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“Do NOT take the Molokai Alii Tour from Lahaina Cruise Company!”

Lahaina Cruise Company
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Lanai Island Dolphin and Snorkel Cruise from Maui
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Owner description: Hawaii Ocean Project hosts whale watches and other exciting excursions aboard the Maui Princess, the Molokai Princess, the Lahaina Princess, the Prince Kuhio, and the Kaulana. Our vessels are large, stable, and comfortable, and they offer the best viewing available. Trained naturalists on board share their knowledge of the West Maui marine environment. Whether you prefer a guided day trip around the exotic island of Molokai, A snorkel tour of Molokini, following a pod of Dolphins around Lanai, or a sunset dinner cruise of the coast of West Maui, Hawaii Ocean Project can accommodate you with your Maui Ocean Activity. Our Mission is to provide you with the finest Maui Ocean Activities available. Not only do we offer the finest Dinner cruises on Maui and ocean tours off the coast of West Maui, as well as excursions to Maui's neighboring islands, we are proud our services promote and support marine research and promote the education of Hawaii's marine eco system.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Do NOT take the Molokai Alii Tour from Lahaina Cruise Company!”
Reviewed May 16, 2012

Be sure to read the other review of this trip, written on March 27, 2012. Like these people, we took the Molokai Alii Tour, an all-day tour to Molokai sponsored by the Hawaii Ocean Project, but actually conducted by the Lahaina Cruise Company. It does a disservice to the Hawaii Ocean Project, which seems to be a good whale research project. We were interested in visiting Molokai on this trip to Hawaii, and had looked into spending three nights at the Aqua Hotel Molokai, the place we stopped for the included lunch. We decided to take this one-day tour instead, to see if we wanted to go back. Good thing. We actually paid a bit less than the other people, $390 with an AAA discount, and boarded the Molokai Ferry at 7:30 AM for the 1 HOUR AND 45-MINUTE RIDE to Molokai. My wife had visions of sitting on the top deck of the ferry boat to get some sun and look at the views, and we were joined by around 20 or so like-minded travelers. The Captain warned all about the spray, and advised everyone to sit inside. He was right. The ride was so rough over to Molokai (the second-roughest we have ever been on, topped only by the ride back FROM Molokai), and the ocean spray so strong that 10-minutes after leaving Lahaina's harbor everyone was soon crammed into the small interior space. We "enjoyed" a wide-screen TV with streaks down the middle, intermittantly going on and off, and watching what appeared to be a sports show of roller derby on ice skates. The continental breakfast was exactly as described in the other review, some sliced fruit, quartered muffins and some sort of fruit punch. It wasn't served until we reached calmer waters, about 15 minutes from landing at Kaunakakai's pier. We were met by Hans, our local tour guide who was trained by Rudy, and said Rudy taught him everything he knew about being a guide. He was right. Hans talked constantly, and recently had some dental surgery, so he was virtually unintelligible. We also saw several of the schools on Molokai on our tour, three of the four churches that Father Damien built, and every house of every person Hans knew on Molokai, including two his son owned. Sadly, there really is very little to see on Molokai, except for Kalauapapa which you see from a cliff above. The first stop on the van is an overlook where you can see the peninsula, and read some very weathered signs telling about its history. The unfortunate phallic rock is also at the same stop -- skip it unless you are a teenage male going throughn puberty. Hans made many jokes about this and we were not amused The next stop was at a "coffee plantation and plant", which was really nothing more than a coffee bar and gift shop. They were located at a working coffee plant, but there was no tour, no sign, nothing to show visitors what was done or how it was done. We never even saw any cofffee growing up close -- only as the van drove by a coffee field on the highway. We then drove past several schools and churches, on to the highlight of the trip, a visit to a 50-tree macadamia nut farm. This stop was actually interesting. The owner, a quirky man named "Toodie", gave an interesting talk about how macadamia nuts grow, are harvested, and processed. The neat thing we got to do was crack some real macs and eat the nut meat right out of the shell. We then, of course, shopped in Toodie's small shop where he sells macs, and oils and butter made from macs. On to our lunch at the Aqua Molokai Hotel. We really were glad we didn't stay there. It has NO beach, and one cafe/bar/restaurant, where we were served passable sandwiches. Honestly, it is not the fault of the hotel, but the "beach" is about 15' wide and covered with a million little crabs running around. You could never sit on this beach. NOTE: They were having a cross-dresser pageant at the hotel later that evening. Hans made many sarcastic remarks about the "fruities" and I don't think any of the ten of us on his tour appreciated his rude remarks. After lunch, we drove to a small beach at the west end of the island, after stopping by 2 of Father Damien's churches along the way. The only neat thing about it was that you could see Kapalua, on Maui, across the channel from it. We next drove to Kaunakakai, the only town on the island. Unfortunately, Hans' driving us to see all his friends' houses left us only 20 minutes to "see" the town. We bought some Molokai Sweet Bread, the only really good thing about Molokai, and back in the van to return to the pier for the worst boat ride we have ever been on -- think of the boat in Perfect Storm, except the weather was beautiful (?). One other curious thing -- you hear Molokai referred to as the "Friendly Isle". Well, that friendly Isle recently instituted a $300 fine for jay-walking in Kaunakakai!! This town does not even have a traffic signal and it is hard to imagine jaywalking being a crime, but several people in the town commented about it to us. I guess they wanted to make sure tourists used their cross-walks and didn't get run-over by the non-existent trafic. We try to look at this day as a positive one -- we didn't waste our time spending 3 nights on Molokai. We had heard about the many beautiful beaches on Molokai, one the longest in Hawaii. But, we didn't see any but this small beach at the end. But, we wanted to visit Molokai, and we have. Don't waste your money on this tour.

