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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Recently returned from a four-day Great Barrier Reef cruise on the Coral Princess - a casual, but very comfortable and well-appointed catamaran carrying a maximum 50 passengers. Cabins are not luxurious, but very comfortable, with most ... Read More
Recently returned from a four-day Great Barrier Reef cruise on the Coral Princess - a casual, but very comfortable and well-appointed catamaran carrying a maximum 50 passengers. Cabins are not luxurious, but very comfortable, with most having picture windows affording great views of the coastline. But what has prompted this review (my first) is the quality of the crew and the service provided. Absolutely first rate - from the Captain (open bridge) to the cabin and wait staff. Kudos especially to (1) the Cruise Director (Kristy) who provided a wealth of information regarding the wonders of the Reef and conducted comprehensive snorkeling tours and (2) the Pursar (Yasmine) who had the uncanny ability to remember each guest's idiosyncrasies. I would also add that the cuisine (offered by Roberto) was superb - comparable to food service on more 'elite' cruise lines. Contrary to other reviews of this Lines, I would note that the passengers were multi-national - not primarily Australian. We were American, German, Asian and European on this trip. All very convivial and anxious to understand and photograph the marvelous sights of the wondrous living Reef. I might also emphasize that the small size of the ship and the limited number of passengers enable you to better see and appreciate the Reef. An unreserved thumbs up to Coral Princess and its crew. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We boarded Coral Princess Lines` `Ocean Discoverer`at Cairns for a 25 day voyage around the remote part of Melanesia - Papua New Guinea, Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands before returning to Darwin. It was a fascinating and action-packed ... Read More
We boarded Coral Princess Lines` `Ocean Discoverer`at Cairns for a 25 day voyage around the remote part of Melanesia - Papua New Guinea, Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands before returning to Darwin. It was a fascinating and action-packed adventure. I believe the ship is unique in having a landing craft at the stern (the Xplorer), which you board from the deck and is then hydraulically lowered into the water. This allowed all the 50 passengers and the two lecturers to travel together as required. In addition there was a glass bottomed boat, two inflatables and six canoes! There was an `open bridge` policy so that at any time one could visit and discuss location or meteorological issues with the Captain or First Mate. The company, Coral Princess, only does this particular trip once a year. It is really the only way to properly see Papua New Guinea and because of it`s shallow draft allows the Ocean Discoverer to visit places that are out of reach of normal cruise ships. On our first night we were advised that it was not a cruise but an expedition! We visited different villages every day where the inhabitants ran to meet us and arranged `sing`sing` dances with all kinds of body paint and head dresses (each one different over the 25 day voyage) before taking us around their village, often by the hand. People would come by dug-out canoes for up to 50 miles for this one chance to sell things they had made and we came back with quite a number of beautiful local `artefacts`. Perhaps best demonstrating the different style of life were a dug out canoe, like so many others we saw, that emerged from the mangroves on the Sepic River where the boatman waved, plunged a spear into the water and held aloft a large fish and seeing the staple diet of sago being made. The programme was tailored suit all tastes, so as well as visiting villages we were taken to desert islands or from the Xplorer for snorkelling and swimming. The water here is some of the most pristine in the world. In addition there was a programme of lectures by an experienced marine biologist and an anthropologist. Between them and especially the tour leader, Jamie Anderson, they seemed to know every plant, bird and some of the most perfect coral reefs in the world with myriads of fish and incredibly shaped and coloured coral that was truly magnificent for snorkelling. The Australians aboard advised that it was even better than anything to be seen on the Great Barrier Reef. It was always however good to return to the civilization of an Australian ship, where the food was absolutely excellent and even included freshly cooked muffins at mid-morning and scones etc for tea! Many of the crew were New Zealanders and all were really helpful, particularly the Purser,Tania Gemmell, who seemed to be everywhere at once and met every request with great helpfulness and a smile. During a bout of sea sickness (my wife is not a good sailor!) she provided an effective remedy and even the Captain came to our cabin to provide information on expected sea conditions! Our fellow passengers, mainly Australian leavened with Americans and eight Europeans (including ourselves), were almost all retired, and almost all an entire delight. This was a voyage of a lifetime! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
