Did this trip as a tour off a cruise 7 years ago and it was nice to see it hadn't changed. Still a lot of fun, it is a rough, fast and wild ride but that's part of why you choose to do this by zodiac and not by mega booze-type party cruiser. The snorkeling in Hawai'i is amazing and from a zodiac is pretty cool. If you're concerned about getting BACK in this type of boat from the water - no worries here - they are a great help and have an appropriate ladder for getting back on board. So only those with compromised mobility will have trouble, but they will be the same folks who would have trouble with the rough ride anyway.
The captain and his first mate were highly knowledgeable and skilled and gave lots of info on the wildlife, fish, the area geology, volcanoes, Pele, and they capitalized on opportunties to show us all sorts of stuff. We saw a tiger shark, pod of spinner dolphins, and green turtles and as you know you cannot "plan" to see of any of that so once spotted captain made sure we all had a chance to see them and imparted some appropriate factoids while doing so. Because of the flexibility and capability of the zodiac we went in close to view cliffs and lava rocks. He also made the boat ride fun and showed us some of what a navy seal approved zodiac can do!
But not everything is perfect, right? My only disappointment was we had hoped for a second snorkel site (or somewhere other than the Captain Cook memorial park because we had done that previously). This was the 5 hour beat-the-crowd tour that specifically mentioned a second snorkel site was possible based on conditions and captains discretion. The other tours never mentioned the possibility of a second site and were advertised specifically as visiting Captain Cook site on a 4 hour morning or afternoon tour. Don't get me wrong this Captain Cook area is phenomenal snorkeling and we enjoyed it a great deal. But most everyone was back on the boat 45 min later and wondering what was next. This area is also quite crowded with many other boats so getting kicked in the head by the inexperienced and those lacking in dive or snorkel etiquette is to be expected.
Bottom line, I'd do it again. :)
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