Aloha and Mahalo for your review. We are happy to clear some things up, because they are just not true.
First of all, thanks for tipping the guide and telling her she did a great job. We appreciate it! The 3 star review threw us off a little.
Here a “in a nutshell” version of our response - for everybody who likes to read more, the longer version right below :)
PERSONAL NOTE OF THE OWNER (TO BE HONEST) - Some people are just unhappy and find something to complain about, no matter what. Here is my (Daniel, Owner) personal opinion in a nutshell:
We ran the tour at a loss with only 2 guests - we didn’t want to cancel the tour and have you research and book a new one. We want your Hawaii vacation to be relaxing and fun. You had the spacious vehicle and the guide to yourself (= private tour, usually $150 more expensive).
Small Windows —> We operate luxury Mercedes vehicles with the biggest windows on the market for a van - but they were still too small for you.
Low tire pressure warning came on during tour —> We wanted you to be safe, so we switched vehicles instead of running the tour with low tire pressure, risking an accident - but you rather would have taken the risk of an accident.
Free bag of Macadamia Nuts —> We apologised for the wait on the new vehicle and gave you a free bag of High Quality Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts - but you didn’t like it.
Extra time at the Stops —> We gave you time at the stops to take pictures and enjoy the scenery - but you didn’t like that.
Vehicle was dirty —> We clean the inside of the vehicles after every tour - but it seems that’s not good enough for you. We clean the outside of the vehicle every week - but that’s not enough for you.
The Owner of the company (ME) cleaned the windows of the van for you —> I was happy to personally clean the windows of the “exchange” van - but after the tour I was told you would have rather cleaned them yourself.
I guess everybody who reads this sees where this is going. I don’t think we could have made you happy even if the tour would have been free and Dwayne the Rock Johnson or any other Hawaii legend would have been your guide. I hope you still had a good time in Hawaii. ALOHA
Here are answers to your accusations:
1. Food Tasting
Yes, the stop at the Macadamia Nut Farm with where you can taste 7 differently flavours and coffee is considered a food tasting.
2. Large van
You had a 7 Passenger Van (Mercedes Metris) to yourself. The Mercedes Metris is a luxury van and has, compared to any other 7 seater van, the biggest windows on the market.
3. Enthusiastic Guide
Our guides assign themselves to their tours. Meaning, they chose to work. To be honest, we highly doubt that she told you that she rather be surfing. Times are tough, due to the Pandemic we do not have a lot of tours and every guide is happy to work!
4. Pace in between stops
We actually tell our guides to take their time and not rush our guests. Usually people are happy to have more time at the stops. It seems you are special and would have liked to go faster - which you could have told the guide.
We checked the GPS and were able to see that she did NOT speed.
6. Train at the Dole Plantation
The line to get tickets for the train ride usually takes a while and then you have to wait until you can get on the next open seat - which can take up to 1 hour.
You could have booked the fully customisable private tour with Daniels Hawaii. On our private tour we are flexible with the itinerary. We would have been happy to take the time for the Dole Plantation train during your private tour.
You booked the small group tour and this tour has a fixed itinerary.
7. Safety First
WE WANT YOU (our guests) TO BE SAFE! Yes, the tire pressure went down during the first hour of your tour. Immediately after the guide contacted us, we sent out another vehicle. Safety first! The alternative would have been to stop the tour, cancel it and give you a refund - which you could have asked for, but you didn’t.
SAFETY FIRST - We wanted to make sure you don’t get stranded on the other side of the island. Getting a van there would have easily taken 2 hours. The guide did the right thing and stoped the tour so we could swap vehicles.
8. FREE Bag of Macadamia Nuts
To be honest, I don’t even know what to say to that. We also could have said SORRY and don’t buy you anything. BUT we decided to buy you a $10 bag of high quality Macadamia nuts instead and I (owner Daniel) apologised for the inconvenience multiple times.
9. Clean Vehicles
We clean the inside of the vehicles after every tour. We clean the outside of the vehicles at least ones a week. We also have cleaning utensils in the vehicles, so the guides can clean the vans if necessary.
10. 5 STAR rated island tour
Our small group Oahu Highlights Tour is 5 STAR rated on TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide, Facebook, Google and Viator. We have hundreds of 5 star reviews - Sorry we weren’t able to satisfy you, even though we tried.