Sunday, January 21, 2007

Day 5: Dolphin Discoveries has no aloha

I got too much sun on the whale-watching trip and had a bit of sunstroke. We had planned to go on a morning snorkeling trip with an outfit called Dolphin Discoveries. But in the morning I was still feeling under the weather, and so Mike walked down to the dock to ask if we could reschedule for the afternoon trip. The driver told him the afternoon trip was booked, so we just had to cancel.

I was a bit disappointed because I had gone out with Dolphin Discoveries a couple of years ago when I chartered 2 of their boats for a corporate event. Everyone said it was the Best Day Ever, and I had wanted Mike to experience it too. Although I admit I didn't get quite as warm a reception when I booked a reservation for a party of 2, but I didn't think much of it. When we had to cancel, I was disappointed for Mike's sake.

The same chilly receptionist (I think she's the owner) called me 2 hours after our cancellation. She was confrontational and yelling at me for violating the 24-hour cancellation policy, though neither Mike nor I had ever denied owing the company money. She brusquely wanted to know if we'd be joining them in the afternoon. I said we'd love to, but we were already told that was impossible. She floundered and said no, that we must be there at noon, and then she hung up.

I was a bit shocked at the treatment, and yes, I started crying. And then I couldn't stop. Mike called the company back and yelled at them...unfortunately it wasn't Ms. Owner who answered the phone.

We went to the boat at noon, still a bit queasy as you can see from the photo, but I really wanted Mike to see the coral reef. The driver was very nice. A party of 3 joined us and then we took off. I don't know why the original driver said the afternoon trip was fully booked.

Although the driver was very nice, the trip was still remarkably different from my original experience. The first time out we made many stops and went to different locations. This time, the driver took us straight to Captain Cook bay and said that was our final stop. Either we got special treatment the first time when I chartered 2 boats, or the company just has downgraded their service over the last couple of years. Either way, I see now that this company is all about money.

If there is another way for you to get to the bay, I highly recommend it.

That night, we went into downtown Kona to do some shopping. We were expecting typical tourist souvenirs, but we also thought there might be something unique and artisanal somewhere. There wasn't. Downtown Kona is not the best place for local shopping. The Coconut Grove on Kauai is much better, but I'll talk about that later.

We drove back to our fabulous hotel and then Mike went to the grocery store and got a chicken which he brought back and barbecued for us. It was fantastic.

1 comment:

Lori said...

great pics..come by any time..


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