Our three day live aboard adventure is over and we had a wonderful time. Snorkeling turned out to be just as fun as diving: we could be with our children and close to the surface colors just pop out. The boys had a blast, seeing fish, small sharks, and even swimming with and petting a turtle.
If you're looking for a diving adventure, we recommend Pro Dive Cairns: the crew were friendly, enthusiastic, and professional, the accommodations good, and the dive sites excellent.
For an affordable stay in Cairns, we really liked Tropic Days Inn. It has great atmosphere with hammocks, a swimming pool, musical instruments, pool table, etc. The owner, Gabriel, was incredibly helpful and made us feel at home. He also owns a sister hotel in Cairns, the Travellers Oasis.