This day was my second Great Barrier Reef trip. This time we departed from Cairns and sailed to Norman reef. As you can see from the picture below, the first trip 2 days ago was at Agincourt Reef at the top, and today is at Norman Reef, which is below.
We went with another tour operator company called Reef Experience. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with this company because the staff lacked professionalism. The service was not the greatest compared to my first trip. One example was that the staff was doing safety demonstrations while people were still answering the questionnaires. In addition, the ship had a lot more people compared to my first trip. Since the tour price included a free scuba dive for everyone, it made sense that there were more scuba-divers than my first cruise ship. As such, do not expect to get as much attention as you want from the staff.
However, objectively speaking, the price for the first trip was $100 more expensive than the second trip. As such, the second trip definitely had more people boarding on the ship. Plus, since Cairns is a bigger city than Port Douglas, most people would sail off to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, instead of from Port Douglas. If you like higher quality service, fewer people on the ship, willing to pay a higher price and do not mind the drive, I would definitely recommend you to try Poseidon Outer Reef Cruise instead.
This time, I was able to do a complete scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Also, learning from my mistake, I specifically requested to wear a full-body wet suit to protect my skin from further sun burn. In total, I did two scuba dives in the Norman Reef.
The first time, I was guided by the instructor and had a 10 min scuba dive.
The second time, the instructor allowed me to venture off the sea on my own and I had a 40 min scuba dive session. This time, I brought Yale's Go-Pro with me to capture the stunning view.
I must say that the reef itself is gorgeous. There is so much for you to see and you can swim along the reef (up and down). Although I was not able to see a sea turtle, I was able to see a shark sleeping at the bottom of the reef.
At night after coming back to Cairns, Yale and I met up with my high school friend Lester for dinner. It was a surprise meet-up because I had no idea he was in Cairns. Two days before, I posted a picture of myself wearing a wet suit on Facebook and Lester commented and asked if I was in Cairns. To my surprise, I learned that Lester went to University of Queensland to study physiotherapy. Obviously, I wouldn’t let this chance of meeting up to slip.