Recommendations for Molokini snorkel?

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Not really Aulani but hey, news is kinda slow right now :( Saw a recommendation already for Sail Trilogy, and they do look awesome. We’re thinking of staying down in Wailea though, and I’d been looking at going out of there instead (just to minimize the ride time, just in case I can convince my non-boat-loving DH) to go with us, and to give him less drive time to drive us there and back if he doesn’t. Anybody have any recommendations or any “bewares??” Mahalo!!
 

rachaelg

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
So, I've spent a good amount of time on Maui and Wailea is a great place to stay. Do you have a resort in mind? I have only done Molokini once and I did it through Trilogy and it was AMAZING. How long are you thinking of staying on Maui? You might want to think about doing a split stay on two different parts of the island. One of the great things about Maui is how different each part of the island can be!
 


cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
So, I've spent a good amount of time on Maui and Wailea is a great place to stay. Do you have a resort in mind? I have only done Molokini once and I did it through Trilogy and it was AMAZING. How long are you thinking of staying on Maui? You might want to think about doing a split stay on two different parts of the island. One of the great things about Maui is how different each part of the island can be!
Are you the one who posted the Trilogy recipes? If so, you’re the one I heard about then from!!

I had intended to split between Maui and Kauai, but now that I realized there are a few lodging options in Hana (not just Travassa), I’m kinda thinking about just splitting Maui. I’m thinking about that Residence Inn in Wailea because I have tons of Marriott points. It’s not swanky but we spend most of our time out doing, not lounging at a resort.

On our previous trip we only had two days on Maui, and we did Hana one day and Haleakala and the upcountry the other. Waianapanapa was my hands-down favorite spot of any island, and I wanted to go back there for sure. Also the seven pools were closed due to a mudslide, so I’d like to do those. I’m curious whether it’s worth a trip down to Captain Cooks grave? And we did nothing at all on the west side, so we might at least do an afternoon and evening in Lahaina. My friend did MauiZips and enjoyed that. We’re definitely going to do some horseback riding somewhere too—riding a horse ON a beach is still on my bucket list!! Any other recommendations?? Sooooo looking forward to going back! Four big milestones to celebrate in one trip!
 
  • VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    When are you thinking of going? Because for the time being, all of those sorts of excursions on Maui are totally shut down.
     

    abdgeek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2012
    Not really Aulani but hey, news is kinda slow right now :( Saw a recommendation already for Sail Trilogy, and they do look awesome. We’re thinking of staying down in Wailea though, and I’d been looking at going out of there instead (just to minimize the ride time, just in case I can convince my non-boat-loving DH) to go with us, and to give him less drive time to drive us there and back if he doesn’t. Anybody have any recommendations or any “bewares??” Mahalo!!
    I did Sail Trilogy for two snorkeling tours December 2019 and loved them. They are a little more expensive, but you get more with them (good food and drinks). However, they don’t include transportation with their tours.

    The first time I went to Maui, I stayed in Kihei which is right next door to Wailea. I was often in Wailea at the resorts dining and my resort was on the main drag across from the beach. While the area was ok, there wasn’t much to do on that side of the island. On that trip I did organized tours of the Road to Hana and Mt. Haleakala Sunrise tour. On my own, I drove to Lahaina (about 1 hour away), Iao Valley, and Maui Plantation.

    This past December, I stayed in the Kaanapali Beach area and loved it a lot better than Kihei. That trip I did two Sail Trilogy tours, Discover Molokini and Discover Kaanapali. I also did whale watching with Pacific Whale. If you plan to do Discover Molokini with Sail Trilogy, that leaves from the Ma’alaea Harbor which is closest to Wailea (about 30 minutes). It took me about an hour drive from Kaanapali driving in the dark for the 7am departure I took. I took the early tour for two reasons. The first was I was concerned about parking at the harbor and the second was that reviews said the seas get rougher in the afternoon. You will have to pay to park at the harbor and the machine only takes exact change. I don’t remember if they take cc. Make sure you have lots of ones and put more time on then you need—this should be done immediately after finding a parking space. That gives you time to arrive early and then visit the stores after. You put your parking ticket on your car dashboard before you lock the car. I did snuba at the crater and Sail Trilogy gave the most complete briefing I’ve ever had in the couple of times I’ve done snuba on other vacations. I snorkeled at the second site. You can also pay extra to snuba there. A photographer is onboard and will take pictures of you in the water for purchase afterwards. Make sure you have your cc if you want these. The boat is docked across from the General Store on the main level of shops and there are restrooms on the second floor (use the stairs) in the outdoor mall area.

