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“Must do”
Review of Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One day on the Great Barrier Reef is never enough.Sleep on it with Reef Encounter! Reef Encounter, Australia’s only floating luxury boutique hotel, is situated on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns and offers guests a unique opportunity to enjoy the ultimate reef experience as briefly or for as long as they want. Snorkel, dive or get certified on the GBR.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 14 May 2018

This is absolutely the best Great Barrier Reef experience I could think of. Staff, food, and facilities are amazing. Had the time of my life here, and couldn't imagine doing a trip to the reef anywhere else. Recommend staying as long as possible.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Max B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura-HotGetaways, Guest Relations Manager at Reef Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello Max B,

Thank you for taking the time to leave Reef Encounter a great review.

We believe that on board Reef Encounter, you will experience the best luxurious live aboard accommodation and fantastic service on the Great Barrier Reef, and we're happy to hear you felt the same!

We'll be sure to pass on your positive feedback to the crew & chef, they love sharing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with our guests and creating special memories that will last forever!

We hope to see you on board again in the future.

All the best

Reservations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (142)
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"top deck"
in 19 reviews
"boat moves"
in 8 reviews
"night dive"
in 14 reviews
"hot tub on the deck"
in 2 reviews
"ssi open water"
in 2 reviews
"we spent days and nights"
in 2 reviews
"night option"
in 2 reviews
"fish"
in 15 reviews
"live aboard dive boat"
in 2 reviews
"spent one night"
in 2 reviews
"professional photographer on board"
in 2 reviews
"dietary requirements"
in 4 reviews
"longer trip"
in 2 reviews
"food was great"
in 8 reviews
"snorkelling sessions"
in 2 reviews
"dive master"
in 7 reviews
"dive sites were great"
in 2 reviews
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79 - 83 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2018 via mobile

Everywhere you turn in Cairns, someone is trying to sell you a boat ride out to the Great Barrier Reef. There are countless options around the type of boat, the number of snorkelling sessions or dives, the number of hours out on the water, types of meals, and departure times. When we read that Reef Encounters offered the opportunity to sleep overnight on the Reef, we were intrigued. Our AirBnB host was able to an excursion for us at 10% off, and checking that the forecast was good, we booked a cabin. You head out to the reef on the Reef Experience boat, which takes you to the Reef Encounter boat anchored beside Norman Reef. We snorkelled three times the first day, and were up bright and early for the 6:30 am morning snorkel. After breakfast we went out for a final snorkel although we could have squeezed in one more full session and even a short session before catching a ride back to Cairns on the Reef Experience. They supplied everyone with head-to-toe Lycra stinger suits; deadly jellyfish were known to be in the area because the water was so warm. The crew were extremely helpful and safety-conscious, we felt we were in really good hands. The food was really good as well, lunch and breakfast is buffet style, dinner is plated. It was a generous and very tasty serving of snapper and fresh veggies.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Don_G_Wright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura-HotGetaways, Guest Relations Manager at Reef Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello Don_G_Wright,

Thank you for taking the time to leave Reef Encounter a great review.

We believe that on board Reef Encounter, you will experience the best luxurious live aboard accommodation and fantastic service on the Great Barrier Reef, and we're happy to hear you felt the same!

"Stinger" season as it's called runs from November - May during the warmest months here in Tropical North Queensland. As you mentioned, we do take safety precautions by providing full body lyrca suits for snorkeling and diving to all of our passengers at no additional cost.

We'll be sure to pass on your positive feedback to the crew & chef, they love sharing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with our guests and creating special memories that will last forever!

We hope to see you on board again in the future.

All the best

Reservations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2018

My partner and I booked a normal room for 2 days and 1 night and did a total of 6 dives. We had a great time - basically dive, eat, relax in the sun and repeat for two days - you'll be exhausted by the end. Dive guides and crew handled the gear setup, which was great. Food was delicious. The only things I would do to improve the experience is that it might be nice to have the same dive guide for each dive, just so they get a better sense of your style and what you're into. Also I really like when dive guides make a effort to seek out and point out cool stuff. Sometimes I felt like we were just going for a swim and following the guide. Either way, we saw cool stuff on every dive but fun when they can point things out. Saw tons of HUGE clams, a couple sea turtles, lots of reef sharks, clown fish, some nudi branches and of course plenty of beautiful coral. Frank the humphead Maori Wrass was probably the highlight of the trip for me.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank leela2727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura-HotGetaways, Guest Relations Manager at Reef Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello leela2727,

Thank you for taking the time to leave Reef Encounter a great review.

We believe that on board Reef Encounter, you will experience the best luxurious live aboard accommodation and fantastic service on the Great Barrier Reef, and we're happy to hear you felt the same!

With our Top Deck package, you do enjoy the benefit of a dedicated crew member as your personal guide. One of the many extras which makes our Top Deck package so special!

We'll be sure to pass on your positive feedback to the crew & chef, they love sharing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with our guests and creating special memories that will last forever!

We hope to see you on board again in the future.

All the best

Reservations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2018 via mobile

I really can’t say enough about our Reef Encounter experience. My husband and I booked the Top Deck 2 day/1 night trip at the end of March. We looked at TONS of other dive companies and tours and chose the Reef Encounter based on its reviews and I’m so, so glad that we did. We went back and forth for a while about doing Top Deck due to the additional cost but it was absolutely one of the best decisions we made on our trip! We had both just been scuba certified a month before so we wanted to make sure we had a personal guide instead of a group (we didn’t want to hold anyone back as novices).

From the moment we checked in we were well taken care of. Kari was our guide and she was amazing. Friendly, patient, funny— and she anticipated needs we didn’t even know we had (like throwing our towels in the dryer so that they would be warm when we got out of the water!). She also knew where to look for everything in the reef which was incredibly valuable. We would have been swimming around aimlessly, although the GBR is stunning, obviously. I wasn’t feeling well the first day, but I was able to go out with another guide (Nick Paul was incredible, too!) so the staff’s flexibility was really appreciated.

It’s been said many times, but in addition to the service, the food was also outstanding. We wanted for nothing— except more time on the reef. It was an experience that we’ll cherish forever— book this trip, you won’t regret it.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank rachaelhb13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura-HotGetaways, Guest Relations Manager at Reef Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello summedl1,

Thank you for taking the time to leave Reef Encounter a great review.

We believe that on board Reef Encounter, you will experience the best luxurious live aboard accommodation and fantastic service on the Great Barrier Reef, and we're happy to hear you felt the same!

We'll be sure to pass on your positive feedback to Kari, Nick & our chefs, they (and all of our delightful crew) love sharing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with our guests and creating special memories that will last forever!

We hope to see you on board again in the future.

All the best

Reservations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 April 2018

Fantastic experience, the crew was top notch and food was incredible. We stayed for three days and two nights for a total of 10 dives which was perfect for us. Thanks to Oscar for our guided dives.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank summedl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura-HotGetaways, Guest Relations Manager at Reef Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello summedl1,

Thank you for taking the time to leave Reef Encounter a great review.

We believe that on board Reef Encounter, you will experience the best luxurious live aboard accommodation and fantastic service on the Great Barrier Reef, and we're happy to hear you felt the same!

We'll be sure to pass on your positive feedback to the crew & chef, they love sharing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with our guests and creating special memories that will last forever!

We hope to see you on board again in the future.

All the best

Reservations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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