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Choose between Seastar and Passions of Paradise for our reef trip

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Choose between Seastar and Passions of Paradise for our reef trip

Old Jul 4th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Choose between Seastar and Passions of Paradise for our reef trip

We will arrive in Cairns on 7/29 and plan to go on a reef trip on 7/30. We have ten people in our group from age 19 to 56. The young adults want to do introductory dive and some of the older one want to do snorkeling and two people don't want to go in the water at all. Since the majority of us are not very good swimmers so we decided to go on the boat that will go to a sand cay and a outer reef site. After reading the forum and reviews from Fodor"s and Trip Advisor, we narrow down to choose between Seastar and Passions of Paradise. I am more lean toward choosing Passions because seems like the interior of the boat will be more comfortable for the two who don't want to go in the water and also it may be easier for a group of 10 people to change date if the weather is not good. The only thing make me hesitate is Passions take up to 80 people compare to Seastar take up to 35 people. Some people describe 80 people is a small group but for me it seems like a lot of people to get in the water at the same time. If we need to take turns in groups to get in the water, dose it mean less time to spent in the water? I can not find any picture which shows the interior of Seastar but I imagine a smaller boat must have limited space to relax. Does anybody have comment of Seastar's interior?

I also want to know that how far ahead can we find out the weather? What is the website for checking the weather and condition of the sea? What is a good measure for a calm sea? Your information would be greatly appreciated!
jw518 is offline  
Old Jul 4th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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For the two people who say they don't want to get in water, both boats have glass bottom boats at their outer reef sites, and as Michaelmas Cay is all sand so they could hop off the boat there for a while, probably would only get their feet wet. Bear in mind there is no shelter from sun on Michaelmas.
With 10 people it could be tricky changing date for either boat, July is high season and both these boats take less people than most others. If you email Bernie at Sea Star, she'll be able to tell you availability, and closer to the time.

Also, it is extremely easy to snorkel at Michaelmas Cay, entering the water is just like from a beach, so your two non-water people could well change their minds. Have seen that happen many times.

80 people is nothing once in the water, everyone spreads out, consider that the larger pontoon trips take several hundred.

Weather is a huge concern in July, as that's when we get our south easterlies, not much likelihood of rain but a good possibility of strong winds. Like today, its blowing a gale right now in Cairns, with a cold wind, and blowing 30 knots out on reef. Anything under 20knots would be good, under 15knots ideal Weather forecasts are usually good for 3 days out - www.weather.com.au/qld/cairns
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Old Jul 4th, 2012, 08:11 PM
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Pat, thank you for your quick reply. We only have two full days in Cairns. If it is windy on both days, is it worth to go out on a reef trip? Is a reef trip to Green Island an option for calmer sea?
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Old Jul 6th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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I can't remember the interior of Seastar, but I remember it was a great day - so it can't have been uncomfortable. You definitely get what you pay for on the Reef boats - so don't skimp!
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