    The Kaanapali snorkel trip left from the beach at Kaanapali Hotel which was 15 minutes down the road from my resort. Sail Trilogy validated parking at the end of the trip and you parked in the hotel’s garage. I believe the other Sail Trilogy tours leave from Lahaina. If your Lahaina tour is under three hours, you can park in the free lot. Otherwise, you will have to pay to park. Be sure to read the website information carefully so you know which harbor the boat leaves from. Although Sail Trilogy lists an itinerary for Kaanapali, it can be changed by the captain if there is bad weather. This happened on my tour, so we snorkeled Turtle Town and Wailea instead of where we were supposed to go. Since I had already snorkeled Turtle Town on the Molokini trip, I was kind of bummed. However, I still had fun.

    I really liked that Sail Trilogy was very customer service oriented. They do require you to put your bags below deck, but you could go in your bag as often as you needed during the trip. They also pretty much waited on every guest and always asked if you needed anything. Food and drinks were brought to you so you didn’t have to get up. They also offered seconds once everyone was served. If you have dietary restrictions, there is a link on their website to the food recipes. They did roll call after every snorkeling session and after everyone boarded. I’ve been on a lot of snorkeling tours and no other tour has ever done that. I enjoyed their tours so much that I plan to book with them again when I go next year.
     
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    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    @abdgeek great info! LOVE all the detail!

    I was looking at Kai Kanani—they beach-load about 8 miles from my potential hotel. Ever heard anything about them?

    What did you think about the beaches in Kihei/Wailea area? I’m just thinking Lahaina sounds too crowded but I sound like to see the cliff jumping one evening.
     
  • abdgeek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2012
    @abdgeek great info! LOVE all the detail!

    I was looking at Kai Kanani—they beach-load about 8 miles from my potential hotel. Ever heard anything about them?

    What did you think about the beaches in Kihei/Wailea area? I’m just thinking Lahaina sounds too crowded but I sound like to see the cliff jumping one evening.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t heard of them but they do have good TripAdvisor revIews. They seem like a better option for people staying on the Wailea side and they do offer transportation if you book far enough in advance. Their prices are definitely higher than Sail Trilogy and their tours leave later. Given the length of time listed for the tour, they may only snorkel at Molokini. With Sail Trilogy, we snorkeled about an hour each at two locations: Molokini and Turtle Town. If you haven’t already, call them to see how many places you snorkel and for how long.

    Sail Trilogy used beach loading at Kaanapali Hotel. Depending on how high the waves are, you will get wet up to mid thigh so make sure what you’re wearing can get wet. They will take your shoes before you board. If you want to keep them, put them in your bag before they get all sandy. The crew told us when to board and get off to avoid the waves coming into shore. You will board and de-board one person at a time. Sail Trilogy had two ladders.

    Wailea Beach is supposed to be really good. Kamaole Beach Park I, II, and III are on the main street in Kihei. While I like to see the beach, I’m not really a beach person— I like to lay at the pool—so I’m not the best person to ask. From what I saw, some of the beaches are small and whether there is much of a beach depends on the time of day. Remember that all beaches in Hawaii are public, even if they are in front of a resort. There will be a public access area. You can find good tips and information on the beaches you’re interested in visiting by reading the TripAdvisor reviews. Happy planning!
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    Bumping this one up again. Maybe folks who had to cancel for this year—sorry for y’all :( —might be interested for their rescheduled trips too.
     

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