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“Think twice before doing this cruise”

Lady Musgrave Cruises
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sightseeing, dive and snorkel tour, semi-submersible reef viewing, island tour.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Think twice before doing this cruise”
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Firstly the good points, Lady Musgrave is a beautiful island and a jewel in Queenslands crown, the reef is abundant in marine life with little or no damage from anchored vessels. It's just a pity that Lady Musgrave Cruises have a monopoly because the owner John not only embarrasses his company but also Queensland Tourism in general. Having worked as a tour operator aboard and within Queensland I feel ashamed that this person represents what is meant to be good in Qld.

Having arrived early with my children for a trip (as instructed) we were met with John verbally abusing one of his staff (a man in his 50's) about a battery. Then appeared his next victim, another staff member Marie, who he embarrassed in front of a now waiting crowd. When I then dared to ask what time, approx, the boat was due back so my wife could pick us up I got a "whenever, 3, 4,
5 who knows" I asked him was he kidding, did he not have a schedule to which point an embarrassed staff member said around 5.

John, or honest John, ex car dealer as he kept telling us took us on the short transfer to the vessel and in that 5 min journey I've never heard so much garbage uttered by another man, even my kids were embarrassed for him.

After an hour sat waiting we were finally underway with John back to his snarling aggression with his staff, does he not realise this is visible to all? After the customary briefings by staff, who were all wearing co uniforms and attentive the boat left harbour. As expected in a moderate sea the sick bags were soon out amongst the guests and the staff did a great job of collecting these, however to have the owner, dressed like he'd come straight off Arthur Daly's car lot start laughing at the guests who were getting soaked out the back whilst been sick was not on. Guess what John, I didn't meet one who said they'd use you again! Do you know what customer service is?

The island tour was short but informative, lunch and tea were just about acceptable but as others have written nothing to write home about. I took my kids snorkelling and as a diving instructor I
was happy to do this but my concern is that there would be a briefing about snorkelling to the guests. This never happened, I asked john if we needed to let anyone know we were going in the water and he said "just get in". There is a life guard (which was also the boat skipper) but I saw plenty jump in who had obviously not snorkelled before-a recipe for disaster.

My advice John, a good leader is one that staff look up to, not one that staff apologise about their leaders behaviour which happened twice (one mentioned they loved their job despite the serious difficulties and barriers you presented) - you've got good staff, who don't need you screaming at them from the boat whilst they're are leading a glass bottom boat tour, why not try the radio? Leave them alone and stay in the back office and away from the guests and staff, we might even see your staff smile then. What a poor ad for Qld tourism you are, oh and by the way saying at the top of your voice "it's only the bloody Chinese" when referring to people being sick isn't acceptable as a serious tour operator!!!

Visited July 2014
11 Thank lancashirelass31_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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306 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Well worth the trip”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

After being unable to visit the reef from further north due to bad weather this was or last chance to go snorkeling before the end of our trip. The booking was easy over the phone and we were smoothly processed when we arrived at the office in the morning.
The trip does take a while and there isn't much to see or do.
On arrival the glass bottom boat trip was informative as was the walk through the vegetation on the island. The two girls were very knowledgable and their explanations were clear and informative.
The snorkeling was pretty good with lots of coral though it did lack the bright colours of the Pacific Islands. Access to the water was easy from the pontoon which was great for the more inexperienced.
Lunch was plentiful and nobody missed out. After reading other comments, this may have been due to the small numbers on our trip. I think it may be a different story with a full load of tourists.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank lynWaitomo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful reef experience”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

