My girlfriend and I went on our most fantastic holiday thus far to the Whitsunday Islands in late September. I thought we should share our experience so that people from around the world can make better holiday decisions when going to the Whitsundays. Firstly, we pre-booked our accommodation and cruise with AirlieBeach.com. The agent had very favourable prices and was very helpful with our questions. We ended up paying 1400AUD for the cruise (so 700 each) and 200AUD for 2 nights of accommodation. I would just like to point out that if you want to get the right prices, just book your cruise when you arrive in Airlie Beach. When we got on the Whitsunday Magic it was only half full (which was great because we got more attention from the crew) and found out it has not been at full capacity all year round. Booking last minute does give you up to a 40% discount but you obviously risk missing out on the boat of your choice.
We arrived at Airlie Beach on Day 1 late in the evening. We took the Airport Shuttle Bus from Whitsunday Coast Aiport to Airlie Beach. The bus dropped us off right in front of our accommodation which was Waterview Apartments. We arrived late and the reception was closed, but the management was kind enough to arrange so that we got our keys into our unit. Waterview was affordable, had a great view, came with a well equipped kitchen and very clean. Waterview is at the edge of Airlie Beach so it is quiet and near to all the restaurants (Airlie Beach really is not big).
Next I would like to talk about the Whitsunday Magic which brought us around the Whitsunday Islands for 3 days and 3 nights. I am going to talk about the highlights of the Whitsunday Magic separately.
Crew - Obviously very well trained and know what they are doing. Extremely helpful and always good for a conversation. Every one of them made the trip so wonderful.
Ship & Room - Whitsunday Magic is a huge ship. It has a big sundeck and a nice dining area. The ship was well equipped so no complaints at all in this department. Cabins were cozy.
People - We were very lucky to find ourselves in great company on the boat. Every couple on our boat was from a different country which made it even better.
Food & Bar - We were pampered with 5 meals a day. Each was different from the last one. Each was also extremely tasty. The drinks at the bar on board were cheap especially at happy hour. Happy hour was during sunset time. So sipping champagne while watching the sunset felt classy.
Diving & Snorkeling - We dived at the reefs around the Whitsunday Islands. The dives were good. Good visibility, lots of coral and a lot of marine life to see. We saw a black-tip shark, turtles, lots of corals and lots of fishes. Snorkeling was fantastic as well with the reefs just beneath your feet.
Wildlife - The wildlife we encountered when on the boat included dolphins, whales and turtles. So plenty to see on the boat as well.
Itinerary - Cruising the Whitsunday Islands was great. The highlight was probably Whitsunday Beach. Pure-white sands and clear blue water made this place you see in postcards. Itinerary was well planned and gave plenty of time to dive, snorkel, enjoy the beach and you getting pampered.
Whitsunday Magic gave my girlfriend and I a perfect holiday and we were very happy although we went a bit out of our budget to pay for it. I hope this review helps and I would be more than happy to take questions via PM or email.