Part 1 Maui trip report.

Sep 4th, 2003, 05:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 73
Part 1 Maui trip report.

Here is what the inital plan to do by day was (copy and paste from my post a few weeks ago) and below the initial plan is what we wound up doing by day and how we liked it. Please feel free to ask qusetions, I tried to include all the info that I could, I do have more detail if anyone wants, but I'm not trying to put anyone to sleep.

Day 1 arrive at night at the Westin Hotel
Swim at pool, relax, eat dinner, unpack etc

To start, I used FF miles on Continental and flew the 3 of us first class from Newark direct to Honolulu. The flight was great, I thought the 10 hours or so went quickly, my family thought it was very long We landed around 5:15 PM or so. We had our luggage checked through to Maui, so when we landed all we had to do is bring our carry-ons to the Hawaiian Airlines flight. We had 7:10 reservations, we could have caught a flight around 6:15, but we couldn?t have seats together and our luggage was most likely still going to be on the 7:10 flight. In retrospect, I should have jumped on the earlier flight. Worse case is that I had to wait for our luggage, but we could have got the rental car. The flight, luggage and rental car SUV with National all went smooth. The company I used for the lei greeting was not at the airport and I still got charged, I will be disputing this soon.

We arrived at the Westin around 9PM; we were upgraded to a deluxe ocean view room I think it was called the beach tower. We were very impressed at the grounds and the hotel when we first arrived, it looked like paradise and it didn?t look like we ever needed to leave the hotel. We were all wiped out, after a half-hour of drooling over the view of the pool and the ocean from our lani, we were 3 rooms down from the ocean, we unpacked and ordered room service. The room service food was fast and tasty (cheese burger, chicken nuggets, and 2 kinds of shrimp appetizers) about $40.

Day 2
AM Spa ? parents
Keiki camp ? Daughter
Afternoon Maybe Maui Ocean Center or Snorkel Black Rock
Dinner Feast at Lele

We were all up early (3 or 4 am, 6 hour time difference from NJ), we considered going to the see the sunrise, but decided against it. We went down to check the pool and the ocean out, we could not believe how nice the pool and the grounds looked, easily the best hotel grounds and pool we were ever at (and although I was never at Hawaii, I have stayed at a lot of hotels. Then we had the buffet breakfast, it was fantastic, omelets made to order, fresh fruits, etc. about $60, and daughter?s meal was free. We went on the water slide and dropped daughter off to camp and we went to the spa, it was a surprise to my wife, she and I both enjoyed it and it set me in the mood for some serious vacationing.

We then went to the Maui Ocean Center, it was great we had a fun time, we stayed around 3 hours, and I used the Maui association gold card (cost me around $30 and it saved me about $30 here). It was now around 4:30 and we decided to go straight to the Feast at Lele, I didn?t remember when it started, I thought it could have been at 5:30 or 6. It turns out that it check in starts around 6:30 and they let you in at 7 (something like that), my daughter slept in the car some then we went to the shops and the beach before we went in. I had made the reservation at least 1 month in advance (maybe 2); we had a great front row table. They bring the food out to you by island maybe about 5 courses, most were very good, some I didn?t care for, but there was plenty of what I did like. I was very proud of my daughter, she tried almost everything and liked enough that she was full, she especially like the Hawaiian pork. My wife has more of basic appetite and did not really care for much of the exotic flavored foods. The drinks and service were fantastic, with tip this ran a pricey $309.

Day 3
AM Fourwinds snorkel/snuba
Afternoon Free
Dinner Spago

No problem getting up early as I originally thought my family would have. We had a great time on the Fourwinds the crew was fantastic. The breakfast was good, bagels fruit, etc. and so was the lunch burgers, hot dogs, chicken. I was a little disappointed with the snorkeling, I guess I was expecting more that we got to see (turns out later that we seen as many fish right off the hotel beach as we did here. In retrospect I would not have gone Molokini. Again, the crew was special, very accommodating, but not as many fish as I thought we would see. Trip cost $183, plus we bought the movie they taped during the trip (I think it was 20 or 30).

We went back to hotel, rested and played in the pool. My wife didn?t feel well, so she stayed in the room and my daughter and I went to Spago, she slept and I drove (all our body clocks were still off). I had a raw tuna in cones appetizer (so good, it melted in your mouth) and snapper for my main, and my daughter had pasta off the kids menu. The food was very good and the view was excellent.

Day 4
Road to Hanna

We did not do the road to Hanna, we decided to take Maui Eco-tours 2 ? hour dolphin kyak adventure at LePerouse bay (used the Maui gold card again and saved around $50, total cost was $130 for the 3 of us. It was good, but I would not do again, I would do it in a boat next time. The paddling was not too bad, but my back was soar for a couple of days and I got a blister on my hand. We had to check in around 6:45 AM, so we had to leave the hotel around 5:45. We stayed at the hotel and beach, swam and played some pool volleyball. We then went to Mama?s fish house for dinner, we had 8PM reservations and we got there shortly after 7:30, we did not get seated until 8:30. Nice location right on the beach, too dark to really enjoy the view at that time of the night. My wife ordered steak, I had macadamia nut crusted mahi-mahi and my daughter had grilled mahi-mahi. We also had some appetizers, we were disappointed with the food and the service, and I was expecting this to be first rate. I would only consider going back if I don?t have to go out of the way to get there.

