The first port on my Hawaiian Cruise – the Norwegian Pride of America – was Maui! We docked in Kahului for two days and I took a shore excursion both days. I was told that I would love Maui and I definitely wasn’t disappointed!
Balcony Selfie the morning we docked in Maui
This is a map of Maui. At the top, slightly left of center, is a ship at Kahului, where we were docked. Follow the road along the coast to the right to where you see Hana at the far right edge – that is the route we took on our Day One Road to Hana tour. Then, follow the road from the ship to the left along the coast till you come to Lahaina on the far left edge – that is where I went on Day Two – Day in Lahaina!
DAY ONE – MAUI – I took the Road to Hana tour. This was an all day tour along a twisty, turny road climbing up the coast line. It used to be a very bumpy dirt road the whole way and people found it to be better to be in the riders seat than driving! But, it is now mostly paved with just a few side roads to popular stops still unpaved and “washboardy”. When it comes to traveling the Hana Highway it is said that it is “the journey, not the destination” that is the attraction. It is a beautiful drive with lots of curves, switchbacks, one lane bridges, stunning waterfalls and overlooks along the way. Our guide was awesome! She told us that the standard route is to make all the stops on the way up and then just drive back……she likes to mostly drive up with a few stops and then do the most popular stops on the way back because that gives us a better shot at seeing the sights with fewer people to interfere with our experience. It also allowed us to arrive at the perfect stop for our picnic lunch overlooking the ocean – there is only one picnic bench at that stop and the other buses usually stop at a spot that has a less desirable view from an enclosed picnic area……we totally appreciated her efforts as we ate with the stunning view outside on a gorgeous day! There were only eight of us on the tour and I was the only single, so I got to sit up front with her and got the best views of the drive!!!
This t-shirt I found at a gift shop says it best!
Morning snack stop…..
First of many waterfall stops!
One of the side roads to a stop that represents how the entire Hana Highway USED to be!!! This road takes us to Wai’ananapa Park.
This was our lunch stop — as you’ll see in the next few photos, this was a gorgeous cove with crashing waves, beautiful rock formations, and a BLACK sand beach!!!
Our guide took this panoramic shot of me with the cove behind me! Panoramic shots distort the perspective somewhat – while you can see the whole cove, it makes it look much narrower than it really is. But, it does make for a beautiful photo!
Since the Hawaiian islands are mostly made up of volcanoes and lava rock, it is common to see these beautiful black jagged rock formations.
This is the black sand beach — simply gorgeous!!! The pitch black sand glistens like diamonds and is considerably hotter than white sand. It was formed by the rough surf pounding on fresh, bubbling lava flow from Haleakela Crater. It took a millennia or more to be ground down into the beach it is, today.
The cove has blow holes that create amazing visions of water spraying up towards the sky as the surf comes crashing into the rocks.
Wai’ananapa Park is considered sacred to native Hawaiians with several burial grounds located throughout the park. Visitors are invited to pray quietly and respectfully for those buried there.
Off in the distance is the black sand beach in the previous photo……the trail we walked through the park was so amazing – I could have spent the entire day there, instead of the hour or so we were free to wander around before our lunch was ready!
While we explored, our guide secured and prepared the only picnic table that is available for use at our stopping point. We could see the cove while we ate. It was so lovely!
We had a choice of chicken or fish wraps, pasta salad, fresh pineapple, and a brownie with macadamia nuts in it!!! Delicious lunch sitting outside on a gorgeous day in the perfect spot!
Our next stop was at a tropical plant farm – they grow all kinds of orchids and tropical plants made into arrangements and shipped all over the world!
Banyan trees are all over the Hawaiian islands — what an interesting tree — they get these shoots created by their seeds germinating off their branches that stretch to the ground and take root, resulting in large rope-like trunks that continue to expand as the tree ages. We saw some HUGE banyan trees that encompassed large spaces!
I forget what this tree was called — it is a “spongy” tree – you can squeeze the bark and it gives like it is water-logged – like a sponge!
The islands are also known from their large wild chicken / rooster population! They can be seen wandering around almost everywhere you look!
One of many one-lane bridges!
