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cruiser02
February 13th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Has anyone taken a cruise of the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns Australia on Captian Cook's Reef Endeavour? Interested in comments

andydee
February 14th, 2005, 08:23 AM
Hi,
We did this cruise three years ago; the 7 day one, and will do the 4 day one again soon. If you are a fan of big ship entertainment, 5 star food then this is not the cruise for you. If however , you want a cruise that gets you on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef to snorkle, dive , or take glass bottom boat rides each day, sign up. The ship itself is very small by cruise ship standards but very modern, nicely appointed and sailed more smoothly than ships we have been on more than ten times it size. The food was O.K. but not up to the standards of the last two cruises we took on Princess and HAL. The on board marine bioligist made our snorkelling and glass bottom boat expeditions a treat. If you do this trip, take the time to drive through amazing tropical rainforests to Cape Tribulation before or after your cruise. If a lovely beach setting is more appealing, we loved Palm Cove, just north of Cairns.
Back to the cruise itself. we enjoyed meeting everone on board which is what happens on such a small ship. Our stateroom was nicely appointed and the all Ausrtralian crew were very helpful, friendly and efficient. If you have any other questions, ask away.
Cheers,
Andy

cruiser02
February 16th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Andy .. Thank you for your description of the Reef cruise. We were expecting a small ship experience ... but wanted a description like yours of the cabin and crew. Were most of your fellow passengers from AUS / NZ? Weather: we are going the end of April.
We are spending several days in Sydney ..our 3rd time....before flying up to Cairns. Plan to stay a week in an apartment at the Outrigger in Cairns to explore that area. Would Cairns be a good base? I've taken note of your 2 suggestions. Any information you would like to pass along I would be happy to receive.
We are in the 55+ set ... like to explore on our own ...not too many structured tours.
Again Thank You for responding.

andydee
February 17th, 2005, 03:35 AM
Hi,
We were 57 and 54 when we did this cruise and like you, don't go for organized tours. Our fellow travellers varied from the 3 day and 4 day cruise (we did back to back). On the 4 day, 2/3rds. were Aussies and the rest were from the U.S. , Canada and Europe. On the rest of the cruise, there were 1/3 Aussies, 1/3 U.S. and British and the rest mostly Europeans and Canadians. We enjoyed this mix very much and found everyone friendly. Cairns is known as the jumping off point for Far North Queensland and I guess it depends what you are looking for. We didn't find it very appealing. It would be very appealing to teen agers and young folks and seems to cater for them very well. It doesn't have a beach of it's own however and did not strike me as a very appealing place when compared to some of it's nearby tropical neighbours such as Palm Cove or farther North and quite touristy (but nicer than Cairns) Port Douglas.Next time we will stay at Palm Cove . Last time we stayed in Cairns pre cruise and Port Douglas post cruise and preferred the latter. You can find plenty of nice places to stay in Palm Cove and Port Douglas on the net if interested
Far North Qld. 's weather tends to fall into two basic patterns; the wet summer season which runs from December thru March and the rest of the year which features warm weather and plenty of sunshine. This is the tropics however so rain can happen any time although it tends to come and go quickly. You should be comfortably away from the wet season in late April. While swimming and snorkelling away from the coast and on the reef is jellyfish free year round, the very nasty Aussie kind are a problem in the summer months on the coast up there . While you should be O.K. in late April, be sure to check with local dive shop or other knowledgeable locals first during your shore holiday before swimming off the beach.
One other thing. Be sure to take your own mask and snorkels. The ship supplies them and flippers free but I couldn't find a mask that fit properly. We loved this cruise and Far North Queensland too and you can look forward to a great time. Any more questions; feel free.
Cheers,
Andy

cruiser02
February 20th, 2005, 10:01 AM
Thanks for all the information. The mix of nationalities on the cruise is great. We are in the same age group What was the age group on the ship?
For packing - was the dress pretty informal? What about evenings? Luggage and packing is a major travel issue nowdays.
Was most everything included in the cruise fare? excluding drinks of course. The cabins - fairly good size? We are on the Top deck.
I've made all arrangements for the cruise thru an online travel agent who has been most helpful. Did call her directly for payment information. With the time difference I seem to be trying to call before they are even out of bed.
We are in the Seattle area. Where do you live?
If you think of anything else that would be useful ...Pls post I will check the board.

andydee
February 20th, 2005, 08:23 PM
Hi,
I live in Sydney after having lived in the States and Canada. We found the staterooms to be cozy but well designed for the purpose and we were quite comfortable in ours. There were no formal nights; evening dress was smart casual and during the day, it was mostly beach wear due to the daily activities and climate. Casual was the day time wear on board. We found most of our fellow passengers to be in their 40's and 50's with a few younger or older than that. All snorkelling, and glass bottom boat shore excusions are included in the cruise price as are shore excusions except for an optional one available in Cooktown. Dives are extra and require a current certificate.
Cheers,
Andy

cruiser02
February 21st, 2005, 12:25 PM
What weather should I expect in Sydney mid-April ? Will be Fall - early Fall - right?

