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Hawaii Turtle Tours
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Small-Group Circle Island Tour with Snorkeling
Ranked #16 of 313 Outdoor Activities in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: North Shore Hawaii Turtle Tours prides itself in providing custom client relationships through our boutique family-style tours. We are the only Oahu circle island tour that includes snorkeling and swimming with the noble Hawaiian green sea turtles on Oahu’s North Shore. Your professional tour guide will also share interesting cultural and historical facts with you as we tour around the island. Come with us to enjoy a full day of exploring Oahu.
Reviewed August 6, 2014

We went on turtle tours a couple of days ago. Circle tours to be exact. We had Damien and Cliff. Let me first state, that Damien the Driver was fabulous and very knowledgable. Cliff on the other hand was a wanna be local and completely full of useless information. He was very sarcastic and used that "humor" to make fun of the passengers. He bragged about getting things for free and not paying his way because he knew how to "hustle". It was very bizarre to say the least.

The bus picked us up a bit late, understandable though due to the major traffic in Waikiki. We were excited when we finally climbed on board. The goal of the tour was for it to be intimate and flexible. The intimate part was spot on, it was a small bus. Not a huge tour bus. It was great until a few passengers and I discovered throughout the day it was infested with cock roaches. I personally saw dozens that would come out when the bus was turned off at stops.. :-( Please, set traps!! It was disgusting.

Here's the flexibility part.. It wasn't flexible!! We supposedly past by areas which movies were filmed at, such as Jurassic Park and 50 first dates but we didn't stop. Even though a few people requested it. The worse part was this Cliff guy didn't even point them out! He said it was coming up, 5 minutes later when asked if we were almost there, he said we passed it back there.. Really!! Thanks jerk, why don't you try doing your job properly as a tour guide..

We stopped at a shack for lunch. If you are hungry and want to eat, this is your only option. There is no other place. They overcharge and take advantage of this fact. $15 for 4 shrimps, a few pieces of lettuce and a small spoon full of rice.. All their plates are $15. You can't order anything tapas style. Cash only. I don't mind spending money on food, huge foodie here. However, this place was a huge disappointment. Tasted like Costco shrimp.

They had paddle boarding at this place for $20 extra if you didn't want to snorkel.
We headed over to the snorkeling area, which had a ton of food trucks and local places to eat. It would have been fantastic if we could have been able to explore and choose our lunch at that area. Of course cliff guy wouldn't get a kick back or free lunch. However, as adults we could have decided what WE wanted to eat and whom we wanted to give our business to.

The snorkel gear was used and taped up because it was old.. They don't even give you a new mouth piece. :-/ They wash it in a bin with dishwashing soap.. I still tried to make the best of it. Unfortunately, there wasn't turtles on the beach. Nor did we see turtles when snorkeling. Pretty sad about that but it is nature, not a zoo. Not much anyone could do about it. We saw beautiful fish! 1 hour for snorkeling wasn't enough time. I barely got the hang of it and comfortable with the process about 30 minutes into the hour. More time would have been much appreciated.

We headed to the Dole plantation and here's where things get extremely awkward and uncomfortable. Cliff kept mentioning there is a ATM machine at this site and that he only gets paid by tips and that's how he pay's for his bills and survive. Sounds like a personal problem buddy. The entire drive back he keeps talking about money.
Once we arrived in the Waikiki area he took out a cup and continued his sob story of needing to pay his bills with tips.. The first stop a group of about 4 teenagers were dropped off. Really sweet kids. They thanked the guys, said bye. Once the doors shut and we drove off cliff guy started speaking badly about the teens and saying "what did I do wrong, no tip". I made it a point to say we all paid a good amount of money to be on this tour and maybe some people, especially teenagers couldn't afford to tip! He didn't respond, he acted as if he didn't hear me.
Finally it was our stop. I really wish I could have given a tip to Damien because again, he was great! Completely humble and kind. Unfortunately, any tip for him he must split with begging for money cliff guy. So, I didn't tip.
We went on many tours and all of them were given by actual locals, whom knew what they were talking about and no one even mentioned a tip. I gladly showed them a token of my appreciation.
Overall, I would do the tour again if a few modifications were made.
No con artist Cliff, cock roach traps, and options of places to eat for lunch. :-)

6  Thank Crisdom13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 6, 2014

An absolutely excellent day doing the North Shore! Cliff jumping, snorkelling with turtles, stunning beaches and landscape. This tour really is very reasonably priced and well worth the money. We were lucky enough to be in the company of truly great strangers. Lots of fun and a ton of laughs. And all this was helped along by our fantastic guide Bon Jovy (we saw the driving licence to prove it!). If you get stopped on the street by one of their sales guys, do yourself a favour and give them 30 seconds of your time. It's not the hard sale and you won't be sorry you decided to take the leaflet and call the number!

1  Thank Anthony A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2014

We had a great time of this tour, seen a huge chunk of the island, sampled local produce and most importantly snorkelled with turtles. Highlight of my holiday!

1  Thank Nikkiwig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Amazing tour! So glad we came across this one. Our tour guide Bon Jovi (his name is really Bon Jovi) was awesome! Highly recommend this tour for people who like active tours.

1  Thank Eangelbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2014

My wife and I were looking for a North Shore tour that's shows you the beauty of the North Shore but also gets you active. We chose Hawaii Turtle Tours "Got North Shore" as our guide Cliff called it. This tour was the best money we spent in our 10 days in Hawaii! Cliff was very outgoing and made us all feel like his best friends. He was knowledgeable, exciting, and open to incorporating anything he could to make our experience a perfect one. Beautiful beaches, paddle boarding, eating shrimp, swimming with turtles at turtle bay and finishing off our experience with a refreshingly delicious pineapples ice cream sundae at the dole plantation. After all the searching for the perfect tour, we found it, and will without a doubt mention it to others. Thanks to Cliff for being our friend.


1  Thank Irene M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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