Travel Tips


General Information

Visa & 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: Australian Dollar. Visa, MasterCard and Amex are widely accepted.

Transfers: After your expedition we 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: ‘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.

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 offer cover for both Australian Residents & overseas guests (non-residents) traveling to Australia.

Children: Seldom do we have children onboard however we 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 facilitate disabled divers. Please see “Dive Procedures Disabled Divers” for full details.

English Language Skills – Unfortunately we only have English speaking staff. Divers must have good English language skills 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

 


Diving Information

Q. Do I need diver evacuation insurance?

A. Yes, you should ensure you have travel insurance which specifies medical evacuation and emergency support for scuba diving. DiveAssure offer cover for both Australian Residents & overseas guests (non-residents) traveling to Australia. Australian and Asia Pacific divers can apply for DAN Membership and insurance at www.danap.org. Australian residents can also check to see if their ambulance service will pay the cost of a diver evacuation.

Q. Do I need a certification card to scuba dive?

A. Yes, please bring it with you.

Q. Do certified divers require a dive medical?

A. Not if you are in good health for diving. If you have a medical history of heart or lung disorders, asthma, epilepsy or insulin dependant diabetes you must produce a diving medical certification completed by a diving medical specialist.

Q. What equipment is provided

A. Cylinders (US style yoke valve). A mix of 10.3 litres (80 cu.ft) and 11.3litres (88 cu.ft) & weight belts.


Living Aboard Information

Q. What type of power outlets are on board?

A. MBDE vessels provide the unique Australian three pin 240 volt outlet and the US two pin (unpolarised) 110 volt outlets in the cabins and other areas of the vessel.

Q. What personal items do I need?

A. 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. Please see Fly Dive Luggage Allowance.

Q. What about food & beverages?

A. 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 softdrinks, 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.

Q. How do I pay any onboard expenses?

A. 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.

Q. What about tipping?

A. 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.

Q. In an Emergency can I be contacted while at sea?

A. Yes, use the following contact details; 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.

Q. Where can I leave my car?

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