Hawaii snorkeling boat
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Amazing Adventures, Magnificent Memories

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What Our Guests Say About Wild Side...

We rarely (never say never) post client comments to this page anymore, as we are well represented on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Yahoo Travel etc. and feel that independent reviews sites hold more credibility - couldnt we just post whatever we wanted to here?

See also... What the media says about Wild Side (us in the news)

FOUND 26 Filtered Reviews for Wild Side Specialty Tours on YELP

-Including those comments below as they are some GREAT ones - All FIVE STARS (not feeling like a big fan of YELP at this point for the filtering of almost 2/3rds of our reviews!

 

8/7/2012 Nate O.

You should absolutely go on a trip like this, but most importantly you should go with this tour company!

The small group size is absolutely critical. Not only is the experience higher quality, but the reduced human presence means that you won't have people scaring the dolphins away.

The staff here knows so much about the marine life you will see, which makes this a great learning experience. They also run things very efficiently, so you don't waste all your time being herded around or given instructions. I never felt rushed in the water, and we saw everything we wanted to and more! Critically, the crew seemed to reslly care for and respect the animals we encountered, which is all the difference between a natural experience and harassing dolphins. I can't describe how amazing it is to swim with dolphins and turtles. You just have to go and see for yourself!

As a last comment, I recommend this company whether you have kids or not. Our trip was half families and half adults, and the crew seemed to be great with the kids on board but didn't make the rest of us feel like we were at Disneyland. That's a huge plus.

7/15/2012 Gordon K.

We have been looking at doing a dolphin excursion for the past three years. Our children are now 12 And 14 and were totally ready for the experience

We were fortunate to get rescheduled for a morning cruise on the smaller boat with six people. We were greeted by Keiki and Captain Downing as we boarded the boat. We were also joined by other crew members Margie and Ashley. After a thorough safety briefing we set sail.

It was a beautiful morning and we were barely out of the harbor when Capt Downing spotted a pod of dolphins. We quickly donned our gear and jumped in. For the next 45 minutes we swam in, around and with a group of 16 energetic dolphins.

We climbed back in the boat and motored to another location just off shore where we found another group of dolphins that we swam with for another half an hour.....just us and the dolphins! Most amazing thing I've ever done!

From there Capt Downing took us to a turtle cleaning area where we swam with three sea turtles who had come to this area for cleaning by small fish. There were all kinds of fish swimming around the reef.

Throughout our cruise Captain Downing and crew shared their knowledge of dolphins, sea turtles and Hawain sea life. This is more than just a job for them and it shows through their respect of the environment and understanding of the natural habits of the dolphins.

This was absolutely the highlight of our trip. This was our sixth trip to Hawaii and the most amazing thing we have done! I highly recommend this trip to anyone and especially if you have children. Capt Downing and his crew do a superb job all the way around.

6/15/2012 Jessica G.

On my morning trip, we went snorkeling with a pod of about 30 or so spinner dolphins, which was amazing. After that the crew listened for whale songs with a special device, which was really cool. And then we were able to watch several whales breeching directly in front of our boat. It was truly breathtaking! The staff is quite knowledgeable about the environment and wildlife, and they are very helpful both on the boat and in the water. They are really willing to go the extra mile for you. I had a wonderful time.

3/5/2012 Steve W.

The wild side speciality tour is as good as it gets, we emailed the night before to see if they had any openings and they got back to us almost immediately to let us know there were still some openings available. When we arrived the boat was clean, and everyone was ready to go.

We had an amazing experience in the water. It could not have been longer then forty five minutes before we were in the water, swimming with over two dozen dolphins, and we even had a surprise visit by a very friendly sea turtle.

The weather brought in some very lage swells, so we couldn't do much snorkeling close to shore, so instead we went looking for whales. We were able to find a humpback whale, and our trusty captain Downing competently kept us no further then 100 yards from the humpback for what felt like a half hour. A truly impressive accomplishment.

But the moment I knew we had chosen wisely when I saw the other boats also out on the seas for a tour were clearly taking their signals for where to be from our boat. Wherever we were is where everyone else was trying to be.

I'm sure like anyone they won't be perfect every time out, but they were competent, and responded quickly to the seas conditions to provide us with a very compelling three hour tour, and that is more then worth the price of admission.

