Travel thoughts for those coming to Hawaii

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AquamanKauai

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Aloha to all that are in the stages of planning your Hawaii dive trip !

Living on Kauai and having just returned from beautiful dives in Maui I just wanted to encourage people to make arrangements as far ahead in advance as possible. In more "normal" times divers can often get away with waiting to arrive in the islands to make reservation for dives. While I ALWAYS suggest doing so way in advance, now more than ever you should make your reservations as soon as possible. Especially for those long SB members - you know getting amazing advice on shops and DM's etc. is so easy to do ahead of time. I continue to be impressed by how many people on Scubaboard take time to help out others looking for an amazing experience in the islands. Bookings made now can often be tweaked later, but ensure spots now if you can.

As for the issues currently ...

Many boats are operating at partial capacity which obviously makes them fill much quicker. Further impacting the situation is that many shops are short on crew (shop,DM's, Capt's, Instructors) which limits availability in some cases. In over 20 years here I've never seen so many operations looking for help mid summer. During our Maui visit a couple of shops we visited in Maui were literally booked out for weeks. One of those shops was literally looking at shutting down (temporarily) in August as they have been so overwhelming busy and short staffed. You may also find that some shops have significantly increased the cost of diving. Kauai seems to be weathering the storm fairly well, but bookings are increasing daily with no slow down in sight.

Everyone is well aware of the car rental issues so I won't get overly into that - however, however I would continue to look at reservations as much as you can even after a booking is made. The morning before our Maui trip we found a rental that was almost $400 cheaper than our original! The morning of our trip the prices were way back up.

As a final encouragement I would be prepared to be patient. Many industries here outside of diving are also a bit overwhelmed. Short staffs at many activities, restaurants and other services are just a reality now. I think with a little mental preparation in this regard you'll be shown and feel plenty of ALOHA during your visit.

Well, I hope that these thoughts may help out even just a couple of you looking at visiting the islands. The last couple weeks have been incredible for diving and I certainly wish the same for all of you reading this. As always don't hesitate to reply and ask any questions you may have regarding your trip. Feel free to send me a PM (personal message) is you would like direct communication. I know there are numerous others here on the board that would offer and welcome the same.

Cheers and Happy Planning! Aloha , A
 

Esprise Me

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Thanks for this! I'm planning a trip in September; how many weeks out do you think is the minimum for booking boat dives? What about topside activities?

We rented a condo with a kitchen, so we won't have to stress about delayed restaurant service when we have somewhere to be. But I think I'll make reservations for a couple of nice evening meals when we can take our time. I keep hearing about what jerks people have become toward restaurant workers. I waited tables for a decade and can hardly imagine people being any worse. Not that I'm doubting it, just wondering if I'll be able to refrain from punching any of my fellow diners if I see it happen.
 

IslandDiversHI

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Here's what it looks like at Island Divers right now (Oahu). In the afternoon we do our intro dives and check out dives (after morning pool sessions) as well as certified divers looking for easy shallow reefs. That is booking out fully 7-10 days in advance, except on weekends, which is booking out about 3 weeks in advance. Our morning charters are wreck and drift, those a hit and miss booking out fully. If the do book out it is only about 3 days before, however, weekends are a different story altogether and book out about 2 weeks in advance (we have a strong local dive club that get fills us up weekends). As of now, to be safe I'd book a month out to get the schedule and activities you want, especially if you are looking at training.
 

IslandDiversHI

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Restaurants: pick some restaurants off the internet and make your reservations now. There are restaurants in Waikiki that are booked through Sept. It is a staffing problem mostly, but there aren't as many restaurants as there used to be. And the numbers of people are back. I would book your sit down dinners as soon as you have a schedule. You can always cancel something, but you can't get a reservation most places in Waikiki at least once you are on the ground.
 

scottitheduck

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I can second what Matt says...... 3 weeks ahead of time for weekends and 2+ weeks ahead of time if it's during the week. Obviously single divers or groups of 2 may have a better chance at sliding in a spot here or there but please do plan ahead. Everyone doing their best to keep their Aloha up and we only ask that our guests do the same. Love seeing all our friends both new and old but yes, please be patient as ALL service industry staff are strained at the moment.

G
 

Deinonych

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Great advice. We are going to Maui in October and have already booked our dives and restaurants. In a couple of cases, we grabbed the last two spots on the boat.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Great advice. We are going to Maui in October and have already booked our dives and restaurants. In a couple of cases, we grabbed the last two spots on the boat.
Shore diving with Maui Mantas, a FB group, is another option.
 

ChrisM

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We dove three days on our last trip to Maui, two very $$$$$$ boat trips, and shore dive at Mala, $15 for tank and weight rentals. Mala was the best dive by an order of magnitude. Could have done that every day
 
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