Expert Aboard: Coral Adventurer Ship Review

December 28, 2019 • Leslie Camacho

AdventureSmith Adventure Specialist Leslie Camacho recently traveled aboard the 120-guest Coral Adventurer and writes this detailed Coral Adventurer ship review. While her insights come from her time aboard in Australia’s Kimberley region, her review can also apply to the experience aboard the expedition ship in other locales. Use the AdventureSmith team’s small ship cruise reviews to inform, inspire and book your next trip aboard a small cruise ship.

Thoughtful Design & Deck Plan

Stepping on board the Coral Adventurer one can’t help but to be taken away by this sophisticated and well-designed luxury vessel. There are five decks on the Coral Adventurer, four of which are accessible by the elevator. The four accessible decks are well laid out with different cabin categories, a sizable dining room, small gym, roomy lounge area with comfortable furnishings and an outside bar. Not only is the layout of the boat well thought out but the gorgeous authentic Australian indigenous art and expansive windows throughout the vessel provides an eloquent connection to the surrounding area. Despite her expedition ship size (120 guest capacity), the Coral Adventurer still offers a sense of intimacy and attention to detail, from the organization of activities to the meals on board.

A Well-Oiled Machine

With a guest-to-guide ratio of 10:1 the opportunity to speak directly with guides and naturalists is never a problem. The expedition team and naturalist lecturers work incredibly well together, and the activities and organizational aspects of it ran like a well-oiled machine. With the use of two Xplorer tenders (metal covered boats that seat all passengers to facilitate efficient shore excursions), groups are either split in half or split based on activity level so everyone can participate in their activity of choice without ever feeling too cramped. At one point on my Kimberley cruise we did all join together and returned to the ship in one tender due to the dramatic tides and although it was cramped, we all fit. Tides play a very large impact on activities in Australia, but that is part of the adventure that makes each day and each season different. Seeing the expedition guides adapt to the changes each day was impressive.

My Review of Coral Adventurer’s Dining

The kitchen is well staffed with an experienced crew, and meals are served on time and beautifully presented as if eating at a fine-dining restaurant. Morning tea is offered most days with delicacies made by the pastry chef that can include scones, muffins, cookies, etc. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and are fresh and unique each day. Dinners are served plated with exquisite presentations and always offer a vegetarian or fish option. Weather depending, you can expect a BBQ feast on the Vista Deck where you can try local cuisines such as kangaroo and barramundi (Asian sea bass).

At lunch and dinner complimentary house wines, beer and non-alcoholic beverages are always offered by the expeditious hospitality staff. For those with a finer palate, high-end alcohol and bottles of wine are available at an additional cost. All dietary restrictions/personal preferences are provided for with no worries. After the hearty meals, downtime is allotted with the comfortable cabins offering a great respite for a nap or catching up on reading.

My Review of the Cabins Aboard Coral Adventurer

A nice thing about the Coral Adventurer is all her cabins are more or less created equal in that their size, layout, bathroom, etc. are the same. The primary difference being that some have portholes, whereas others have windows. There are a good number of cabins offered with balconies, and I would recommend these as there is enough downtime on most of the Coral Adventurer’s in-depth itineraries in Australia, Indonesia and other Pacific Islands to appreciate having this private space with a view. There are two gorgeous suites , that I highly recommend for large groups or families that appreciate having a more secluded and private place to escape to with their friends/family. The rooms are kept clean and tidy throughout the entirety of the cruise with the staff offering turndown service twice a day.

I was in Promenade Deck Stateroom #414 that was configured with a Junior King Bed. Though I had the bed to myself, it can easily accommodate two people with plenty of space and is by far one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept on. Storage space is plentiful with hangers offered in the closet. Each room comes equipped with a desk and chair, a bluetooth speaker/clock/alarm and bedside USB docking stations to charge your devices.

A Few of My Favorite Things: Access & Activities

Two of the best features on the vessel are the elevator and the hydraulic system for the two Xplorer tenders. The elevator accesses the main decks of the vessel comfortably, accommodating four to six people. The two Xplorers are hydraulically lowered from the Explorer Deck to the Coral Deck where loading occurs before being lowered into the water. Having the loading take place on the Coral Deck makes cabins on this deck the most logical for those with mobility issues. These two features ensure that everyone can move about the ship and join in on all the activities with ease.

My Coral Adventurer Ship Review Takeaways

No matter where you choose to sail aboard the Coral Adventurer ship, you can rest assured you’re among the most modern, well-equipped expedition ships cruising today. The fact that she’s Australian flagged, crewed and run by a pioneering Cairns-based company gives her a unique edge and an exploratory slant that translates from her remote itineraries to the authentic décor and design aboard. I don’t know about you, but I love the Aussie culture. It’s friendly, fun and energetic and you can certainly feel that while aboard this ship.

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