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Dive Shop in Maui - B&B Scuba - recommend?

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by lnicolep, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. lnicolep

    lnicolep Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Minnesota
    8
    0
    We are going to Maui in a couple months....We would like to do about 10 dives....my husband and I have both been diving quite a bit, my husband more than me. I want to complete my Advanced Cert.....I have been looking at dive shops and B&B looked like the price was right and the ratings looked good on Trip Advisor...... Wanted to get opinions from fellow divers....

    Want a shop that safety is important, not a lot of inexperiences divers, not crowded boats, and fun....

    Please let me know your thoughts

    Thanks
    LP
     
  2. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    4,766
    191
    Maui in Feb? "not a lot of inexperiences divers, not crowded boats" :confused:

    You are talking one of the "peak months" for visitors to Maui; only July and August have more visitors, the vast majority in Feb are land locked snow birds.

    Which side of the Island will you be staying? If you are staying on the West Side, B&B, a Kihei shop, is not the most convenient.

    "B&B looked like the price was right"

    Are you looking for an only boat diving AOW cert?

    The most competitive pricing for AOW would be an AOW that is mostly or completely shore diving. Again if staying on the West Side, Extended Horizons could do an entire AOW from shore, with the Deep Dive in the neighborhood of 90 feet deep. There is also the option of making one or more of the training dives from the boat, like the Carthaginian wreck or Lanai's Monolith for the Deep Dive.

    Personally, If you are staying on the South Side and are looking for a "less crowded boat" you should consider Maui Dreams as they have a much larger boat and at the likely full capacity nearly all trips will be in Feb my opinion is that the B&B boat is pretty darn full with your instructor, perhaps someone else's instructor, the typical 2 guides and the max customer load. :idk:
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  3. oldsalt

    oldsalt Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: Tulalip, Washington
    95
    10
    Being local, Halemano probably knows best. I have dived with 4 of the dive shops, including B&B, and found them all good. Understand that both my son and I are very experienced divers and don't expect much hand-holding. I think the advice of picking a shop near where you are staying is good advice. On my trip to Maui last month we stayed at Lahaina, which is a long run from the Kihei boat ramp where B&B departs, so Lahaina Divers was a better choice. On my previous trip I stayed within walking distance of the Kihei boat ramp, so that was a good choice then. Have a ball, we did. - Curt
     
  4. lnicolep

    lnicolep Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Minnesota
    8
    0
    Yes, we are staying south....so I will look into Maui Dreams, if that might be less crowded than B&B for less crowded boat. We love diving and had a blast on the Big Island last February....we did all of our dives there with Jack's Dive Locker (LOVED JACKS!!!) I wish that I would have gotten my AOW then, as I certainly could have with the dives we did.

    Bummer that Feb will be crowded.....but it will be a great month to be AWAY from the Minnesota weather.

    Do you recommend that we drive up west and dive from there one day??? And what do you mostly recommend for must see sites???
     
  5. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    4,766
    191
    Please note that when I say less crowded, I am not just comparing one full boat to another full boat; I am saying that from physically working off 2 of the South Maui boats and viewing all the others closely out on the water, at Molokini, at the ramp or at the slip; of the South Maui shops/boat operators there "looks" to be a slightly larger open space on Maui Diamond II than any of the others, when everybody is at capacity. :idk:

    Also please note that Maui is as competitive a dive market as any non diving destination could ever dream of being; there are experienced divers who are the biggest fans of pretty much every operator on Maui. I swear, you can find people who will swear by everybody, all the way from grey area independents who might not even speak english that well to the legit shop that won't let you pee in you own wet suit. :idk:
     
  6. dwaters

    dwaters Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ontario, SoCal
    1,723
    27
    As stated before, there are alot of good shops in Maui...including B&B. I will throw in another option for instruction and guide if you're willing to do some awsome shore dives.
    Contact ScubaBoard - View Profile: Shaka Doug here. Loved doing night dives on the south side with him and he is a regular here on the 'board.
    Ahhhhh, it's time for me to return soon and get some warm water diving in..... enjoy:D
     
  7. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    4,766
    191
    I was (am) pretty cheap and back in '03 or '04 when I did 2 November weekends of Kona diving, I went with Big Island Divers due to lower price / better kama'aina discount. I was not unhappy with my trip with them.

