Today is Lahaina, Maui and it is a tender port. We have tender priority and are on the second tender to leave the ship. The Sapphire Princess is also tendering today and there is only one spot on the pier for a ship’s boat. So, it is a slow process. As our tender approaches the dock, it is thrown into the bow of a docked, steel hull catamaran and we shatter one of the windows high in the hull. We learn later in the day that this caused the Coast Guard to shut down all tender operations for awhile so they could sort things out. We were gone and this did not effect us.
We catch the Dollar Car Rental shuttle and travel several miles to a garage where we, once again, stand in line to do the paperwork on our car. They are just not set up to handle any sort of volume car rental business.
We then go to Maui Divers and rent tanks, weights and the mandatory dive flag. We get a suggested site for a shore dive and head south out of town. We decide to visit Wailuku and see Iao Valley and "The Needle," an iconic symbol of Maui, before doing our beach dive. The drive to Wailuku is uneventful and the road, though narrow and winding along the coast, is not bad and we arrive after 30 minutes. We park and walk the trail to see "The Needle" and then head back into Wailuku. Here we make a short photo stop at church next to the Bailey House Museum.
Carolyn had picked up a sandwich lunch for us in Lahaina and we eat while driving back to Olowalu Beach (mile maker 14) where we park in the shade of Mangrove trees along the shore. Unfortunately, we do not get into the water near enough to the break in the reef and we struggle with our gear in the shallow water as well as the dive flag. By the time we make it to the break in the reef, the surf is up and the visibility has dropped. We cry "Uncle," call it a day and head back to shore with a maximum depth of 10 ft. Big Whoopee!!!
It takes the better part of an hour to rinse and pack our gear and head back into Lahaina where we turn in our rented gear, gas and return the car and catch the last shuttle back to the dock. We return to the ship and clean up in preparation for our evening at The Old Lahaina Luau.
The tenders are not cooperating and we do not get ashore until 6:15PM; the luau started at 5:45. The location is too far to walk and we have to get a waterfront hotel to call us a taxi. While waiting for the cab, we receive a phone call from the luau asking where we are as they have a no-refund policy and we have prepaid for our evening. We arrive about 6:45PM and are shown to our table. We really haven’t missed anything except a few drinks, but we catch up fast while watching a spectacular sunset!
We enjoy the evening, the setting and entertainment. The food is different and interesting but not great. It is promoted as the most authentic luau in the area and that includes the food. We did not add any of the dishes to our list of favorites but it was a good meal with all drinks included. We sat with a couple from the ship who live in Calgary, Canada. The dancers, both male and female were amazing. Those people must have joints that we do not own. The experience, while expensive at $95 each, was worth the time and money. We would not do it again but would recommend it to anyone who has not done it once.
We ultimately shared a cab with our table mates and another couple to return to the ship