Day 5
Art School at Kalupa bay
Swim snorkel at Kalupa bay
Dinner Sarrentos

Dropped my daughter off at the Kalupa bay art school (9 ? 3), she enjoyed they made jewelry, painted a ceramic plate and did other activities. I went back to Westin, picked up wife and started to explore west Maui, we had a good time, we went the long way to the blow hole, (the blue book didn?t really say the other way was much easier. I also (not my wife) climbed down the ladders and took a quick dip in the ponds below (kinda of a challenge). We made a few other stops and took lots of pictures. We went back and picked up our daughter at camp and went swimming back at the hotel. As someone suggested to me when I originally posted my itinerary, I had too much driving for dinner, we cancelled Sarrentos and would up eating at Roys Nicolina restaurant at a nearby shopping center, I think it was our best meal for our family on the island, everyone enjoyed their meal ($118).

Day 6
Swim, pack & to airport
Off to the Big Island

Wife packed and my daughter and I went swimming in the pool and the beach, then I packed and we left the hotel around 12 for a 3pm flight, good thing we left when we did, as the lines were long at the airport.
scott_s is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Please tell us more!!!
jor is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 08:24 PM
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Wow! Can't wait for part two! This is a great report so far!!
kikahead is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 10:18 PM
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I enjoyed reading your trip report. Nice format!
bluefan is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 04:00 AM
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Hey Scott S, thanks for your perspective about the kayaking and snorkeling experience we are headed to Maui soon and appreciate those details!
JohnD is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 05:54 AM
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Great post! I have some questions re: your drive up to the blowhole. Did you drive on the part of the road that's not paved and very narrow & windy that goes to that little town? I want to go to the "Olivine Pools" (from Kanapali / Hyatt) and don't know if I should continue driving around that way (we'll have a rented convertible) or drive back the way I came (past Kapalua (sp?). Thanks for any advice you can offer!
julesj66 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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Great review so far - looking forward to Part 2! Thank you!
Dneilp is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 03:57 AM
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Hi JulesJ,

We did not drive on any unpaved roads in Maui, I think the rental car company said that they were unpaved, but they were paved. The road was a little narrow and windy though, not too bad, they have certain turns where they tell you to blow your horn as you go around them. We really did not pass any towns on our drive, a few houses but not much more. The road is safe to drive, just keep your eyes on it. Make sure you do wear something decent on your feet when you hike down to the pools, you basically are hiking down a cliff of lava rocks, also you will want water shoes when you get down to the pools.



scott_s is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Can you tell me more about the art school and any other kid-camp activities? Do you remember cost or ages? Websites?

Mine are 7, 7, 7 and 3 and dh and I would like a couple days alone (we are there for 9).

Multimom4 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 02:36 PM
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When you say Maui Gold Card are you referring to the AOA Gold Card or something different?
Cindyrella is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 08:01 PM
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Cindyrella, I have heard that Maui Gold Card is really the same as the AOA Gold Card. I have been told that they come from the same travel group/coop which is run by a hotel and travel organization in the US and Canada.
jor is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 03:22 AM
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Hi Multimom,

At the westin the link is:

They list the pricing and activities. The day my daughter went she went fishing with nets and colored or painted and enjoyed her half day. There seemed to be around 10 kids there that day.

The art school link is:

They made jewlery and a ceramic tile (which we forgot to pick up the next day, so they mailed it to our hotel in Kauai. They went to the golf course across the street for lunch and then they went miniture golfing in the afternoon. The site says 9 - 4, I thought it was 9 - 3, but maybe it changed or I just don't remember it correctly. The cost was $50 and there was around 4 kids in the class. My daughter loved the camps, it was her chance to get away from mom and dad as much as mom and dad's chance to get some time without her.

Ask away if you need more information.
scott_s is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 03:27 AM
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Hi Cindyrella,

I guess I got the name wrong it is called the Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii Gold Card or A3H gold card. The link is, it was worth it for me. I purchased it right before I left to HI and had it mailed to my hotel, it was there there the day I arrived. You could also have it sent to your house, but I cut it too close.


scott_s is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 11:23 AM
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Excellent review of your trip. The details are great. I'm looking foreward to the next parts.

lahainaluna is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Hi lahainaluna,

I am glad you enjoyed it. I posted this a few weeks ago, so if you want to read the others you should proably click on my name to get my other posts.

scott_s is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 02:46 PM
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scott_s please tell me how you wrangled your FF 1st class tickets on continental? All I've read is that they are impossible to get. we are going next sept - because it is not busy season are my chances better?
Nancy03 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 03:57 PM
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Good question, proper planning and flexibility. We actually wanted to go last year, but I did not plan far enough in advance to get the tickets at the lower rewards level. So, we pushed the vacation back a year and tried again and got what we wanted. I went on the internet site and checked the availability often, and I had to break up the 3 of us on 2 reservations. We also had to come back 1 day later than we wanted (not complaining). I think they jacked up the miles this year too.

Good luck
scott_s is offline  
Sep 28th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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How many months out were you finally able to get the seats using your FFM?
Nancy03 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2003, 03:25 AM
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I booked them about 10 or 11 months in adavance
scott_s is offline  
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