Mike Ball is synonymous with lavish Australia diving safaris, seen by many as the most luxurious operator in the region and one of the few with minke whale watching permits. Indeed Spoilsport has earned more awards than any other liveaboard operating on the Great Barrier Reef and currently boasts 11 prestigious 'Rodale Readers Choice' awards including 'Best Liveaboard'.
There are several accommodation categories available on Spoilsport, depending on your requirements and wallet size, most of which have en-suite bathrooms.
A spacious 3-deck layout offers you a roomy dive deck with individual storage spaces for each diver. In-situ nitrox fills are available to help you maximise your unlimited dives aboard Spoilsport - most guests do 4 day dives and 1 night dive each day on these Great Barrier Reef liveaboard trips.
For the photographers amongst you, it's reassuring to note that Mike Ball himself is an avid underwater photographer, so you can rest assured that the setup for photographers is second to none. The dive deck has 3 dedicated camera tables as well as rinse tanks for your valuable equipment. On most trips, an informal photo competition is held, so you can enter your best shot of the trip and see how it fairs against your fellow divers.
Spoilsport operates an "open dive deck" policy, which allows guests to plan and dive independently with their buddies. This means that if you want 2 hours in the water getting that "cover shot" of a particularly elusive fish then there is no problem in doing so. However, if you like having the dive sites' best marine life pointed out to you, the experienced Spoilsport crew leads scheduled dives twice daily. Additional guided dives can be arranged with the Spoilsport staff on an ad-hoc basis.
When not enjoying the delights of world famous dive sites or sampling the delicious meals prepared by the chef, you can top up your tan on the ample sundeck or simply relax in the comfortable lounge, perhaps taking in a movie or 2.
Notes: Osprey Reef trips are best for advanced divers due to wall dives that are sometimes exposed to strong currents.
Cruise price per person includes: Low-level scenic flight to or from Lizard Island (for 3 and 4 night trips), cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trips above), in-water observation divers, tanks, weights and weight belts, Nautilus Lifeline GPS.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Dive equipment (US$ 34 per day), dive insurance, reef tax (US$ 14) per person per trip. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).
Optional extras: Transfers from Cairns City hotels, soft drinks (soft drinks with evening meals are complimentary), alcoholic drinks (wine with evening meal is complimentary), nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (US$ 8 per fill), torches (US$ 8 per day). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: Spoilsport departs from either Trinity Wharf in Cairns or Lizard Island, depending on the itinerary. 3 night trips begin with a flight to Lizard Island and end on the boat in Cairns. 4 night trips begin on the boat in Cairns and end with a flight back from Lizard island. 7 Night trips begin and end on the boat in Cairns.
For Cairns departures, check in at the Mike Ball office at 3 Abbott Street between 8.30 am and 4 pm on the day of departure. For Lizard Island departures, check in at 7 am at the Mike Ball office for transfer to the airport for the charter flight to Lizard Island.
Minke Whale Expeditions: Certain trips in June and July include efforts to dive and/or snorkel with minke whales. Prices remain the same but expect fewer overall dives on these trips. Check out this excellent video of a Minke Whale trip.
Non-diver rate: 10% off the published price, non-diving child (8-15 years) 25% off the published price.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travellers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 70% of the published price.
Dive clubs and group discounts: None
Whole boat charter rate (per night): There is none available for this boat. Please contact us to enquire for a full charter.
Spoilsport can accommodate up to 29 divers in 15 air-conditioned cabins across 4 categories. All located on the middle deck, the cabin categories comprise 4 Premium cabins, 4 Standard cabins, 4 Budget cabins and 3 Club cabins.
Of the Premium cabins, 2 are fitted with double beds and 2 with a double and a single bed. The Standard cabins all feature twin single beds, whilst the Budget and Club cabins provide twin bunk beds.
The Premium and Standard cabins feature large windows that allow natural light in. Club and Budget cabins, located in the centre of the vessel, feature cabin lights and reading lamps.
All cabin categories have private en-suite facilities, except for the Budget cabins, which have shared bathroom facilities.
All the cabins have:
Private bathroom with hot water shower and hand basin (except Budget cabins)
Enriched air nitrox - 3 Camera tables - Separate rinse tank for cameras - Video/photo editing facilities - Air-conditioned lounge with bar, TV, DVD and music centre - Movie library - Open-air dining area - Wave skis - Computer & CD burner - Satellite phone and fax - Books, magazines, games, fish ID books - Sun deck with sun chairs and shaded areas - Water dispenser
"We had an awesome dive adventure on the Spoilsport. The dives on the Great Barrier Reef were incredible and the liveaboard crew staff exceeded our expectations....the meals, service, etc. was flawless. The trip was an A+!!!" - Ellen & Tom Atchison, USA ...
"The live aboard boat was just great. The cabins were roomy and there was lots of room to spread out. Food was very good. Diving was really good. Visibility was generally about 50-60 feet at most sites. The marine life was amazing. Saw sharks, moray eels, stone fish, nudibranches, clown fish, potato cod (huge!), lion fish, lots of little fish, etc. Met a number of interesting people on the boat. The staff were great, very accommodating and really friendly. This was a fabulous experience that I would recommend to anybody. Really good value for the money and superior service. You get to know the crew personally. They all pitch in to help and make the live aboard experience wonderful." - Paul Pilutti, Canada ...
"The Mike Ball group was professional and safety conscious first and foremost. They made the trip comfortable, fun, relaxed, attending to our every need. The dives were set up well from the equipment (would have like full wetsuit but shorties were ok), to the procedure for entering and exiting. The boat was full with 29 divers but spacious enough to spread out. The food was quite plentiful and tasty for hungry divers. We did the 3 night trip and 12 dives and felt we saw the best coral and fish possible. Next time we may include the Osprey Reef on the longer trip." - Cindy Armbruster, USA ...
"Staff was very helpful, ship was very clean, everyone was very friendly and enthusiastic. We had a wonderful time on the cruise, thanks!" - Yi-Hsin Lin, USA ...
"Fantastic set-up. Knowledgeable instructors, great crew, tons of fun, great dive sites. Food was stunningly good." - Graham Carssow, USA ...