Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to general questions you might have about travel in Australia and our liveaboard facilities.  For more diving specific information please visit our Diving Information page.

Visa and Passport

In most countries Australian visas are available electronically online or via your travel agent. You will require a current passport, with no less than six months validity from your return date, and tickets to an onward destination. Note: Russian passengers should contact us for Visa Support.

Currency

Currency used is the Australian Dollar. Visa, MasterCard and Amex are widely accepted.

Transfers

You will need to make your own way to the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions office for check in for your expedition.  After your expedition we will transfer you to either our office, airport or any inner city hotel. Inner city boundaries are within the airport to the north and Earlville shopping centre to the south.

Luggage Allowance and Luggage Storage

‘Fly Dive’ itineraries have a luggage allowance of 25kg (55lbs) per person. Please see ‘Fly Dive Luggage Allowance‘ information. Excess luggage may be stored at the Mike Ball office whilst you are onboard Spoilsport (please have luggage separated prior to checking in). While all due care is taken, we are not insured for stored luggage. Luggage left is at guest’s own risk. Luggage cannot be collected from office on Public Holidays. Alternative day storage arrangements will need to be made for these days.

Travel Insurance

Insurance should be taken to cover: weather problem; expedition cancellations; airline difficulties; medical problems and lost or damaged luggage. Unforeseen weather or machinery problems may cause us to cancel or change an itinerary. No refund is offered for time lost due to the medical evacuation of a guest or reduction of dives due to weather conditions. No compensation is offered to guests to change flights or holiday plans. DiveAssure offers cover for both Australian residents & non-residents traveling to Australia.

Children

We seldom have children onboard however we do welcome one family per expedition with children of minimum age 8. Parents or guardians traveling with children are responsible for child minding.

Disabled Divers

Spoilsport was not designed to cater for disabled divers. Please see “Dive Procedures Disabled Divers” for full details.

English Language Skills

Unfortunately we only have English speaking staff. Divers must have a good grasp of English to understand our vessel and dive safety briefings. Divers with poor English language skills may have to miss some dives.

Luggage Allowance

Maximum weight of any bag on any expedition = 25kgs (55lbs). Multiple bags allowed on non fly dive itineraries.

‘Fly Dive’ Luggage Allowance = 25kgs (55lbs) per person. 3 kg (6.5lbs) carry-on or 10 kg (22lbs) for professional photo/video housed systems.

If necessary you can freight excess items to be onboard Spoilsport for your Monday arrival at Lizard Island or we can on-freight excess items if you are on the Monday return flight.

Hand Luggage is limited to camera, wallet/purse, jumper or coat. Backpacks and camera bags are included in the luggage allowance and stored in the cargo hold.

For advice regarding what to pack please review our Luggage Tips document.

Excess luggage may be stored at the Mike Ball office whilst you are onboard Spoilsport. While all due care is taken, we are not insured for stored luggage. Luggage left is at guest’s own risk.

Separate Gear Before Arriving at Office: When you arrive at our office please have items in excess of your 25kg (dive trip gear) separated & bagged to leave in office. This will make the check-in & packing process run more smoothly. Unfortunately only room for one person at a time to repack bags in office.

Power Outlets onboard

Our vessel has Australian three pin 240 volt outlets and also US two pin (unpolarised) 110 volt outlets in all cabins and other areas of the vessel.

Personal Items

You should bring your own personal toiletries, hair dryer, personal medication, swimming costume, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, foot wear (sandals or tennis shoes), T-shirts, shorts, sweater and sweat pants – light weight pants and tops for the evening are a good idea. Also your wildest “loud” shirt/dress for the BBQ evening.

Food and Beverages

We provide 24hr complimentary tea, coffee and water. A selection of beverages is served with every meal. Three chef prepared meals and in-between meal snacks are provided each day with fruit and biscuits always available. Please advise in advance if you have special dietary requirements. A special admin catering fee may apply to unusual requests.

Snacks: You are welcome to bring your own additional snack food onboard however there is no guest access to the Galley. Food brought onboard must be non-perishable and not require heating / cooking.
Beverages: Additional soft drinks, wine, beer, mixed drinks are available for purchase on board. Please do not bring any alcohol onboard as we have a ‘Ship’s Bar Only’ policy.

How do I pay any onboard expenses

You can settle your onboard expenses with either Australian dollars or credit card. Amex cards incur a 3% surcharge. NB: 4 night Fly Dive Coral Sea guests’ credit cards are processed via the MBDE office owing to remote location.

Tipping

Tipping is not mandatory, however for exceptional service tips of about 10% in restaurants and 5% in taxis are more common. You will find our live aboard crews are exceptional and provide excellent service day and night. A tip is always very welcome and can be given to the Trip Director to be shared amongst the crew.

How can I be contacted while at sea

In an emergency contact can be made our office in Australia on t: +61 7 4053 0500 or e: resv@mikeball.com. Make sure the message includes your name and date of travel and we will relay the message to the boat.

Where can I leave my car

Many car rental companies will allow you to leave your rental car with them whilst you are out at sea. Alternatively, if you are staying at a hotel before or after the expedition you may be able to leave your car with them. There are a number of car storage facilities in Cairns (always check pick-up / drop-off and opening details). Cairns Airport Car Storage and Betta Airport Parking are two good options. There is a 24 hour public car park on the corner of Lake and Wharf Streets that is central, however, it is is not secured parking.