The day started with rain showers and very overcast early morning, but improved to sunshine and cloudy periods later in the day. We travelled over 1 1/2 to 2 meter swells and a lot of people were seasick on the way over. The staff were very good and handled the situation expertly. One passenger had a panic attack and shouted for the boat to slow down as he thought it would be better for his back if the boat travelled slowly. The staff calmed him down and were very professional.
On arrival at the island we watched a fish feeding exhibition, then half the passengers went on a tour of the island while the others were taken on the glass bottom boat. At the conclusion of these activities the groups swapped over. Maria our lovely tour guide on the island was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the flora and fauna. After a buffet lunch on the pontoon we were invited to snorkel and scuba dive if desired. the sun was shining and the coral and fish were colourful and there were also several green turtles to be seen. The trip back was smooth as we were traveling in the same direction as the swell. All up a most enjoyable day.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Julianne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
337 reviews
241 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 630 helpful votes
“Coral not colourful but plenty of it, pick the day to go carefully”
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Plenty of other reviews rave about what you can see and do, so here are some practical tips to make your trip on the day cruise as good an experience as possible:
1) Don't have high expectations of colourful coral. there are small patches of some but most is in sepia colours. But there is lots of it and it can be well seen either from snorkelling or from the free glass bottomed boat rides
2) Pick your day to go according to the weather and the tides. The boat goes out in anything up to 35knot winds, but you wouldn't want to go in anything more than a 15knot wind for the following reasons. Firstly, the ride out will be rough and you may get seasick. Secondly, the water surface even inside the protected lagoon will be rough and unattractive. Thirdly, you will have a rough time snorkelling. Pick your day also according to the tide. Avoid a day where low tide is in the middle of the day (say11am to 2pm. Although the lagoon will be calmest in such conditions, the water level may be too low to allow the glass bottomed boat or you snorkelling to go over the top of the coral, restricting your viewing ability. If you can, pick a day when high tide occurs sometime in the window of 10am to 3pm.
3) Where you sit in the boat for the trip out and back can make a big difference to your chance of becoming seasick. The most stable position (ie, least up & down movement as the boat rides over the swell) is downstairs in line with the servery and in the centre aisle of table seats.
4) There are no tables upstairs, just rows of seats, so selecting a table seat downstairs has the advantage of giving you a comfortable position from which to eat lunch, rather than having a bendy paper plate on your lap. You miss nothing in terms of a view by not being upstairs, as all there is to see for 90% of the trip is open ocean. When there is something interesting to see (maybe a whale in season or approaching the island, you can peer out the door to the forward deck from the lower level, or go to the rear deck. When the boat drops speed in protected waters (1770, the lagoon), you are allowed to go out on the forward deck at the bow for a really good view and pictures.
5) Be aware that if you elect to go scuba diving, you may be wasting your money as well as missing out on some other part of the experience. Some American divers on our trip missed out on going to the island and commented that the scuba dive was in "the worst site ever".
6) Be careful about what "Walking Group" you are put into. You are assigned to a group called W1 up to W5 when you check in. The early groups get to snorkel first while the other groups go in the glass bottom boat to the island. then there is lunch and the later groups go snorkelling after lunch while the earlier groups go to the island. So if it is already a nice day, try to get in the early group so you can go snorkelling before the afternoon wind comes up. However, if the sun has not yet come out, try to get in the later groups so that you give the day a chance to warm up before you go into the water.
7) If you value a good lunch, avoid being late getting to the lunch servery, as you may miss out altogether on the more tasty offerings (on our day, the chicken and prawns ran out before everyone had obtained lunch)
8) If you go snorkelling, bring some dry clothes to change into afterwards unless the day is sunny and hot
9) Some reviews comment on the poor condition of the wetsuits but to our observation, they were fine (perhaps they have been replaced)
10) If the boat leaves the island earlier than you expected, don't complain as they do that in your interest to ensure the boat can get over the shallow entrance to the 1770 entrance back on shore before the tide gets too low.
11) While the many comments in other reviews about the obnoxious owner are probably true (from what we observed of him), he means well and can just be ignored.
12) If you are doing the day out of Bundaberg, the bus transfer costs $20-$30 per adult added onto the boat ticket, so it is more cost effective to hire a car and drive yourself if there are more than say 3 adults. The 130km drive, at about an hour and a half, is quicker and more comfortable, leaving Bundaberg at 6.30am to arrive at the boat terminal (if you can call the fairly primitive conditions there that) by checkin time of 8am.
Going on the tour is well worth the effort, but your day will be much better if you follow some of the above tips.

Visited June 2014
6 Thank aussiewanderers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Great day out - beautiful location, perfect weather”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

I did the Lady Musgrave Cruises a fair while ago and would definitely recommend this tour; I personally had a really great day.

It is a little on the pricey side of things however, $190 per adult but for everything you get to do I think it's worth doing. I really loved this tour but I do feel one time on this cruise was enough; the experience was fantastic however staff professionalism and equipment were standard, as well as the 'buffet' lunch.

I had a great time on the Lady Musgrave Island tour and found our tour guide very enthusiastic and friendly. She was a lovely young lady who seemed very involved in preservation and the environment and knew her stuff about the island and conservation.

The glass bottom boat tour is just the trip to and back from lady Musgrave island but it was pretty all the same. We went on a perfect day and were lucky enough to have great weather. The snorkeling was GREAT! We saw great colourful fish, jelly fish, starfish and turtles during our snorkeling experience. Except you are confined to one small area for snorkeling, but we were informed this was due to conserving the area and keeping the reefs safe (yet there were lots of private fisherman out on boats reef fishing in those no-go zones?!)

My partner and I also paid extra for the scuba dive experience activity. It was enjoyable but unfortunately the area for scuba diving was just around the snorkeling area and so the views were the same as that of snorkeling - so I would recommend holding off on this activity and saving to do it else where. Although I am told depending on year and weather there are some better scuba spots, so maybe just check beforehand.

Besides from the boat, there was also very limited seating and undercover facilities. I do understand this as it is a pontoon but just made eating and staying out of the sun difficult when I wanted a quick rest out of the sun. So pack and wear sunscreen!

If you're a member of RACQ, RACV or so one, you could also be entitled to a discount of about $15-18 per person. I would use this to your advantage if you are!

Day Cruise:

•75 mins from Roundhill Head to Lady Musgrave Island subject to conditions
•Enjoy 5 hours on the outer Great Barrier Reef
•Snorkeling all day in the protected lagoon
•Semi submarine tour with interpretive commentary
•Two glass bottom boats with 6 metres of coral viewing area
•Guided island walk
•Spacious floating pontoon with underwater observatory, undercover seating, waterline snorkel and dive platforms, dressing rooms and shower
•Feed the tropical fish - in abundance around the pontoon
•Swim with the turtles all year round
•Snorkeling equipment, flotation vests and sunscreen
•Tropical buffet luncheon with prawns, morning and afternoon teas with cake
•Tea, coffee and chilled water throughout the day


Adults $190. Senior / Students $180. Children (4-14yrs) $90. Family (2 adults, 2 children) $495. Extra child $65 Children under 4 FREE.

Extra fee surcharge applicable on some public holidays ($10Ad/Con and $5Ch- Check on booking or pay at boarding) DEPARTS 8.30am daily from the 1770 Marina.

Visited January 2014
Thank Kaylie035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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