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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
New Orleans...
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51. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

who did you use in the end? The Sheraton? or the Airport? or?

Thanks

jlpond
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52. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

be prepared for no manta's to show up....it can happen.

It did not work out for us.

my best suggestion is book early in your trip, that way if you have a night where they do not show up you can go later in your trip for free.

New Orleans...
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53. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

I just went tonight. I signed up earlier today (in the morning) via my concierge at the Sheraton, so basically whichever tour operator had space for me was it!

My tour operator was Kamanu. Boat was tiny with 20 passengers, and a tiny bathroom. They did provide hot cocoa and fruit, cookies and pretzels afterwards. Wine, soda and beer were options as well.

The divers do the hard work of setting up the lighting so that the plankton congregate and then the mantas come and eat the plankton. Amazing, I saw a ton of manta rays and some schools of fish too! The manta rays kept doing flips and swimming underneath me! Have no fear, I didn't touch any of them though.

My tour cost $95 and I had to drive to the dock where I got fitted with a wetsuit, fins and snorkel mask/gear. (I heard that this price was the better deal of the assorted deals available.) The boat captain and snorkel guides were very informative and helpful. It's a 45 min ride out to the Garden Cove (name?) where the mantas know to come and get an easy dinner. They allow you all 45 min on the water because that's the amount of time the scuba divers tanks can last, according to our guide. You can come back to the boat earlier if you want and they have inner tubes if you are nervous or a beginner.

Snorkeling is the way to go as you can see more mantas that way. The sunset was lovely. There were about 9 other boats in the same vicinity and the lights used by the divers are all part of one set. It's a cooperative atmosphere amongst the tour operators and sometimes there can be up to 20 boats present.

Big Island, Hawaii
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54. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Most of the tour operators do not offer a free trip if you don't see mantas, so don't assume they do, if that's a deal breaker, ask up front.

Seattle, Washington
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55. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

I thought the night snorkel manta ray trip was a complete waste of time and money. We went with another experienced couple both snorkeling and diving and we walked away wanting our money and TIME back. Check out my review

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60872-d6339…

Edited: 09 October 2012, 01:27
Big Island, Hawaii
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56. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

I read your review when you posted it and thought it was a bit odd as I couldn't really understand what your issue was. It just sounds like you think mantas aren't really cool, which is fine, but I think your view of it is unlikely to be shared by most people. As to wondering if maybe people who enjoy it just don't have any experience doing cool things, well, I consider the manta ray night snorkel one of the premier marine animal experiences in the world and I've dove and snorkeled around the world, swum and dove with several species of whales, sharks, including tigers and hammerheads, great white cage diving in South Africa, manta rays here and in French Polynesia, snorkeling with beluga whales in the arctic, and so on.

I get that it wasn't for you, and I'm glad you took the time to write your review and share it here, since many people don't take the time, but I don't think dissing it as something only the ignorant or inexperienced will enjoy is really on point. I certainly don't think it compares to a glass bottom boat tour since you are in the water with rays that come centimeters away and, as you note, often so close they brush up against you. For me, that's just something that never gets old.

Since you speculate about the dive experience, I've done both the dive and snorkel each several times and IMO the dive is not a substantively better experience than the snorkel.

Camarillo...
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57. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

So after reading all 56 reviews, I'm still no closer to deciding whether to dive or snorkel. Nor is it clear which operator to use i.e. Sheraton or Airport sight. Do you have any additional insight to make my decision easier?

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

If you are a diver and comfortable I would dive..mainly because it seemed like you got different views.

We snorkled, but then bought the DVD which had us as well as the divers in it.

The divers got to see them swimming around more.

Snorkeling they were INCHES away and very pretty, but we mostly got to see them doing their somersaults .....

WE LOVED our trip.. SNORKELING...tho...either way you can't go wrong.

Big Island, Hawaii
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59. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Generally the airport site is better, but call some operators and ask them what the manta action has been like at both places and they'll tell you. Go with whoever is going to the best location at the time you come. Remember to book on or close to a full moon for the best likelihood of seeing many mantas. Snorkel or dive, either way, you'll enjoy it.

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

We were out there last week and there was a 6 and 9 y/o in our group. Their mom was a bit nervous prior to the dive but the kids did great. Obviously depends on the child's swimming level and comfort in the water.

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