3/8/2011 Lucy H.

We recently had the pleasure of spending a morning with the wild side crew. We took the early morning tour with Alexa, Paul and Captain John. This was by far the most amazing thing we did all week. We saw a mom and baby whale and tons of dolphins. I can't swim so I didn't get in the water but I still had an amazing time taking photos and just watching the beauty of the wildlife. Everyone that went swimming with the dolphins couldn't stop talking about it. The crew on the boat were awesome. They truly care about the wildlife and you can tell they love their jobs. They have a lot of knowledge about the islands and give you lots of tid bits about Hawaii. They do explain very thoroughly how to use the equipment which is all included in the price. They have a nice selection of bagels and other snacks and drinks for everyone to enjoy. The best part is they don't have more than 16 people at a time on this tour. This is definitely a must do if you are on Oahu. We hope to go back again and do the best of the west tour.

10/30/2010 Zach W.

This trip was seriously the best thing we did the entire time we were in Hawaii and we did a LOT of things. The crew (Melissa and Tori) were awesome. They were both incredibly knowledgeable on any and everything we asked. There were only 5 of us on the boat with the crew we were 7 strong. The small size is great for interaction among the tour goers and crew, is easy for the crew to keep up with and allows for the personal touch with people who have water or shark fears. We first stopped among several pods of Spinner dolphins then we were off to the sea turtle location. They put us in over a cleaning station for the sea turtles which was so cool. The experience cannot be adequately expressed in words. We were thisclose to the dolphins and sea turtles. I would guess there were about 25 dolphins and 15 or so turtles on the trip. I would recommend taking an underwater camera as you can get great pictures of fish, dolphins and turtles while under the water. If you go to Hawaii and do not invest in this tour, you are missing out. It's ok to splurge on yourself every now and then especially in Hawaii. So don't let the cost scare you off, it's magical.

10/20/2010 erica k.

My friend and I went to Oahu last week and went on the Wild Side Specialty Tour because of the great reviews. The trip definitely lived up to our expectations! We had a chance to see pygmy orcas, and swim with dolphins and sea turtles! They were very accommodating to each person and really try to put all your fears or hesitations to rest. The crew was very friendly and the food was even great!

12/22/2009 Nadine M.

My husband, 2 sons (12 and 7) and I took the Best of the West tour this morning and my son's words sum it up best "Mom, this is the best day of my life"!

it's a great way to get out on the water and see the wildlife with a knowledgeable crew - and one who cares not only about their guests but about the animals too.

They adapted the tour to our needs - and my sons specific desire to see dolphins. We saw Humpbacks (Breaching and a Mom and her Calf) as well as bottlenose dolphins and spinner dolphins. We actually got to swim witht he spinners. My son was over the moon. He actually preferred to go in the water with Jessica than me - he trusted her so much.

We had a wonderful time. It was worth every penny and I highly recommend it to naybody who wants to do something a little different and more personal than the regular big group tours.

12/3/2009 Tanya W.

This was an awesome activity. Just wish we had more time. Day was beautiful, guides kept us informed, were friendly, and provided a incredible experience. My first real snorkeling experience and they were great. Small group so the individual attention was great. Well worth the cost. Swimming with the dolphins in the wild is incredible. No show, just real!

Tanya

11/24/2009 D K.

My wife and I went on the Best of the West tour and it was one of the highlights of our trip to Oahu. Within minutes of leaving the harbor we came across a pod of spinner dolphins and shortly thereafter we were in the water with them. Later, we swam with sea turtles and spent time with pods of spotted dolphins and pilot whales.

The captain and crew were great -- professional and knowledgeable and attuned to what the passengers were interested in seeing and doing. One of the passengers was a bit fearful of getting in the water and crew member Fitz spent time getting her comfortable enough to dive in.

As others have noted, the tour is limited to 6 passengers. We saw other boats in the harbor just loaded with passengers: that looked like a nightmare. The boat was clean and stable and comfortable. Snacks and lunch were plentiful and tasty.

Only minor criticism is that I thought the trip was a little short. After (important) safety instructions we did not get out of port until around 8:30 and we were back around 11:15 or 11:30.

I would definitely recommend this to friends and if our travels lead us back to Oahu we will do this again.

