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View Full Version : Horseback Riding in Maui? Also Snorkeling too?


mshe
March 18th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Hi all,

Does anyone have a horseback riding company that you can suggest in Maui? I looked at PonyExpress... anything else out there?

As for snorkeling... I'm thinking of Maui Dive Shop... but their tours leave pretty early and I'm afraid of missing a tender and missing my snorkel trip.

I'll be taking the NCL Wind in late May.

Any suggestions or comments?

Thanks!

FLcruisergirl
March 24th, 2005, 10:16 AM
I have used Adventures on Horseback in Maui on 2 occasions; they are pricier than some other companies, but they only have small groups of 6 people. Their trip is several hours long, and stops at a beautiful waterfall for swimming and a picnic lunch. Very romantic, and worth every penny.

Dorothy
March 25th, 2005, 09:51 AM
In regards to snorkeling. Save yourself the money and go to Kaanapali Beach. I understand the best snorkeling is at Black Rock in back of the Sheraton Hotel. If you park in Whaler's Village (a shopping center) you can walk on the beach to Black Rock in 5-10 minutes. If you don't have your own snorkel gear, you can rent for very cheap at Boss Frogs. I believe they have a website. I love to snorkel, but when I when to Maui a couple weeks ago, I couldn't because I was recovering from surgery. My husband and I were staying at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel next door to the Sheraton and we got up early to walk over to Black Rock. I understand the best time to go is before 11:00am. We saw a snorkeler and he came out to talk with us. He said he saw lots of fish and turtles. We could see the turtles just standing on the beach. They frequently came up for air.

I also heard lots of comments from people that said they should have saved their money from a snorkeling excursion to Molokini and should have just gone to Black Rock, because the snorkeling was better.

I hope this helps.

beachchick
March 26th, 2005, 03:21 AM
I've snorkeled both Ka'anapali (Black Rock at the Sheraton) and gone to Molokini. I don't agree that it's a waste of money to do the MDS trip to Molokini. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time, much more so than the time we went on one of the big "party" boats. MDS boats are small with an excellent crew. No you don't get big BBQ or unlimited mai tais. You get non-alcohol beverages and snacks. The focus is on snorkel time, not party time. Also, MDS goes kind of between the times that most of the large boats go. We were the only tour boat at Molokini; only a few private boats were in the area.

I do think Black Rock is very good and easy access, as is Kapalua (not as good snorkeling though) and Honolua marine preserve is fantastic if the weather/seas are good.

If you own your snorkel gear, bring it! What a difference. However, several places, including MDS, rent packages. Snorkel Bob's has a deal where you can do a week long rental and pick it up on any island, but return it to any other island location. (Pick up in Kona, drop off in Maui a week later, etc.) The gear at both companies is good. Be very careful of rental gear provided on any tour. Even the best places don't always get things thoroughly clean between trips. Many people have had problems with this (including DH, which is one reason we got our own).

Also, YES you really need to go earlier in the day. Afternoon winds make Molokini trips iffy and conditions at other locations not great. That party boat trip we took was the early afternoon one--even at 1 pm the winds had made it too difficult to go to Molokini. The alternate spots were fine, but they were ones you can get to on your own!

How early is the MDS trip? Can you get early tender tickets? I don't know how that works because I've been lucky enough to always be in ports where the ship has docked. You are renting a car I assume? There's really no other good way to get to the harbors (don't know which one you are looking at) unless the tour company has a shuttle service.

You will really enjoy it, no matter what you decide to do.

beachchick

spleen93
March 27th, 2005, 12:20 AM
I have to agree with this - Molokini is worthwhile for most people, I think. Snorkeling is usually hit or miss depending on conditions and the sea life that day but that's true of everywhere. Black Rock has the advantage of easy access which is why more people are exposed to it and enjoy it (not to say that the snorkeling at Black Rock is bad -- it's usually pretty good).

Like beachchick said though, doing any sort of snorkeling/sailing/whalewatching trip in the morning will be usually better (water not as choppy, better visibility in the water, less wind).

Spleen

mshe
March 27th, 2005, 01:51 AM
I also heard lots of comments from people that said they should have saved their money from a snorkeling excursion to Molokini and should have just gone to Black Rock, because the snorkeling was better.