andydee
February 22nd, 2005, 04:30 AM
That is right.The weather typically should be warm and sunny, my favorite Sydney season.
Andy

herenthere
February 28th, 2005, 12:02 AM
We went on the Coral Princess from Townsville to Cairns. Our travel agent recommended it because there are so many snorkelling opportunities. We went in winter and were comfortable in short wetsuits that they provided on the boat. There was also a dive instructor for anyone that is a diver. The food was great and we loved the whole experience. Here's the website... http://www.coralprincess.com.au/great_barrier_reef_cruises.htm

-=mike=-
September 1st, 2008, 05:41 PM
Hi, I've been researching the Coral Princess cruises of the GBR for a 4 night trip we are considering for 06 Feb. 2009 departure. Does anyone have current updates or validation for these posts or, what is posted here in this thread? http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=15704748#post15704748 (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=15704748#post15704748)

Ive looked at the company web site, www.coralprincesscruises.com (http://www.coralprincesscruises.com/)

I will contact CP II via their web site, but would appreciate any feedback on the classes of rooms they show on the site: Cabin; Stateroom; Upper Deck Stateroom; Deluxe Stateroom.

We both plan to snorkel and I plan to do some scuba (we are both NAUI certified). We'd like to know if this ship will be a problem for my wife who has trouble with stairs, and ladders are most problematic due to her arthritis in the knees. Are staterooms on one deck more convenient than other decks? Can various staterooms be reserved in advance of boarding? Does anyone have photos of on-board amenities and staterooms? The fish-eye photo on the web site does not look all that reliable for size estimates.:confused:

Wed prefer something with two beds over a single bed.

Many thanks for any information. Mike (and Val)

OHCruisinDad
September 2nd, 2008, 02:03 AM
Hi, I've been researching the Coral Princess cruises of the GBR for a 4 night trip we are considering for 06 Feb. 2009 departure. Does anyone have current updates or validation for these posts or, what is posted here in this thread? http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=15704748#post15704748 (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=15704748#post15704748)

Ive looked at the company web site, www.coralprincesscruises.com (http://www.coralprincesscruises.com/)

I will contact CP II via their web site, but would appreciate any feedback on the classes of rooms they show on the site: Cabin; Stateroom; Upper Deck Stateroom; Deluxe Stateroom. We had the main cabins on the galley deck (207 and 208 if I recall correctly.) The only problem was the anchor noise as we were as far forward as you could be.

We both plan to snorkel and I plan to do some scuba (we are both NAUI certified). We'd like to know if this ship will be a problem for my wife who has trouble with stairs, and ladders are most problematic due to her arthritis in the knees. There is a narrow flight of stairs forward on the second deck that go up to the upper loungs (3rd deck). There is a larger and wider set of stairs from the dining room (1st deck) to the 2nd deck (all cabins). There are farily steep ladders on the rear of the ship between the various decks. Are staterooms on one deck more convenient than other decks? On the Corar Princess II, they are all on either the 1st or 2nd deck. Can various staterooms be reserved in advance of boarding? I'm sure you can select your choice of cabins. Their reservations desk was very helpful. Does anyone have photos of on-board amenities and staterooms? The fish-eye photo on the web site does not look all that reliable for size estimates.:confused: I don't have any interior shots other than the group photo on the top deck (rear) by the spa on departure day. The shower had a curtain but it was bigger than those on RCL.

Wed prefer something with two beds over a single bed. Our two cabins both had built-in twin bunks that were very comfortable.

Many thanks for any information. Mike (and Val)


Hello Mike -

That is my cruise review post and I told it like it was. I did try to answer some of your quesitons by listing reposnses in red text in your quoted post. I'd be happy to answer any specific quesitons regarding the ship and the entire experience. I posted my review is some detail as I couldn't find much info on the Captain Cook or Coral Princess GBR cruises. I've subscribed to this thread so if you post here it will be forwarded to me via email and I'll respond that evening.

Cheers, OhCruisinDad

HendersonHonezz
September 2nd, 2008, 04:56 PM
Hi Mike....After reading the review of Coral Princess II that OhCruisinDad wrote, we booked a 4 night cruise. We are not going until October, 2009 but we have already sent our deposit.

My husband uses a manual wheelchair, however, he can climbing stairs quite well, just doesn't walk distances very well. Their staff selected a stateroom for us on the same deck as the dining area as they informed us that a lot of meetings, etc. go on in that room. We both snorkel but do not dive. Our plan is to just stay on the ship if their land excursions are not suitable for us.

