This is Part 2 of our trip report. See Part 1 in the Island of Hawaii Forum for report from 4/18 – 4/23. This part of the trip is 4/23 – 4/28 in Maui. Let me start off by saying we spent a lot of time at the resort since we were there for a corporate function – so we didn’t have as much time on our own as we did for the first 5 days.
Sunday 4/23 – Departure from Kona to Maui was smooth and uneventful. Flight was on time, quick and easy on Hawaiian Airlines direct flight. No wait at all for luggage. Short walk over to Budget to catch courtesy bus to pick up rental car. No wait for the bus and no lines at the counter. We had a Chevy Trailblazer which was great since we had so much luggage. Had to stop at Kmart immediately upon leaving the airport to get my daughter’s prescription filled (spent last night in ER in Kona for an ear infection!) She had a relatively rare antibiotic the doctor prescribed since it didn’t require refrigeration and was a 5 day dose. The pharmacy had it in stock, accepted my insurance and had it filled in about 10 minutes. We arrived at the Grand Wailea just as a large busload of people were unloading. Still, they had enough staff working that we were immediately greeted, given our leis, and whisked off to check-in. We had a special check-in for the corporate group and once we made it through all the registration lines (mostly for his company) we headed to our room. When the key didn’t work, we got someone from housekeeping to open the door only to find someone else was quite settled and unpacked in that room already. So we returned to the check-in station for a new room. We had a rather lengthy delay, but after about half an hour, we were off to our new room. We were pleasantly surprised that our luggage was already there! We had a gorgeous room on the 9th floor in the Haleakala Wing. The view was breathtaking. We got settled, took the kids for a quick swim and then got ready for dinner. Our kids (ages 10 and 6) were registered for Camp Grande (their Kids’ Camp) Sun – Wed nights since we had functions we had to go to. They absolutely loved it! (More about that later!) The welcome dinner was really nice – they had great entertainment, but had a little glitch when the fire dancers accidentally shot a ball of flame on some lady in the front row. They immediately ran over and put it out and she looked to be okay. Glad we were in the back.
Monday 4/24 – I spent the morning at the pool with the kids while my husband went to his meetings. The waterslides were amazing – even I went on them! The river rapids was so much fun, but they were doing construction on one of the bridges, so you couldn’t swim under it. That would have been fine, but the current was really strong and it was hard to stop and get out. By about 11 am, I noticed they had stationed someone in the water to prevent kids from floating on by. The kids ate lunch at the pool. My husband took them while I ran back to the room, so it wasn’t until check out that I realized lunch for 2 kids cost over $40! A hamburger was $15, a soda about $5, plus tip. The kid begged to go to Camp Grande for the afternoon, so we let them go and I went to have a pedicure. The spa was really nice. Monday night – kids back to Camp Grande and we went off to our dinner with the company.
Tuesday 4/25 – This was the last we saw of our kids for a while. They wanted to go to Camp Grande all day. In retrospect, the $80 for Camp was not so bad when you figure it included lunch and snacks. They made cute crafts and had a blast. Meanwhile I went to the spa for a massage. The massage included 1 hour in the therme therapy which is essentially a bunch of baths (mud, seaweed, mineral, aromatherapy, Jacuzzi, etc.) I have been to a lot of spas, but never seen this done. Everyone gets a loofah scrub, too. It was interesting. Not a huge fan of it, but it was interesting to try. Some of the ladies loved it! My husband went snorkeling just off the beach. He said it was good, but lots of sea urchins, so he was worried about hitting one. Tuesday night we went out to dinner to Sarentos on the Beach with the company folks. We were sat outside just before sunset. It was beautiful. The dinner was wonderful and the service was outstanding. Great choice – definitely go for sunset and try to sit outside.
Wednesday 4/26 – My husband had a scuba trip planned on his own with Prodiver Maui. Had a little mix up with the starting time, but it all got sorted out. Good outfit. Only 4 divers on the boat. Kids went back to Camp Grande for the entire day. Still having a blast. Camp cost $80 for full day (9-4) with a $5 discount for the 2nd child. Night camp was an additional $60 (5 pm – 10 pm) and included dinner. It was a bit pricey, but the kids are still talking about it. They loved the counselors. All of the counselors related really well to the kids and made it fun. Rene taught the kids jokes which they have enjoyed telling all their friends here at home. Wednesday night – farewell dinner with the corporate group and kids back to Camp Grande. Last day/night of camp – they were so sad.
Thursday 4/27 – Headed up to Lahaina around 8 am. We had surfing lessons for my husband and son at 11 (check in at 10:15) at Goofy Foot Surf School. We got to Lahaina just before 9 am and walked along the beach. My son got a huge splinter in the palm of his hand (about ¾ inch long) so we had to visit the Maui Medical Clinic to have it removed. They were fantastic. They were very busy, but we got right in to see a doctor who was able to remove it in about 5 minutes. The only thing they couldn’t do was process my insurance so I had to pay out of pocket and submit to insurance directly. We still managed to make it to the 11 am surfing lesson. Goofy Foot was fantastic! My 10 year old got up on his first try. My husband wasn’t so lucky, but he eventually got up too. They offer a CD of pictures for $15 pp. The pictures were great since they had a HUGE zoom lens. It was hard to get pictures using my camera. The CD was nice because I can email and print as many pictures as I want. Highly recommend Goofy Foot! We ate lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise – mostly because the kids were tired of walking and so we stopped at the first place we could find. It was really good. Small mix up with the bill, but it was immediately taken care of. We did a little souvenir shopping and headed back to the Grand Wailea in time for the luau at the Marriott next door. We reserved Premium Seating and had front row, center stage seats. The luau was great. They took family pictures when you arrived and again at sunset. They were optional and extra $$ but we ended up buying some. The food was delicious and the emcee was quite good. The highlight of the show was the fire thrower. Yes, I know many people say it is not authentic – but the sheer entertainment value for our kids (and us) made this a hit! We had been to OLL before, and in our view, both were very different and very good. It was nice to have a short walk home at the end of the evening.
Friday 4/28 – Departure day. Departure went very smoothly. Bell service was prompt and courteous. Had no problems checking out. We drove to Lahaina and parked near the post office right next to the attendant since we had luggage in the car. We walked around for last minute souvenir shopping (parking was free with a purchase from one of the stores). Went to Kimos for lunch. We had been here on the last trip and this time we were disappointed. The service was slow (and we were there at 11:30 for lunch) and the my chicken wasn’t cooked. (I ordered the Chinese Chicken Salad). But we really went there for the Hula Pie anway which was, of course, amazing. From there, we headed to the airport, had a smooth check in, and headed on to our LONG flight home. The 8 hour flight to Chicago was smooth – we managed to get 2 of us upgraded, but the other 2 had an empty middle seat between them. AA flights were all on time and we finally got home around 10:30 am on Saturday.
To sum it up – we love Maui. We didn’t do many of the sights this trip as we had seen them before and our schedule was limited due to the mandatory corporate functions. But that was fine for us – we needed the down time after our stay on the Big Island. I can’t say enough great things about the Grand Wailea – this is an amazing resort. We will definitely return. Goofy Foot Surf School gets an A+! Great trip – re-entry into real life is hard!