Is Hanauma Bay the perfect Hawaii experience? It can be if you know what to expect when you get there. Our drivers/instructors do everything they can to optimize the experience for guests. They inform you of exactly how to fit and adjust all of your equipment (which we personally ensure is twice sanitized and inspected), they tell you where to go on the beach to see the most fish and they let you know where the bathrooms/change areas and lifeguard towers are located. You are also given a fish ID card with my personal phone number if you have any questions or concerns. Flotation is available although most people find it to be unnecessary.
You will be required to watch an instructional video and during busy season to wait in a line to get into the park. These things can also be made less painful with a little forewarning and preparation. The video and education center are best considered a part of the overall tour rather than a nuisance preventing you from getting to the beach. Both are educational and informative and can be enjoyed if you take the time. I will not sugar-coat spending time in line–it can be boring, but that also somewhat preventable. If you are here during the busy season, the best time to go is the weekend–it is consistently less busy. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday are usually more crowded because on Tuesdays the Bay is closed. 7:30 and 11:50 are the least busy times of the day. If you must go during a busy time, you will most likely have a wait. I recommend sending a placeholder immediately to the line while other members of the party get everything together. You can then take turns being placeholders while the other/s take a view of the Bay from the top–which is spectacular and not to be missed!