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Dive Review of Dive Makai/Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in
Hawaii/Kona Coast, Big Island

Dive Makai/Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Aug, 2002,

by Robert Johnson, NM, USA . Report 134.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Okinawa, Belize, Honduras, Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Bimini, Florida Keys, Texas Gulf Coast, Califronia, Maui
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas surge, noCurrents
Water Temp 78 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Computers required, can rent computer for $5 fee; no restrictions on dive time; I was allowed to make long dives, up to 1.5 hours.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Plentiful tropical fish and small critters. Sea turtles were numerous and were unafraid of divers; very easy to approach. Dive Makai's leisurely pace made it easy for photographers to take their time; I did not feel rushed at all.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel was fantastic! The staff was extremely helpful and friendly; very service oriented. From the very first day the staff greeted me by name. The hotel pays attention to details; upon check in I was greeted with a cool wet towel and a refreshing drink. There were absolutely no extra charges for valet parking, local phone calls, use of in-room safe, porter service, etc. (Several firends staying at the Waikoloa Hilton were constantly being charged for this and that.) The hotel is beautiful; it is very quiet and secluded. The beach was voted the best in the USA by Conde Nast Traveler; it was great for swimming, but the snorkeling was not great.

I found the best snorkeling at Honaunau (Place of Refuge) Bay near the National Park and Kahalu'u Beach Park. There are plenty of things to do other than dive or snorkel; the giude book "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed" was extremely helpful ([wizardpub.com link]). For fish identification, I recommend "Hawaii's Fishes, A Guide for Snorkelers, Divers and Aquarists" by John P. Hoover.

Dive Makai is the best day charter I have encountered. I dove with Kona Coast Divers on a previous trip; the staff was not very friendly and had a bad attitude; they enforced limits on dive time and depth; they harrased the marine life. Dive Makai was just the opposite. They were very enthusiastic and knowledgable about the island and its marine life. They dive guides were adept at finding interesting critters and were mindful of not disturbing the animals. Dive Makai allowed me to dive at my own pace. They allowed more experienced divers to enter the water first and dive on their own, while they helped less experienced divers. I saw many interesting animals: angler fish, mating octopi, spotted eagle rays, helmet shells feeding on sea urchins, to name a few.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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