REVIEW UPDATE: We just got the pictures and underwater videos from the trip, and they are absolutely amazing. Tori and Melissa are not only great trip leaders but skilled documentarians of the experience. (My wife insisted that I say that if there were an option to give a 500 star rating we would pick that.)

11/17/2009 Jerryl S.

What a top notch professional business. We had a wonderful time snorkeling with the dolphins and turtles. The entire crew was awesome and made our day a very special one that we will never forget. The boat was very clean and safety was the number one priority. The crew was very knowledgeable and is truly commited to ensuring every passenger has a great experience. We will definately be return customers next time we return.

11/10/2009 Cindy B.

We booked the "Best of The West" tour which was the small 6 person group and we had a fantastic time. We met some wonderful people, saw some fantastic sea life and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We could not stop talking about what we saw and when we could come back. Our guide in the water was very knowledgeable and ensured we saw as much as possible. There is nothing like looking down to see an entire group of dolphins swimming under you and looking back! I have got to say that out of all the activities we did on our visit to Oahu, this was the best.

11/3/2009 jessica j.

I was visiting my brother in hawaii and wanted to do something special for our last day. I chose this company after reading a lot of good reviews and they had a ton of info on their site... it didn't disappoint!

they really listened to what the 6 people on the boat wanted to do, they have a number of options and cater to what the group would like to do. Our group really wanted to see and swim with some dolphins and we were lucky enough to find some pods and had a GREAT swim for about 20 minutes with a group of them. it was very magical. i took their advice and left my camera in the boat and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

also they give you a lot of good info about the wildlife and it seems unlike some other tours, really respect the ecosystem.

two thumbs up

11/2/2009 Kristin P.

My husband and I attended the Best of the West Tour last week. It was absolutely amazing! It was a little more expensive than other tours, however it was only us and 2 other couples on the boat. It was completely worth it! The boat guides (Tori and Melissa) are actual marine biologist, which to me was very important. They were very knowledgeable and passionate about what they shared with us, and it was clear they knew what they were doing. It was completely personalized to our interests. We were able to drop in the water 2 times with the dolphins! We were also able to see a very rare bread of dolphins, the False Killer Whales, they were amazing animals. I have heard of many people swimming with dolphins in captivity and do not believe in that. This is in the actual wild, where the dolphins are meant to be, without disturbing them. I would highly recommend this to anyone it is a once in a life time experience.

10/13/2009 Andrew H.

We had an amazing experience with Wild Side! We did the "Best of the West" tour. It was great to be on a small boat with just 6 of us plus the two fabulous crew members. I had some reservations after reading on their website about the controversy surrounding the question of whether it was good for the dolphins if we swam with them. I really appreciated that the crew addressed the issue head-on, provided thoughtful comments on both sides of the issue, and expressed their own opinions about it. Ultimately we decided to let the dolphins decide and they seemed quite OK with seeing us and swimming with us. The crew gave us very clear guidelines about not touching them, not swimming directly at them, etc. and to be respectful.

I cannot describe how amazing it was to swim alongside our oceanic brethren and to watch them play and socialize. I actually saw a pair mating! After that we also went to a great spot where there were several (7-10) sea turtles being cleaned by the fish and lounging around.

I also appreciated the fact that they made an effort to provide some vegetarian food, even though we called at the very last minute to let them know we were vegetarians. The crew were both fun and knowledgeable and thoughtful about our limitations and respect for the environment. They even gave us snorkeling tips for afterward!

In short, I would not hesitate to recommend West Side Specialty Tours to anyone. It was amazing.

9/28/2009 Amy K.

It has been my lifelong dream to swim with dolphins, and this trip did not disappoint! I was highly impressed with the crew's dedication to respecting sea life. Tori and Melissa, being biologists, made the trip very informative, and it's a non profit org.

I also liked the tour's small size (only 6 people) since I had never snorkeled before. I received one on one attention while in the water.

Before snorkeling with the turtles and dolphins, we saw 2 pods of pilot whales! Tori stopped the boat, and Melissa and someone else on our tour even got in the water to "get a better view!"

I loved how they knew exactly where to go to see the sea turtles and the dolphins. It was amazing to see the dolphins out in their natural environment and to be able to interact with them. I can't wait to go back and do it again!!!

