Flying Lad in Maui!
We just got back from a 3 week trip to Maui!
We did a whale watching tour on the Pride of Maui, leaving out of Maalaea Harbor.
This was a very kid friendly adventure. They don’t charge for kids 2 and under with a paying adult, so parents will like that. I have seen some questions across the internet about whether or not such a trip is good for such a little guy, and our official answer is: it depends. Only you know your child and whether they will enjoy boat rides, being out on the water for a couple of hours, etc. We CAN say that it is very safe (so long as your kid isn’t actively trying to escape). The trip includes a nice lunch spread (hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches–yummy!) and drinks( wine, beer, and mai tais).
Flying Lad even got to sit in the Captain’s seat! Captain Jason provided a lot of great information and played some good music. Did you know whales like Taylor Swift? They were out in the water dancing! We had some great whale sightings. The pictures don’t do it justice. You’ll just have to go on a tour and see for yourself. Flying Lad’s favorite moment may have been the trip back in. It was VERY windy and he insisted dad hold him up in the air at the top of the boat so he could feel like he was flying! By the way, Pride of Maui has a really good blog with a lot of top lists–Top 30 restaurants on Maui, Top 10 beaches for snorkeling, Best Rainy Day Activities on Maui.
That being said, we had some great whale sightings from shore. One evening we were taking a sunset stroll down the
boardwalk along Airport Beach and there was something in the water. It was still for so long it looked like a boat. Then it moved. Turns out it was a whale, just 100 yards off the beach. It performed some spectacular full out-of-the-water jumps and tail splashes! Another great sighting was when we were watching the sunset on the grassy point below Merriman’s and just after the sun finished setting a whale started jumping in the distance. Holy Toledo!
Flying Lad really enjoyed the pre-dinner activities. He got to play some Hawaiian lawn bowling, took a hula lesson with dad, and tasted some yummy treats (he likes kulolo). However, by the time the show rolled around, Flying Lad was a bit restless and ready to go.
Some notes for parents if you go –
Since Flying Lad was only 2 – he was free! Not sure we would pay the premium ($78.12 for ages 3-12) for him if he were older
You’ll likely end up parking across the street. Be careful when crossing to Old Lahaina as the area is full of bad drivers and tourists that don’t understand what a crosswalk is.
It’s a buffet, but you won’t be going back for seconds unless you eat super fast. They shut it down quickly, so load up now especially on things you know you’ll like.
The drinks are diabetes inducingly sweet and super short on booze. Stick to beer and wine.
The desserts are brought out on a platter to be shared. They’re all good, but for some reason it seems that 60% of the desserts, not just on your table but everywhere go untouched. Bring your giant old lady bag and stuff it with leftover desserts. Otherwise it just all goes to waste.
Gratuity is not included. Unfortunately that’s not really made known upfront so you’ll have to tip in cash. Bring a $20. It would be nice if you could add it to your payment method of choice.
Also people abandon their leis for some reason. Grab those too and give them to your friends or decorate your house/hotel room/cabin with them! Otherwise they’re wasted.
On our first evening stroll along Airport Beach, Flying Lad was playing in the sand on the beach, a good 10 feet from the water line, but sure
enough while his back was turned a large wave was approaching. As a two year old generally does, he ignored Mom and Dad’s calls to “Stand up!”. Sure enough, the wave hit, and dad rushed over Baywatch-Style with his hair flowing in the breeze to the rescue and grabbed Flying Lad by the arm and held him up like a trophy fish. Prior to this Flying Lad had been fully clothed and dry…
The point of this story is it’s tough to find a gentle beach for little ones around our area. However, Baby Beach is perfect. There is a break about 50 yards out that keeps the waves from crashing to shore fast and angry. It’s pretty mellow and gentle. The beach itself isn’t as nice because it’s not right along resort property, but it is still clean.
After this little adventure it was time for some food!
We are all fond of happy hour. Cheap(er) drinks, smaller portioned foods, and a more relaxed setting. And in Maui you’ve got tons of places to get Happy hour with a side of beautiful sunsets. Flying Lad’s favorite discoveries from happy hour? He likes ranch dressing and hula pie, not together :P. That being said, I don’t think he was given the option to try. You can get hula pie from a number of restaurants that belong to the same family. We had it at Kimo’s and if you like hula pie as much as we do, be sure to hang on to your receipt. You can get a free serving of hula pie on your next visit (when you buy 2 entrees).