Coral Expeditions II Cruise Review by rosemaryandbill
- Sail Date: August 2018
- Destination: Australia & New Zealand
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The vessel is very old and outdated and not suited to cruising in open waters.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.
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