiful but if you're a bit of a foodie you'll be disappointed. Food is a bit old fashioned as is the presentation i.e., paper doilies etc. The best evening meal by far was the final night's Seafood Buffet which was very fresh, and nicely presented. I don't really consider myself a foodie but like most young retirees, we eat out a fair bit. To be honest the food was a bit of a disappointment. The heating in the common areas i.e., lounge/bar/dining areas, was a bit too warm for us… even my 80yr old mum found it too warm. The average passenger age for our cruise would have been mid seventies with many passengers in their eighties. The crew were VERY helpful with our elderly mum, reserving four seats for us on the end of an accessible table for every breakfast and lunch to accommodate mum's walker. Entertainment was very much geared to the elderly… Bingo, Trivia etc. Dinner music was provided by a pianist/singer who played all the golden oldies… again very much geared to the elderly. Our Stateroom had an issue with the air-conditioning in that it had a very unpleasant 'sewer smell'. We tried using Glen 20 and kept the windows open constantly but it really was very unpleasant. Others on our cruise experienced the same issue. After the first two days we closed the vent and went without the air-conditioning which meant our cabin was pretty stuffy but we left the windows open and the smell was definitely less of an issue. We spoke with the ship's engineer about this problem and he said this is a common complaint when the wind is blowing a certain way. It's not a problem in all cabins however so it's the luck of the draw I guess. The star of this cruise is the Murray River which is very beautiful, and the cruise crew came in a close second… they were so helpful. I personally would have liked the option to sit on smaller tables i.e., table of four, or tables of six, for a quiet dinner instead of the 'nursing home' approach. It would also have been wonderful to have some onboard activities geared to a younger audience i.e., demo cooking with local produce (Barossa produce is awesome), Barossa wines information/tastings etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We were privileged to be able to do the 11 day Lau Islands and Kadavu cruise on Reef Endeavour in August 2015. This cruise is only run 3 times per year and can only be described as an adventure into remote and unspoilt Fiji. It is all ... Read More
We were privileged to be able to do the 11 day Lau Islands and Kadavu cruise on Reef Endeavour in August 2015. This cruise is only run 3 times per year and can only be described as an adventure into remote and unspoilt Fiji. It is all inclusive except for alcohol, so daily activities, all meals and entertainment were included in the price, unlike some other cruises where you pay an extra small fortune for each shore based activity. We embarked on time and after a quick safety demonstration were on our way. We visited one or two different islands every day with extended daytime stays, plenty of opportunity to meet the local villagers, snorkel on coral reefs or view in the glass bottom tender, hike in native bushland, swim up to waterfalls, snorkel into sea caves, attend a church service and schools in tiny remote villages, walk on fine white sand beaches, cruise scenic bays in the tender, attend village ceremonies, etc. No two days were the same and you were made to feel as welcome to participate in as many or as few activities as you wished each day. Being in the eastern most islands of Fiji the culture was as much influenced by Tonga as it is by Fiji and the villagers so rarely see tourists that they were truly fascinated and seemed honoured by our presence. Reef Endeavour is not your average cruise ship. It is quite old but well maintained. Do not expect 4 or 5 star accommodation but by the same token it is certainly comfortable and well equipped for an adventure cruise. The Tender lift at the stern made going ashore a breeze, even for the less mobile passengers on board. The crew are predominantly Fijian natives from all parts of the country and could not be more friendly and welcoming. The food is surprisingly fresh and varied, despite not being able to replenish supplies for the whole 11 days. A mixture of a la carte dinners, buffets, lovo ashore, afternoon tea, canapes, and a made to order egg station at breakfast each morning. Drinks were mainly available from the lounge bar (and the beach bar when ashore). All charged to the room and reasonably priced. You could purchase wines by the glass or bottle and bottles were tagged and kept in the fridge for consumption at your own pace. The age profile of the 85 or so passengers on board ranged in a fairly even spread from around 35 to late 80s with just 2 well behaved teenagers. Most of the more elderly passengers were very fit and active and participated in nearly all of the events and activities despite the often adventurous and sometimes challenging nature of some of the shore excursions. The crew would always assist where possible to make getting around as easy as possible. The entertainment on board was mostly low key with crew singing and playing instruments, kava nights, trivia nights, a charity auction, and some crew “stage shows”. Weather permitting there was an outdoor cinema night. On some days there were lunchtime educational lectures on marine ecosystems. We had a mix of weather during the 11 days but