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“Manta Ray Night Dive”
Review of Big Island Divers

Big Island Divers
Ranked #2 of 207 Tours in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Big Island Divers has been serving the Kona diving community since 1984. We offer a full-service diving experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy the underwater scenery. With 5 vessels and a crew of over 40, we accommodate divers or snorkelers of all experience levels and take great pride in providing unforgettable memories day after day. We love sharing our passion with others, and we offer a wide variety of certifications for beginners and advanced divers alike. Our knowledgeable and patient PADI and SSI instructors are here to help those wanting to take the first step in their dive education; experienced divers can enjoy progressing their skills with our extensive specialty course offerings list. Our newly-renovated, 2,000+ square foot retail space is fully stocked with every kind of equipment, apparel, dive accessory,and snorkel gear you need to enjoy the ocean.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

The Manta Ray Night Dive is absolutely stunning! My husband did the scuba and I did the snorkel. We both feel we had an experience of a life time. These gentle giants are amazing! We chose the tour with 2 dive/snorkels (reef & manta) and 100% believe it was the right decision. During our first session we both saw spinner dolphins -- more accurately, we swam with them!!!

In addition, we had a great crew! Thank you Nick, Mike & Mike! They were both fun and knowledgeable.

In our opinion, this is a MUST DO!

Thank ToeJam_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 25, 2013

Went for a refresh dive after a long time. I thought I couldn't do it but Kevin got me through my first dive. Turned out spectacular! Even got close to a shark! Which is the reason i got certified anyways. I am deathly afraid of them. second dive was so great. . Shawna and Carine were just as encouraging! Too bad it is my last day here because I would have spent the rest of my trip diving with them! Big Island Divers is blessed to have such a great crew! Thank you for making our dive so memorable! I cant say enough about my day!

Thank vankruyssen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Signed up and paid for the "Reef & Manta Dive" and the "Swim with Dolphins" snorkel prior to coming over to the island. Our first adventure was the "Reef & Manta Dive." Snorkel crew was two young ladies, the most "seasoned" had been here 9 months and the other only a few weeks. We went out on the smaller of two boats. While waiting for manta swim we listened to our sister boat customers yelling and carrying on in a positive manner. Our crew was more focused on communicating amongst themselves.

Our second adventure was the "Swim with the Dolphins" and we went out with one "snorkel master" a videographer (contractor), and boat captain. We never saw any dolphins so they took us to Kealakekua Bay, which is a great place to snorkel, but we had just spent the previous day there with another tour company, the Fair Winds, (which blew this company out of the water for customer service), and what bothered me the most was that our "snorkel master" never entered the water. My wife and daughter are both novice snorkelers and I would have felt more relaxed if some attention was paid to them while in the water.

I can say that on our way back we were blessed to see a mother humpback and her calf. The mother breeched a few times and since it was late in the season we were fortunate. Also the videographer, Ryan (sp) was very knowledgable and spent time educating us on multiple topics, from where best to see sea turtles to whale behavior.

We understand that manta rays, as well as the dolphins are wild animals and therefore not a guarantee to see, but provide some more mature and experienced "snorkel masters" for such adventures. It was mine and my wife's opinion that SCUBA divers are their preferred clientele. Also, serving Costco popcorn and pretzels as your "snacks" is a joke. I sat and watched the crew devour half of the popcorn before it was even passed around. Your on an island where fresh fruit abounds, maybe taking the time to prepare some of the local foods before the trip would be greater appreciated.

3  Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BigIslandDivers, Manager at Big Island Divers, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2013

Aloha Michael,
First, thanks for stopping by and tipping the Crew today. Its never expected, but always appreciated by them! :)
As for your concerns on the Dolphin Charter that your "snorkel master" Corrine never entered the water, its a US Coast Guard regulation for safety-sorry that wasn't explained on the boat. But that's why we had two crew members scheduled that day; Corrine and Ryan, so one could be in the water with you and the other on the boat, keeping a surface watch-just in-case someone needed help(USCG Requirement).
Also, we have an extremely high expectation for our Crew to preform Superior customer service. But with a growing shop, we have been hiring a lot of new employees; unfortunately they aren't born as fully trained as Snorkel Guides(!). So there is a steep learning curve for new employees to acquire our level of Customer Service Standards.... Since I'm not on the boats, thank you for the insight-its already been addressed. I always encourage people to seek me out or e-mail me (Frank@bigislanddivers.com) when there is any positive or negative situation. That way an occurrences like yours, can be used as a training aid, so an experience(s) like yours, will not be repeated in the future. :)

Sincerely Aloha and Mahalo for your feed back,
Frank, Manager of Big Island Divers
Frank@bigislanddivers.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013 via mobile

Kimarie wanted to dive on our 11th anniversary trip to Hawaii. Big Island Divers didn't have any problem taking along a non-diving boat lover like myself, so we booked a two dive day with them.

When we checked in at the dive shop to get Kimarie fitted, they also kindly helped us repair her snorkel that the kids had ruined.

Captain Russ and DM Mikey were informational, friendly and easygoing. The group had 6 divers and myself as guests. I had taken Bonine for seasickness, though I've never been, to ensure I could sit and read while my wife was underwater.

Seemed like everyone had a great time. A couple from Belgium, another from Montreal, young guy from New York, and we from the Seattle area. They offered soft drinks and water, pretzels and popcorn, and wrap sandwiches between dives.

They provided a towel for cold divers, but the temperature was comfortable for me all evening.

Obviously, the draw for this was the night dive with Manta rays. Kimarie likes to move around so she didn't like being just parked with a rock on the bottom to watch, but they say that 14 rays were sighted. They attract them with high intensity lights that draw together the plankton food source.

I was even able to capture some video of a somersaulting ray from the boat as the crew were serving us hot chocolate. My favorite part was the choppy ride back to port looking back at the wake and over toward the soft yellow street lights in the hills.

Thank Natenote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2013

We made contact with the dive shop on e mail and made our reservations.We booked the manta dive twice and saw 3 and 10 manta's on each dive.We did the dolphin snorkling tour and we where in the water with 15 dolphins for one and a half hour.We did 2 morning tank dive and it was also good.They provide very good wraps between dives and a choice of soft drinks.Coral around the island is hard coral . Bring a 5 mm wet suit because the water is around 24 celcius.It gets cold in a 3 mm shorty.Because we had no car we walked from the courtyard Marriot to the dive shop.It is about 20 minutes.From the dive shop we got a ride with the crew to the marina.It was just 10 minutes drive. Their rental gear is brand new. The staff is wonderfull.

Thank scubadave1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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