Dear Jacqueline P,
As I expressed to your friends in their previous review, this was not the trip for your group. I am unsure what your expectations were, but we have been running our same excursion for over 15 years. On Friday, June 13, the Hawaiian Islands were experiencing a south swell –great news for surfers, not so great for poor swimmers or snorkelers on any southern shore (which would include Black Rock, Maui and Hulopoe Bay, Lanai). With the hand Mother Nature dealt us, south swell but light trade winds, I opted to take the charter to the East side of Lanai to explore a spot on the longest continuous coral reef in the state, where we often even get to see green sea turtles. I am sorry you did not appreciate this very pristine coral garden reef.
While trying not to repeat myself, I will reiterate that our vessels meet or exceed all USCG requirements and we do indeed have more than enough lifejackets on board. To you and your party, it was just a “noodle”, to me; it is the most brilliant floatation device I’ve come across in the past 25+ years. Our company does not deal with the masses, but rather only a small group of guests that we can assist/guide on a more personal level with proper attention given to swim level, usage of snorkeling equipment, floatation, ect… If passengers opt not to listen to our professional advise and insist on a snorkel vest, we do have them available, and suggest they do not inflate it fully, and take a noodle.
This trip does include a “picnic style” lunch for the beach part of your excursion. Our Hawaiian style coolers come with an ice pack to keep the lunch cool and are delivered 30-45 minutes before departure. Our “Gluten Free” option is a salad with turkey, fruit, and GF crackers. I am sorry your friend got a cookie included – make someone’s day, and give it away!
The Manele Bay Hotel is “an exclusive 5 diamond” resort on a private island. Hotel staff controls access to the hotel. We are not affiliated with the hotel, and thus cannot guarantee access to their property. Sometimes they allow non-hotel guests to frequent their bars, restaurants, and Sundry shop (i.e. My statement of “flash your gold card” as they do not want non-hotel guests just touring their property). Sometimes they have private events and give no access to non-hotel guests, regardless of their intent. If your intent was to get to Lanai to check out The Manele Bay Hotel, I would highly recommend on your next visit, you check-in. It is truly a luxury hotel with a lot of amenities.
The focus of our excursion is more on the natural wonders of Hulopoe Bay, providing guests an opportunity to get away to another island and spend time on a beautiful un-crowded beach relaxing, or hiking, or exploring tide pools (weather permitting), or snorkeling (weather permitting) unescorted; And also an escorted boat tour including a snorkel from the boat, and hopefully dolphins.
Once again, I am sorry your group did not like our excursion.
Aloha, Capt. Jill