9/27/2009 Hector V.

We could not pass up the Best of the West Tour and we could not have been more impressed. Impressed with the crew, the boat, the ride, and the adventure in the water.

First off, we set sail with another couple and that was it. It was no cattle call where they herd you on and off the boat. The crew was professional yet personable. They clearly explained what we were about to embark on and were always willing to accomodate their guests when it came time to decide about which marine creatures to try and locate.

The ride on the boat was smooth. I've gotten seasick before in a similar style boat but for some reason that did not happen this time.

We saw dolphins swim alongside our boat. We have some great photos of dolphins jumping out of the water.

Our snorkel spot was the "Turtle Cleaning Station." It was an area where sea turtles congregate to get cleaned up. We were able to observe these amazing creatures during our snorkeling; all the while keeping a safe distance away. Our time in the water was amazing, simply a dream come true.

One last thing that should be noted was that the lunch they served was also first rate.

There was no negative aspect of the trip that I am omitting, it was all the best.

8/17/2009 M M.

Wild Side Specialty Tours struck the right balance between customer enjoyment, safety, and the well-being of marine life. Located on the less-visited Leeward side of Oahu, the Best of the West tour departed from Waianae marina, motored South along the gorgeous coast, stopping twice for snorkeling near dolphins and a third time in Electric Bay. Prior to departure, our guides gave a safety briefing and also asked us for our goals for the trip (i.e., if our first priority was to see dolphins). During the tour, the guides provided parameters and tips for snorkeling - such as telling us to swim parallel to the dolphins, giving the mammals plenty of space, rather than right at them - emphasizing that the dolphins had come to the particular area to rest, not to play. While conveying adequate concern for the marine life, our guides were never preachy.

From our boat, we could watch as another tour operator, his small vessel crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with people, unloaded all of its customers to briefly snorkel in a limited area and then, just as quickly, reloaded them all back again in assembly-line fashion. By contrast, the small size of our group allowed us plenty of room on-board to sit, walk around, and lie down as we pleased; and our 3 separate snorkeling sessions over three hours provided adequate time and space to enjoy viewing dolphins, various fish, and the coral reef. In fact, we were the only people snorkeling in Electric Bay - a welcome respite after the crowded conditions of Hanauma Bay.

While onboard, we also learned a lot from conversations our guides, who have marine-biology degrees and clearly love their work and the Hawaiian marine eco-system. The guides provided a water cooler and snack basket during the tour and, during our return journey to the marina, a nourishing lunch that included amazing mini macadamia-shortbread cookies and wonderfully sweet pineapple. The individualized attention, pleasant on-board atmosphere, and knowledgeable guides made this tour worth the extra cost, and I would not hesitate to recommend Wild Side Specialty Tours to friends and family planning a trip to Oahu.

3/25/2009 Monica C.

My daughter and I joined a Sunday morning Best of the West tour and it was great! The captain and crew were friendly and extremely knowledgeable and our trip was highly successful.
We saw one pod of dolphins, and quietly hung out watching them, as they came right near the boat. We then snorkeled on a reef and observed 8 sea turtles and beautiful fish from just a few feet away. The highlight was actually swimming for nearly 30 minutes with another dolphin pod that we spotted nearby.

It was one of the most exhilarating things I've ever done and quite easy. It was a memorable event and very worthwhile! The highlight of our trip!

2/27/2009 Jamie D.

We took the Best of the West tour and had an amazing time. This is truly a unique experience which I believe is not available elsewhere in the world.
When I was younger, I swam with dolphins at other 'nature parks' in Mexico and Dolphin Discovery in Orlando but after reading more about the effects that these experiences on the animals - I decided to take the natural way - that is, observing these amazing creatures in their own environment.
Now one might think that the experience is not as intimate as those offered in some of those parks where you get the picture of the dolphin kiss etc. but I can assure you this is much MORE personal. You are entering the dolphin's world and it is amazing how accepting they are of human presence.