I've just had the most amazing holiday on the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Princess Cruises. We've been retired for 12 years and have been on many holidays both in Australia and overseas but this one was the best of them all! ... Read More
I've just had the most amazing holiday on the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Princess Cruises. We've been retired for 12 years and have been on many holidays both in Australia and overseas but this one was the best of them all! The program allowed ample time for snorkelling or scuba diving over this beautiful part of the world, the meals provided by Roberto, the on-board Chef, were excellent, the accommodation on the ship was all we could ask for with every cabin having a view of the ocean and the service from the crew was outstanding. All the crew gave 150% towards the comfort of the passengers and this all added up to an unforgettable holiday. I will certainly be going again! Many thanks to all those involved in providing such an experience for us to enjoy. Robyn Hawkins, Ballarat Vic Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
A friend and I took the 11 day Kimberly cruise from Darwin. There were several aspects of the cruise we found particularly enjoyable. Above all, our fellow guests were wonderful people who had come to the Oceanic Discoverer (as it was ... Read More
A friend and I took the 11 day Kimberly cruise from Darwin. There were several aspects of the cruise we found particularly enjoyable. Above all, our fellow guests were wonderful people who had come to the Oceanic Discoverer (as it was known back then) for its lack of glitz and exposure to geology and culture. It was an exceptional group of discerning people and we made some good friends. Many had traveled with Coral Princess before. We enjoyed mingling with them and the ship dynamics (open seating dining, lounge areas) facilitated that. Second, the crew were very sociable and hardworking and the purser was a true professional. Crew were mostly Australian. The food was not Michelin star but tasty and well plated. We liked that we were not nickel and dime on excursions and soft drinks. Finally, we enjoyed the ability to embark and disembark without any queues because of the small number of guests. We noticed we could go closer to shore than the big ships. The overall experience felt less "canned" and formulaic than the mega cruise lines. It is not cheap but we felt it was money well spent on a unique small ship experience. We would not repeat this trip but are thinking of Papua New Guinea with Coral Princess in 2016. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Spent 4 nights cruising the Great Barrier Reef on the Coral Princess 2. My cabin was very comfortable, clean, quite spacious and well laid out. Lounges and dinning area were very usable. Food was magnificent as was the service. With ... Read More
Spent 4 nights cruising the Great Barrier Reef on the Coral Princess 2. My cabin was very comfortable, clean, quite spacious and well laid out. Lounges and dinning area were very usable. Food was magnificent as was the service. With great support from the crew I enjoyed snorkelling at Lizard Island, and 2 of the Ribbon Reefs. I was quite uncertain as to whether I would be able to snorkel however with their (Brad and Beat) assistance I felt very safe, had a great time and saw the beauty and the diversity of the reef. It was great to have experts on board to provide information about the reef. The regular lectures were both enjoyable and informative. All of the crew are to be congratulated for their caring, professional approach. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
My 8 year old and I took the Coral Princess II out to the GBR last month; and, it was one of the best experiences my life. The reef is such a beautiful and majestic place; and, I felt as if we had it all to ourselves. As remarkable as ... Read More
My 8 year old and I took the Coral Princess II out to the GBR last month; and, it was one of the best experiences my life. The reef is such a beautiful and majestic place; and, I felt as if we had it all to ourselves. As remarkable as the ocean is, however, it was the people working on board that made this trip so amazing. From the moment we stepped on, the crew made us feel as if nothing would bring them more pleasure than to make sure we were happy. Everyone worked so unbelievably hard- half the time we couldn't tell whose job was whose because anyone would help us with anything. The food was absolutely wonderful- we looked forward to every meal. Our room was kept so neat and tidy. Bec was very knowledgeable on marine life. My kid is still talking about all the stuff she learned. The First Mate, Charlie, was awesome enough to let her "drive" the boat. She had some fears before getting on the boat (too much "Titanic" and "Ocean's Deadliest"); but, we felt so safe and relaxed the whole time. I need to give two very special shout outs to the two people that truly made our trip a once in a lifetime. The first is to Captain Kent. He encouraged me to get back in the water, when I was freezing, because I hadn't seen