A number of us did the Great Barrier Reef outer reef trip in Cairns . The 1st destination was the Fitzroy Island that you actually had around 2 hours to have a look around. Inadequate time frame actually given that there were a number of people all about. Don’t forget to bring along bug repellant because there are loads of biting insects about. Snorkelling around the actual shoreline was ok, even though we’ve seen better.
And after that it’s off to the outer reef (Norman Reef) along with their pontoon. As others have mentioned, it is suitable for the amount of travelers on the boat. The claimed under water viewing area became a disappointment – I have seen better inside the aquariums in Melbourne or even Brisbane . They haven’t bothered to clean the glass therefore it was very difficult to view just about anything through it. My little princess mentioned the exact same thing about their semi-submarine trip that i did not get to do because we just simply ran out of time.