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“Excellent adventure”
Review of Reef Encounter

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Reef Encounter
Certificate of Excellence
Albertville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent adventure”
Reviewed 4 July 2012

This was probably the best part of our 2 week vacation from the US to Australia. My husband, daughter, father in law, and I went on a 2 day, 1 night trip, and wished we had stayed longer. My husband and daughter dove. The equipment was of good quality and well maintained. My father in law and I enjoyed reef views from the glass bottomed boat. I also snorkeled a couple of times and the staff tried to help me feel more comfortable in the water. The food was excellent and the chef worked very hard to accommodate food preferences. The staff was amazing. Shannon, the "inside person" did everything she could to make everyone's stay very comfortable. The rooms were very nice and the private bath, albeit small, was very functional. The inside lounge on the first floor was a great place to talk with others from all over. The "hosties" are from all over the world and it was fun to talk with them. There was a very nice sundeck on an upper level. On the last day when transferring back to Reef Experience you must have your own towel if you plan to get in the water. Also be aware that changing space is very limited on that boat so you must plan accordingly, like having your swim stuff in a separate bag to make it easier than getting in and out of your luggage. My only recommendation is staying more than one night.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank jules0830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
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English first
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2012

What an amazing experience!

That is the sentence I'm going to use to some-up my stay on Reef Encounter. We were a local, young couple (24 years) from the Cairns area and travelled from the 17/18th June. Just one night as certified divers. We should've stayed another night as our experience on Encounter was so good.

I have stayed on many live-a-aboards throughout the Cairns region, Similan Islands in Thailand and the Red Sea. They all offer a level of service and "professialism" that comes with the price that you pay. But this has been my favourite trip so far! It all comes down to the crew. They are engaging, approachable and professional which is hard to find all in the same sentence. They are a mixture of nationalities and cultures from all over the world that blend together on this "love boat" as they refer to it.

We were told reef encounter had just gone through a 3 month refit, and she looks fantastic. A new paint job (exterior), couches (to melt into with a drink), mattresses (to sleep better between dives) and 2 new engines (less travel time so more relaxing between dives) to name a few.....

All in all the diving is awesome between some 10 different spots, the food is fantastic prepared by the chefs onboard, and the crew is unique and professional. My experience is one to remember..............and return too.......

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Zachary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2012

My time on reef encounter won't soon be forgotten. I signed up for the 2 days 1 night, but ended up staying on a couple of more nights as hostie and will soon be going back as hostie. The boat itself is very beautiful, being completely redone recently. The main areas of the boat are very comfortable and easy to get around. The rooms were also really comfortable, with comfy beds and they had everything you needed. Each room has an ensuite bathroom and all linens and towels are provided.

The crew was super friendly and very helpful with anything that was needed, and the chef was very accommodating for every passengers needs. Not an easy feat considering how many people can be on board at any given time. The gear was in great shape, and there was a lot to choose from so that you could find something that fit perfectly for you. The small details were what counted most, most notably, a drying machine next to the diving gear storage to throw your towels into so that when you come out of the water at night after a dive, you have a warm towel to wrap yourself in.

The boat was extremely stable when docked, with only a slight rocking being felt even on windy/choppy days. The sights are all beautiful with tons of life to see. The food was great and plentiful. Would DEFINITELY recommend to anyone looking for a trip out to the reef. The top deck option was a great option if you choose to do it (spoke with people who did it) if you want to pamper yourself. Very happy that I chose this boat to go diving off of.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Josh K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
Reviewed 12 June 2012

We are from the United States and wanted to truly enjoy the great barrier reef. We were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful rooms and fantastic meals. The staff on the boat are friendly and very helpful and we truly enjoyed spending time with the other passengers! If you love to dive and snorkel and want to truly enjoy the reef this is by far the best value for the money. A great overall experience and I will highly recommend to friends and family!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Mona A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2012

I am actually writing this review while still on-board!
The Reef Experience is simply great, the crew is super friendly and caring and will take care of everything you need - all you have to do is simply ask and it happens.
Even though the rooms are small the important things are there including towels (we asked for new ones after a day and had them replaced by the time we came back form our dive!) water pressure and adequate supply of hot water in the showers even when the whole boat is back from diving - and this is really important when you come back from a cold night dive!
If you are lucky enough you might have the opportunity to help as a hostie and then stay and dive for free!!!

Room Tip: 2nd floor rooms are quitter and more private
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Royyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2012

Staying overnight on the coral sea in comfort is an experience in itself but combine that with snorkeling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef and you have an out of this world experience.
Hosted by a friendly staff with a big family atmosphere who are only too eager to please.
WOW!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Morag B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverside, California
1 review
Reviewed 29 May 2012

I spent 2 days/ 1 night in mid-May. I really appreciated the private room and shower. The common room is lush. The food is top-notch and the chef was very accommodating. Every crewmember is genuinely glad to have you aboard and they're all so friendly. Thank you to Gumby, our divemaster; Sash and Chris, dive assistants; Alex, our chef; Shannon and the other wonderful crewmembers. We did Hastings Reef, then Saxon. The divemaster has hand-drawn maps of the divesites. Dive time is limited to 40 minutes. Guided tours are available for 10 aussie dollars. The water was a tad cool for me this time of year, but I like it toasty. Their spring suits were a bit tattered; I tried one and didn't find it helpful, so I did my remaining dives without. I brought my own dive gear, but theirs didn't look too bad. I should've brought my 3mm spring suit. Loved the trip...I enthusiastically recommend the Reef Encounter. =D

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Ariel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Reef Encounter

Property: Reef Encounter
Address: 100 Abbott St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Reef Encounter 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reef Encounter,Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Liveaboard is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef’s floating luxury boutique hotel. Spend one night or several nights on one of the Natural Wonders of the World. Transfers departing from Cairns, Queensland daily, offering guests a unique opportunity to enjoy the ultimate reef experience. Enjoy the sunsets, relax, snorkel or scuba dive the crystal clear blue waters. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Encounter Hotel Great Barrier Reef

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