all that he wanted me to see. He taught me tricks to stay warm- who knew you could wear two wet suits? This may not seem like a big deal; but, I hate being cold. I can't thank him enough. Now, to the Purser, Nat. I had an unfortunate encounter with a rouge marsupial a couple hours before boarding the boat... so I wasn't feeling very well. She was great in looking after me. She was most amazing, though, with my kid. She took her to get ice cream, played Monopoly, and guided her on two little private snorkeling tours of the reef. This woman never stopped working (I'm still not convinced she slept at all); and, spent what little free time she had showing my kid how to dive for sea cucumbers. She felt so personally honored to be invited to dine with the Captain. She was a little scared to get on the boat, initially; but, literally cried when we got off. Thank you so much, Nat, for giving her such wonderful memories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
I have just returned from a Darwin to Broome Kimberley Cruise onboard the Oceanic Discoverer with my Husband. This Cruise totally exceeded my expectations. The whole experience was educational and exceptional. We were amazed at the ... Read More
I have just returned from a Darwin to Broome Kimberley Cruise onboard the Oceanic Discoverer with my Husband. This Cruise totally exceeded my expectations. The whole experience was educational and exceptional. We were amazed at the scenery, the tides, the colours and the isolation of this destination. Onboard the lecturers Tom and Maureen were great and helped us to understand the culture of the Indigenous people and the wildlife we were lucky enough to see. The ship itself is very well equipped, the rooms very comfortable. The food is fantastic and there is a great wine selection. We especially loved the Zodiacs that allowed for a much more personal experience whilst sightseeing. The walks on the islands to the cave sights were well worth it. The reefs were beautiful and we also did the Mitchell Falls helicopter flight which was amazing. Managed to have a swim up there as well! The Captain Garry was very approachable and a great lecturer with his knowledge and interesting life stories. We felt very safe in his capable hands. Lastly, Steve our expedition leader was probably one of the best tour leaders we have had. Steve’s knowledge and passion for this destination is evident and he showed us this area with great organization and great care. He obviously loves his job and it shows. !!!! I would recommend this Cruise to everyone who loves nature and wants to see the real Top End. It should be on everyone’s bucket list . Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We have just finished the trip of a lifetime. We knew what to expect by the information provided beforehand, and our expectations exceeded by an un-describable experience. The crew, the Explorer Guides and the guests made the trip a ... Read More
We have just finished the trip of a lifetime. We knew what to expect by the information provided beforehand, and our expectations exceeded by an un-describable experience. The crew, the Explorer Guides and the guests made the trip a journey not to forget. The Master (Captain) let his crew with a sincere wish to please the passengers. Nothing was too hard for them to put into place. Tours of the vessel were available and the bridge was open for anytime visits. There was every opportunity to participate in all events provided on board and on the daily and sometimes bi-daily cruises in the zodiacs and the Explorer. Those providing the guided tours had a wealth of knowledge to pass on to those who participated in the ventures and nearly all did. It was a mark of how much the trip and ventures were enjoyed when on the last day prior to the departure for Darwin every passenger was up for early breakfasts and out on the water for a final tour of one of the gorges. i have to say again, put this on your bucket list - and do it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
My husband and I have just returned from a cruise on the Coral Discoverer from Broome to Darwin. It was much more than we could ever have expected. The ship was clean, the suites cleaned daily, laundry facilities excellent. The food on ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a cruise on the Coral Discoverer from Broome to Darwin. It was much more than we could ever have expected. The ship was clean, the suites cleaned daily, laundry facilities excellent. The food on board was plentiful and beautiful. Thank you Chef Grant. The young staff on duty were always cheerful, helpful and very professional. Expedition Leader Steve, Lecturers Tom and Maureen were a wealth of knowledge, gave very interesting and informative lectures and always happy to answer questions. The Explorer is a terrific way to get off the "Mother Ship" and see different sites and the Zodiacs are a lot of fun. Both of these vessels were used daily to transport passengers to different activities. There are a variety of activities organised daily as well so you always have a choice. We spotted whales, crocodiles, sea snakes, sharks, many different species of birds, possums etc. The ride through the Horizontal Falls on the Zodiac was