Reef Experience is a great way to see the Great Barrier Reef for people who are not expert swimmers or have some fear of the ocean. The crew of reef experience is a fun lot - they put you at ease the moment you leave the coast with fun safety instructions. Even though the number of people on the vessel is a lot, you get a lot of personal attention as the crew size is big as well.
The team provides you with a wet suit that will keep you afloat and noodles for additional floatation. Both me and my wife are not good swimmers, but one of the crew members Martina, took us on an initial guided snorkeling tour that got us used to the ocean and the reef. I would strongly recommend it if you haven't done snorkeling too many times before as the waves on the ocean can be a bit stronger than what you might have experienced elsewhere (depends a bit on the weather, of course). My wife was taken on a couple of other guided snorkeling tours as well (one of them was a biological tour that comes at an additional cost) and she was entirely comfortable throughout all the tours even though this was her first snorkeling trip.
The tour also includes a free beginner's dive. The instructors give a good safety briefing before they take you for the dive and there is a trial review of these instructions in the water right before you start the dive, which was very helpful. This is followed by a short dive (lasted about 15 mins I think) - the instructor took me along and was very helpful in calming the nerves! This was followed by another dive (comes at a cost) if you want to go ahead (strongly recommend!). The second dive was a little less personal but you have enough instructors both ahead and behind a small group to make you comfortable. I had an issue with the mask the second time around - one of the instructors took me to the surface to get it cleared and ensured that I was fine enough to continue.
A basic lunch and some wine was served on the vessel (more than enough to fill you and ideal for a day of activity) with a few options for vegetarians as well.
The reef itself was great - you should easily be able to see clown fish, turtles, and huge parts of the reef. You probably need to be a bit lucky to see some reef sharks and other exotic species of fish, but the reef and the crew are worthy enough of the trip anyways!
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