Hawaii – Day 4, Maui and Laundry

We were in Maui for two days.  We didn’t book an excursion on the second day, but I haven’t finished telling you about the excursion we did book.  The second part of that was “On Your Own in Lahaina.”  After the whale watching we went to get a bite to eat right across from the beach/pier/dock.  Lahaina is very reminiscent of Key West in Florida.  And it is an older town, so everything has that wonderful sense of age to it.  Again, with the birds.  Our table was right next to an open (as in no glass) window and the dove were having a great time napping in the sun and browsing through the crumbs in the restaurant.

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The people there must be extra diligent about this sort of thing because I never saw one dropping.  Or the birds know that if they want a free breakfast/lunch/dinner they better behave while inside.  At any rate, they provided a lot of just plain delight for me.

The one thing that stood out the most and was mentioned by almost every tour bus driver was the HUGE banyan tree that is in Lahaina.  It takes up a full city block.  It is truly amazing and I’m glad I got to marvel at it.

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But we had chosen this day to do our laundry since we pack light so we can carry on.  Well, that wasn’t a good idea.  Not this time anyway.  Norwegian, or at least Pride of America, does not offer a self-serve laundry like Carnival does.  Ooops.  Our helpful steward gave us a bag to use for getting our laundry done, but after we read through the prices and figured out it would cost us about $100 to have our laundry done we decided to take the free shuttle to KMart and buy soap.  Our wonderful balcony had to serve the dual purpose of being a clothes line for our wet clothes.  However, if you travel enough with Norwegian you can get this service free with your Latitudes membership.  I don’t know that that alone would keep me booking with Norwegian, but good to know.

Just in case you missed it, there is a free shuttle to KMart.  There are free shuttles in most of the ports that take you to various shopping sites.  I saw one for Walmart at a later stop and one that took you to a mall and one that just took you into town.  Most of the ports are not right at the town, you have to get there somehow and so they provide you with these shuttles.  So, if you don’t want to book excursions at every stop you’ve got the option of just going into town and exploring on your own.  You’ll have to book an excursion to go to Lahaina and shop though because ships don’t dock at Lahaina, it’s on the other side of the island.  And we got the best information from the shuttle drivers who appear to be mostly retired people that just want something to do.  Ours had lived on the islands for years if not decades and were quite informative.

So, just in case you like to research before you go, here’s a link to Go Hawaii – Maui.



Hawaii – Day 3, Maui Wow-wee

Day three found us docked in Maui.  Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remember this as a surfers paradise, but that is beyond what I could do with it.  We wanted to watch the whales.  And this is the place to do it.

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See our lovely view of the dock.  What did I tell you?  Port side, dock.  Starboard side, island.  We booked the Maui Whale Watch and Lahaina On Your Own excursion.  This is only available December through April because that’s the only time the whales are there.  But it is fantastic.  And the biggest reason I wanted to go to Hawaii was to see the whales.  This adventure leaves out of Lahaina.  You go out with marine naturalists that are working with a non-profit organization to save the whales.  They do a marvelous job of giving you all kinds of information on whales.  The whales come to Hawaii and mostly Maui to have their calves.  We saw two mothers and two babies.  And several male escorts.  According to the guide on the boat the females come here to get away from the Orca found in Alaskan waters and to have their calves in safety and the males come here because the females came here.

The tour guides are going out almost every hour so they know where the whale are.  I’m assuming the whales are pretty much in the same area all the time they are there anyway.  They don’t promise you will see them, but the chances are very good you will.  There is nothing quite like seeing that first spout.  As you get closer you begin to see the familiar black hump going up and then down and all of a sudden you might see a smaller (there’s nothing really small about a whale ever) tail fin pop up.  Baby whale!  It’s so exciting.  The whole boat comes alive and cameras are clicking all around you.  However, I am going to suggest that if you want to photograph the whales get a camera with the ability to shoot rapidly and fire off several shots every time.  I just have a little Cannon and by the time I pressed the button to take the shot the whale had gone back down.  I have a lot of pictures of foam though if you want one.  I did capture one fin wave from a calf.

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We were out there for quite a while.  I don’t know how long they stay out, but I was very satisfied by the time we headed back and felt like I had definitely gotten my money’s worth.