fantastic as was the helicopter flight over Mitchell Falls The open bridge policy was really appreciated as you have a birdseye view of what's around you. Captain Garry is such an integral part of the journey as he is such a nice, accommodating person. Thank you Garry for all the funny conversations and whale chasing!! A big thank you also to Purser Amy for organising some tables to be put together so the friends we made on the cruise were able to take part in my birthday celebrations. The cake made by Chef Grant was appreciated Anyone thinking of doing this cruise, we could not recommend it any higher! It will stay in our memories for the rest of our lives and we are now considering doing another cruise with the Coral Discoverer. Definitely value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was a most memorable journey taking us to places we could never have visited independently. Visits to remote islands and villages with all the local protocol and activities were the absolute highlight, apart from beautiful snorkelling ... Read More
This was a most memorable journey taking us to places we could never have visited independently. Visits to remote islands and villages with all the local protocol and activities were the absolute highlight, apart from beautiful snorkelling opportunities (scuba-diving and kayaking were also possible). The atmosphere on the ship was very friendly; the small number of passengers helped. The entire crew, including the expedition team, worked hard to make our trip a wonderful experience, and were always delightful despite the long hours. It was a particular bonus to have Dame Carol Kidu as a guest lecturer presenting fascinating insights into PNG. Master Gary’s talk about his career was very popular. Passengers were very impressed by the ship’s approach to benefiting local communities. Due to the drought caused by El Niño, a number of visited villages were very short on food and water, and the ship left provisions and water where needed, apart from a school bag. Some passengers were unhappy that we were not aware that some other items, especially for schools, were urgently needed. A list of such items in advance would have been great to contribute with useful donations. It feels a bit mean to point out a few things that could be improved, e.g. the technology for presentations, missing DVDs, better information on the fact that local currency was able to be sourced along the way. The information booklet for the preparation for this trip should be re-visited and updated. The chefs did a marvellous job in the kitchen and the food was varied, plentiful and delicious. Perhaps a timely (or earlier) start of the dinner would be good as many passengers were quite tired after a long day of adventures (again, it feels mean to even mention this). Overall, it was a fabulous trip and I recommend it very highly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This is the best trip I have taken this year. We are avid cruisers and have sailed once before with Coral in the Kimberley. We really enjoyed that but lowered our expectations of the Tasmania cruise as it was on their smaller ship. ... Read More
This is the best trip I have taken this year. We are avid cruisers and have sailed once before with Coral in the Kimberley. We really enjoyed that but lowered our expectations of the Tasmania cruise as it was on their smaller ship. However, it was truly refreshing. Tasmania is so beautiful. It feels remote and untouched. A small ship operated by an Australian company is a good way to do it. They have been around for 30 years. Some of the walks were strenuous and we sat one or two out. Scenery spectacular, we saw seals, dolphins, up close. Captain Nathan told us that we were the first passenger ship to enter Port Davey. We had a private tour of Port Arthur, though my second time there. Eerie place, sad history. Our past is tragic! Food was comforting, nothing fancy. Wine is not included. No organised entertainment, just talks and lectures. 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My cruise on board 'Coral Expeditions 11" gave me some of the most magical moments of my life - and at age 71, widely traveled and with many years at ownership level in the hospitality, retail and commercial boating industry, I ... Read More
My cruise on board 'Coral Expeditions 11" gave me some of the most magical moments of my life - and at age 71, widely traveled and with many years at ownership level in the hospitality, retail and commercial boating industry, I do not say this lightly. The whole experience was a product of the most amazing synergy of crew professionalism and relaxed, true, caring camaraderie. The itinerary could not be faulted - a wondrous combination of snorkeling and diving over some of the best reefs on Earth; excursions to Cooktown, Orpheus, Lizard and Fitzroy Islands; and above all, the informed flexibility of the crew who maximised every opportunity to gain the utmost from the weather and tide conditions with an eye always to the comfort and interests of their passengers. I was unashamedly self indulgent in that I gloried in the luxury and space of a deluxe state room but at no stage did I hear of any dissatisfaction from any of the other passengers