This was our first and probably only time diving with Lahaina divers. There is a lot to talk about so let's start with the good stuff first.
1) I have to give 5 stars for integrity. I signed up for a diving trip 2 years ago with my son and paid. However, we were unable to go and received a credit. They actually kept the credit in their system and it was available for use on this trip. I had completely forgotten the credit and have to give a big thumbs up to the company for being honest and keeping it on file.
2) The boat itself was very nice. Well designed for diving, with the tanks nicely spaced and easily accessed, especially when you are setting up and putting on your gear. There was plenty of space to store your stuff, sit, or move around. The boat engine was loud in transit, but not much you can really do about that I suppose. Entry into the water was off the stern (rear) and about 1 foot from the water. It made exiting the water nice as well.
3) There was plenty of food and drinks before and after the dives.
4) The staff was very friendly...but, and this leads to the cons.
1) Unfortunately the attorneys got to this dive shop in a big way. The words "corporate", "liability", and "dumbing down" are the best way to describe this company. The safety briefing was too long and clearly designed for first time divers. It would be nice if the staff would take a bit more time to get an idea of your actual dive experience and tailor the the briefing accordingly. This is the first time I have ever been lectured to more than 5 minutes about how to dive. Our dive master had two full pages of briefing material. It was overkill and not cool.
Staff was also inconsistently consistent on safety. For instance, you weren't allowed to stand up in your gear without staff assistance for fear of falling. I should note, you were required to put your fins on before your gear and walk to the water's edge in your fins.
Fine, but maybe if we were allowed to don our fins on at the water's edge falling would be less of an issue. Again the dumbing down came into play here. I suppose a couple of people were unable to put their fins on at the edge, so the attorneys decided no one could. Not sure it's the best system as I have never seen that done on any other dive boat I've been on.
So they are ultra safe in that instance, but in another, safety went out the window. We had a pod of dolphins get near us. All of the dive masters took off leaving quite a few of us behind. Visibility was 60 feet and in their rush to find the dolphins they got out of sight rather quickly. It's a contradiction on safety and not in a good way. The attorneys worry about falling on the boat, but don't worry about divers getting lost in the ocean. We did see the dolphins though, so that was cool.
2) The captain said we were supposed to sit until we exited the harbor. I got up when we exited the harbor and was told to sit in a rude tone by staff. Apparently the rock wall surrounding the harbor is not really the harbor, the buoy, way on the outside of the harbor was. Who knew? Either way I can't imagine that was a huge breach of safety protocol.
2) They only use 72 tanks. "Corporate" comes into play here. The difference between a 72 and 80 can mean a lot in terms of down time. The entire experience felt rushed, get in, get out, and, "oh by-the-way" we make it quick on purpose by giving you a 72 tank. No hour long dives here. I had 1200 PSI at the 45 minute mark but was told to surface regardless. Again this is the first dive boat I've ever seen do this and it was not cool.
3) The dumbing down was apparent with a couple of the dive masters who felt the need to incessantly bang their tanks to get the diver's attention. I get it, people are stupid and don't pay attention, but it was way overboard. Bang, bang, bang, every two seconds. It got really annoying really quick. It felt more like cattle herding than diving.
4) The staff was way to proud of themselves when we "luckily" ran into a pod of dolphins. Sure it was cool, but you would have thought the staff brought down the second coming of Christ based on their reaction. There was no skill involved, it was pure luck...that's diving. Let's not give credit where credit isn't due.
Overall, it was just an okay experience. I can't fault the staff for being rude and overbearing in terms of the rules. The attorneys have beaten the fun out of them. I know it would have been a lot better if they could have just chilled on the rules and let us dive. Something tells me that ship has sailed.
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