Frequently Asked Questions

While the customer service team respond to questions as quickly as possible, your questions might be answered even faster in the FAQs below. You will 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.  If you don’t find an answer to your question below please get in touch with Customer Service Team.


COVID-19 Safe Travel Practices

Expedition departing after Thursday 1st November 2023.

Check-in at Mike Ball office located at 3 Abbott Street, Cairns. Thursday between 8.30 am & 4.00pm; Monday between 6.40 am & 7am.

What happens if I have symptoms of COVID just before departure?

Any guest with symptoms of respiratory illness in the 5 days leading into your expedition should undertake appropriate testing. Any guest who tests positive must not undertake travel. Please get in touch with our reservations team for assistance. (See Booking Conditions below.)

What if I test positive for COVID onboard?

We encourage safe practices of hand sanitisation and physical distancing throughout your voyage.  Any symptomatic guests are encouraged to wear masks and practice physical distancing around the vessel.

We understand that a positive result is both disappointing and inconvenient, however the health and safety of all concerned is extremely important. We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance that covers covid-related issues at least 21 days prior to travel. These should include but not limited to, protection against evacuation from vessel, relocation, hotel/accommodation isolation, flight cancellation and or changes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Medical Fitness and Evacuation Statement

The following statement appears on all Mike Ball Dive Expeditions ‘Booking Form’:

Medical Declaration: If you answer YES to questions 2, 3 or 4, you are required to provide a current (less than 12 months) dive medical clearance from a doctor, that clearly addresses all medical conditions and/or medications. It is important to advise MBDE reservations at time of booking, as dive restrictions may apply.

1. Are you medically & physically fit to dive and/or snorkel?
2. Have you ever suffered any illness or injury that may affect your ability to dive or snorkel safely?
3. Are you currently suffering, or have ever suffered, from an illness, injury or condition relating to any heart or lung disorders, hypertension (high blood pressure), asthma, epilepsy, narcolepsy, diabetes, or any other conditions that are contraindications to diving?
4. Are you currently taking any prescription medication (other than contraceptives)?

I understand if I have any medical condition contrary to safe diving I will not be permitted to dive unless I produce a diving medical certificate from a Physician that addresses my medical condition.

In addition, I will not dive on your expedition if I am feeling unwell or I have a chest cold or respiratory congestion.

You are authorized to make medical and transport arrangements as may be determined in my best interest. I agree to pay expenses incurred on my behalf which may be charged against my credit card.

For Dive Course Medicals read more.

Booking Conditions

Cancellation Policy:
More than 60 days prior to departure: deposit refundable, less 1.8% credit card transaction fee.
Between 60 – 30 days prior to departure: Deposit not refundable. Credit valid for 2 years.
Within 30 days of departure: 100% forfeit. Credits only offered for cancellations directly resulting from a pandemic;
relevant documentation required.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact reservations.

Reservations: Monday to Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm AEST
Phone:+61 7 4053 0500

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


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.


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.

Asia Pacific residents are eligible for DAN AP membership. Join DAN Asia-Pacific TODAY.


We seldom have children onboard, however we do welcome families with children 8 years or older.
The minimum age for diving is 12 years old (10-12 year old Jr Open Water certified divers – considered, on application) Parents or guardians traveling with children are responsible for child minding, and children less than 12 years of age cannot be left alone.

Disabled Divers

Spoilsport was not designed to cater for divers with severe disabilities. 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 and Excess Luggage Storage

Fly Dive 3 & 4 Night LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS including Minke Whale Expeditions –  Lizard Island airport is only accessible by small charter (not commercial) aircraft. Unlike larger commercial airlines with large payload capacity, you cannot purchase extra weight. ALL luggage main and hand, will be weighed; strict conditions apply, please see below –

    • You are limited to 28kg / 61.5lbs inclusive of ALL hand/carry-on luggage.
    • ‘Professional’ Photographers with housings/strobes are permitted an additional 7kg / 15.5lbs only.
    • Bags must be soft sided, duffle style or mesh; hard/rigid cases not permitted (Not applicable for camera gear).

  • Excess luggage can be stored at our office during your expedition.
  • Max Weight per bag 25kg / 61.5lbs.

Further luggage advice

  • Hard cases can be stored at office; simply transfer items to your own soft/mesh bag for expedition and flight. Check-in area is small, please ensure your items are transferred prior to arrival at office.
  • Only small items such as a book, camera, iPad, can be taken to your seat on the aircraft, not backpacks. All luggage is handled with the utmost care.
  • You and any items being carried will be weighed at the airport prior to boarding. Please empty your personal water bottles prior to weigh-in (you will be supplied a water on boarding).


  • No overall weight restriction.
  • Max Weight per bag 25kg / 61.5lbs.


  • Swimming costume.
  • Hat/ sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen T-Shirt & shorts.
  • Water bottle & dive deck towel.
  • Light sweater and pants for the evenings.
  • Bright “loud” shirt/ dress for the BBQ party night.
  • No additional shoes/ sandals required – bare feet recommended onboard.
  • Travel size Toiletries (combined body wash/ shampoo onboard).
  • Sea Sickness medication if required.
  • Personal medications.

Spoilsport has a library; you are welcome to leave/take a book.

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.

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. Please discuss this option with Reservations.

Excess luggage may be stored at the Mike Ball office whilst you are onboard Spoilsport. Luggage cannot be collected or stored at the office on Public Holidays. Alternative day storage arrangements will need to be made on these days.

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, there is only room for one person at a time to repack bags in office.

What to Bring

We want to ensure you have everything you need to make the most of your expedition.


  • Swimming costume.
  • Hat/Sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen, T-Shirt & shorts.
  • Water bottle & dive deck towel.
  • Light sweater and pants for the evenings.
  • Bright “loud” shirt/ dress for the BBQ party night.
  • No additional shoes/ sandals required – bare feet recommended onboard.
  • Travel size Toiletries (combined body wash/ shampoo onboard) Hair dryer.
  • Sea Sickness medication if required.
  • Personal medications.

Reef Safe Sunscreen

When purchasing sunscreen, review the ingredient list to make sure reef-damaging substances (such as oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor, all of which have been shown to cause coral bleaching even at low levels) aren’t included. We have marine-friendly sunscreen for purchase onboard.

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.

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 refrigeration or 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 via credit card. NB: 4 night Fly Dive Coral Sea guests’ credit cards are processed via the MBDE office owing to remote location.


Within Australia’s hospitality services, tipping is reserved for those that provide exceptional personal service.  As an indicator, for excellent restaurant service, tips of up to 10% is quite common and 5% in taxis. You should expect exceptional service from Spoilsport’s crew, day and night. At the end of the expedition, a ‘tip box’ is made available for a cash tip (any currency), or you can simply add a tip to your credit card whilst paying for any onboard costs incurred. Tips are welcome and distributed evenly amongst crew; please use your discretion and only tip with what you feel comfortable.

How can I be contacted while at sea

Whilst at sea or on Lizard Island, there is no reliable phone reception available.

In an emergency contact can be made with our office in Australia on t: +61 7 4053 0500 or e: 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 not secured parking.