The Coral Princess II staff is very good about answering all of your questions.

We will be doing this cruise prior to flying to Sydney for a few days and then boarding a ship from Sydney to Los Angeles for 30 days.

Tom and Connie:) :)

MMDown Under
September 2nd, 2008, 06:07 PM
Hi Mike....After reading the review of Coral Princess II that OhCruisinDad wrote, we booked a 4 night cruise. We are not going until October, 2009 but we have already sent our deposit.

My husband uses a manual wheelchair, however, he can climbing stairs quite well, just doesn't walk distances very well. Their staff selected a stateroom for us on the same deck as the dining area as they informed us that a lot of meetings, etc. go on in that room. We both snorkel but do not dive. Our plan is to just stay on the ship if their land excursions are not suitable for us.

The Coral Princess II staff is very good about answering all of your questions.

We will be doing this cruise prior to flying to Sydney for a few days and then boarding a ship from Sydney to Los Angeles for 30 days.

Tom and Connie:) :)

What a great holiday to look forward to - enjoy!

OHCruisinDad
September 3rd, 2008, 12:24 AM
Hi Mike....After reading the review of Coral Princess II that OhCruisinDad wrote, we booked a 4 night cruise. We are not going until October, 2009 but we have already sent our deposit.

My husband uses a manual wheelchair, however, he can climbing stairs quite well, just doesn't walk distances very well. Their staff selected a stateroom for us on the same deck as the dining area as they informed us that a lot of meetings, etc. go on in that room. We both snorkel but do not dive. Our plan is to just stay on the ship if their land excursions are not suitable for us.

The Coral Princess II staff is very good about answering all of your questions.

We will be doing this cruise prior to flying to Sydney for a few days and then boarding a ship from Sydney to Los Angeles for 30 days.

Tom and Connie:) :)


Hi Tom and Connie -

You should have a great time. The two island shore trips we did were at Dunk Island and Pelorus Island. On the back of the CPII is their "glass bottom" boat. This is on an electric winch lift platform. The crew adjusts the level of the lift platform and they load up to 20 passengers at a time for trips ashore as they use this little boat for everything. To manuver on, there is a step up and then a couple down into the small boat. There are plenty of spots to hold onto and the crew is very helpful. This arrangement is great as you completely avoid the problem of climbing from a small boat to the larger cruise ship when both may be bouncing about on the water.

In order to snorkel from the CPII, you will have to go down a few ladder steps/stairs from the 1st deck to the swim/dive platform at water level.

At Dunk, they took us ashore to a small beach and we did a 10 - 15 minute bush walk on a narrow trail to the main resort. Given your situation, I am sure they wiill drop off those who want to walk the path and then take you to the main beach for drop off. Just let then know. We were all picked up at the main beach for our return trip.

The drop off at Pelorus is right at the beach. There is a short optional bush and beach walk but again, its not mandatory. You will have to walk up and across the beach to the small dining and grilling area. I doubt it was more than 150 feet or so from the beach to the dining area and beach chairs. There was excellent snorkeling and diving right from the beach as the island has a great fringe reef.

If you like, I have some photos of the island and I would be glad to forward them. You can contact me at lawrenceji at aol dot com. The files are 2 MB each so I'll send the pictures 1 or 2 at a time unles I figure out how to reduce the file size and or post them on the web.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I'll be real interested to read about your cruise and your impressions of the Coral Princess operation.

Cheers, Mac

-=mike=-
September 3rd, 2008, 07:10 AM
Thank you for the update OhCruisinDad, and for your info too, Tom and Connie.

HendersonHonezz
September 3rd, 2008, 11:23 AM
Mac...thanks for offering to send the photos. Sounds great. We can be reached at gregorylv at hotmail dot com.

We are going on the 4 night cruise which has a little different intinerary that the one you were on, I think. We sail from Cairns, stop at Cooktown and Reef, then Lizzard Island and Ribbon Reef 9, and finally Ribbon and Rachel Carson Reef before returning to Cairns the next day.

I'll bet you have some great photos. Do you have any of the ship. I think our stateroom is on the same level as yours but close to the dining room.

We are very excited about this cruise. We have been to Australia before, a couple of years ago, but never saw the Great Barrier Reef.

Thank you for taking the time to help us out.

Tom and Connie:) :)

kathy16
October 8th, 2008, 09:21 PM
Also thinking about this cruise (read your wonderful review) OHCruisinDad.. I just can't decide whether I will be sick of being on another boat after my 15 day cruise, or if the sights available to be seen in this type of trip will trump staying at a resort on land and taking a day trip to GBR, or a 2 night non-private Whitsunday-type sailing cruise. There was still availability when I e-mailed last week.