who enjoyed other levels of cabin accommodation. The food and service? Absolutely beyond criticism. It is nearly 3 weeks now since I disembarked in Cairns and not a day goes by that I do not reminisce on so many separate and sublime occasions of my time on board and ashore. Foremost in my memories is most definitely the expertise, friendliness and caring shown by the crew. We were always kept totally informed via the communication direct to our cabin - a marvelous touch! For sure there are many other ways to see and enjoy our magnificent Great Barrier Reef but to be privileged to be one of the guests aboard "Coral Expedition 11" is something I do not take lightly. I thank you all. Yasmin - our magnificent Purser - I owe you a humble apology. In addition to giving us your cheery voice coming into our cabins and your professional service at meal times, you also were responsible for the wonderful "Coral Seas News" which appeared on our bed at night. I left the cruise with my only, very slight criticism that we were not given more historical or geographical information. I'm sorry! My brain was "out to lunch" on board - far too relaxed and if I had had a brain operating it would have been lonely! Only on arrival home when I stapled together all these newsletters as a keepsake did I realise that you had given SO much information on the reverse of the sheets! So - just a hint so that others as clueless or as relaxed as I was: mark the sheet "PTO" or something similar. To all the crew: Bec (your knowledge, friendliness and patience was unparalleled), Lex, Charlie, Sharlene (you have a wonderful 'people person' gift!), Roberto the maestro in the galley - and to you others who completed such a professional and friendly crew - I thank you. I am already looking at cruises with Coral Expeditions to Asia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. But perhaps I just might also repeat this very same cruise to the Great Barrier Reef! I could not give high enough recommendations and praise to the company and crew of "Coral Expeditions 11". Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The company should advertise that it is not a cruise for everyone. In fact it is not a 'cruise'. There are no casinos or piano players on board. There is no pool either. The Aussie crew are friendly but there is no room service. ... Read More
The company should advertise that it is not a cruise for everyone. In fact it is not a 'cruise'. There are no casinos or piano players on board. There is no pool either. The Aussie crew are friendly but there is no room service. Food is ok but this is not the Queen Mary. There is no luxury. I suggest the company advertise better. It is not a tour bus either. There were some locals who saw the cruise as a way to see some specific spot and were disappointed we didn't go there. I am glad the company did not stick to a rigid schedule as all know weather in Tasmania is not predictable. What it is - a well managed operation on a small ship with only 40 passengers taking you to places that left me and my husband awestruck. I will always remember standing on the bow with a nip in the air as we passed within a stone's throw of the incredible Cape Pillars. We saw seals at an island I can't remember. We went on all the walks. We are in our 60s and probably one of the youngest on board! The onboard Tasmania Parks ranger was a delight. There is some pitching and rolling but no worse than a Med cruise we took on a mega ship. The crew are friendly and work very hard. We refurned feeling healthy and invigorated. We are coming back next year! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We traveled as a multi-generational family and everyone had a wonderful time. The food and service were top notch. We have a vegetarian in our family and the staff went overboard cooking a special meal for her. We were amazed at the ... Read More
We traveled as a multi-generational family and everyone had a wonderful time. The food and service were top notch. We have a vegetarian in our family and the staff went overboard cooking a special meal for her. We were amazed at the wonderful meals. The snorkeling was the best in the world and the two in our family who dove also had a wonderful time. Special thanks to our purser, Udo, who went above and beyond in making our dining experiences so wonderful! Captain Kent was also awesome in helping when we needed medical attention and in making our grandson's experience special with a bridge tour, time in the captain's chair, and '1st mate' badge. This is an expedition ship and the cabins were basic, but you don't spend much time in them. With the small size of the ship you got to know your other cruisers. We met some wonderful people onboard both staff and other cruisers, and have awesome memories of this trip! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose the particular trip because we love snorkeling and that was the focus of the cruise. It was the best snorkeling of our lives---and we've been a LOT of places including Bora Bora Tahiti on the Paul Gaugain. The coral, fish, ... Read More
We chose the particular trip because we love snorkeling and that was the focus of the cruise. It was the best snorkeling of our lives---and we've been a LOT of places including Bora Bora Tahiti on the Paul Gaugain. The coral, fish, color, clarity of water were all A+ (not at every snorkel site but overall.) The boat would just be there at these incredible ribbon reefs off shore. They had a lift on the back so it was super easy access to the water. They carried a glass bottom boat to entertain the non-snorkelers and haul us in to shore when we did island snorkels. The big surprise was the boat, crew and food. Udo was the purser and he just made things work for everyone. The food was excellent and there were not too many people so you got to know each other. Mostly they were British or Australian and we're Americans so lots of interesting conversations. We were not traveling with children but there were a few and the crew really made them feel welcome. (They were great kids..engaged and enjoying the adventure.) We would definitely go again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
"I heard this was good, but not this good!”, someone remarked on our Darwin to Broome April 1, 2016, ten day Kimberley coast cruise. We absolutely concurred. The stunning Kimberley scenery and our experience with Coral ... Read More
"I heard this was good, but not this good!”, someone remarked on our Darwin to Broome April 1, 2016, ten day Kimberley coast cruise. We absolutely concurred. The stunning Kimberley scenery and our experience with Coral Expeditions 1 surpassed everything we expected. Simply wonderful. The guest lecturers and expedition team were a font of information, good advice and guidance. Not to mention brave! Who can forget our leader, hand feeding a shark off the back deck! Our B deck Deluxe Stateroom was spacious and well tended. Friendly staff were about predawn, ensuring the ship was spic and span for the day ahead. Food was plentiful and fresh - the standard of good pub fare. Coral Expeditions 1 is not a luxury cruise ship, but it’s comfortable and cosy. The stairs are steep, but we thought of them as an inbuilt exercise stair master! Dress is casual and barefoot on board is fine. No casinos, no pools, no entertainment shows, no deck to deck elevators. It’s not that sort of experience. “It’s an expedition, not a cruise,” we were told. And that’s what you get. We found the pace of onshore expeditions full-on and challenging, especially in the April heat and humidity, but always rewarding. There were pleasant ‘cruisier' options if you didn’t want to clamber up rocks to discover ancient aboriginal paintings or hike across a salt plain to see a crashed WW2 plane! Showers under remote towering waterfalls, crocodiles giving us the eye, sea snakes swimming by, amazing birdlife, bat colonies tending their babies and the incredibly cute ‘sea cow’ dugongs to fall in love with. A fantastic trip stacked full of exciting experiences and staggeringly beautiful vistas along the coast of one of the last great wilderness areas of the world. We loved this trip. We adored the Kimberley coast. We'd strike it off our bucket list, but we’d do it again in an instant! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
What a trip, unless you actually see it yourself you wouldn't believe it. Every day started off beautifully weather wise, company, staff and guides. Our cabins were very comfortable with plenty of room for both of us. Dinning room and ... Read More
What a trip, unless you actually see it yourself you wouldn't believe it. Every day started off beautifully weather wise, company, staff and guides. Our cabins were very comfortable with plenty of room for both of us. Dinning room and lounges around our ship were comfortable and documentaries, screenings, videos, charades, hat making and talks were a treat and must say a little nap time for some after another wonderful day. Christoph, what a wonderful and pleasant chef, always with a smile on his face and what meals he provided us, and must say my steak was perfect. Now what a beautiful country we have, we had no idea just how beautiful an area we were sailing into, every single day was an eye opener and we were blessed with perfect weather. Going out in the explorer every day was an absolute treat, and having beautiful waterfall showers, and fresh water swim wow. Exploring everthing on a whole was more than we imagined possible and seeing is believing. One very exciting treat was going fishing in the explorer with Josh out of the 12 persons who fished almost all caught fish and quite a bit of excitement was had especially by me. Finishing our trip was sad as our trip was over but how bitter sweet it was to have all the crew there for our final farewell, and hugs as well. Home again and we have let our agent and everyone who has asked that telling them about our trip is never enough, and they should do the trip and see for themselves. Thankyou so very very much. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
What a delight! With only 18 passengers aboard and a crew of 14, we had lots of personal attention. All crew members worked to make us feel like family with them and each other. Rooms are small and basic but there is good storage ... Read More