even on the inclement days the activities went ahead and the water was still warm so it did not really matter. A special thanks to the Captain Cook Cruises crew: Captain Chris who briefed the passengers at breakfast most mornings. Sally the hospitality manager who coordinated and communicated each day’s activities. Susie and her team in the dining room for the great service and Jackson and his team for the tasty meals. Sefo, Lagi, Diani and Moses for keeping us well stocked up on drinks all day every day and remembering our preferences. All of the other crew for their memorable contribution to a great fun adventure holiday. I would recommend this cruise for anyone looking to go off the beaten track and experience a comfortable but adventurous and active cruising holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I had the great privilege of experiencing the Fijian islands aboard the endeavour under the guidance of Captain Simon Estella. This gentleman is a very special human being . Over and above his skillful staff management and of course ... Read More
I had the great privilege of experiencing the Fijian islands aboard the endeavour under the guidance of Captain Simon Estella. This gentleman is a very special human being . Over and above his skillful staff management and of course primary mission of guiding the vessel, the day to day human touch was evident thoughout our vacation. He attempted to really bond with each of the guests leaving formal protocol aside to sit and chat at every occasion, and not above giving a personal lesson to one of the teenagers on the way to master a paddle board. Special dietary issues were always taken care of with a smile . What the cruise lacks in the most up to date accommodations is made up by the comraderie established, friendships, genuine smiles, and historical opportunity to meet real Fijians on board and on the local village tours. Lots of opportunities to relax , read, snorkel, and have a great vacation Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This is a wonderful once in a lifetime experience. This 7day cruise (3 day + 4 day) is for those who feel comfortable in the water (not just a pool) and who wish to snorkel twice a day. It is very casual and relaxed and we were lucky ... Read More
This is a wonderful once in a lifetime experience. This 7day cruise (3 day + 4 day) is for those who feel comfortable in the water (not just a pool) and who wish to snorkel twice a day. It is very casual and relaxed and we were lucky to have Jackie as our hospitality manager. The Fijian Islands have the most wonderful islands with the clearest water - in one word "Paradise". The small coloured fish are amazing but I feel that Fiji has to address the problem of boats anchors destroying the coral and it is quite destroyed in some places - also the larger fish are not to be seen as they were many years ago. The entire crew from Captain, Jackie and certainly all the Fijian crew could not have been better. We had approx 80 pax and approx half are Australian and NZ with a sprinkle from other parts of the world. When I add up the dollars spent it was expensive - but would I do it again? - certainly I would. If you love swimming and clear water this is the cruise for you. Not so if you want luxury as the ship is showing its age but it was still very comfortable. Smaller ships are so much better. One little criticism - all the fish for dinner was overcooked and dry. Buffets could take a long time to get to the food. Everyone tends to rush like it will be their last meal ever (not that the cruise company can do much about this) just always make sure either side of the buffet can be accessed. Well done Capt. Cook. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
There is no doubt that Captain Cook Cruses' "Reef Endeavour" can take you to some amazing destinations, but the ship, itself, is showing her age. Our recent 7-night Yasawa Islands cruise took us to picturesque islands and ... Read More
There is no doubt that Captain Cook Cruses' "Reef Endeavour" can take you to some amazing destinations, but the ship, itself, is showing her age. Our recent 7-night Yasawa Islands cruise took us to picturesque islands and beautiful beaches and snorkelling locations. The crew members were amazing- friendly, hospitable and multi-talented. But the maintenance of the ship has been lacking- Flaking paint, rotting timbers in places, cracked (and leaking) hand-basin in the bathroom, some rusty bathroom fittings, hand-rail supports rusted out... you get the picture. However, ignore all that and you have a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We are amazed that no review on Captain Cook Cruises has been posted on Cruise Critic. They cruise the Fiji islands exclusively and operate a very nice ship, Reef Endeavour, that can handle 120 passengers. I speaking with the Captain and ... Read More
