sorry for the delay -Actually we have been back from Hawaii for more than one month and I’ve got no excuse for the delay - I am simply too lazy. Hope it’s better than none.
First of all, I’d like to thank for everyone who ever answered all my questions with so much care and patience. All your suggestions were doing so much help to me!
It’s a 11days vacation- 4 days on Maui, 4 days on Lanai and 3 on Ohau. And yes, we enjoyed the whole trip very much. I know a lot of experts here would against island hopping in such short period. But since it’s our first trip here, we’d like to experience HI as much as we can. Well, it turned out that the whole schedule was not so tight as we imagined and actually we felt very much relaxed for most of the time.
We landed HNL on Jan 29 around 9 am and then took the inter island flight to Maui around 1pm. In fact, it only took us less than 1 hour from landing to arriving at the inter-island terminal. All customs procedures went out smoothly and it’s a very easy and quick transportation between the international terminal and the inter island terminal. I would say that allowing three hours for transit would be enough but I did not regret that I planed for four - as someone ever commented that it’s much better to wait for another 1 more hour than to worry about missing the connecting flight. My suggestion here is that if you arrive much earlier that the connecting flight time, dont go to the inter island terminal too early. Just hanging around at the international terminal for a meal or a drink or even some shopping since there is not much to do at the inter-island terminal, only a small shop offering coffee, cracks and muffins, the restaurant would not open around noon time and the selection is very much limited.
We took Island air for inter island flight, very punctual with quick boarding and landing, and not much bumps during the flight.
On Maui, we booked Maui Shuttle for airport pick up. It cost $45 for 3 of us, maybe a bit expensive than renting a car, but save the time for doc signing, car picking, etc - you bet we wished to arrive at our hotel room as soon as possible after a long flight plus 3 hours waiting at the airport. The counter of Maui shuttle was just out of the luggage collecting area and actually there was staff there to greet us. The shuttle was already there waiting fo r us and although it supposed to be a shared van, it was actually only three of us. We also used Maui shuttle for the transportation from makena hotel to Lahaina harbor, cost something around $65, again only us, directly from hotel to the harbor. Both drivers being very friendly and helpful. We stayed at the Makena beach and golf resort as recommended by experts here(thanks for the recommendation!). Overall it’s not bad - the view was very nice, room was clean and staff friendly, although it could not be considered asa luxury hotel. The biggest advantage of this hotel is the location. You could got on board the Kai Kania boat for molokini cruise just out of the hotel beach. So you dont need to get up early and drive to other harbor miles away. And since it is quite near to the molokini crater, the boat set off around 9 am rather than 8 as others did, which was much appreciated by people who suffered jet lag like us :). The cruise was wonderful, the highlight is that we saw two turtles at the turtle town, since the major reason that we choose maui and the molokini cruise is that my girl wish to see turtles in the sea. And of course, we also saw many whales- actually they were putting up a show on the sea. The Kai Kania staff were very friendly and helpful. The make every effort to make everyone to enjoy the cruise. And it was much appreciated that they kept on offering food, drinks(including beer)and snacks although we didn’t feel like eating on the boat. And based on my observation, they were very cautious about protecting the environment.
Since the hotel has the enterprise car renting on site(which I take as another advantage of this hotel), we rented a compact and drove along the west side of Maui the other day. As many experts here mentioned, the driving on Maui is quite easy, especially with the GPS. We went to several beaches on the west side all the way from north to south, although we did not find any turtles at any of the beach, generally we enjoyed the view and beaches quite much.
We took the ferry for island hopping from Maui to Lanai. One thing I’d like to mentioned here is that we arrived at the checking counter about an hour before the boarding time and the counter seemed already opened. We just put our luggage in front of the counter and the lady there were quite happy to look after them for us. We also found other passengers did the same. So if you wish to hang around the harbor, I think you could just arrive a hour earlier before the boarding time and no need to drag your suite case all the way. It was amazing to see the giant byan tree, just as the driver told me, you dont need to find it, it is just there, making shade for the whole block.
Again, we saw quite some whales during the ferry, actually a mum and a baby were so close to the boat, that the engine had to be stopped to protect them.
Then Lanai, which was our most favorite part of the trip. Feel lucky that we finally decided to spend some time at Lanai when did the trip planing. It’s such a beautiful small island. Besides snorkeling, we also did horse riding and 4X4 jeep safari. My girl enjoyed the horse riding so much that she asked to do it again the next day even though it’s almost the first time that she rode a horse. It’s so amazing that you can ride the horse all the way to the top to overlook the whole island. We rented a wrangler from Dollar and drove to several “secret” beaches on the island, including shipwreck beach, though we are not lucky enough to find turtle there, we all enjoyed the view on the way and my husband enjoy the driving very much. We stayed at FS Manely bay, a wonderful hotel with first class service as most of the other FS hotels do. Seems to me all the FS staff are well trained and they know exactly how to make everyone to feel happy. We also visited the lodge twice and took afternoon tea there, again beautiful hotel with warm staff. By the way, we booked hotel with a FS preferred parter as suggested on the forum, and we got the same rate that we could get on the website plus the additional benefit like complimentary breakfast and room upgrade. thanks for the tip!
Our last destination is Ohau, which is more like a cosmopolitan than the other two. There was quite a lot traffic during peak hours, esp on the way from airport to waikiki. We did the north shore tour with “discover hawaii” and visited pearl harbour the other day. We did find a turtle on the beach and several in the water at the Laniakea beach, which made our north shore tour quite worthwhile. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiin Village, which is as big as a small city. Well, the room was small and service was quite soso (our room was not cleaned at 4pm when we came back one day), but nothing very significant to complaine. And with so many shops and restaurant there, we enjoyed the convenience. And my girl enjoyed the pools with slides and the penguins quite a bit, so overall, it’s still a right choice for us. And the concierge service is quite good relative to other parts.
well, I know I am not good at writing, but still wish to submit my “homework”, even I could only get a “D”.
Again, thanks all for all your great help, which makes my vacation an almost perfect one.