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“Not friendly, not informative, and not safe!”

Hawaiian Rafting Adventures
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hawaiian Rafting Adventures is a full service dive shop and boat dive operator working out of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii.We offer a range of scuba classes from PADI discover scuba to TDI technical rebreather diving. Our boat does daily trips to the island of Lanai and along the Maui coast. Come enjoy scuba diving with Hawaiian Rafting Adventures!
Reviewed January 7, 2014

I picked this dive shop because of their proximity to Lahaina. The front desk person (Pete I believe was super nice and friendly) set a great expectation for the shop but sadly things went downhill from there.

The experience in the shop felt very odd on the day of the dive. The person picking our gear would basically look you up and down and disappear to select your gear. He for example never asked me how much weight I needed and gave me too little which was remedied for 2nd dive only when I asked. Just not incredibly friendly and crowded at the 15 people tried to all get suits on in small shop. Not a deal breaker but would have been nicer to have someone engage the divers.

First dive (Cathedrals 2) was a tough dive. We spent a long time looking for a place of Lanai due to rough seas and currents. Finally after going around the point past the lighthouse and realizing it was even rougher we came back to Cathedral 2. The dive was rough due to current. As we descended one by one, we had no sense of what was going on other than the current we were dealing with. We all waited (and most nervously chewed through air) waiting for the dive master. We waited 14 minutes. Not a great way to start a dive most of us were about 1000 psi down at this point due to confusion and current. Note: we later found out that one of the regular divers that had dove with this shop often had a problem even getting to the line to descend. The dive master as it turns out went to assist her. She never did make it down and our dive started after 15 minutes of waiting.

Second issue is that we were never paired up with dive buddies, this was just odd but I thought that if the Dive Master was on top of things it would be ok. Turned out to be not the case. Our Dive Master (Steve I believe) was unlike any dive master I've had. He had a camera and other than at the entrance to the cathedrals where he took a picture for each diver I noticed he took a lot of pictures. I remember thinking "I guess I'll see what he's seeing on the disc of photos for sale" because certainly he was not taking the time to show me (and us) what he was seeing. Overall, didn't really see much (other than on the disc of pictures I bought) and the dive was short due to the 15 min wait on the bottom.

For the second dive we moved over to Cathedral 1 site. I figured no way it was going to worse than the first dive. The site had no current issues and all of us made it down. Once again the Dive Master was mostly focused on taking pictures and once again not paying much attention to the group behind him. At 55' under my regulator fell apart (it turned out the mouth piece had NO zip tie on it). During the entire episode the Dive Master was never aware (other divers came up to me later to ask if I was ok). I sorted myself out alone and swam up to DM to show him my unusable primary reg. He tried to fix it (put it back together but did not have a zip tie to actually do it right). For the remaining 30 minutes of the dive, I'd lose the Primary by it coming apart, switch to secondary, then fix the Primary and switch to it, REPEAT. I did this 3 times w/o the DM ever checking in on me after the initial incident where I flagged him down. The fact equipment failed is one thing, the fact he never checked in on me after that knowing I had only one fully working regulator is note excusable in my book and negligent!!!

Actually he never asked me if I was ok even on the boat. The only comment I got was "you could have finished on the secondary). Yes if I trusted that these people can put rental equipment together to be SAFE maybe I would have felt SAFE doing so. But if you realize your primary is not set up correctly you simply do NOT feel safe and so I tried fixing the primary underwater in hopes of having an actual backup 3 times.

I later found out that an amazingly cool 14 year old boy on the boat almost lost his tank because it was not set up correctly for him and secured. Another diver in the group noticed it falling down and assisted him. I'm and adult and my experience was scary but I found the attitude on our dive negligent. No apologies or even checking on on how I was. No discount for the shortened first dive nor for unsafe equipment on the second. Heck they even made me pay full price for the handful of pictures which I got to have something to remember the dive.

I would not recommend this shop to anyone that wants a well guided and safe experience. I felt so rattled that I asked a Dive Master friend and found another Boat Dive company go out with the following day just to regain my confidence.

I would not recommend Hawaiian Rafting Adventures to anyone as I feel it was not safe, not friendly, not informative, and for me simply dangerous. I have taken few days to write this review to make sure I was no longer rattled and could be fair. I wrote it because I feel people should be aware of the type of risk they assume when diving with Hawaiian Rafting Adventures! I travel to Maui 3-4 times a year and they will never have my business again nor would I ever send anyone I know to this business!

3  Thank Surf R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve J, General Manager at Hawaiian Rafting Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Sorry this person went out on a rough day we can't control the weather and do the best we can!
She neglected to mention the reg was fine on the first dive and was only on the second dive after we were down with all the divers that she showed me her mouthpiece had come off and was missing the wire tie. My guess is since she had the hose under her arm instead of over her shoulder she accidentally pulled the mouthpiece off and the wire tie fell off once it wasn't connected to the regulator. She could have used her secondary (octo) was fine I put the mouthpiece back on with out a wire tie because we were already down at 50' with the whole group of divers and didn't want to send her back up to the boat for a wire tie or leave the group to go up for a wire tie. All of our dives are conducted from moorings and the divers are briefed to use the mooring line for a decent line and to stay with their group and follow the Dive Master the Dive Masters carry Sola Lights and pointers and love to show divers that will pay attention everything they can find on the dives and we take photos and show them upon returning to the shop so customers can ask us about the marine life we saw on the dives. Tank bands can come lose or pop open when entering the water and is easily fixed under water and Storm who I certified was cool and collected because he is a well trained diver and was not a big deal to redo his tank strap.Windy days will yield some surface current but once your down 15' the current subsides and we had two great dives, most Dive Masters would have let the boat crew on the surface bring the diver back on to the boat if they have trouble going down I went up to help her because I care about my divers and wanted to try and give her the confidence she needed to get down and do the dive. I spent 5 minutes assisting her while the group was waiting at the bottom of the mooring line to begin the dive and most of the group had 57 minute bottom times with a 3 minute safety stop and loved the great visibility and the caverns that Lanai is famous for.As she mentioned most of our group were returning customers that is because we do a good job, run a safe boat with good dive briefings and care about our customers would love to take this person out diving again and would offer her as much help as she needs to help her enjoy the dives.

