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I am a semi retired Master mariner with over 45 years of experience in a a variety of passenger vessels worldwide. I enjoy travelling as a passenger with my wife recently on boutique type cruise vessels. I have no connection with any shipping company,shipping agency or travel agency and write this review purely as an independent tourist accompanied by my wife. We booked a 4 night cruise from Cairns to Cooktown ,Lizard Island and various reefs along the Great Barrier Reef.I have transited the Barrier Reef pilotage many times previously in my seagoing career but wanted a closer look at the reef without the rush of a day trip from Cairns.Coral Expedition 2 appeared to be our only option to achieve this. The vessel is very old and outdated and not suited to cruising in open waters. A catamaran cannot be stabilized as on a mono hull and is far from comfortable in the regular southeasterly conditions that can be encountered on the East coast. the cabins are clean with reasonable size bathrooms.However the dinning room resembles a compact crew mess and is far to small for the number of passengers on this vessel.The buffet style dining for most meals entails squeezing along a line to make your selection.Less memorable were the two evening meals of the table d'hote style.We had to order our meals at lunch time (just like a hospital or boarding school).One meal consisted of two tiny pieces of pork and 4 florets of broccoli and an equally small panna cotta dessert, minuscule and hardly a proper meal and not value for money. The visit to Cooktown was a token 2 hours and hardly long enough to look around.. The reef visits were okay but there is an archaic "safety manifest" for all guests to sign on departure from each stop whether you have left the vessel or not.I was resting in my cabin with the "do not disturb ' notice on the door when i was harassed to sign this silly piece of paper.I realise the vessel doesn't want to leave anyone behind but on the modern ships i have worked there are far less intrusive methods for checking crew and passenger numbers. Having done a similarly priced boutique cruise in the Pacific last year we were totally underwhelmed with our experience.At no stage were we made to feel welcome by the Australian crew and more like a mild inconvenience to them. In conclusion i would not recommend this cruise to anyone as it is not value for money.

3 Star vessel at a 5 star price

Coral Expeditions II Cruise Review by rosemaryandbill

Trip Details
I am a semi retired Master mariner with over 45 years of experience in a a variety of passenger vessels worldwide.

I enjoy travelling as a passenger with my wife recently on boutique type cruise vessels.

I have no connection with any shipping company,shipping agency or travel agency and write this review purely as an independent tourist accompanied by my wife.

We booked a 4 night cruise from Cairns to Cooktown ,Lizard Island and various reefs along the Great Barrier Reef.I have transited the Barrier Reef pilotage many times previously in my seagoing career but wanted a closer look at the reef without the rush of a day trip from Cairns.Coral Expedition 2 appeared to be our only option to achieve this.

The vessel is very old and outdated and not suited to cruising in open waters. A catamaran cannot be stabilized as on a mono hull and is far from comfortable in the regular southeasterly conditions that can be encountered on the East coast.

the cabins are clean with reasonable size bathrooms.However the dinning room resembles a compact crew mess and is far to small for the number of passengers on this vessel.The buffet style dining for most meals entails squeezing along a line to make your selection.Less memorable were the two evening meals of the table d'hote style.We had to order our meals at lunch time (just like a hospital or boarding school).One meal consisted of two tiny pieces of pork and 4 florets of broccoli and an equally small panna cotta dessert, minuscule and hardly a proper meal and not value for money.

The visit to Cooktown was a token 2 hours and hardly long enough to look around..

The reef visits were okay but there is an archaic "safety manifest" for all guests to sign on departure from each stop whether you have left the vessel or not.I was resting in my cabin with the "do not disturb ' notice on the door when i was harassed to sign this silly piece of paper.I realise the vessel doesn't want to leave anyone behind but on the modern ships i have worked there are far less intrusive methods for checking crew and passenger numbers.

Having done a similarly priced boutique cruise in the Pacific last year we were totally underwhelmed with our experience.At no stage were we made to feel welcome by the Australian crew and more like a mild inconvenience to them.

In conclusion i would not recommend this cruise to anyone as it is not value for money.
, Digital Executive has responded
In response to your review above, we would like to take the opportunity to provide the following details to both yourself and for the readers' perspective. We collect and study guest feedback forms from every cruise, and our management team spent time reviewing forms received on this particular cruise in much detail. We are very concerned when a guest is unhappy. We note that the experiences you outline as concerning during the trip are vastly inconsistent with the trends experienced by other passengers on your voyage. Our team are very proud of our positive feedback across our fleet. We have an overall internal guest satisfaction rating of over 95% excellent. 37 out of 42 reviews of Coral Expeditions II on CruiseCritic are 5/5 ("excellent"). We listen carefully to our guests and assure you that we will continue to work very hard to earn our ratings, and if you would like to discuss this further please reach out to us on my direct email: mark@coralexpeditions.com. The Coral Expeditions Management Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
rosemaryandbill’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 303
Average cabin with poor service i.e towels not changed at all.You shouldn't have to ask for this.