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“Simultaneously awesome & frustrating”

Coral Reef Snorkel Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Swim with Wild Dolphins & Manta Rays everyday. Established in 2002 and still going strong; We have been the Winner of the Certificate of Excellence for 10 years now. We are a Big Island of Hawaii adventure for swimming with Dolphins & Manta Rays. Eco friendly, we follow the guidelines established to make our tours safe for the Manta Rays, dolphins and our guests. We are on the GREENLIST FOR MANTA RAY TOURS. ONLY CHOOSE A COMPANY THAT IS REGISTERED FOR SAFETY OF THE MANTA RAYS on the Green List. Morning Dolphin charters take you up the Kailua Kona coast to a pod of wild dolphins, usually 100 plus. Snorkel with them right next to you. Lunch & snacks included. Rated as #1 Night Manta Ray snorkel company by all the review web sites. These are the most exciting activities you'll do here. All gear included. These 2 activities with marine life will be a highlight of your trip. We take children of all ages.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed November 13, 2013

I liked the idea of a smaller group of people, so I was willing to pay a little more for that privilege. But be aware, the boat is relatively narrow and tall so is subject to a bit more rocking during the interminable wait to get in the water. In order to land a better spot they like to arrive well before full dark and spend 20-30 minutes or so "teaching" you about the rules and the Mantas. That said, I'd rather have done the review while getting under way, then hit the water soon after tying up. If my and my wife's masks hadn't leaked, I'm sure our trip would have been much more enjoyable. As is, we struggled to dump our masks every few minutes without swallowing (unsuccessfully) sea water in the chop. I felt the mask rubbers were getting a bit long in the tooth. Now on the plus side, the mantas were numerous (8-10), active and we even saw a dolphin. While they had bandied about numbers like 29 and 26 Mantas on the previous nights, we did see ol' lefty (10') and several younger Mantas, so it was still amazing in that regard.

2  Thank Tim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
captain96740, Owner at Coral Reef Snorkel Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

. We make every effort to make sure that our guests have a wonderful time.
It sounds like it was a rough night on the water. As for our boat, we are the last of the smaller boats that take only 6 passengers, whereas most are larger boats that have divers and snorkelers and stay out about 4 hours. But on the ocean all boats are somewhat rocky and people react differently regardless of the size. It's unfortunate that on every boat no matter the size, there are a few that experience motion sickness. In our confirmation letter, we have advised our guests that we will be sitting on the boat for 1/2 hour doing our briefing and suiting everyone up with wetsuits and fitting masks. This time period, gives the Manta's time to arrive BEFORE we get in the water. Our goal is to have our guests experience a full 45 minutes WITH the Manta's. So, it's to the advantage of our guests that we wait, so they don't get cold and they have LONGER experience with the Manta's.

Also, our snorkel gear is top quality. I spend about $135 on each set and if there's a tear or leakage, we fix it or toss it. One of the main reasons we have a guide to be with our guests in the water is to make sure if any problems arise they can be fixed. We always fit the mask to each person and do a check before moving away from the boat to make sure the gear doesn't leak and if there's a problem we fix it, or anytime while out on the snorkel. We count on our guests to let us know if they have a problem and our guide will come back and get another mask if necessary. If a person takes off the mask while in the water there's the risk of hair being pulled into the mask or the strap is too low and it pulls down and water will leak in. With the many different shaped faces, smile lines, hair and other things, most often you can't get a 100% non leak mask but we do have 4 different sizes on the boat so we can get something to fit most people. We're very sorry that our guide was unaware of your situation because she would have fixed it.
It is our nightly goal to make sure our guests have a great experience and we are willing to help out and fix any of their problems in order to have a lasting, wonderful experience.

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495 - 499 of 764 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2013

It's worth every penny to pay a little extra and go with Coral Reef Adventures. Ron answered all of our questions when we booked, and Karl and Jessica were professional and fun. The boat and equipment are clean and comfortable. My husband and I can't decide which outing we enjoyed more -- they were both amazing and wonderful. The boat only carries at most 6 guests, and on both our night manta snorkel and swim with wild dolphins experience there was only one other couple onboard.

It's breathtaking being in the ocean at night with giant mantas coming within inches of your body as they feed on tiny plankton. We saw hundreds of dolphins on our daytime trip. When we got in the water the group circled around us and checked us out. Amazing, memorable experiences!

Thank Karen541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

I rarely, seriouly rarely, write reviews unless I feel it is uncomparable and this is one of those. I'd saw very good reviews for them and emailed Captain Ron asking questions before booking but I never imagined it to be this amazing. I would give them 10 stars out of 5! This snorkeling trip made my vacation the most unforgetable thanks to Captain Ron and Erin! We saw and swam with so many dophines that when they call it "swim with the dophines tour" they are not kidding. We probably saw hundreds of them and seriously I'm not exaggerating. Even though my boyfriend and I cannot swim Erin was so patient to stay with me in the water. She would take my noodle and take me to the dophines and point me to them. There were several instances where if i knew how to swim i could have just reach out and touch them but at the same time we should not for health reasons as explained because they are still wild animals. Captain Ron was great at spotting them and taking us to all the different locations where they are as they come and go. I love the fact that there were only 3 of us (they only allow 6 max) and with the boat they had I felt really safe unlike some others I saw that day in the waters where there were alot more than 6 people in inflatable water crafts. We had undivided attention from Captain Ron and Erin. We saw spinners and spotted dolphines both in the water and as we travel they were swimming all around us, even right there in front. Thank you Captain Ron and Erin for making this trip the most amazing for us! BTW, great brownies!

Thank Mimi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

2nd trip in 2 years with Coral Reef Adventures, great Captain and Crew is why we went again. This trip started immediately with a Manta sighting followed by a Manta cleaning station with 3 beneath the boat on the reef. Dolphin were a little bit allusive this trip which is not common, they are wild animals no signed contracts with them, but the crew worked hard to locate them which meant a longer boat ride, and extended time on the water.
Captain Ron located some and we all had a great experience swimming with them. Hope to be back and see our underwater friends again.

Thank Busheffski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 18, 2013

Morning dolphin swimming tour worked out great. Although several other companies do it, this one has room for only 6 per outing. We had only 4+ captain and guide. We'll worth it for good equipment and no cattle-car environment. Saw/swam with hundreds of dolphins and even got out to 5-6 pilot whales. Personable captain and met the owner of the company as we pulled in to the boat dock. Of note, the boat is not in a slip, but arrives on a trailer and is put in at a boat ramp. Don't go looking for a sign for the Coral Reef Adventures. They arrive on Hawaiian time, but so does everything else here, great time had by all. Highly recommend.

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

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