What a delight! With only 18 passengers aboard and a crew of 14, we had lots of personal attention. All crew members worked to make us feel like family with them and each other. Rooms are small and basic but there is good storage (cabinet and under the bed), a big window, lots of hot water and towels replaced twice each day. This is a live aboard type so it is definitely a water activity ship. So stairs between decks are steep. Rooms on Deck 1 & 2. Dining on Deck 1 and Lounge on Deck 3. The food was very good. Hot breakfast and hot lunch served buffet style. Dinner was sit down service and varied. We had seafood buffet, BBQ on the outdoor deck and grilled steak. The staff knew our names and anticipated our food and drink desires. Water activities are the main feature here. Our cruise had two dive instructors. So their one-on-one attention got me diving again for the first time in 30 years. It was incredible! My husband, as a certified diver, had even better dives including one pre-dawn dive. They also had four glass bottom boat tours for passengers not wanting to get wet. On the beach of Lizard Island, they set up chairs, snacks, wine and drinks for a beach sunset viewing. Days on the cruise are very busy. Breakfast is at 7 am. Followed by hiking (Captain Cook lookout), touring (Cooktown) and beach, diving, snorkeling stops. We had two different stops every day. One of the best tours we've done! The reefs are straight off the boat's back deck -- which lowers for easy access to the water. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
We had always wanted to see the areas of the Kimberley that can only be accessed by sea. We chose the Coral Expeditions 1 mainly for the small number of passengers, (48 maximum). The areas we saw did not disappoint. The rugged beauty, ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the areas of the Kimberley that can only be accessed by sea. We chose the Coral Expeditions 1 mainly for the small number of passengers, (48 maximum). The areas we saw did not disappoint. The rugged beauty, the amazing colours of the land and sea, the isolation and wilderness were amazing. The two guest lecturers aboard, Tim Harvey and Sandy Shaw made the journey so much more rounded with all the information that they imparted from their wide spread knowledge of the geology and flora and fauna.They accompanied all the shore trips in the tender and also gave talks and showed videos. The tender was on a hydraulic ramp that lifted it up to C deck and the passengers could then simply walk on for easy access. A great idea for those less nimble people. There were shore journeys every day sometimes twice a day when we got to the cruising areas after the first day sailing from Darwin.A few shore journey were strenuous but we were always advised as to the level and if you wanted to remain in the tender and have a cruise around then that was always an alternative. All of the crew were very friendly and extremely professional.The food was excellent and plentiful. My request for fish instead of meat was met without any fuss. Diners moved around so you got to know your fellow passengers. Most days were very full with some early starts to catch the right tide to see certain sights at their best. It's not a cruise to take if you just want to lounge around but other than that we highly recommend it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We wanted a smaller ship to be able to experience the wonders of the Kimberly by sea. We sure did. It was a fantastic trip. Crew and skipper were great. Ship was comfortable and provided excellent meals. Well done the chef and crew! We had ... Read More
We wanted a smaller ship to be able to experience the wonders of the Kimberly by sea. We sure did. It was a fantastic trip. Crew and skipper were great. Ship was comfortable and provided excellent meals. Well done the chef and crew! We had daily excursions ashore as well as knowledgeable guides/lecturers. The cruise required a modicum of fitness with a few walks and scramble over rocks. they have a flat bottomed boat which they use for expeditions (fishing also). It fits everyone and is able to land on beaches and rocky shores. The cabins (we had a suite) were fine with plenty of room and ensuite. The crew were very professional and appeared to be having fun along with the passengers. This makes for an enjoyable trip. We chose to go from Darwin to Broome as I figured the prevailing wind would more likely be up our rear, which provides an easier ride. I was mostly right. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We sailed from Broome to Darwin through the Kimberleys. The scenery was breathtaking. The daily excursions were full of interest as well as unique and very enjoyable. The staff were amazing. They could not do enough to assist us. You ... Read More
We sailed from Broome to Darwin through the Kimberleys. The scenery was breathtaking. The daily excursions were full of interest as well as unique and very enjoyable. The staff were amazing. They could not do enough to assist us. You would only have to ask for something once and they acted right away. The tour leaders were so knowledgeable. They bent over backwards to make the tours full of interest. The food was absolutely delicious. The breakfast and lunch were buffet style and the evening meal a la carte. There were many healthy options to choose from. The ship was spotlessly clean. At 6pm every day there would be a recap of the day's activities and then an explanation of what would occur the next day. They told you what to wear, what to take. The safety level was fantastic. I would strongly recommend Coral Expeditions and I would have no hesitation to book another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
