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.