Just to give you an idea of our day:
The guides ask each person in the group (only 5 of us) what they are really hoping to gain from the experience and they really do try to achieve these hopes for you.
We started out looking at some humpback whales which we found almost immediately, they swam right up near the boat and there were some amazing photo-ops. Along the way, the guides told us about the whales as we counted the minutes until they came up for a breath
Next, we found a pod of swimmer dolphins and actually had the option to get right in the water with them (in the ocean - who would have thought) - it is amazing, you can get quite close and personal if you are matching their temperament in the water. It seemed like we had quite a bit of time in the water, truly an amazing experience.
We then got out and snorkeled in a seperate area with some coral. Apparently sea turtles can be found there but divers were in the water so we didn't get a chance to see any in the water. However, when we got back in the boat we spotted one hanging out on the surface - very cool!

All in all a great experience for any marine animal lover! You will never have a chance like this so if you are in Oahu definately don't miss out on this opportunity!

2/4/2009 Dan J.

We took the 'Best of the West' excursion on January 20th, 2009. It was totally amazing. I looked at all the sites, and they all have amazing pictures, and I wondered if these were 'once in a lifetime' or every day pictures. In our case, they were every day pictures.
With Tori at the helm and Melissa keeping an eye on the 6 passengers, we sped out to wherever the humpbacks were. We saw many more whales, up close, doing all the behaviors we had read about and more. Pictures don't even come close to the feeling you get seeing the massive, intelligent creatures at play in their natural environment.
We also got to see many spinner dolphins, although they were too active to swim with.
This tour may seem a little pricey, but let me assure you that you will get more than your money's worth.
Tori and Melissa were wonderful (as are Tori's chicken salad sandwiches).
Many thanks for making this our best vacation ever.

1/16/2009 victoria L.

"Best Eco-Friendly Wildlife Tour on Oahu"

Dear Tori,

My sisters and I just wanted to say thank you again for such a fabulous trip on "Best of the West" last Wednesday. This truly was a trip of a lifetime for us. We are still talking about it. I cannot tell you how much fun we had and how impressed we were with your hospitality and personal care for us while we were on board. Melissa was so patient with me while I was learning how to snorkel and she really went above and beyond. My sister, Ann, said that the dolphin trip was her favorite thing she did while she was visiting. Becky, has been telling all of her friends and neighbors about Wild Side Specialty Tours and how much she enjoyed seeing the Pilot whales and swimming with the dolphins. When you told us your boat's name was "The Alaka'i" and that it meant "role model", I just want to tell you that you have definitely lived up to that name. I admire the way you respect the dolphins and ask that your guests also observe them without changing their natural behavior. Thank you again for everything.

Sincerely,
Cindy, Ann, and Becky

9/13/2008 Rory H.

Took the Best of the West snorkling tour with Wild Side Specialty Tours & Wild Dolphin Foundation and it was one of the very best things that was done during the time in Oahu. Got up close to both some bottle nose dolphins and green sea turtles. The small size of the group allow a more personal type of tour. The Staff were extremely helpfull and lunch was great. Got some great pictures ourselves and the staff shared their pictures. Would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for this type of adventure. Rory

 

Hi Tori, Melissa and Armin!

My mom, husband and myself took a trip with you guys on April 18, 2010.  It's been a busy year for us, but I wanted to thank you for the great trip!  You might remember that I was about 30 weeks pregnant at the time.  Our daughter Violette arrived in June and she's already a water baby!  She likes to "swim" in her baths and loves sea animal toys (especially sea turtles).  We had such a wonderful time on your boat, we can't wait until she's old enough to come out on a cruise and experience hawaii in the special way you have created!   I especially wanted to write because I still think about my experience, almost daily.  Violette's birth was complicated and ended in an emergency c section.  While in a lot of ways I feel like I missed out on the opportunity to feel the feminine strength of giving birth naturally, I am continually comforted by my experience out in the ocean with the dolphins the day we spent with you.  You might recall that I accidentally ditched my buddies swimming after a pod.  I will always be so proud of myself, swimming in the open ocean, truly at one with nature, my body, and my daughter.  The experience has helped soothe the sting of not being able to have the birth experience I wanted, and I am forever thankful that you helped me find that for myself.

We'll be in Hawaii in 2012 and hope to make another trip out with you!
All my best for your 2011,
Sarah Kollars

Sent: Monday, July 05, 2010 2:41 PM
To: reservations@sailhawaii.com
Subject: Thank you

We just personally wanted to thank you, Tori, Chip, and Ka'iu. We took your "best of the west" trip on 6/30.  You were all so knowledgeable, personable, and skilled at getting us to see the dolphins, turtles and other sea life.  I (Becky) am not a good swimmer and got a bit anxious because I felt like I was holding the group up due to my slowness but everyone was so nice and patient with me.  You all turned what could have been an embarrassing situation for me (because I was so slow and anxious) into something great. 

Ka'iu stayed right by me and although I felt like I was "hogging" her, it gave my husband and the other guests the chance to go on ahead of me and experience things at a quicker pace but also gave me the peace of mind of having someone to stay close to me so I wouldn't be so anxious and be able to enjoy the dolphins and turtles at my slower pace. I especially want to thank Ka'iu. 

She was so sweet, so gracious, and made me feel so much more at ease in the water.  She also told me a lot about native Hawaiian culture and about the area which was so interesting and I learned so much from her.  Chip was great - what a cutie and an excellent guide, very knowledgeable, patient, and compassionate - he's another "keeper" but I'm sure you already knew that!  The 3 of you really made our first trip to Hawaii memorable.   Thank you all so much.  We will recommend you to anyone we hear of who is going to Oahu and hope to visit you again some day!

Dave and Becky Fieber
Blytheville, Arkansas

We just wanted to take a moment to thank you for making our visit to Hawaii absolutely the best! We went on the Morning Wildlife Adventure the 1st Sunday in May & all we can say is "Wow!" The crew (Karen & Denise) were so professional & knowledgeable. We have not stopped talking about it. We loved how small & intimate the group is kept & so appreciate your effort to maintain 'zero impact' on the environment. The entire experience had a profound impact on us. Without a doubt the best money spent on our vacation--so worth the drive, so worth the extra expense of renting a car (which we did just to make the drive out to your boat dock). While on our adventure, my husband spotted a beaked whale!

Sincerely,
John & Patty Hoskins
Fresno, California


I'd just like to send a letter of thanks to the crew who took out my 2 aunts and myself on January 24, 2007. This was the best possible experience of nature I have ever had the chance to encounter. I loved that the crew had a genuine love and knowledge of the creatures we were seeing. I was impressed that an actual marine biologist was there to educate us first and that she allowed us to interact with the dolphins in such a way that was safe for both us and the dolphins and reinforced that loving wildlife doesn't mean handling wild animals trying to make them your pet.

I didn't feel like this trip was a bunch of commercialized planned events, and as the things we saw were once in a lifetime. I have always though of myself as a lover of nature and have always felt a great obligation in preserving our ecosystem, but this trip brought about a whole new feeling of joy in all that our world has to offer. Anyone can go to a park and see trained animals doing tricks on the queue of their trainers, but to see nature in its pure form brings a whole new respect for the animals in their natural habitat.

Thanks a million, Melissa Drouse


Aloha Wild Side!

We just wanted to thank Captain Ann and her crew for such a wonderful time on today's morning tour (September 7, 2006). Your crew was friendly and professional. The tour was, for us, an enriching and educational experience.

We lucked out because there were only 8 passengers on the boat for our tour. However, due to low viability underwater and the dolphin pod staying in deeper water during our tour, we missed seeing the dolphins underwater during our two in-water opportunities. We did however get to hear them squeaking as we swam with the pod, saw them swimming and playing in their pod (from the boat), and witnessed a few dramatic spins and splashes.

The highlight of our tour was seeing the dolphins at play, of course, but snorkeling with the beautiful sea turtles, fish and coral reef was certainly a highlight of our Hawaii vacation. That dolphin cleaning station on the reef was absolutely amazing! At one point, we saw six adult sea turtles and one youngster on the rock, all at the same time!

"Breathtaking" just doesn't fully describe the experience. Overall, our experience was wonderful, and when we return we will definitely choose your company again. We would recommend your service to anyone looking for an eco-friendly, dolphin-friendly, and research-oriented tour company.

Mahalo, and Aloha! Our warmest blessings on your future research efforts!

- Jason & Karin Kimenker; Soul Infusion Tea House & Bistro


We went on the Morning Wildlife Sail April 23rd 2005 and had the time of our lives. The 2 people giving the tour were excellent, the boat was in great shape and animals were cooperative. We had a great time and will remember it always.

I know that a lot of times people only write to complain when something doesn't meet their expectations. So I wanted to write to tell you that it exceeded ours. It was the tour I was most looking forward to and because of that I was pretty sure I would be disappointed but it was a great trip - we loved every minute of it. We are planning on returning to Hawaii some day but have decided to go to another island - however we are already discussing a day trip to Oahu just to take this tour again. Thanks for making our vacation even more memorable. Linda Sullivan

I saw you and the tour on the Travel Channel the other day, not as good as in person but awesome nonetheless!! Then in surfing the Hawaii.com site I ran into your website again and thought I should write you about our experiences on your tours.

Nancy and I have taken your tour the last two years we've been there and fully intend on at least one tour with you this next month, February, when we come to the islands again. We've taken whale watching tours on most of the islands over the years and yours is far and away the best, and that includes the tours we've done on Maui where there are more whales than Oahu. We've learned so much from you and enjoyed the tour so much we have just naturally assumed you to be part of our every trip! I noticed an afternoon reef snorkel on your site and as we'll be there most of the month, we will try to add that to the usual tour with you we do.

I'm certain you have all the pictures you could ever want but I've attached a couple of our favorites (see turtle photo above). I've used them in my screensaver so your tour is seen and remembered every day!

Aloha, and we'll see you soon, Dennis Katsis and Nancy Dunn


the travel mom "THANK YOU for showing me something new and different. After all of this time doing what I do, it takes a lot to knock my socks off and you guys did! My family and I will be back your way in April and hopefully I can share this amazing experience with my kids."

Emily Kaufman, - (a.k.a. the "Travel Mom", has traveled the world with her husband and two children. You can find her "Destination of the Week" pick on her web site, and get more of her advice as segment hostess for CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Discovery, FOX and NBC and Orbitz"


Bobbie Sandoz "Dear Tori and Armin, I want to thank you both for such a wonderful day with the dolphins. Your energies, added to the ones we brought along made for a perfect combination. With my thanks again...and much aloha to you both ... Bobbie Sandoz, author of Listening to Wild Dolphins and In the Presence of High Beings based on her ten-year friendship with dolphins and whales.


Dale Hope

"Tori and Armin, Many thanks for an enjoyable day on the West Side. You have a great operation and its great to know that visitors and local people can go with you and have such a rewarding experience. It truly was a memorable day for us all. Mahalo Nui and Aloha, Dale Hope"
Note: Dale is a long board champion paddler and author of "The Aloha Shirt"

 


I just wanted to thank you for an AWESOME experience .. We had wonderful guides and our dolphin swim/snorkeling was really the adventure of a lifetime. Lots of people say that and so it becomes diluted or cliche but I mean it in this case. There's just no way to describe the feeling of being in the water with those beautiful animals swimming around you on all sides! It is the purest kind of joy! Wild Side Adventures is a class act and deserves every bit of the good press it gets. Thanks for memories I will never, ever forget!
Michele and Tim McCawley Kansas City, KS (landlocked again!) Oct. 2004


"Since we, literally, just got off the boat {your boat that is}, I thought I would take this opportunity to be the first to thank you by e-mail for the great time we had {I'll bet you don't get many written notes within 2 hours of the return to harbor}. Not only were all aboard {captain, crew and passengers} extremely friendly and helpful, but the boat, turtles and, especially, the dolphins were great. My daughter, Wendy, already misses her pod-mates; and my wife, the non-swimmer, can't stop talking about what a terrific experience she had. All-in-all a superior family adventure, one not to be missed and, surely, not to be forgotten. Thanks once again, and, of course, feel free to share my thoughts with others." Jerry Wallack, July 4th 2004


"Just a quick note to say mahalo for allowing me to be a part of the group Friday. I've traveled extensively with promoting Oahu as a destination and we always talk about the Wild Side dolphin excursion. Now having actually experienced the activity, you can bet my descriptions are going to be more enthusiastic and engaging. No one who goes out on the sail and gets into the water with the dolphins can be unaffected by such a wonderful and awesome experience. Seeing the animals up close and hearing their clicks and squeaks is truly a gift. Your sail is first class and I look forward to helping promote it in a more meaningful way now that I've had a first-person experience." Nancy Daniels, Public Relations Manager ; Outrigger Hotels & Resorts/OHANA Hotels & Resorts


"What, did you want to impress us or something? We had a wonderful, wonderful time. For all of us sailor wannabe's, we were just too blissed out by our wonderful hosts - who produced sun, wind and even spinner dolphins! Thank you, thank you for a great experience and your patience with a Canadian film crew. Aloha and Mahalo."
- Severn Suzuki-Cullis ~ Suzuki's Nature Quest star, budding Yale marine biologist.


