Pride of Maui

Rated #1 Value Snorkel Boat

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Rating: ★★★★★
*how we rate vendors

In a nutshell: A great value and solidly run operation.
Minuses: On-boat upselling can be mildly annoying.
Sound-bite: “Everyone on the crew was super friendly and fun…looking back at the island and getting so close to the wildlife was amazing!”

Key Info:
Location: Maalaea Harbor, Maalaea
Phone: 877-867-7433
Web: http://www.prideofmaui.com/
Price: $40-100+

Summary
The Pride Of Maui is a rock solid value for those looking for the best bang-for-the-buck in a snorkel boat. Add in the open bar and decent food that’s available on all tours, and the value you get well exceeds the price of admission.

Top deck on Pride of Maui

Top deck on Pride of Maui

The Boat
The Pride Of Maui is a custom-designed 65 foot Maxi Power Catamaran. The vessel was designed and built specifically for Hawaii cruises with 3,000 sq ft of deck space. The entire upper deck offers unobstructed panoramic views, which is a really big deal on whale watches, where otherwise, 3/4 of the boat is forced to rush to the side of the boat where the action is.

Pride also has a lower deck sheltered from the sun. The lower deck features warm showers, two bathrooms, a large hardwood bar and a glass bottom so that you can observe underwater sea life right from the boat.

Tip: Booking activities directly can be cheaper.

Most places people find out about activities are online and local kiosk or concierge booking agents who earn a fairly hefty commission on each sale. Many activity vendors offer discounts for booking in advance directly though them. Pride of Maui offers a $10 discount per person for booking direct.

Money-saving tips

There are several exits and entries to the boat, including two platforms with ladders that descend into the water for easy in-out with flippers on.

Slide on Pride of Maui

Slide on Pride of Maui

There is also a slide on the bow of the boat that is an absolute blast – it looks like a wide old-school metal playground slide, except the drop off the end into the ocean is quite a bit further than you remember in kindergarten :)

Food
As you would expect on a boat, the food is uncomplicated – but it is also freshly prepared and delicious. Unlike most boats which rely largely on cold-cuts and catered food, the Pride has a large grill on board which they use as the center of the meals. Burgers, chicken, ribs, shrimp, veggie burgers, vegetables, pasta salad, cookies, etc.

The morning tour serves both continental breakfast and hot lunch. They serve fresh and hot off the grill on all trips. The sunset cruise has premium and blended drinks and great service (no charge and no watered-down luau drinks here!) – the dinner is delicious fresh grilled baby back ribs, Hawaiian BBQ chicken, onion and tartlet, marinated artichoke dip, Kula strawberry shortcake, mango cobbler, Kona coffee cheesecake.

Large open bar.

Large open bar.

One point worth noting is that if you’re on the sunset/dinner cruise, don’t expect tables. This is an informal picnic-style meal – the BBQ & food is quite good, but the well stocked open bar & local entertainment are the real winners here.

Crew
The Pride of Maui has a very attentive, well-seasoned crew; my own experience and virtually all online reviews echo that they’re very friendly & helpful. The crew is also very attentive to everyone in the water at all times, this is obviously important, but I’ve seen plenty of operations that didn’t have someone watching at all times. On my trip there were crew members watching the snorkelers like lifeguards at all times.

One thing I often like to remind folks is that the crew relies on tips – so please be sure to tip them well if they’ve been serving you well.

Crew is always paying attention to swimmers.

Crew is always paying attention to swimmers.

Extras
Masks, snorkels, fins, no-fog & flotation devices are all included in your ticket price.

Items available for an extra fee include scuba tanks ($42 or 2/$66), snuba ($49), wetsuits ($10) and underwater digital camera rentals ($40). “Pride Of Maui” T-shirts are available to show off back home, as well.

Booking & Location
The Pride of Maui is a well run organization. They’re right on time and have an efficient checkin procedure, both at Maalaea Harbor, and when everyone re-boards from snorkeling.

Unobstructed photos galore on that wide-open upper deck!

Unobstructed photos galore on that wide-open upper deck!

Tours Offered
Note: All tours are suited for inexperienced snorkelers to certified divers.

Morning Molokini & Turtle Town
5 Hours – Snorkel gear, Breakfast, Lunch & Open Bar Included
Adult/Child – $101/$67 (Direct online)

I took this one from the Pride of Maui 3/2012

I took this one with my old iphone from the Pride of Maui in 2012!

Afternoon Snorkel & Whale/Turtle Watch
3.5 Hours – Lunch & Bar Included
Adult/Child – $54.95/$39.95 (Direct online)

Sunset Dinner & Cocktail Cruise
2 Hours – Dinner, Bar & Live Entertainment Included
Adult/Child – $69/$49 (Direct online)

Whale Watch & Snorkel Adventure
3.5 Hours – Lunch & Bar included
Adult/Child – $52.95/$41.95 (Direct online)

Holiday Cruises
Check the website

Private Charters
Check the website

Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy

Yelp | Tripadvisor | Yahoo!

Video: Ocean Kayak POV


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