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“Awesome Awesome Awesome” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Encounter

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Reef Encounter
4.0 of 5 Specialty Hotel   |   100 Abbott Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Awesome Awesome Awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

I am so glad I did a live on trip & that I chose Reef Encounter.
Where do I start? It's a great experience from the moment you step on the boat.
I had never done diving before. I ended up doing 6 dives including the amazing night dive.
Dive guides Lucy and Carl were fantastic and I felt totally safe and at ease each time.
Live aboard is great because you really get to experience the reef. The 6.30am dive was great.
There were only about 8 guests on the boat which was great :)
The bed is comfortable and perfect. The food is amazing. And the chef effortlessly catered for my gluten free dietary requirement.
Thank you to everyone in the crew for an amazing experience. I want to come back & get certified with you!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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300 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tokyo, Japan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

I did the two day livaboard with Reef Encounter and couldn't be happier with the trip. Frankly, the trips to Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef were just too expensive for me to consider and I had some concern that I wouldn't get to see the "real reef" if I didn't see those places. However, Reef Encounter completely blew that thought out of the water. The reef locations they visit are amazing with beautiful reefs and thousands of amazing fish. Some of the highlights from my trip were a white tip reef shark, very large maori wrasse that let you pet them, a few puffer fish, a turtle, and countless other fish I can't name. The night dive you get to do on this trip is pretty amazing too. The lounge of the boat is great for chilling between dives and even has a tv with movies (I chose to watch the Olympics instead) and several board/party games. Everything's clean and well maintained also. The staff on the boat is a good mix of experience and youth providing a relaxed atmosphere as well as a wealth of knowledge. The final icing on the cake is the monstrous meals with dessert in the evening and a never ending supply of tea and coffee.

This company provides a great reef experience at an affordable price. If I ever go back, I'll be sailing with them again!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnsville, Minnesota
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

My husband, daughter and myself booked the Reef Encounter for 2 nights/3 days and it was nothing short of amazing!! My daughter had hurt her back skiing the week before the trip and the wonderful crew went out of their way to help her get her dive on! The rooms were perfect, the food was fantastic, and the dive masters were super. I took the opportunity presented to me, to get my Advanced Diver Cert, and Laura walked me through all of the training and dives required like a pro! I will definitely recommend this catamaran and Reef Experience Dive Shop to anyone heading to Cairns! My thanks to everyone on board! I could have stayed for a month! (Nathan, you're a fabulously calm dive master! Thank you for awesome dives!)

Room Tip: Any room you get will be quiet and comfortable!
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

There is no doubt that the best way to really experience the Great Barrier Reef is to stay out on the reef for a few days. You get much more time to relax and really enjoy yourself and ultimately more time for diving and snorkeling. It is also much better value than day trips or other live aboard options. My favourite time to dive is the early morning dive – therefore I feel that even just 1 night on a live aboard vessel is better and more value than any day trip. On the day tours you will spend the majority of the morning travelling to the dive sites. I recently had the pleasure of heading out on Reef Encounter for 2 days and 1 night.
While on-board, food and drinks are readily available in-between diving activities. The food was 5 star cooked fresh everyday by the on-board chef. Included in my trip are breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert. And there is always a bowl of fresh fruit to snack on in between meal times. Spend your free time relaxing in your fully equipped live aboard cabin, take a hot shower or even have a drink at the bar. The saloon area caters for everyone and even the staff get involved with the games during break times.
The next thing to mention is the amazing staff on-board Reef Encounter – From the first minute that you walk onto Reef Encounter you are welcomed by friendly/funny approachable staff. Nigel, Macca, Shannon, Alan, Scott & Ryan are all a pleasure to deal with & I especially enjoyed Macca's funny welcome talks. It really helps to have someone as friendly as Macca delivering the safety briefs (as they are very much needed for the safety aspect, they are a necessity on every boat) he engages the guests by making the briefings entertaining and informative.
You can really make yourself at home in the spacious cabins. The rooms have private bathrooms, windows and plenty of space for you to unpack your belongings; there is plenty of storage drawers, power -point outlets and even a desk for you to relax/ use a lap-top/work from. Most guests in envisage would not be phased by the desk – but as I do a lot of underwater videography – this desk & access to power source is great! The saloon has games, flat screen television (with reception) dvd's & books to read in your down time.
The dive deck was always neat & organised and ALL of the dive gear was brand new!!! As a certified diver this is very important for me when choosing a live-aboard boat.. All the diving equipment you need is conveniently stored on the boat when you are not diving and easily accessible when you reach a dive site -so you can make the most of your precious diving time. I would recommend to snorkelers, introductory divers and certified divers this is the trip for you! Best luxurious live-aboard in Cairns.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park City, Utah
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

My friend and I spend three days and two nights with the most amazing crew on the "Reef Encounter". We decided to go for the top deck experience and what an experience it was. Karl was the man! He was a complete professional while diving and ensured our comfort and safety first. Out of the water he was blast and more than accommodating and FUN! We often speak of how we wished we had our own "Kaaarrrlll"!!! The food was amazing. Both Marty and Ryan outdid themselves with their culinary talent! The rest of the crew was friendly and made the experience one of the most memorable experiences ever! The diving and snorkeling was simply amazing! Thanks for the wonderful experience everyone! We miss you Karl! And if you choose to heighten your adventure, Brad is a very cool pilot on the helicopter tour!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manly, Australia
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

A visiting friend and I did a 2 day one night trip on 3/2/14 and 4/2/14 last week and found these guys to be absolutely brilliant! The accommodation was lovely - so much better than I expected on a boat and the food was absolutely awesome (thank you Ryan!). The crew and staff were all amazing - so friendly and fun and just a great vibe and environment to be around. To the owners of Reef Encounter: every staff member that was working on those days was absolutely lovely and you have some real gem employees who love their job and making others feel at home! Will definitely be using you again!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
reeftrip, Owner at Reef Encounter, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
thank you - we pride ourselves on delivering the best Great Barrier Reef experience -we are truly blessed to work with people that share a passion for delivering the best Great Barrier Reef experience - word of mouth is our greatest advertisement so really thank you for taking the time to write a review on tripadvisor - all the best
Reef Encounter
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014 via mobile

We stayed for 2 nights on reef encounter and did 9 dives in our three days. It was the best way to see the reef, by far, especially after seeing the crowds on the day boats. Our boat was very quiet, which made the experience very personal and the diving experience extremely hassle free.
All the crew were absolutely awesome and made us feel super welcome. The room was very comfortable and the food was great as well! As uncertified divers we were able to even experience a night dive, which was nerve wrecking, but Laura our instructor was amazing at making us feel comfortable in between the hunting fish, allowing us to get a whole new perspective on the ocean and the reef! As said, all the crew were amazing, but Laura and Kiri deserve a special mention as they were both absolutely fantastic at making us feel welcome and looked after.

Thanks to the whole team at reef encounter (including all the DMTs), we had an amazing time and would love to come back!!!!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Reef Encounter

Address: 100 Abbott Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 84 Specialty 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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