After a great few days on the Big Island we hopped over to Maui. I say hopped because it was only a 30 minute flight over there. Shortest flight I have ever been on. Once again we had planned a busy three days on Maui.
We rented a car and booked a room at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa (fourth night free!). The resort was beautiful. Upon check in we got our first lei and an upgraded ocean view room. The room had a great view of the water along with a huge balcony. We spent our time in the room with the door open…until we let a huge palmetto bug in and had to chase it around the room. The pool was huge (hot tub was so tiny) but closed at 8pm, which they enforced and we got kicked out one night. The beach in front of the resort was perfect for lounging and for swimming and went on for a few miles in front of all the other resorts in the area.
Prices in the resort area were beyond ridiculous so we headed off to the grocery store to stock up on some fruit, breakfast items, snacks, and we got deli salads for dinner. We were in need of fruits and veggies. We spent less there for breakfast for the whole week and dinner that night than we would of for one person to have dinner near the resort. We are getting better at saving money when we can.
We booked a whale watching boat tour with Pacific Whale Foundation, a non profit research company. They had a few boat options to choose from and we choose the smallest raft boat that only held about 20 people for about $40 a person (booked online for a discount). When we arrived we discovered it was the first day this new raft was going out. Our crew Dan and Craig were awesome and informative.
They took us out to the places they have been the most successful and we waited. We didn’t wait long before a few whales started popping up. We chased them down with our boat, without getting super close, to see what they would do. Before too long we had seen tails coming up, breaching, and some fun side flops (that’s clearly a technical term). I wish we had better pictures…..but we don’t. As soon as someone pointed something out you couldn’t get the camera out fast enough. Eventually we just put the camera away and enjoyed the views. This was my favorite thing we did in Maui.
We also visited the Maui Ocean Center. For two childless adults we spent far too many hours here. There were a ton of fish, baby sea turtle (Tim was obsessed), octopus, and jellyfish. They also had a 360 aquarium tunnel to walk through. It was full of all sorts of underwater life! We enjoyed the time we spent at the aquarium.
We had heard there was a submarine tour and had our Sheraton vacation concierge Susan book us a discounted tour with Atlantis Adventures. We headed to the docks and hopped a boat out to the submarine. When we arrived at the site we were able to watch the submarine emerge from under the water with the prior tour group. Once they disembarked we loaded in and sat in two rows back to back sharing a porthole for every two persons. The submarine took us down about 130 feet to see multiple reefs, fish, plant life, and a ship that their group sunk years ago. We saw multiple school of colorful fish, sharks, octopus, eels… As two non divers we saw things that we would probably never see.
Tim and I have never attended a luau we booked one at our hotel. We arrived to an awesome set up of a stage, games, homemade local goods, and of course the Imu with our pork cooking. After walking around checking out all the sites we were called to the Imu to watch the ceremony of raising of the cooked pig from the ground. The pork was amazing as was the rest of the dinner that was served. They put on a great show telling the different stories of the cultures. The luau ended with a fire dancer. He was excellent and probably missing some body hair. Overall the food and show was fabulous. It was a great experience for us first timers.
On our last full day we decided to drive the road to Hana. I had done a ton of research mapping up all the best spots (per the internet) and timing the day out ending at the red sands beach. We knew it is an all day affair as the road is curvy and sometime one lane. We left early and stopped at the grocery store for a packed lunch and headed out for the drive. After about an hour of driving we made it to the start of the road to Hana where the sky was full of clouds and it was drizzling. Our first stop was the Twin Falls. We weren’t impressed. We stopped at a few look out points. Not impressed.
We drove a bit longer when we both looked at each other and realized this was not for us. We decided to turn around and enjoy the rest of our day poolside. I’m sure if we kept going we would of found some great sites but after our time on the Big Island I think we were just over being in the car and seeing similar things. Lots of people say don’t miss this drive…..for us we were okay missing it.
While I enjoyed the time we spent on in Maui, we could of done most of these things on the Big Island (Whale watching, submarine, luau). I think I would have skipped Maui and just extended my time on the Big Island.