There are many diving operations on
Maui, with many of them based out of Lahaina or Kihei, assumably
because of the easy access to boat harbors. A two-tank
boat dive will run around $100-$115, with trips to
$130, including all your gear. A shore dive will run a bit less,
as will a night dive.
dove with two outfits on Maui,
B&B Scuba and
Diving Adventures, both based out of Kihei, where we stayed.
We took our
Open Water class with B&B, which was perhaps why we weren't
totally impressed. You know going in that a class simply isn't
as fun as recreational diving. You just have to go through the
class to get to the fun part! The shop owner was quite friendly and
helpful, as was the main guy at the shop. He helped us out
enthusiastically and really added to our diving experience.
However, one particular instructor, who we had the pleasure of diving
with three times with, spent most of the time acting bored, as if she'd
rather be somewhere else, and being quite unpleasant and unhelpful.
She really detracted from our experience, although the rest of the
staff was quite pleasant. B&B has apologized profusely for the
instructor, who no longer works there, and has offered several times
to make it up to us. We never brought it to their attention at the
time, so it was kind of our fault too. We would still recommend
B&B to anybody. The shop's boat was new and in good
shape, and we felt in good hands on the boat dives. We really
liked that we were the first boat to Molokini by far, but we didn't
like that the instructors never once asked us what we wanted to see or
where we wanted to go, they just decided for us. This seems to
be pretty common among dive shops, but it doesn't have to be that way!
Overall, B&B seems to run a good shop, and now that they've got the
bad apple out of the way, we give them a thumbs up.
Ed Robinson's made our
Lana'i trip a
great experience, both with their enthusiastic and friendly manner and
their thoroughness and professionalism. We didn't really like
that there were 12 people on the boat, but they had two divemasters
who went their separate ways, and it wasn't a problem at all. We
really appreciated the way they asked us what type of dives we wanted
to do, and what we wanted to see, and then took us there. The
boats were aluminum-sided, so they were noisy, but they were quite
fast and the long haul to Lana'i was pleasant. If we dove
on Maui again, we would probably go with Ed Robinson's again.
Another dive shop that we
considered, and has been recommended to us is
Severns Diving out of Kihei, who is reputedly an expert on
Molokini. He was also
the second boat in the water behind us the day we headed off to the
crater. Just make sure you do your research before
diving, and DON'T just pick a shop because it's close to your hotel.
We made that mistake on Kaua'i! Most of the shops have you meet
them at the harbor anyway, so there's no advantage to picking one
based on location. You should have already made reservations
before leaving for Maui, so you shouldn't really need to stop by the
shop. Most of the dive outfits on Maui cater to beginning
divers, and most of them also take snorkelers. If you dive
with a shop like this, you will probably end up having the dive site
chosen for you, and may share a boat with lots of other people.
However, if you are a beginner, you may appreciate the extra hands-on
attention and patience the company can offer.
Listed below are links to the
various dive shops on Maui so you can make an informed decision.
We've also included some trip reports and personal recommendations,
which are valuable to your pre-reservation education. Most of
the shops on Maui offer
discounts through a booking agency, or with a
discount card, so after you find a shop you want to go with, check out
our Discounts & Bargains
page to get a better deal. Our preferred providers are
Maui Tours and
Make sure you research the shop you
choose carefully. Choosing the right shop can be the difference
between a great trip and a frustrating one. Make sure you check
out the shop of your choice with other divers, the
Better Business Bureau, the
of Consumer Protection, and
PADI or NAUI
BEFORE making your reservations.
As of the time of this writing, all
the dive shops in Maui have satisfactory records with the Better
Business Bureau except
South Pacific Dive School
South Pacific Dive School has had
complaints to the Better Business Bureau in the past 12 months, and
have failed to respond to seven of these. All of the other
dive shops on Maui COMBINED have had four complaints to BBB in
the past THREE years, and have resolved all four. A
complaint here and there is one thing, but we think this is a pretty
obvious discrepancy. They also have three pending complaints
with the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection and are under
investigation! For more information, click on the links below:
Pacific Dive School Links
Owner: William Digney