Thanks for the info - I just may do this. A friend of my mother told me about this beach too - they said that the snorkeling is really good there too. Perhaps it is too much trouble (and money) to go on a paid snorkel tour when I could just do it for free :)

mshe
March 27th, 2005, 01:56 AM
How early is the MDS trip? Can you get early tender tickets? I don't know how that works because I've been lucky enough to always be in ports where the ship has docked. You are renting a car I assume? There's really no other good way to get to the harbors (don't know which one you are looking at) unless the tour company has a shuttle service.


MDS has a 7:00am and 10:30am tour, but the NCL Wind is scheduled to arrive at 8:00am on one day and 7:00am the second day. I assume those are the times when the tenders are starting to run. Also, according to MDS, the boat ramp is 30 - 45 minutes away so it might be sort of close for me if I miss my early tender?

beachchick
March 27th, 2005, 04:26 AM
We took the 10:30 tour. It was perfect; still early enough that the winds hadn't picked up and later than many of the big party boats' early morning trips. I think if you book that you will have no problem, as long as you get an early tender and get your car right away.

Sorry, I'm still confused though about the arrival. Does the ship leave Lahaina harbor for the night (which I assume would be so that the casino could be open)? If so, I would take the 10:30 trip on the day you arrive at 7:00. If you get on one of the early tenders, you should have no problem at all getting down to Kihei. If you are going to rent a car and the 7:00 am day is the second day, you could rent the day before and park the car overnight (you have to pay I think). That way you could be on the road as soon as you get off the tender. It is about 45 minutes from Lahaina (this assumes you will have a little traffic). I think it's entirely doable, but only you can decide if it's beyond your comfort level. You certainly can rent a car and go on your own to many good locations on the island. I just thought it was a fun trip. The water was good (not great) that day; lots of fish, coral, sea creatures. I would not say it's the best snorkeling in the world, but it is very good.

OTOH, if you don't have plans for Kona, you may be able to do a snorkel trip to Kealakekua bay. That's on our "must do" list for a trip down the road. It's supposed to be just about the best snorkeling in Hawaii. Kealakekua is not a place you can easily get to on your own. A tour is really the way to go.

beachchick

shay1
March 27th, 2005, 07:22 AM
The NCL Wind does not have a casino.

As I understand we will be staying in port overnight and that is the time the tenders will begin to operate on the 2nd day (7am). The ship was originialy scheduled to do 2 stops at Maui one at Kahului then at Lahaina. They have since changed the itinery to both days in Lahaina.

We are planning on renting a car and hoping we can park at the pier overnight with it.

Windmill
March 27th, 2005, 05:11 PM
I did the horseback ride with Pony Express into Haleakala crater. It was worthwhile because you see the crater as you would not otherwise see it, unless you hiked down and back. There were 7 on the ride. It was all walking and other than me, all were beginners. I have my own horses, so the riding was too tame for me, but I loved seeing the crater, and knew it was a slow ride.

We park at the state park beach just north of the Sheraton, Black Rock, for free, and snorkle there. Its called Kahekiki Beach Park, access off highway 30 between 25 and 26 mile markers on Kai Ala drive.

beachchick
March 28th, 2005, 12:52 AM
The NCL Wind does not have a casino.

As I understand we will be staying in port overnight and that is the time the tenders will begin to operate on the 2nd day (7am). The ship was originialy scheduled to do 2 stops at Maui one at Kahului then at Lahaina. They have since changed the itinery to both days in Lahaina.

We are planning on renting a car and hoping we can park at the pier overnight with it.

Thank you for clearing that up for me. :) Interesting though because it seems to me, at least from what I've heard, that most ships that overnight run tenders all night (though not as often as during the day). Really, how could anyone do the Haleakala sunrise or sunrise bike tours if they aren't running tenders that early? I think people have said that they've left ships for those tours at 3:00 am:eek:.

My recommendation definitely stands. Rent a car on day 1, park it at the pier overnight, take the earliest tender possible on day 2 (if you end up getting into Kihei early, fine; you can always go to one of the beaches or wander around one of the resorts), and take the 10:30 trip. You should have no problem with the timing.

beachchick

Bsan1221
April 29th, 2005, 03:23 PM
We went in Kauai horseback riding through the Cruise Ship COmpany. I cannot remember what the name of the company was, but what I can tell you it was a great experience, i heard Kauai was better than other Islands.