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Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Delmar, Maryland
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Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Is it worth it to do the night snorkel or scuba diving to see the Manta Rays? Who do you recommend to go with or not go with? Cost? Any coupons available?

99 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
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23 reviews
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31. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

We got back about a week ago and decided to not so the manta snorkel. We did do a kayak trip that was great, and I had a good chat with a couple of kayak guides about the night mantas. They both said the airport location was better than the Sheraton. Two at the Sheraton sounds about right.

on a boat
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32. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Wise2u That was the most assumption/ emotion filled review I have ever read. If i was the Internet police I would arrest you for slander lol.

One thing to remind people this is a wild life sighting trip. Nothing is a guarantee and and even if the mantas are cooperating doesn't mean the ocean will. Chop, surf, current all can play factor into the manta trip or any ocean activity for that matter.

Near Seattle
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33. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

We did the manta snorkel with Hula Kai on Saturday night. We were my husband and self and our two sons (13 and 17). We loved it. Highlight of our trip and we've been to the Big Island 9 times. We've only done this once and we will do it again. We had originally scheduled for Friday night, but the waves were too big and they rescheduled us for Saturday night. It was kinda choppy and I know there were people who got a little nauseous.

Firstly, the folks at Fairwinds reduced my fare by 25% because we had gone on the Fair Wind tour to Kealakeakua early in the week. I didn't know about this discount or request it. That was impressive.

Wetsuits were provided for all snorkelers and though the water wasn't cold, I was glad to have one since we weren't really working hard while snorkeling and I did get a bit cold.

We saw 4-5 manta rays. There were three that were 8-9 feet wide. They were there the whole time we were in the water. The contraption the boat has built to hang off of in the water is really cool. I can't imagine trying to give everybody a chance to see the manta rays with everybody just floating in the water. This was easy and safe and nobody was kicking anybody in the head to see a manta. Amazingly three of the snorkelers from the other boat in the bay (Sea Paradise) came over to our raft to see the Mantas.

The mantas came within inches of my mask about 50 times in the 45 minutes we were in the water ... and I was as far away from the diver as possible. It was sometimes hard to keep from touching them. It was easy for me to hold on to the floating raft with one hand and video with my camera with the other. We got some great video.

I would highly recommend this excursion.

veraz
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53 posts
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34. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Just got back from our trip to Big Island. Manta snorkel was definitely the highlight of the trip. We went with Sea Paradise. Booked the day before the actual snorkel without any issues. There were 6 mantas that night. 4 of them were hanging out near our boat doing their graceful dance right next to the contraption that we were all holding onto. I personally don't think it would have made a big difference if we went with any other company - this one didn't offer food, but I was only really there to see mantas. I think other tours may offer some additional stuff, but I personally didn't think it was necessary. Our guides were funny and personable, but they talked for a total of about 10 mins - the rest was the ride over to the place (about 20 mins round trip) and just looking at mantas (about 1 hour).

Corvallis, Oregon
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3 reviews
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35. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

"I personally don't think it would have made a big difference if we went with any other company"

That's probably the reality. All the companies do a pretty good job, trying to figure out which one is the "best" is probably splitting hairs. It's a great experience that's tough to describe.

Edited: 25 April 2011, 12:31
bedford
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36. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

What companies go to the airport vs te sheraton.

bedford
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37. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

what companies go to the airport instead of the sheraton site.

Corvallis, Oregon
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38. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

All companies but Fairwinds and Sea Paradise do the airport site as far as I know. When the mantas don't show at the airport for a couple nights in a row, many/most of those companies will head to the Sheraton in hopes of mantas.

Kamloops
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39. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

We were given the Manta Ray snorkel as a wedding present - Honeymoon on the big island :)

Our trip was with Kamanu- my BIL knew some people who frequent the big island and also some friends who lived there and this was who they recommended.

I completely recommend them! The catamaran was not over crowded, the gear was in good condition and there were snacks (and beer for us who could take a beer!) This was out of the airport location.

Our night there were about 6 rays including Big Bertha and Lefty :) They were amazing and did many many flips just inches from my face!

The site itself was a big crowded and there were some boats which gave their people a ring to hold on to but DH and I enjoyed swimming and finding great spots...just an amazing amazing experience!

The Hague
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384 posts
26 reviews
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40. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

I must correct yourself in Maldives and Tahiti islands (Huahine) we hd experience with Mantas beautiful.... it had been wonderful experience there were 5 in Maldives and 3 in Tahiti and we were 6 into the water in Maldives while in Tahiti we were only the 2 of us.

My concern about doing the Manta tour while in Hawaii is that it might e overcrowdy wth too many people.

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