Nothing to say about being able to see lava flowing directly into the ocean.. as many said it's a once in a lifetime experience.
Still, I was expecting this to be the highlight of my trip to Hawaii, and despite having amazing pictures and videos from that day, it was definitely not I have to say, and most of it is due to the very bad service that took away from the experience.
The 'skipper' is just borderline rude, the only worry they have is to ensure that anything that happens to you is not their fault, they literally spoke like 20mins about all the things that can happen to you that they wouldn't be responsible for and have you sign papers for it.. and they didn't take the time to talk instead about what we were going to see. Seems that they are more concerned with potential class actions than with delivering their service.
We were on one side of the boat at the back, since it was where the boat was apparently more stable, still we couldn't here anything of what they were explaining to the people in front of the boat - they spoke 5 mins anyway beside all the legal disclaimers.. still once you pay the price of a luxury service you expect at least a minimum when you get on the boat, while they basically didn't give any explanation about the volcano/the island/the park or anything and they didn't bother making sure everybody was being included.
The boat ride is extremely rough - I was OK though my girlfriend has been seriously sick for half of the trip despite taking motion sickness medication well in advance - so be prepared for it, if you have a slight tendency to feel sick at sea, rest assured you will.
Finally, we went on a 'sunset' trip (they charge you more for that) but we arrived there well too early and we were already on our way back when the light in the sky was starting to change.. so consider that an afternoon trip. Anyway the sun sets on the other side of the island, so I wouldn't expect amazing sunsets there anyway.
So fundamentally you pay to see the lava - and to receive a really poor service all the way through. Is it good enough? Probably yes, it's something you will probably see once in your lifetime and it's definitely something worth seeing anyway.
Still, what they charge for what they deliver is ridiculous, just the consequence of the lack of serious competition delivering this service and the greed to squeeze as much as possible from overexcited tourists.
You cannot feel any passion from their side beyond getting your money - you can forget about the aloha spirit - but you will surely have some truly amazing pictures to show to your friends.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 26, 2013
Well you cant make everyone happy i guess and yes this is an extreme ride no matter how much we try to prepare guests for the fact that they are heading out on an open ocean journey in rough waters many still show up unprepared or even worse with issues that may be aggravated by a rough ocean tour. It is no secret the stern of the boat offers a much smoother ride and most likely the reason the guest decided to sit there opposed to the front seats where there is quite a bit more motion. BTW this is no luxury service this is an extreme boat ride to a powder puff dinner cruise. As for being sick for days on end not sure why that would be most passengers who become ill freshen up once they touch land. Most company's that offer leave the flow sight on their lava tours as were arriving & they experience the sun set while in route back to the harbor.
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