Visited April 2012
24 Thank LarryandBettyM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
57 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great Cocktail Cruise”
Reviewed April 9, 2012

My wife and I had a great time doing the cocktail cruise from 5-7:00. Don't know what all the earlier negative reviews are about, but our trip couldn't have been better. There was plenty of munchies and the drinks were not diluted. And, we saw a number of whales! The captain and crew couldn't have been nicer. Great trip.

Visited March 2012
Thank Jerseyguy50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Molokai Alii Tour from Lahaina”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

Yesterday (March 26) my wife and I ventured out on an all day excursion to the island of Molokai, at a cost for two of $460.00. This package tour was arranged by Hawaii Ocean Projects and was a complete waste of our time and money. It promised a "continental breakfast" which was haphazardly set-up in an inaccessible corner on the ferry and consisted of quartered muffins, sliced fruit and a watered down "Tang" drink. This was no more than expected; however, the tour itself was. What a boring, boring trip. The tour bus driver talked non-stop about nothing of interest and gave us both a headache.If you find the opening of the store NAPA in this little town interesting, then Rudy is the tour guide you want on this trip. He must have also thought showing us all the schools, which total 4 important because we saw them all. The rest of the tour was just the same speal over and over again. The island does not have a lot to offer in either visual beauty and/or beaches. Our recommendation is not to take this tour but to spend your money elsewhere. Aswell, it is not worth the almost two hour boat ride to get there, especially when it is severely choppy. We had a few sick people on the boat and nbecause of the serious lack of seating below, people had to stand all the way home in very rough seas. Can't sit up on top as you would be soaken with the spray.. Stay on Maui, as it has far more interesting places to see and things to do, as well as its beautyl.

Visited March 2012
9 Thank Hawaii201223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bennington, Nebraska
Level Contributor
359 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Whale Mugging!”
Reviewed March 14, 2012

We went out on the 10:00 AM cruise to do some whale watching. Despite the boorishness of people pushing and shoving to get views, the cruise itself was great and the staff knowledgable. We were surrounded by whales for almost 2 hours. One whale and its calf continued to investigate our boat, which meant that the boat has to stop to avoid harning the whale. The two played with 10 yards of the boat several times. When the whales do that, and cause the boat to stop, they call it a whale mugging. The two biologists were just elated as that had not happened to them yet until this cruise. We were able to get many great photos and a lot of video.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank RichFromOmaha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilroy, California
Level Contributor
90 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Whale Watching was great”
Reviewed March 9, 2012

Went on the Boat Kaulana Fairly smooth trip I think the boat engines made a lot of noise & caused the whales to keep a distance from the boat but a good trip

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Fredric C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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