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“Way over priced for what there is to see.”
Review of Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center
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Maui Value Pass
Ranked #1 of 47 things to do in Wailuku
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Discover, experience, and explore Hawaii's underwater world at Maui Ocean Center. Named Top 25 Best Aquariums in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, the Aquarium features over 60 exhibits with sharks, turtles, stingrays and thousands of vibrant tropical fish. The Aquarium is home to the world's largest collection of live Pacific corals, faithfully replicating thriving marine ecosystems in every exhibit. Journey from the shallow reef to the open ocean and encounter marine life found nowhere else in the world. A mix of indoor-outdoor exhibits, behind-the-scenes tours, and interactive presentations allow guests to conveniently discover Hawaii's marine life in a single day that would otherwise take a lifetime of exploration to see. Explore the diversity of Hawaii's marine world without ever getting wet in breathtaking exhibits like the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit featuring a 54ft walkthrough tunnel. Amply named The Aquarium of Hawaii, Maui Ocean Center is dedicated to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and the relationship that exists between the Hawaiian people and the sea. Enhance your experience with Maui's only shark diving activity, dining at Seascape Restaurant, shopping at Maui Ocean Treasures, or book a special event at Maui's most unique venue. Enjoy a distinctively Maui experience at Hawaii's premier Aquarium. Open daily 9am-5pm (including all holidays) with final admission at 4:30pm.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
2 reviews
“Way over priced for what there is to see.”
Reviewed March 10, 2010

Our family drove over 1 hour to get there and paid an outrageous amount to spend less time than it took to get there. If you have been to anyother aquarium you will be very disappointed in this one. The biggest tourist ripoff on Maui.

Thank wotc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Evergreen, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“OK Activity for Kids, but Overpriced and Overrated”
Reviewed January 26, 2010

This is not the worst thing I have ever experienced, but I have seen better.

I would recommend this activity with some reservations. It is fun for small children, but is REALLY OVERRATED as an aquarium and the price is more than it is worth. If you go, just realize that you will PAY A WHOLE LOT and GET VERY LITTLE. There are much better aquariums in the world; some first rate ones are Sea World, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, or the world's oldest real aquarium - The Brighton Sea Life Center in Brighton, England. Even Dallas, Texas has a more interesting aquarium than this. ALL OF THESE FINE AQUARIUMS COST NO MORE THAN THE MAUI OCEAN CENTER - SOME OF THEM ARE LESS. My best advice is spend you time and money in Maui on more fun things, and save your aquarium tour for your vacation in San Diego or Chicago. I have heard that Oahu has a good aquarium, but I have not been there.

Here are the reasons I would not go here again:

1. It Costs Too Much! This is one of those things where the local economy is boosted by an activity that takes more than it gives.

2. It is Pretty Lame. I was surprised that an aquarium in the middle of the ocean did not have more to give. There was actually a whole section of the aquarium that was dedicated to plastic models of fish and whales - not the real thing at all! I could have done better looking in an old encyclopedia under "sea life".

3. The "experts" here are not very knowledgeable. This is a pretty serious charge for an institution that boasts of all kinds of amazing research, but the tour leaders and employees read from a canned script and could not answer any questions that were not rote memorized.

4. All the information at the Maui Ocean Center pertained to ocean life only, but Maui has many freshwater streams and ponds, which they knew NOTHING about. We asked the simple question, "Does Maui have any freshwater animal life?", and could not believe that NO ONE KNEW THE ANSWER!!! Our tour guide gets an "A" for effort, though. He really tried to find the answer, but, ALAS! There was no one in the aquarium who knew if the fresh-waters of Maui had so much as algae living in it. That question had to be answered by some local fisherman we met (Maui does have freshwater life, but the fish are too small to eat).

Having said all that, let me state the few positive things about the Maui Ocean Center:

1. It is fun for small children

2. It can be a decent back up activity for one of the many rough weather days in Maui

3. There is a huge glass tank with lots of different sea animals in it

4. When you are tired and your children are not tired, this activity is a low key and relaxing passtime for the whole family.

5. It might be a fun thing to do, if you have done everything else on the island, have plenty of time to waste, and have plenty of money to spend.

3 Thank Rubicon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place for Family With Kids”
Reviewed December 29, 2009

If you have kids with you then this is must have attraction. The ocean center is small but beautiful. You can hold and touch starfish,Cucumber fish etc. You can see how they feed Turtles, Stingray, Shark etc. Very informative and interactive for children as well as adults. It takes 2-3 hours to visit ocean center.

For lunch you can consider Beach Bums Bar & Grill. This is a nice restaurant with modest price.

Thank RanvijayS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2009

For us non-snorklers, this was quite the adventure. We had such a good time and learned so much about the waters of Maui. We were able to identify all the things we had seen off of our lanai and learn about their habits. Turtles and sting rays were the most fascinating. We felt the price of admission ($25 adult, $22 senior) was well worth it. Grounds are clean and well-maintained. The crowds were non-existent except in "tunnel" viewing area. Also had a nice lunch at Seascapes and enjoyed shopping in the nearby stores. Such a fun day and we would definately do it again.

1 Thank tuffer39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“nice little aquarium”
Reviewed October 27, 2009

Especailly good if you have kids or are a kid at heart like me. My husband and I love water creatures so we had a great time exploring this aquarium. Our favorite exhibits - the open water tank, jellyfish, and hammerhead sharks. Great place to spend a morning or afternoon.

2 Thank hardinmj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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