Specializing in scuba diving and snorkeling adventures, this company offers a morning snorkel that includes a deluxe picnic ... More
Neptune Charlies Ocean Safaris
Specializing in scuba diving and snorkeling adventures, this company offers a morning snorkel that includes a deluxe picnic lunch, tropical fruits and beverages, and top quality snorkel gear, as well as the signature Manta Ray Night Dive, the most famous night dive in the world. They also offer sportfishing, boat diving, and whale watching adventure trips.
You will never forget this experience. We were a bit scared of snorkeling at night with 1500 lb. relatives of the shark, but we will never forget our time with the rays. It is perfectly safe. The rays are very gentle. The staff does a great job of preparing you, keeping the group together and rounding up everyone at the end of the evening. Don't miss this - it was the highlight of our trip to the Big Island.
I brought my own underwater camera with me on the dive, but was informed by the crew that beacause it did not have a flash it would not work. So i bought one of theirs for $25 dollars. HUGE mistake, I should have listened to my gut. All my pictures look like snow because the plankton the mantas eat reflect the flash. All my shots were junk. The crew were friendly and great to deal with, and the boat was nice. All and all great experience but bring your own camera with no flash. We did see 3 huge mantas.
We chose Neptune Charlies for the manta night snorkel (4 in our group). We were told that we had to hold onto a floating ring with about 5 other people and swim to the location that the lights were placed. This doesn't sound difficult, but when you've got about 9 people trying to swim (in flippers) while holding on to a ring that's not much more than an arm's reach across, it gets a little ridiculous. We were almost exhausted when we reached our location.. because when everyone is swimming it's like you're fighting each other, and then you've got some people that are just holding on for the ride. At location, we floated there in the water for several minutes with our lights gathering plankton. Pretty site. No Mantas showed. Then the guide suggested that instead of waiting, we just swim (again) over to the rocks so we can see some 'night life'.. lobsters, urchins & stuff. Umm.. NO. I paid to see mantas.. I'd like to wait here for those, please. We ended up beating each other up again, swimming with the ring over to the rocks, and looking at lame stuff
while all the other snorkelers/divers were still waiting for the mantas. Then he announced it was time to head back to the boat. What?? All the other boats and their patrons are STILL IN THE WATER, waiting. Not us. We got to see a pencil urchin and then get back on the boat & leave. Everyone else.. STILL THERE. Now, I understand that the mantas are wildlife & you cannot predict their behavior. However, we paid to see mantas. So maybe you could humor us by letting us stay out a little longer, or offer us a discounted rate... SOMETHING. All the lights at the diving site make it so pretty underwater...I'd rather have stayed there watching the schools of fish and bubbles waiting on the mantas than nearly drowning because we are having to swim across the ocean with your stupid floating ring to look a stupid lobster. Basically, we blew away well over $300 to wear ourselves out in cold dark water, swallow some plankton and see a pencil urchin. Thanks. Here's my advice: do this with a different company.
We just returned from Kona and went on the Neptune Charlies night Manta Ray snorkel trip. We found the crew to be very detailed in their instructions, very safety oriented, very encouraging and very reassuring to any that were a little intimidated by the experience. They did a great job and we were fortunate enough to see 4-5 mantas "perform" just in front of us for the entire time that we were in the water. It was memorable! Nothing but praise for the crew and the outing!
DPK St. Louis
One week ago, 6 of us signed up with Neptune Charlies or Manta Ray Divers out of Kona to take a Manta Ray snorkel tour. After having dived and snorkeled all over the world, including the Manta Ray Dive in Kona, and asking numerous questions I thought they would be a quality dive operator. I was wrong. They were sloppy, uncaring, and hurried throughout the entire trip. The onboard head did not work, the crew and captain were surly, and we were herded like cattle throughout the trip. After a call today to the owner to try and rectify our bad experience, asking for half of our trip refunded, we were instead offered a free trip next time we visit the Big Island. Unfortunately, that will be 3 to 5 years for us to return and the other 4 will probably never go back to the Big Island. If the owner had offered to refund half the cost of this unfortunate trip, I would have still written this trip report, adding the owner realized the problems which occured during our trip and had refunded half our money back in an effort to make ammends. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I will not be accepting his offer of a free trip...it is not worth my valuable vacation time to waste it on a second rate trip.
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