We were a group of 5 - 2 divers and 3 snorkellers. There were 3 other divers on the boat and 3 crew (skipper, cook and dive guide) for the 8 of us. one of the other guest divers was a total novice and hubbie felt she put the whole group at risk as the guide had to leave them and take this diver back to the boat. She then had one on one crew for her dives after this. That meant the cook or dive guide had to take her. And on the last dive the other four divers were totally on their own. We were totally neglected as snorkellers. It would have been appreciated if one of the crew came on at least one snorkel with us to point out things and names. We were really on our own. Now, if I had paid less than the divers I would have expected it. But since we paid same as divers I would expect we too would get some service and not just be a free ticket. Even worse that one passenger had one on one dives. We didnt feel included or welcome - we paid the same as the divers (without gear etc). Our first snorkel was a total disaster when the dupplied mask failed. I was told by the captain that “i should have bought my own mask and snorkel”. I felt a reputable dive company would have decent gear. He then slapped it on his face and said there was nothing wrong with the mask. so i politely explained that the air bubbles in the mask were holes the water was coming in! That summed up our welcome to the dive boat. Our second snorkel we were in mid of a passage so we went to an arch. It was rough, and we found the crew had taken off the fins on our own paddleboards and not put back on property. Thus it fell off and we had no fin. This pretty much ruined the second snorkel and we were not feeling good at all about the whole trip. We didnt even get an apology from the skipper. And its cost us to replace our personal paddleboard fin. Turned out the maomao arch we visited on our second snorkel was also our third snorkel - so we covered that again. The first day was a bit of a write off for us snorkellers. We found that it wasnt great snorkelling the same time and place as the divers as the bubbles scarced the fish away. We were feeling a bit fed up. The second day we got onto it and figured noone was going to help us (even struggling in and out of our gear etc) so we were on our own and would do our own thing. That worked much much better. We went earlier than the divers so got to see more. Still, not one crew accompanied us at all. We were left totally on our own.
I really felt a crew of 3 for 8 of us was not enough. Perhaps it was the long weekend so they were short staffed. But they were so busy that there was little chat about the area etc.
I wouldnt recommend this trip for a snorkeller or non diver. The boat is long and narrow so really rocks. One of our party felt seassick despite the sealegs Sleep was bad. The cabins are hot and ours was very very musty so i couldnt go down except to sleep. The worse was the noise as waves slapped on the boat. I love the sound of waves usually but this was noisey. Ive travelled to Antarctica and it never rolled as much, I guess big ship have better stabilisers.
The food was nice, but we didnt get the lamb shanks. Nor did we have jams, scones and cream which is shown in other trip photos. And I felt it strange that a 22 year old male had to share a twin cabin with an unknown solo female. That was a bit off for both parties.
Poor Knights, of course, never failed to amaze. Fantastic weather, fantastic visibility for diving and snorkelling. Its my fifth trip to the poor knights and it still one of my favourite places in the world to snorkel. Perfect day is perfect for snorkellers. Ive used dive tutukaka for all my previous trips, but on a snorkel boat and they were excellent.
The divers loved the chance to do four dives in a day and a night dive. So this trip is fantastic for that. I would go with a snorkelling group but find snorkelling and diving groups didnt work for us non divers. For the price, Next time id travel with snorkellers on a snorkel only boat and have a blast jumping off the boat and exploring snorkelling.
Sadly, this trip was a bit disappointing for the cost for us snorkellers.
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