Our tour included a stop at this waterfall popular for swimming up to and under it – the tour allowed time to do that, if conditions permitted! But, the current was very strong, so our guide advised against it – she said since there were others in the water, we could if we wanted, but told us that the strong current caused the risk of being pushed and held down under the waterfall – she gave instruction for how to be safe, but none of us took advantage of the opportunity! I was sad – I was looking forward to swimming under a waterfall, but the walk down to the water was tricky and I wasn’t sure my knee would have allowed it, even if the current was safer……and, then there were slippery rocks to navigate across to get to the swimming hole…….we all decided it was just so beautiful to look at that we didn’t need to get in it! LOL
A guy having a hard time getting across the slippery rocks in the current! Does look like fun, though!
So many different colors of green everywhere…….so lush and beautiful!!!
The swimming waterfall from a distance
See the rainbow swooped across the center of the photo? Looks like a swinging bridge, doesn’t it???
I’m not sure how many stunning waterfalls we saw…….there were even more that I didn’t get good photos of!!!
We stopped for a late afternoon snack at this stand that is famous for it’s banana bread!
The banana bread from fresh out of the oven – still warm – and it was soooooo good! I ate a couple slices and took the rest back to the ship for later! I also got a treat that is much like the coconut magic bars we made at holidays — but, it had macadamia nuts in it……I had that as my bedtime snack that evening – OMG – it was amazing!!!
This is Hana Town……it was mostly destroyed by a tsunami in the 1940’s and rebuilt
This little brown church is all that remained standing after the tsunami of the 1940’s destroyed Hana! And, it still stands, today!
My Road to Hana tour was spectacular!!! I loved every minute of it and was sad it had to end!
DAY TWO – MAUI – I took a bus tour to Lahaina – a small coastal shopping town. It was a perfect day to be out in the sun walking by the water! Our bus dropped us off at Lahaina at 9:30 am and picked us back up to go back to the ship at 3:00 pm. We had the time in between to do as we pleased. I walked along the main shopping area and sat on benches where I could look out over the water. I did some shopping and had some lunch. There was a huge outdoor outlet mall, too — I had to walk through it to get to where the bus picked us up, but I didn’t go in any of the stores — I can shop outlet malls anywhere – I wasn’t about to waste the gorgeous day in Maui inside stores I can find within an hour of my home! hehehe
My Day Two balcony selfie! It was predicted to be a windy day, so a pony tail was the hair-do choice of the day!
The main street through downtown Lahaina is right on the coast! I loved sitting with all those stunning blues!!!
I make it a general rule to not eat at chain restaurants when I travel, but I got excited when I saw they had a Mick Fleetwood restaurant — I decided to have lunch there! BUT……they had some kind of a problem and couldn’t COOK anything, so they had a very limited menu that didn’t interest me, so I didn’t have my lunch there, after all! boo hoo!!!
I looked at a few local restaurants for lunch, but most were either packed or didn’t have anything on the menu that interested me……so, I ended up at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co — I’ve never eaten at one of those restaurants before and always wanted to try one! On the plus side, they were on the ocean side of the street and Fleetwood’s wasn’t, so I had an open air ocean view seat while I ate that was amazing……it was a cool experience to eat there, but the food was only so-so and very expensive! Glad I can say I’ve tried it, but know that I don’t ever need to do it again! 🙂
But – I did get a t-shirt that I LOVE!!!
This was outside the restaurant……..
You know I had to do it, didn’t you????
Myna birds – they call them the blue jays of Hawaii cause they walk with a strut like they are the boss and tend to be a bully to other birds! Cute! I loved to watch them strut around like they owned the place! hehehe
Lahaina was a lovely town and the day couldn’t have been more perfect to be outside! I ended my day sitting outside of Hilo Hattie’s with a Dole Whip waiting for the bus……was tempted to go back in for another, but I resisted!!! 🙂
My time in Maui was awesome…….I’m glad we had two days there and I got to experience two different sides of the island – and they really were totally different views and experiences!!!
Next up…….watch for my post on the two days spent on the Big Island of Hawaii – one day docked at Hilo and one day docked off the coast of Kona where we had to tender in to shore.