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“Scuba Diving” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kona Diving Company

Kona Diving Company
74-5615 Luhia St., Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
+1 808-331-1858
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Ranked #3 of 204 Activities in Kailua-Kona
Type: Water sports, Adventure
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Owner description: Awarded the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014, Kona Diving Company offers SCUBA diving adventures off of their custom dive boat on the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Contact us for certification of all levels, introductory dives & night dives/manta ray dives. Multi-day dive packages available. A wonderful shop and friendly staff will welcome you!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reno, Nevada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Scuba Diving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014 via mobile

We dove with KDC twice this week including a life changing Manta Night Dive. The crew, all the crew where so accomdating, helpful, & just plain fun to be with! Great people, great dives, great fun experience!!!!!
Al & Sandy
Reno, Nevada

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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new york
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best dives I've ever had!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

One of the key reasons that my husband and I decide to visit the big island is to do the one and only Manta Ray dive. It's on my bucket list and I was extremely excited that I finally got to do it. We booked the divers with KDC early in the trip, however right after I booked the trip, I got a fever and I was worried that I don't feel well enough to enjoy the 5-hour two tank dives. I called the office and explained the situation and the staff was extremely friendly and compassionate toward my situation. Even though the dives were within 48 hour range, he offered to reserve me a future spot and try the best to move others/book new divers to take our spots. In the end, they were able to move me and my husband to a later day in the week when I fully recovered from the fever. On the day of the dive, we had a small group (six divers) with Luke as our divemaster. Since we haven't dove in 2 years, he gave us a good briefing prior to the dive, stayed very close throughout the entire dive and was checking with me every step of the way to make sure that I was doing OK. I felt extremely safe throughout the whole dive even though I was a bit worried that I may not remember all the steps. Unlike many other divemasters, Luke escorted each diver as their air reaches safety limit to the surface and stayed with the remaining divers to allow more bottom time. For some reason, I was breathing extremely efficiently and was the last one to leave the ocean with a bottom time of more than 80 minutes!! It was the best and longest dives I've ever done and I saw so many different sea life and even 5 manta rays before the night fall. The manta ray dive was just so fantastic that it almost felt unreal. We had a record night of 30 manta rays joining us and they were with us the entire 40-50 minutes we spent in the water. Again, being my first night dive, I went into the dive with a bit nervousness but Luke went back and forth to make sure the whole group were safe and enjoying the experience. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and will definitely choose to dive with KDC again on our next trip!!!

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beware of Last Minute Trip Cancellations”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

Just writing this review as a warning to customers that this company can and will cancel your charter a couple of hours before your scheduled trip, and leave you to find another charter yourself.

My wife and I had the unfortunate experience of booking a trip with Kona Diving Company (KDC). We were very excited to do the Manta Ray Dive/Snorkel and had booked the excursion one week prior.

The night before the scheduled dive, KDC asked if I could move the date of my dive. As I only had 3 days on the Big Island, I informed them that the date I booked was the only one I could make. Stephany then told me that they would work hard to try and get our charter out.

The next day, TWO HOURS before the scheduled dive, I received an email that said my dive was cancelled. KDC explained that there was room with another dive outfitter - Jacks Dive Locker, and that there should be room on their boat.

Instead of setting the dive up for me, Stephany informed me that I would need to talk to Jacks Dive Locker myself to set up another trip.
I rushed over to Jacks Dive Locker and was told they had no more spots left for divers. However, after I explained the situation, they were nice enough to call one of their dive masters last minute to take me on the dive.

The KDC website has a disclaimer that says "48-hour cancellation policy applies to all bookings". However, the cancellation policy only works one way. Kona Diving Company can and will cancel your charter last minute and leave you scrambling to find a spot yourself with another company.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KonaDivingCompany, Owner at Kona Diving Company, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Aloha Samuel and Lisa,

I'm responding to your review to let you know that your experience has generated a lot of discussion here at Kona Diving Company. Disappointing a guest is the last thing we'd ever want to do and to prevent it from ever happening again, we want to take this opportunity to learn from our actions.

On the very rare occasions that we don't have enough interest to make a charter economically viable, it is our practice to secure seats with another quality operator. We do this far enough in advance to make sure that there is plenty of time to get booking information to the new operator once we have approval from our guests to do so. While we were able to find you guys seats on another boat for that evening's charter, the only way we had to reach you was email (since you didn't have a phone that worked on the island) and when we canceled our charter at 12:00 noon that day we sent an email right away. It was an hour later (1:00 pm) before we got your email response asking for information about the other operator. Since email was our only option for reaching you, the process was not optimally efficient.

We will be making immediate changes to our booking process for visitors who do not have access to cell phones and who cannot be reached at a hotel during their visit in hopes of avoiding any chance of repeating this situation!

In our four years of operation we have been privileged to share what we love doing most with visitors from all over the world. I sincerely regret that we couldn't honor your booking and take you out to see Kona's amazing manta rays. Hopefully your trip out to see the mantas was as magical for you as it has been for so many others over the years and that your lasting memories of your visit to the Big Island are of sunshine and smiles.

A hui hou,

Kerry Key
Owner, Kona Diving Company
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“10 Dives, Awesome Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

My wife and I dove with Kona Diving Company in April 2014 and had an absolutely wonderful time. We had the opportunity to dive with multiple dive masters including Luke, David, Billy & Kerry. All were outstanding at pointing out the uncommon fish life such as dragon eels, frog fish, and zebra eels in addition to the typical wildlife such as reef sharks, turtles and rays.

Our captains included both "Shaggy" and Capt Mike, both of which offered exceptional customer service. The little things like walking around the boat with a bottle of defog as you geared up for a dive were very much appreciated...Plus the snacks between dives were great (sandwiches, trail mix, brownies, gold fish and an assortment of drinks). We always left the dive boat feeling like we didn't need to eat lunch! Gear was taken care of between dives and the crew would rinse your BCD and regs each day and have them ready for you the next morning.

The diving in Kona was really top notch and we found it quite a bit more appealing than diving off of Maui (8 dives last year). The Manta Ray dive is a must! After roughly 95 dives, the Manta night dive has been the most incredible underwater experience I've had to date. Our Dive Master for the night dive, Luke, had us wait in the boat for ~20 minutes after most of the other operators had dropped in the water. They waited on bottom with lights for about 15 minutes before the first Manta showed up, that's when Luke had us gear up and get in. We got to experience the Manta Rays for every one of our ~50 minutes of bottom time and long after most of the other operators left!!

As my wife and I are more experienced divers, sometimes it can be frustrating when dive operators limit your bottom time based on an artificially set max time or the most aggressive air consumer. Not so with Kona Dive company. They always safely escorted the low on air divers (usually the least experienced) back to the mooring line for a safety stop while allowing the rest of us to continue exploring... I had several dives with 70 - 80 min bottom times.

We're currently planning our next trip later this year with Kona Diving Company!

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Kona Diving Co. is THE choice!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

There are so many choices when visiting the Big Island to dive with and even more so in terms of seeing the manta rays at night via snorkel or scuba. Let me help you through the clutter…go with Kona Diving Company.

They are professional and fun! That is the right combo for this excursion. I did a 2 tank dive with them including the nighttime manta ray experience and they were phenomenal - stand out above all was the crew. Thank you to Justin for his expertise, Ian for his attentiveness to the snorkelers and making their experience just as good as the divers, and especially to Luke for being the most attentive and patient dive master possible with our a bit nervous out of practice crew.

Thank you Kona Diving team (including the office team as well and Captain Mike) for making a real difference in our vacation! XO

Visited April 2014
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