This was our first time snorkeling and i have severe fear of the deep ocean water. Yet the crew on Mahana Naia made us feel safe and comfortable and their great sense of humor kept everyone in high spirits. Take the 5 hour trip in the morning instead of the 3 hour afternoon one if you can. That way you get a longer boat ride (it's an old yacht of some sort and gives you a really enjoyable ride. I'm saying this even though i have a tendency to get sea sick!) and also get to swim with the turtles, which was the high point of the whole trip.
A big plus is that they take very limited passengers (i think the max is 40) as compared to the larger boats that would probably take 150 or so. That way you get personal attention for all your needs and concerns. Also they give you unlimited free drinks and provide a nice breakfast and lunch. We had our pictures taken by the photographer on board because we didn't take an underwater camera and he did a great job. Overall a very pleasant ride!
We had taken a whale watching trip the previous day and the commentary on board was very informative. There was none of that marine science commentary on this boat which we didn't care about. But if that's what you're looking for, you may want to take one of the other larger boats.
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