Hawaiian Adventure Series: Reef Dancers #SemiSubmarine

During our first few days in Hawaii, we decided that we wanted the kids to experience the marine animals in the wild. Since we were unsure if they will be brave enough to snorkel in the middle of the sea just yet, we decided to try the submarine tour.

There were a few to choose from and after some research, we were down to either the Atlantis Submarine or the Reef Dancers. The former is more popular and is a real submarine that goes underwater while the Reef Dancers is a semi-submarine in that there is a bottom portion that gives the feel of a real submarine but the deck is still afloat. There were some negative reviews on the Atlantis and our resort's staff highly recommended the Reef Dancer so we decided to book with them.

We got to the Lahaina Harbor 30 minutes before our scheduled departure. All the tours have their own mini booths along the harbor so you just have to look for the one that you booked with. There are a couple of parking areas nearby. See the map of Lahaina Harbor below.
Reef Dancer and the crew
So you have the option to stay on the deck the entire time. Maybe get some sunshine, if you're up for that, or try to spot some dolphins. But then again, why book with a semi-submarine if you are not staying in the 'submarine'?
Inside the submarine with the marine life expert
One of the reasons why we chose the Reef Dancer over the Atlantis Submarine was because they told us that the Reef Dancers had divers who go out and bring interesting sea creatures to the glass for us to see.
We were hoping to see some octopus and sea turtles during the tour but none of them showed up during our schedule.  Given that they are in the wild, spotting these animals will never be a guarantee. We did see various types of fish though which is quite interesting for the kids.
Overall I would recommend the Reef Dancers if you would like to get a feel of riding a submarine and have small kids who are too young to snorkel. Don't expect any guarantees on spotting octopus and sea turtles as we did because you may get disappointed. But then again, you might just see them on your trip...who knows?

You may inquire and book with them here if you are interested. It does not cost too much and it's not something you get to do everyday. I'd say still worth checking them out.

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