By Belinda Luksic
Cruise Critic Contributor
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Dining

Passengers never go hungry onboard Coral Discoverer. The international cuisine is as fresh as it is delicious -- and there's plenty of it. In addition to a gourmet buffet at breakfast and lunch and an a la carte three-course dinner, passengers are treated most days to an afternoon tea filled with fresh baked goods. On days at sea, there is also a morning tea. Meals include a gluten-free option and there are always healthy choices such as fruit, salad and soup. Given enough notice, the kitchen can accommodate vegetarian and other dietary requirements.

Coral Discoverer has only one dining room where all meals are served. Located on the lower deck, the light-filled space features a bank of windows on port and starboard and a configuration of square and round tables seating groups of four and six. There is an open-seat policy and passengers can sit where and with whom they like. Linen tablecloths and napery are used at lunch and dinner. There is a bar at the rear, as well as an espresso coffee machine and tea station. Another coffee and tea station is located in the Bridge Deck lounge. Both have caffeinated and herbal teas, espresso, decaf, hot chocolate and cookies and are available to use around the clock. There is no room service, but crew will bring meals to passengers who are unwell.

Breakfast is served most mornings from 7 am or 8 am and includes a continental breakfast with tropical fruits, yoghurt, bread, cheese, ham, cereal and pastries. There are light options such as porridge and muesli and a dedicated toaster for raisin toast and gluten-free bread. A hot breakfast is also served and this includes staples such as bacon and eggs, spinach, hash browns, mushrooms and tomatoes.

Lunch is a hot and cold buffet with a fruit platter to finish. The daily menu travels the globe -- from Hungarian goulash to pasta, salad Nicoise to tacos, curries and seafood. Fresh baked goods such as cake, cookies, scones and lamingtons are served at afternoon tea along with a gluten-free option. 

Dinner is served at 7 pm, a three-course a la carte menu with a choice of two entrees and two mains. On the Arnhem Land cruise between Cairns and Darwin, entrees included a creamy cauliflower soup, prawn cocktail and pork terrine. Mains were a highlight, with crispy skin salmon, veal marsala, confit of duck and roast barramundi just some of the offerings.

On the first night, there is a seafood buffet. This could include local baked barramundi, Tasmanian oysters, Crystal Bay prawns, steamed mussels and seafood laksa topped off with a pavlova for dessert. On one of the evenings, an Australian cheese platter is served in place of a sweet dessert.

An Aussie 'barbeque' buffet is held on another night. In good weather, this takes place on a beach or on the top Sun Deck of the ship. On the Arnhem Land cruise, passengers were treated to a feast of beef fillet, kangaroo steak, barramundi, sausages, crocodile and chicken skewers alongside potato salad, green salad and coleslaw. There were three different cheesecakes for dessert. Invitations to dine with the captain and his crew occur once per cruise and are extended to loyalty club members or those celebrating a special occasion.

During lunch and dinner service, passengers can enjoy complimentary wine, beer and cider. Pours are big and drinks regularly topped up, especially in the first two hours of service. House wines are from South Australian label Beaumont and feature a sauvignon blanc and chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills and a shiraz and merlot from the Clare Valley. There is also an apple cider, a choice of three house beers (XXXX Gold, Victoria Bitter and Cascade Premium Light), soft drinks, juices and sparkling mineral water.

Coral Discoverer Information

Coral Discoverer Ship Stats

  • Crew: 23
  • Launched: 2005
  • Decks: 4
  • Passengers: 72
  • Registry: Australia

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise