Category Archives: Snorkeling

Castaway caye

Lucas woke up around 4 am with a bloody nose but went right back to bed. Then he was up again at 6. No sleeping in on vacation even with small or no naps. We had a lazier morning because the ship was having trouble with the weather. We had breakfast again at Marceline Market. The Eggs Benedict is so good. Then we walked around and explored the upper decks a bit. The winds were very strong at Castaway Caye so we docked about an hour later than scheduled. Then the sea and wind conditions were too bad for our glass bottom boat excursion. That was a bummer, but we got refunded and we ended up having a good beach day. 

We walked off the boat to castaway and found a tram to take us to the beach. Since we had a lot of stuff this was ideal although the walk is not long, maybe 10-15 min if that. We got dropped off at Pelican Point and got lucky with a beach stroller. Then we made our way down to the water. We got an umbrella and 4 chairs in the first row. Lucas wanted to try snorkeling again. He isn’t a fan of the fins so after trying them again and him wanting them off I took him out to see if we could see anything. 

He used his snorkel a few times, but he was scared. It was very windy, and the waves were a little big so we went back to shore. Don stayed out to see if he could see anything. Visibility in the water was very low though due to the weather. Lucas played in the sand a long time. We had brought a shovel from home, and we had a popcorn bucket from the cruise theater. He loved it and he had so much fun. He also loved making “soup” with the washed up seaweed. He also really enjoyed taking the seaweed from the beach and cleaning it off in the water. It was fun to see him get more brave as he played near the water. Eventually he wanted to get in the water and play more and that made me happy.

Then it was lunch, and it was provided at Cookies BBQ. The food was ok, it was hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, salads, cookies, chips and ice cream. We took the stroller so after lunch hopefully he would sleep. After lunch we took him to a small splash pad, but it started to get stormy so we went back to our chairs on the beach and got all of our stuff. Then we got Lucas in the stroller, hoping a walk around would put him to sleep. He really wanted to buy something, so we looked around but didn’t find anything. On the walk I saw a woman who looked familiar, and I was sure I worked with her at NY Presbyterian. I had to ask, and sure enough we worked together! Her name was Melinda and she precepted me. That was wild to see someone on the cruise that I knew! Eventually he fell asleep in the stroller.

Don got 2 Pina Coladas and we sat on the beach in the shade for a good 45 min. The wind felt great, and it was getting cloudy like a storm. This was the first relaxing nap of the vacation, until some really loud people came and sat behind us and Lucas woke up. The whole beach was empty, but they sat behind us, yelling at each other. 

We decided to walk back to the ship and on the way we took pictures. We got back just in time for a downpour. Then we got ready and left for dinner around 5. We had some time to spare so we stopped at a show that was like a video game, but Lucas was afraid of the witch. We waited for the doors of the gift shop to open. It was kind of cute because there were a few other kids there waiting. You would hear their parents say, “you can pick one thing”. Lucas found a Captain America. He brought his wallet and wanted to pay with his coins. It was very cute. The cashier let him pay with my card.

We had our last dinner in 1923. It was an ok dinner, but it was a bummer it was not a show like the previous 2 nights. We walked around after dinner and saw Donald Duck. Don got a cool Spiderman watch. Then we decided we really wanted to try to see a show, it was Aladdin. We got popcorn. I felt bad for Lucas because he kept saying he was tired and wanted to go to bed. Then the show was just way too scary for him, so we left. When we got back to the room, we packed up our luggage. After Lucas was asleep we sat on the balcony and watched some more lightning.  

blue lagoon bahamas

Lucas woke up at 545 to pee and never went back to bed. Our lockbox stopped working and maintenance fixed it in like 15 minutes. Disney is on it! We had breakfast at Marceline Market. The Eggs Benedict were on point. I think breakfast is my favorite meal on the ship.

After breakfast we went to the Oceaneers Club to let Lucas look around. It was pretty cool. There was a Star Wars themed room and Chewbacca was there. Lucas was afraid and wanted nothing to do with Chewbacca.

We spent some time in a Hero themed room and I heard talk of Spiderman showing up, so we got in line. The line was pretty long and we had to be ready for our excursion to Blue Lagoon at 9:15 so I was little nervous.  With 5 minutes to spare to get there Lucas saw Spidey and loved it. He got to hug spiderman. Lucas was wearing Cars swim trunks so Spidey asked if he liked Cars and Lucas kept messing with his trunks and showing his legs. Spidey asked if he had fast legs. Then they posed shooting webs together. It was a really great experience, we were at the right place at the right time!

We made it to our meeting place for the Blue Lagoon on time, people were later than us. Then we got on boat to the Blue Lagoon. Once we got there, we really didn’t know what to do or which beach was best. We chose an umbrella closer to the restaurant. There were inflatable things kids could climb and jump on, but we decided to snorkel first. Lucas was really excited to use his fins. He was a little scared though. He does a great job with the snorkel, but the fins will take some time.  So we put on water shoes and tried to snorkel again. We saw some fish and a crab. Lucas wanted to stop snorkeling. He told me people were laughing at him. That made me feel sad that he felt that way. No one was laughing at him, and he was the only badass 3 year old out there snorkeling in the ocean!

We decided to try the inflatable area so we all got life jackets. It was not easy! I don’t know how people were getting on this thing because you had to pull yourself up without being in water that was shallow. Don had to hoist me up. It was fun at first but when we went to a different part and a girl helped pull Lucas up but neither of us could get up. Then he ended up falling in and a woman got him out. He didn’t want to get off of this thing but then a dark cloud was coming in and a huge lightning came down behind him, so I told him we had to get out and he jumped to me. It was a little scary.  

It got windy and rainy, so we got some food. The weather didn’t look great after, so we decided to take the 1 pm boat back. Lucas slept about 20 minutes in his stroller, but the boat was like a party boat, and he got woken up. He was tired and would tiredly clap his hands whenever other people did it was so cute. The rain got pretty bad on the boat. It was crazy to see the clouds and lightning. When we got off it let up, so we went to a gift shop. Lucas picked up a little gift for our neighbor Barb.

The walk back to the ship was crazy! The wind was so strong if I let go of Lucas’s stroller it would keep going on its own! We got cleaned up when we got back to our room and the captain announced for everyone to stay inside due to the winds and the storm. During this time Lucas played store. Don got him a little coin pouch at the gift shop. He lines up his toys and tells us which we can buy and how much. It’s really cute.

We went to Hyperspace Lounge and got drinks. It was pretty cool. Our drinks came with smoke bubbles and Lucas was a little afraid of that, but it was fun. Then we went to the toddler section in the Oceaneer Club. Lucas played with things there for a bit but then it closed. We saw Mickey, Donald Duck, and Goofy but all their lines were long. We tried to watch the new Guardian of the Galaxy movie to pass some time but the theater was full. So we went into a different theater that was playing a new Disney movie, I think it was called Element. We made it through the previews and a short Up movie but then it was time to go to dinner.

Our dinner was at Arrendelle, a Frozen themed restaurant. Lucas got a picture with Elsa. The food was ok here. I got a ribeye. Don had the sirloin steak which was much better. Lucas had a corn dog with mac and cheese. The dessert was really good. I had a mint chocolate chip sundae. Don had an apple dessert and Lucas had a smores dessert.

We went up to the deck and saw the Mickey Pirate show. Lucas was afraid of Captain Hook. There was a dance party after the show and Lucas had fun dancing. He wore is Woody pajamas tonight so it was funny. Many people were dressed up as pirates, but our son was a cowboy.

Once we got back to the room Lucas fell asleep around 9:30. Then we went to the balcony and watched lightning and the fireworks show.

Last Day–More Snorkeling!

Today was our last day and we are definitely not ready for this vacation to end! Hawaii has been awesome. We tried to sleep in today but that lasted until about 7:30. Don found a breakfast place called Kihei Cafe. This place is kind of different because you wait in line and order then you can find your seat. The line may seem long but it goes fast and it seemed everyone was able to find a seat when it was their time. So even if it seems like you’ll never get a table, just try it, their timing of everything seemed to make it work! It was also good. I had the huevos rancheros and Don had the pork loco moco. I would recommend the loco moco over the huevos rancheros, but everything was good.

We started the day by heading to Po’olenalena Beach.  I chose this beach because of the name and it had really good reviews. It was a beautiful, quiet, uncrowded beach with  very fine soft sand. We went to the North side first. The visibility was low due to the sand being brought up by the surf, but almost immediately by the rocks we saw a sea turtle. Then 2 more turtles and another—there were at least 4 turtles just hanging out and eating here. It was so cool! We saw some really small turtles here and honestly after awhile I lost count I think we decided there were 6 turtles here. It was hard to stay in one place due to the waves but we were able to hang out and watch them for awhile.

We swam South to the middle of the beach where there was supposed to be a middle rock but we couldn’t find it so we went furthest South to a the rocky edge of the beach. Around the corner of the beach in the rocks we saw 3 more turtles. They would get so close! The coral here looked really cool also; it was a lime green. The water here was pretty rough and we had to be careful around the rocks so we swam around the rocks to the next beach and rested there in the water a bit. While we were here we talked about how awesome the snorkeling had been here in Hawaii and how we had seen so many turtles. Every day we have seen turtles, even on the day we didn’t get in water! I did make a comment though that I was a bit disappointed not to have seen one shark. We decided to swim back to the beach where our stuff was.

On our way back I heard Don start yelling for me and I felt a little scared because I didn’t know what was happening. He said he saw something cool but I couldn’t see it. Could it be a shark?? Then he told me it was a giant ray. I was so disappointed that I missed it. We sat, treading water for about a minute looking around and the ray came back!

It would circle us, leave, and then come back. It was huge! It also seemed super curious about us. It kept coming back. We swam with this manta ray for a few minutes. Don said it was starting to freak him out because neither of us knew if it was dangerous or not. I didn’t think it was but it was time to get back anyway so we left the ray.

On our way back to shore there was another small turtle, so if you’re looking for turtles in Hawaii this beach seems to be the place to be!

Once we got back to the hotel we hung out at the pool for a little bit then we got cleaned up and had a beer. We then went out to look for some postcards. During our shopping we found a little wooden turtle and manta ray to add to our whale shark we got in Mexico. It seems like a cool tradition to get wooden carvings of all the really cool things we have swam with.

For lunch we had to try Outriggers Pizza. Outriggers Pizza is a food truck with a wood fired oven, so that was pretty unique. The pizza was good so check this place out! After eating I wanted to go to a bar that had the Cubs game on but we couldn’t really find one. I also for some reason was kind of grouchy. I didn’t feel great for some reason and I was a little tired. We did go to a tiki bar, called South Shore Tiki Lounge, and had some calamari with wings. I tried their mai tai and it was different than any mai tai I’ve ever had. I don’t know if I would recommend it. We talked to a couple here that had moved to Maui from New Jersey. They were interesting.

We went back to the hotel pretty early because we were tired. We hung out, watched Big Brother, and tried to finish our beers and snacks since we leave tomorrow.

Making Our Way To Kihei

Today we got up a little early so we could check out of Napili Sunset and make our way to Kihei. We had breakfast again at Slappy Cakes. I thought about ordering something different than yesterday but I couldn’t do it. I had the carnitas benedict again, but Don tried something new- the veggie omelet. I love Slappy Cakes!!

Carnitas Benedict

After breakfast it was time to check out some beaches again! The first beach we checked out was Airport Beach, also called Kahekili Beach Park. There was a strong current, so we went South so we could float North. It was a very pretty beach and the snorkeling was good. There were a lot of people snorkeling and even some scuba divers. The coral was beautiful. I spotted a turtle and we watched an eel for a long time. I’ve never seen one stay out so long.

After we were done snorkeling here I had a weird conversation with a woman about a bird. While in line for the restroom this woman started telling me how she just got an awesome video of a bird eating nuts from her hand. I was like that’s cool, but she just kept talking. She wanted to know how she could upload her video to YouTube so she could get “all the credit for it”. She told me about a guy who uploaded a video of a lemon rolling and it had over 40 million views. Then she told me she needs to upload it because she only has 4 GB’s of storage on her camera but she doesn’t have a phone. I told her she could use a computer to put it on the internet and her response was “maybe at the library?”. It was a weird conversation, but basically ended with me telling her to make a YouTube account and upload her video at the library. Maybe she will go viral?

Next we tried out Black Rock Beach. We were able to park in a parking garage here. We made our way to the Black Rock and it was pretty crowded with snorkelers and swimmers. The rock was pretty cool and people were jumping off of it into the water. The current around the rock was strong. We went around the rock and started heading towards what looked like a cave. The rock formations were so cool underwater but as I got closer to the cave it felt too dangerous so I quickly turned around. When I turned around there was immediately a giant sea turtle in front of me! I swam with it for awhile, navigating around the rocks. It was difficult to swim here because of the rocks but it was pretty awesome. Pretty good snorkeling day once again. We have seen turtles every day here in Maui!

Once we were done at Black Rock we made it back to the car to make our way to Maui Coast Hotel in Kihei. We stopped once along the way to take some pictures.

We checked into the Maui Coast Hotel and it is really nice. It has a resort feel. After getting cleaned up we decided to get some food. We tried a place we saw on YouTube called Da Kitchen. The food here was soooo good!!!! Best dinner so far!! Don got the luau special and I got the plate with katsu chicken and luau pork. Absolutely delicious. We even tried some of their chocolate pie. After dinner we walked around the shops here for a bit and then we tried the shaved ice place that was in the parking lot. The place was called Beach Street Maui. I didn’t really know what to expect from a shaved ice. I have had sno cones before but this was completely different. We shared the Firecracker. It was blue raspberry, pina colada, and strawberry with ice cream and haupia. Haupia is like a coconut syrup. This shaved ice was so good, so refreshing.

After this delicious dinner we went to Safeway to get things for our trip to Hana tomorrow. We hurried back to the hotel to watch the sunset at the beach across from our hotel. It was beautiful. And of course we ended the night watching Big Brother haha.

Honolua Bay, Kapulua Beach, & Nakalele Blowhole

This morning I had some coffee on the lanai and it was so nice.

We packed up some food and drinks in a cooler and then we attempted to try this breakfast place called The Gazebo at the resort South of us but the line was ridiculously long. I would recommend trying to get into this place because we heard it’s great but get there like at 5 am I guess because they can seat like 10 people. The view from this resort is really cool though so if you can’t get food check out the view.

After taking a lot of pictures near The Gazebo we decided to try a breakfast place we saw called Slappy Cakes. This place also gets crowded but if you can sit at the bar. This place was amazing–so, so good–I really don’t know how The Gazebo could beat it. Don had the Slappy Moco and I had the Carnitas Benedict. It was so delicious, thinking about it right now is killing me! We would highly recommend Slappy Cakes.

After breakfast we made our way to Honolua Bay. There is no parking for Honolua Bay; you just have to find a spot on the side of the road and hike down. The hike is easy and maybe 5 minutes. The bay is all big, round rocks, so it was a little challenging getting down into the water because it was slippery. The water was also kind of cold at first but it warmed up. We started on the left side of the bay and we went pretty far out, pretty much to where the bay opened up. On the way out the dull rocks changed to beautiful coral.

We saw a big green eel and a large school of fish, that was pretty cool. After the school of fish I spotted our second turtle in Maui! So cool, how did we get lucky enough to see a turtle again?!

I got a crazy cramp in my foot and had to stretch it out in the water for a good 10 minutes. Once I was good we decided to swim over to the right side of the bay. On our way we saw another turtle, although it could have been the same one.

The right side of the bay was awesome, lots of colorful fish and coral. We saw a huge sea turtle and it was eating. It didn’t care about us or anyone around it at all. We watched that turtle for a long time. We saw a lot of turtles here, maybe 6 different ones. It was amazing. We even saw an octopus! It was scurrying along the sea floor and once it reached a rock it changed colors instantly to camouflage itself. It was amazing and so quick! We also saw a small, almost iridescent sea snake. The snorkeling at Honolua Bay was amazing and by far the best snorkeling we have done in Hawaii so far.


After Honolua Bay we made our way to Kapalua Beach. Kapalua Beach is the beach just North of Napili Bay (our beach). There is a parking lot for this beach near the golf course. The beach had a lot of pretty coral and fish. There were even a few schools of fish, but no turtles. It was sandy and rocky and pretty good for snorkeling. We saw another small eel. So far snorkeling in Hawaii is in this order: Honolua, Napili, Kapalua, then Hanauma.

We didn’t spend as long here and  it was getting late in the afternoon so we decided to get back to our room. We got cleaned up and decided to try to see the Nakalele Blowhole. I was really nervous about driving here because the road looked a little crazy on the map. The drive was a bit crazy because it was near a cliff and curvy. There were some awesome views and when we got to the blowhole it was a pretty crazy hike down to it. I wasn’t really expecting a hike and I was getting worried it was going to get dark soon, but we decided to do it. There were a lot of other people making their way down also. The views everywhere were spectacular and the blowhole was pretty cool. Don drove on the way back so I could take in the views. We stopped at a view point and realized we were looking down on where we snorkeled earlier at Honolua Bay. Once we got back to town we ate at China Boat, most places were closing. It was pretty good Chinese.