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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

My girlfriend and I went on the late afternoon snorkel cruise on 4/22/18, after carefully selecting this cruise out of all the other ones offered. Primarily because it said we'd venture up the west coast of Oahu to swim with dolphins, sea turtles, and likely see a few whales on the way. My girlfriend has a fear of sharks and didn't even want to dive, so I paid just so she could ride out on the boat.

We had bad luck in Hawaii. During the 12 days were visited, it was completely overcast everyday except for two. We patiently waited for good weather, but it wasn't coming, so we had to go on this cruise the night before we left if we wanted to do it at all.

It was chilly by Hawaiian standards. Upper 60's and windy with overcast skies. The tour guide didn't really even want to get it the water because he said it was so abnormally "cold" out and asked if we were sure we wanted to dive and make him freeze? However, about eight us wanted to snorkel, so he had to go in! (Coming from New England, I thought the water was really warm!)

While the guide was great, the cruise wasn't exactly what was advertised. I don't think we even ventured five miles up the coast from where we started? We followed the coast a few miles and dropped anchor about 1,000 feet off a beach where a coal/gas power plant discharged warm water into the surrounding sea, raising the water temp a few degrees. (I thought we were going to dive offshore in the reefs)

The hour in the water was fun. There was a photographer in the water taking underwater photos for those who wanted to buy them, but we didn't swim with any Dolphins. Didn't even see one! I saw one sea turtle swim off into the deep, but that was it. No whales either. Just a lot small colorful fish in about 40 feet of water with a mostly sandy bottom. Not much reef or structure. I rented a snorkel and snorkeled off a beach on this trip for $20 and saw more than I did off this boat!

Free alcoholic drinks and a pork BBQ dinner were served after the dive. It was ok, but didn't make up for the subpar experience. We paid to sail up the western coast, go offshore and swim with dolphins and turtles. Maybe see a whale. Not take a five mile trip, just barley offshore, only to dock off an industrial power plant discharging into the sea.

I don't know....Maybe this cruise is better on days the weather is nice? Maybe they go further? But we didn't feel like we got what was advertised. There were many other snorkel tours that were cheaper, but we chose this one because it said we'd go up the coast and snorkel with dolphins and turtles.

If all the cruises are like this, save your money. If it was because of weather, I wish they'd just canceled the trip and refunded our money. It wasn't worth it.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Adam81980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OJC-Staff, Customer Service at Ocean Joy Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Aloha Adam81980,

Mahalo for cruising with us on the Kai'oli'oli and sharing your review.

We acknowledge that you must have waited patiently to vacation in Hawaii, a place known for it's sunshine, blue skies, and crystal clear blue waters. Sorry to hear that the weather wasn't cooperative during your visit but we are truly grateful that, after careful research, you chose to cruise with us on the Kai'oli'oli. After reading your review, it seemed the major flaw was that our cruise wasn't exactly what you were sold, and therefore expected.

Since we don't know exactly your tour date and information, we assume you were informed by a sales / activity agency that you were going offshore to swim with dolphins and turtles. We are 1 of a handful of companies on West Oahu that participate in NOAA's Dolphin SMART program. We are committed to view our nai’a (dolphin) friends in a respectful, safe and responsible manner. This means only viewing them from aboard our catamaran and following the strict guidelines of the program. I'm sorry to say that we don't swim with dolphins and you may have been informed incorrectly by the agency. Based on that, it seems you may have purchased the wrong activity.

We operate rain or shine and with that, the sky can open up at any given moment in Hawaii, except it didn't during your cruise. We're confident that any boat you might have been on that day would have likely faced the same conditions and operated the same way by feeding their guests and at least making an attempt to snorkel. We have cancelled when certain weather conditions occur no matter how far we get into the cruise.

We search for dolphins which may take us anywhere to just outside the marina or up the West coast to Makaha, based on ocean conditions. When we find a pod, we may stay in that immediate area where the action is. We don't necessarily travel up to Makaha all the time. If you were with us in April, the humpback whales have started their migration back to Alaska and sightings have become fewer. The snorkel location you described is probably one of the best on the island because of the warm water. The area is teemed with fish and other wildlife.

And yes, when the skies are clear and the sun is beaming, the overall experience is much better. We hope you can come out again one day when the weather is nicer.

Aloha!

Ocean Joy Cruises Ohana

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Reviewed 5 April 2018

Friendly crew from check in to return. Fun snorkeling, colorful fish, good gear provided. Great photos available for purchase. You’ll definitely enjoy this snorkel cruise.

Date of experience: April 2018
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
1  Thank Kristin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OJC-Staff, Customer Service at Ocean Joy Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Aloha Kristin B.,

Mahalo for cruising with us on the Kai'Oli'Oli and sharing your review. We hope you enjoy the pictures. Each of our cruise is staffed with a photographer to capture guest memories above and underwater. The pictures are available by the end of the cruise and for only $40, you walk away with your priceless memories without having to stress over taking pictures, allow yourself to relax and enjoy your cruise and leave the photo's to us. For guests who decide later to purchase their photo's, we can send them an email link to download all their pictures onto their computer.

We hope to see you again and please don't forget to tell your friends about us.

Aloha,

Ocean Joy Cruises Ohana

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Reviewed 5 April 2018

We did this last year and loved it and made sure we made time to do it again this year. We were so lucky to do both the afternoon and the sunset cruise. The snorkeling was like swimming in an aquarium, with all the beautiful fish. We saw many, many dolphins and tons of turtles. The service was great. The food was great and so were the mai tais!! We will do it again when we return next year for sure!!

Date of experience: March 2018
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Campion1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OJC-Staff, Customer Service at Ocean Joy Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Aloha Campion1234,

Mahalo for joining us on the Kai'Oli'Oli and sharing your review. Seems you had an awesome, memorable day with us and we are honored to have been part of it. We hope to see you again and please don't forget to tell your friends about us.

Aloha,

Ocean Joy Cruises Ohana

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Reviewed 4 April 2018

The whole day was made very enjoyable by the crew, definitely will do this again next time in Hawaii

Date of experience: April 2018
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank craignoye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OJC-Staff, Customer Service at Ocean Joy Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Aloha craignoye,

Mahalo for cruising with us on the Kai'Oli'Oli and sharing your review. We hope to see you again and please don't forget to tell your friends about us.

Aloha,

Ocean Joy Cruises Ohana

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Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Incredible experience. Crew was so organized and accommodating. Easter Sunday cruise includes lunch, drinks, and some of the most amazing sights Hawaii has to offer. Cap’n Jen, Summers, Theo, Rusty, and Danielle made this an unforgettable adventure!

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Dan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OJC-Staff, Customer Service at Ocean Joy Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Aloha Dan K,

Thank you for enjoying Easter Sunday with us on the Kai'Oli'Oli and sharing your review. We are grateful that you had an incredible, unforgettable experience and we hope to see you again. Please don't forget to tell your friends about us.

Aloha!

Ocean Joy Cruises Ohana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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