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Dive Review of Mike Ball in
Australia/Coral Sea/Barrier Reef

November, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Tom & Lynn Hayes, FL, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports)
Report Number 3739
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
All around Carribean, Australia, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Normal recommendations, but we were allowed to do our own thing.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Excellent facilities- plenty of space for setup and good rinse facilities. 
Computers available for downloads.  Classes available, and weekly photo
contest.  Onboard photo staff provided (for a fee) a DVD of the entire
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
This trip was a repeat of a trip we took earlier in the year that was cut
short due to the approach of two cyclones.  We handled everything via
e-mail directly with Mike Ball, including hotel reservation pre- and post
trip.  The staff was extremely helpful and even provided storage for some
luggage prior to our trip.

All of the staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful.  Tanks
were refilled (inlcuding Nitrox) within 15 minutes of our dive, enabling
multiple dives at each site.  Dive briefing were very thorough, guides were
offered but not required, and many unusual underwater critter locations
were marked with lightsticks by the divemasters so no one would miss them. 
Warm towels were provided, and there was always plenty of hot water for
showers.  Snacks were always available, as was coffee/tea 24/7.

The food was very good, with a lot of variety and plenty of vegetarian
options always included.  A continental breakfast was available for the
early risers followed by hot breakfast after the first dive.  Soft drinks
were provided free, and wine was served with dinner.  The bar was ala
carte, but well stocked.

We had a premium cabin, which was very spacious and airy for a dive boat. 
Two large windows eliminated any feeling of confinement.  Plenty of drawer
space, very good A/C and a very comfortable bed.  There was daily
"maid" service and fresh linens mid-week.  Chocolates were placed
on the pillow at the turn-down (the staff even arranged to meet another
dive boat and replenish the chocolate supply when it ran low- a very nice

The diving was what we had hoped for, and we identified over 150 species
that we had not seen in the Carribean.  Visibility was not as good as it
could have been at all of the sites, but always good enough to make for
good diving.  We experienced a few currents, and there were several divers
that had to be picked up in the inflatables, but the boat had a great
system for keeping track of the divers and always having observers on the
top deck and an inflatable in the water.

This was our second trip on this boat, and it mirrored the first trip
(except for better weather this time), which says a lot for their standards
and quality control.   
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Other dive reports on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

All Australia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Australia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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