We are amazed that no review on Captain Cook Cruises has been posted on Cruise Critic. They cruise the Fiji islands exclusively and operate a very nice ship, Reef Endeavour, that can handle 120 passengers. I speaking with the Captain and the Hospitality Manager we were informed that the average sailing has about 60 passengers, so that provides for lots of room for everyone both on the ship and the tender which holds about 50. The Voyage: We booked the seven day cruise which is made up of a four night segment to the Yasawa Islands and a three night segment to the Mamanuca Islands. Between the two segments, the ship returns to Port Denarau Marina and offloads some passengers and adds new ones. They run this schedule for three weeks in each month. There are other voyages to outer islands throughout the year on the fourth week. It visits places like the setting for the movies, Blue Lagoon and Castaway. It also goes to the Sacred Islands – a special snorkel location that has virtually pristine corals. The M/S Reef Endeavour: The ship has free WIFI internet connection which we found to be very fast and available most of each day. The ship provides all guests plenty of fresh drinking water. There is a self-serve laundry facility and the cost is very minimal. The sauna provides a great place to work off any jet lag or sore muscles from the various activities. Towels for the beach and water activities are available all day. This is a very family friendly operation with special events for children planned every night. All snorkeling gear and diving gear are available on the ship. The ship’s tender is a glass bottom boat which will cruise the local coral gardens on each island and provide everyone a chance to see the underwater world without getting wet. There is a spa on-board with various services. There is a swimming pool on board which doubles as the SCUBA-training tank. Three meals per day are available with light snacks served prior to dinner. The crew in the kitchen did a splendid job of keeping healthy choices and fresh fruit at all meals. No one complained about the gourmet food and the variety of the selections made by the head chef. She did a great job. Our Cabin: We had a standard cabin for two people and while smaller than luxury cruise lines, it had all the necessary storage space and electrical outlets for the trip. It was well lit and kept clean twice per day by the room staff. The bathroom had lots of water pressure and lots of hot water – which was a welcome relief when we needed to clean up after a snorkel or beach activity. The A/C was a strong unit which quickly chilled the air and refreshed us on the days when the Fiji sun was very intense and when the humidity was climbing ahead of a rainstorm. The Staff: We were very fortunate to have Clinton Perkins as the Hospitality Manager on our cruise. He is a consummate professional with a big resume in the firld of ocean cruises. He has worked on the finest luxury ships from other luxury cruise lines and has a compassion for and understanding of the guests needs. He had a wonderful can-do attitude and would stop anytime and chat with you to answer any questions. His style was clearly infectious for the rest of the ship’s staff. Every staff member was welcoming and cordial to us every day. They really had a good team spirit and were fun to spend time with. They have a wealth of knowledge and shared it without hesitation. All were English speaking native Fijians. Safety and comfort were of paramount importance in every operation. This ship is blessed with a wonderful crew and it goes all the way to the Captain who is around the deck throughout the day and hosts a table for dinner, most nights. He was a gentleman’s gentleman who would stop and chat with any passenger. The Excurisons: Every day was jammed packed with activities morning, noon and afternoon. We snorkeled once or twice every day at different locations or different islands on the same day. The highlight of underwater activity on the four day segment came on day two at Drawaga Bay where the corals and sea life were some of the best we have ever seen (to include the Great Barrier Reef, Tahiti and Belize). On the second night we were invited to a local village for a Fijian Feast (lovo) and Cultural music and dance performance by the villagers. Day three had a visit to a local school on Sawa-i-lau. The children from 6-13 years old performed songs and then led us around by hand to their classrooms to show us what they were learning. It was a special day. On the third day of the 3 night segment, we snorkeled the Sacred Islands and quickly discovered a coral reef that exceeded the quality of Drawaga Bay, which were thought to be impossible. The Dress Code: Despite what is written, there is none. Captain Cook publishes a dress code and asks people to wear smart casual wear for dinner. We were only one of three couples who would dress in that way each night. The average passenger rarely put on long pants and frequently kept their beachwear on all day, wet or not. Virtually none of the men wore dress shoes at night, preferring to go with sandals and flip-flops. For breakfast and lunch, almost all passengers were in beach wear and barefoot. When visiting the Fiji villages all guests needed to cover their shoulders and knees and uncover their heads. Some people thought themselves above those rules and were not permitted to enter the village. The best clothes to have on board would be a pair of sandal style shoes which can get wet as most landings on the beach are wet. One pair of sort /walking shoes would be needed for the hikes that are available. One pair of reef shoes would be very useful. Dress shoes and dress clothes can stay home. Men should invest in a sulu which the wraparound skirt for men worn by Fijians. Women need to invest in dressy cover-ups which cover the shoulders and go lower than the knees.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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