My wife and I took the 7 hour Niihau Super Tour. Although the check-in time was 6:00AM, they didn't leave until about 6:30, so the fervent rush to get there exactly at 6:00 to checkin wasn't really necessary. (We still did stop at the MacDonald's at the turn into Port Allen, not being sure what the Continental breakfast would be) This is a barefoot tour, so they stored the shoes on a cart before boarding. The catamaran is very clean and roomy. The staff was absolutely friendly and professional. We actually met the mom of one of the staff, Ryan. (Hi Cindy from Jerry and Kathy). He obviously got his friendliness from his adoring mom.
Even though I only occasionally get seasick and my wife not too often, we took the seasick pills the night before, and in the morning just as insurance for a good time. (It was my birthday trip...I won't say how high)
The captain got us up close and even inside 3 of the caves. He has lots of stories and pointed out the best places for picture taking and when to put the camera away and hold on to your hats!. I think the "keyhole" formation viewed from within the cave was on the island next to Niihau. He also let the willing, get 'blessed' (showered) from a waterfall that flowed over the entrance to the cave....that was awesome. The snorkeling area was at the island next to Niihau. They tied up about 100 feet from the rock shore. Ryan dived down to get the fore and aft mooring lines that are attached to the bottom....saves having to drop anchor.
Most everyone used 'noodles' supplied by the ship, and were recommended by the crew. The actual conditions were pretty tame. The snorkeling was good with, of course, a lot of tropical fish. A monk seal greeted us, but took off after a few minutes.
Now the good part that made this the #1 choice for fun on this trip, even over the Treetop Zipline. They served a banquet-style lunch where everything was good quality, fresh and appetizing. The ample beer and wine could also have made the quality seem that much better. The staff were always checking to see if you had what you wanted, and were also cleaning and bussing the tables....you were made to feel very special......well maybe not 'that' feeling, as those words have another meaning on that ship! (Only one person felt special on the rock and roll trip back). I liked the fact that the boat had so much power..I think I heard that they have twin 425 HP diesels.
All in all, and after talking to others that got skunked for entering the rock caves, even with the Zodiaks, there is a reason why this Holo Holo trip has earned their great reputation!!!!!!!!!
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