"Dear Tori and Armin,
Ashley We just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful sailing experience on March 13th. That day was most certainly the highlight of our trip! Fred is still talking about getting to sail. Ashley is, of course, still talking about all the neat fish and turtle and eel she saw swimming around the reef. Even little Annie is still talking about the dolphins coming over to say hello to her. A great time was had by all of us and you can definitely expect to see us again for another sail boat tour. We plan to visit some of the other islands in the future, but decided we would definitely stop in Oahu a day or two just so we can sail again with you--next time we'll plan for a whole day of sailing."
Thanks again,
Julie and Joe (Ashley and Annie)


Hi Tori and Capt. Louie!
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the wonderful experience I had swimming with the dolphins. I only wish that the weather had cooperated and that I could have spent more time in the water. I was in absolute awe when I saw all the spinner dolphins!!! I still can't believe that I was so blessed to have the opportunity to swim with these magical creatures! I dreamed of this all my life and when it was finally a reality, I couldn't believe my good fortune! PLUS finding your website was truly a blessing, too. I can't imagine going with anyone else. Someday I hope to return because it was the high point of my whole trip to Hawaii. You were both so knowledgeable and interesting to talk to...and so hospitable! Take care! Sincerely, Alisa Becker Everett, WA


"Hello! My husband and I just enjoyed the most wonderful moonlit cruise last evening, and wanted to write and thank you all. Our captain and crew, were absolutely fabulous and were so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about whales, boats and the night sky. We learned so much and even got to see a mama whale and her calf!!! Our trip exceeded our high expectations and is a memory we will always treasure. Thank you for making our anniversary an awesome experience and one like no other.

Most sincerely,
Joshua and Ann-Marie Morrill"


"I wish to thank you both for always taking such good care of my Guests and making sure they get to see as much Sea Life as possible. I kept hearing how incredible the Sail Trips were from my guests and I finally got the experience of a Lifetime myself last week. The Sail Trip with you could not have been better. You are so easy to be with and go out of your way to find the Dolphins, the Whales, the Turtles, if they are around. When the huge Whale went under the Boat that day, we could have gone home and I would have been happy, but it just got better and better. Thank you and I cannot wait to sail with you again, Mahalo Nui Loa, TONIC"
Beach Lane B&B. Kailua, Hi. 808-262-8286


"What a great couple of days! Tori and Armin were excellent hosts for our exploration of Makaha. They are not only knowledgeable in regards to sailing, but also are fountains of knowledge about the marine life we encountered. Both the dolphins and the coral were very good to us. Many Thanks Tori and Armin! You made our film project a great success. See you again, soon we hope!"
-Janice Cudlip - humanitarian, after-work fun lover, Head Researcher, Associate Producer, Nature Quest Inc., Canada


"Thanks for the wonderful sail, birds, and conversation. May your good hearts and dedication to the creatures of the islands carry you far. So nice to spend such a great day with fellow earth stewards! Mahalo!"
-Cedar Wells, bird enthusiast, former white water rafting guide, current water resource steward in Washington


I still see the dolphins all around the boat and when I was in the front looking down, there they were!!! They were looking up so I wasn't sure if they saw me or just looking where the boat was. I'll always remember that and it puts a smile on my face every time. I can see why you love them so much.
The Barnhurst's , Dennis,Rhonda, Damon


Tori- Thanks for the movies, they're awesome! Just dropped Mom off at the airport to head home, she's still grinning ear-to-ear about the trip. Thanks for helping make our week so special; our adventure with you was definitely the highlight!
~ Ray Goodrich - Senior Producer Fox Sports Net South 404 230-7335 rgoodrich@foxsports.net




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