We could not fault this cruise. Weather obviously plays a big part in the enjoyment of a cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. The staff were friendly, helpful and altogether amazing. Nothing was a problem. We were given plenty of information ... Read More
We could not fault this cruise. Weather obviously plays a big part in the enjoyment of a cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. The staff were friendly, helpful and altogether amazing. Nothing was a problem. We were given plenty of information on the reef and the life on the reef. The food was restaurant quality with plenty for all. A highlight was the scones one afternoon, the best we have ever had and my mother was English and cooked great scones. The cruise has two sectors, a four day and a three day sector. We did both. If you are specifically travelling to do the diving on the coral, whether snorkelling or scuba, the four day northern sector is the highlight. They travel the outer ribbon reefs and the reef is opposite rain forest on the mainland. The water quality and underwater scenery is generally better. However there is more for the non divers in the southern three day sector. however on the last day we swam with turtles and had good visibility on Fitzroy Island just off Cairns. The accommodation was very acceptable and the upper lounge area was a pleasant relaxing area with amazing views. As we were disembarking my wife and I said we could easily have turned around and walked back on board for another seven days. We travelled in May which was a good time because the water was still warm (28 degrees) and the vessel was not full as June and on wards is their busy time however the water begins to cool down. The age group was over 50s mostly with the occasional family or couple in there 40s. We are 62 years old but very active. An amazing trip!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
We cruise a lot internationally on small and medium vessels and will add this one to the best ships. All the good things others say are true and we have no compla9nts at all. Excellent and worth every penny. The cabins are excellent, the ... Read More
We cruise a lot internationally on small and medium vessels and will add this one to the best ships. All the good things others say are true and we have no compla9nts at all. Excellent and worth every penny. The cabins are excellent, the food very good, the crew always helpful and friendly. The guides knew their stuff, a little eccentric too but that makes for even more interest. Remember, it is a smallish ship by international standards but its size gives great access with its flat bottomed fast motor boat and 3 zodiacs, access few other ships enjoy. As an amateur ocean sailor when young, I pleasured in watching the professional way the merchant marine crew so capably and caringly handled their small access vessels. They were a pleasure to watch and admire. The bar was not open as much as I would have liked but we could have asked for drink service at any time if we wished. If you thinking of this vessel do not hesitate. Highly recommended,. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The boat accommodates 22 people, (only there were only 13 on this cruise), so this suited us as we don't like touring with lots of people. There is a lounge area with big screen TV for presentations, bar and relevant books to borrow. ... Read More
The boat accommodates 22 people, (only there were only 13 on this cruise), so this suited us as we don't like touring with lots of people. There is a lounge area with big screen TV for presentations, bar and relevant books to borrow. We spent a lot of time with the fish ID book. There is also a sundeck and another bar in the dining area downstairs. You can call in at the wheelhouse any time the door is open and this was very interesting, seeing all the instruments. I watched the docking procedure on our return to Cairns. The cabin had 2 double wardrobes and other storage space, so all our stuff was out of the way. The food was excellent throughout and chef made me vegetarian meals, even though I was the only one eating them. All the crew were professional and friendly. I hate water and had never snorkelled before, but was made to feel confident that I could take it at my own pace and someone would be there to help if I needed them. I subsequently snorkelled 5 times and loved the experience. Similarly, my partner scuba-dived for the first time. We were kept informed of potential choppy seas so we could take medication before the event if needed, and staff were always available to help people move around the ship. The on-board marine biologist was excellent, giving presentations beforehand so we knew what to look for and information on the glass-bottomed boat tour which preceded each snorkel. Read Less
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