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74 - 78 of 114 reviews

Reviewed November 4, 2013

Everything went smoothly and professionally. The way to achieve the higher rating will be to focus on the next level of hospitality and knowledge of local biodiversity. Also, the divemaster's control of the group underwater was good but not excellent. I believe his misjudged the group's overall abilities but not in a way that forfeited safety. Loved the boat.

Thank diodepack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

Just noticed my review was responded to with bs, so feel compelled to weigh back in for the betterment of fellow travellers who rely on Trip Advisor.

The comments related to the terrible experience we had completing an Open Water certification course with these guys, after paying a small fortune for their program. I asked twice when I was there what needed to happen after completing my dives, and the only answer I got, from Mr. Juarez, was that they didn't handle it for referrals, and I had to take my log book back home and get that dive shop to process it.

Interesting that he now says I did't have all my paperwork with me. Interesting for two reasons. 1. I actually did have it all, having been told to have it with me when I went for my referral course. 2. It's mysterious that Mr. Juarez is even able to have an opinion on the matter, since he never actually asked for it, and therefore couldn't possibly know.

I now have correspondence from PADI, who were great advocates on my behalf, and their confirmation as to who was at fault, and it wasn't me. The run around has also been equated, by experienced divers I've talked to, to the stuff they've only ever heard about at dodgy Mexican and Thai shops.

Bottom line - new divers beware! I was ripped off and apparently lied to for the sake of saving $40, but I'm satisfied to know how many people I've been able to forewarn and steer elsewhere in these few short months, now that I'm active member of the dive community!! I hope the $40 was put to good use, given the over $10k and counting they've lost in new business.

3  Thank Geoffrey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013 via mobile

Had a family reunion beginning of august ...booked with them and was verbally accosted on the phone when I called to confirm. The person stated we will let you know if there is a cancellation and abruptly hung up. I called back and said may I speak to the person in charge there? He responded I'm the owner .. what part don't you understand ? Do I have to spell it out for you? Uh excuse me I said, I was hung up on when asking info on our very expensive trip we just paid you for , and im having second thoughts now that your so rude. He said there's plenty more where you come from lady!. Duh I'm a man and he knew I was a man but insulted me with great joy. I hung up and decided to go anyway since it was too late to book elsewhere. When we arrived they led us to the boat and we lined up to get on. All of a sudden my name was called by a small tattooed boy in a wife beater shirt. He said , step over here please. I'm the owner and we can refuse service to anyone . He turned towards the captain Steve, pointed to me and said that's the one. I said thats the one what? He said I can cancel your trip and you will be charged a fee for wasting our time ! I obviously was not interested in getting on the boat now and my wife was appalled as was I.
I said ok your the owner now refund me my money. He said your card Will be processed for 15% of the total trip price.that's when it got ugly. The small boy/man? Puffed out his little chest and said you will see it on your credit card statement and now get out of my face. He was in my face! My wife now intervened and said ok, can we just start over and work this out ? Little guy says look b**** its over ,now beat it back to wherever you came from, its people like you that ruin it on Maui for every one. My card was charged 167.34 for total b.s. I'm filing a small claims lawsuit .

2  Thank marclopez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve J, General Manager at Hawaiian Rafting Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2013

Do not know who this person is and have never charged anybody for a trip they did not take and the charge he is claiming is not even accurate!
All of our customers are checked in at the shop all the equipment is then set up on the boat and they are then guided from the shop down to get on the boat. Who ever sent this is a fraud and is trying to discredit our shop for who knows why. You can see from our other trip reports we are a small family run business with most of our business generated by repeat customers. The advantage to paying with a credit card is it is very easy to deny the charges with your credit card company and get a refund but we have not received any charge backs from credit card purchases.
We would never have sent a customer to the boat directly with out having checked in at the shop and fitted them with equipment and set it up on the boat before walking them down to the ramp so the story does not ring true and does not follow our procedures for our trips.

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Reviewed September 25, 2013

Hawaiian Rafting Adventures/Dive Maui was the absolute best dive experience I have ever had. I have had the opportunity to dive throughout Australia, the Caribbean, and French Polynesia as well as other parts of Hawaii (and even Maui on past trips), and this is by far the most professional, knowledgable, and all around best company I have ever had the pleasure to dive with.

I can’t thank them enough- I was absolutely thrilled with the experience. Captain Steve, Jason, and Micah absolutely know what they are doing- they know the best dive spots, accurately read conditions, share their wealth of knowledge about the area, diving, and marine life, and moreover just take great care to ensure that everyone is having the best possible experience. Jason even let me borrow his camera housing for my GoPro- though Captain Steve’s photos are still lightyears better then mine.

The open air raft was excellent for someone like me who tends to get a bit boat sick on other vessels, and the group was limited to a nice intimate size- I hate getting lost in the shuffle of 24+ people on a boat followed by a dive in which you feel surrounded. Everything about Hawaiian Rafting adventures is perfect- if you are trying to decide between the millions of pamphlets and suggestions, this is definitely the shop to choose.

Thank bliss_seeker_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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