    The next trip I booked with them was a Sunday Advanced Long Range 3-Tank charter, and I was not informed that the trip did not have enough booked customers to run until I arrived at the shop at check in time for the trip. They had enough for a normal 2-tank and kind of expected me to go on that.

    I was pretty peeved because Jack's more expensive 3-tank did go. I called Jack's and got on the imminent 2-tank. I immediately felt at home with Jack's. Also did that night's Manta Dive, which I had also originally booked with BID. I have seriously considered moving to Kona and trying to work for Jack's! :D

    Only time's I've seen Humpback's under water have been Feb/Mar. Statistics I hear claim more Manta's in the Winter. Land and water Temps are ~10 degrees cooler so winds are "typically" calmer than in Summer (There are occasional storms that can not be predicted more than 2-ish weeks out).

    For boat diving, these 5 "dives/trips" are always Hawaii's top 5. This list is my ranking; similar to my above operator comments, different divers will almost rank them in every other possible way.

    1. Ni'ihau / Lehua Rock (drift - Hawaiian monk seals?)
    2. Mokuho’oniki Rock (drift - schooling hammerheads?)
    3. Kona Night Manta (moored & planted)
    4. Lanai's Cathedrals (Moored)
    5. Molokini; Reef's End (drift is usually best), Shark Condo's (drift), Backside (drift)

    Even if we make the category just Hawaii diving (shore/boat/aquarium), #6, 7 & 8/9 could also easily be Maui Dives (and just as easily, 6, 7, 8/9 could be Kona dives).

    6. Black Rock Night Dive (shore, often a drift)
    7. Maui Ocean Center Tiger Shark Dive (aquarium)
    8/9. 5-Caves/5-Graves/Makena Landing/Turtle Town (shore & boat / day & night)

    I think you should seriously consider at least one day of Lanai diving. I am biased. I really think most visiting "divers" should make at least 2 trips to Lanai (hopefully a different Cathedral each trip) at least 2 trips to Molokini (hopefully with 5-Caves as one second dive) and the Black Rock night dive.

    There are very few Maui trips where the operator will lock down a specific site as 100% guaranteed. I have had incredible, fantastic dives at nearly every Maui / Lanai dive site. You chose the best operator you can and then pretty much trust them to show you the best dives they can that day. You book both trips to Molokini with the same operator and then they are pretty beholden to not do the same sites both trips. Same for Lanai. All of us who work here know we will have a better chance at a big tip if we put on a great trip. :D
     
  8. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    4,766
    191
    Yes, a shore AOW w/ Shaka Doug is a very competitive product, just not sure where he does the Deep Dive. :idk:

    There are many happy shaka divers. :wink:
     
  9. kidspot

    kidspot Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moses Lake, Washington
    4,854
    12
    Just my .02 cents - I originally dove with B&B to get my AOW because it was the best deal on the island at the time (Not sure what current prices are, but I'm sure it's still a great deal) - it was a blast. As a result I wound up doing nearly all my future boat diving with them, and lots of training thru them as well - I really enjoyed my time with Brad, Blesi and the rest of the crew.

    You'll do well with any of the mentioned ops/instructors in this thread - Maui weeds out the bad ops pretty quick ... Have fun on Maui and enjoy listening to the whales singing :)

    Aloha - Tim
     
  10. Al Mialkovsky

    Al Mialkovsky Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Butte Falls Oregon
    4,684
    30
    B&B is the best boat we've ever dove on Maui and we've dove nearly all of them. I'm not basing it on price, I'm basing it on the experiences we had with them. You have to wonder why an outfit can have lower prices than the other outfits? It's because they don't use the "activity" brokers to fill their boat so they save lots of money. Imagine a full boat based on word of mouth.

    I never felt their boat was crowded. Besides it's such a short ride from the Kihei ramp compared to trying to get to Molokini from Lahaina that it just wouldn't be a concern if it were crowded.

    I've sent B&B a lot of divers over the years and no one has ever returned to me with a complaint.
     

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