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Choosing a Dive Shop on Maui


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 Lana'i around $130, including all your gear.  A shore dive will run a bit less, as will a night dive.    Ed Robinson's Dive AdventuresWe dove with two outfits on Maui, B&B Scuba and Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures, both based out of Kihei, where we stayed. 

We took our Advanced 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 Mike Severns Diving out of Kihei, who is reputedly an expert on Molokini.  He was alsLook for small dive groups of 6 or less.o 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 Tom Barefoot's Discount Tours.

WARNING!!!

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 Office 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 in Kihei.    South Pacific Dive School has had TEN 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:

South Pacific Dive School Links
Owner: William Digney

Mr. Digbey then reopened as Maui Dive Center, which no longer exists, and appears to have re-opened now as Maui Dive School, so the same warnings apply!

Mike Severn's Diving

Mike Severns Maui Scuba Diving
Maui’s waters offer some of the most amazing SCUBA diving in the world! Enjoy an educational, personalized dive with the experts at Mike Severns Diving.

   

Manta Ray

Extended Horizons Maui Scuba Diving
Extended Horizons has been serving Maui visitors and residents since 1983. Join them on a Maui Scuba Diving excursion you’ll never forget!

   

Scuba Diving Maui

Trilogy Maui Scuba Diving
Enjoy an unforgettable Maui scuba diving adventure with Trilogy. Maui dive locations include a day trip to Lanai and a twilight and night dive to Molokini.

   

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Dive Shops



 

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