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Aloha is Love - Review of POA in Hawaii with Pics, Menus & More


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After the pools, we turned around to head back to the ship. We had decided we didn't want to be on the R2H after dark. There were still a few more sights to see on the way back. I love cows, and I hope these cows enjoy their view.

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Paia, a surfer town, was really cute and looked like it would be fun to hang out in. Also a good last stop when you're heading toward Hana.

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We pulled up to the pier right before sunset. Security turned us away and said there was no longer any parking at the pier. The Mall of Maui was a few minutes away and we parked there. We chose a spot at the end by Whole Foods near the street. We made the mistake of walking back the way we had driven and were promptly yelled at by three different port authority employees. The correct way to take back is by crossing at the light and following the orange construction barrels and fences to the official walkway that is guarded. We eventually were back on board. We ate dinner at the buffet and were exhausted so we went straight to bed. Here's the menu for the main dining room on the second night.

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Edited by sjmbruce
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I quickly read some of the back and forth about the luaus, but you can book Smith's online and get a discount. They also have a shuttle bus that they also charge a fee for. We did Smith's a few weeks back (we had a rental car) and it was really nice, good food, drinks, and entertainment.

Thank you for the suggestion. I had looked into Smith's. Problem is they only run their laua's on M,W,F from Nov.-Jan., and POA is there on a Thursday, and leave at 2 pm Friday.

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I was thinking of renting a car the second day in Maui. You said you had to take a shuttle to the rental place. This may seem like a stupid question but how do you rent a car in Maui?

 

You pre-book your car before hand. From the pier you have to take a shuttle to the rental agency and then when returning you have to take a shuttle back to the ship? I was thinking of getting a car later in the day 12:30 or 1. Still in the very early planning stage.

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I was thinking of renting a car the second day in Maui. You said you had to take a shuttle to the rental place. This may seem like a stupid question but how do you rent a car in Maui?

 

You pre-book your car before hand. From the pier you have to take a shuttle to the rental agency and then when returning you have to take a shuttle back to the ship? I was thinking of getting a car later in the day 12:30 or 1. Still in the very early planning stage.

 

I pre-booked with Discount Hawaii Car Rental . com. They allow cancellations and you don't pay until you're at the rental agency.

You get off the ship and catch the shuttle for your rental agency to go rent your car. You return your car to the rental agency and they'll have a shuttle to take you back to the ship.

Where are you planning on going the second day? It took us an hour to get off the ship, take the shuttle and fill out paperwork before we were actually driving in our rental. You have to be back on the ship by 5:30 the second day. The rental agency recommended being back there by 4:00 to ensure timely arrival at the ship.

Also, I'd call the actual Maui location you rent from and make sure they'll be able to send a shuttle to the POA on the second day you are there at the later time. They just line up in the morning but to be sure of your time I'd call first. Have fun planning! Ask any question you can think of and I'll try to answer it. The Hawaii board on here is also really helpful.

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The next day brought our first of many problems with our stateroom's toilet. It wouldn't flush, would fill up and refuse to flush or would be completely empty of water and wouldn't flush. They would always send maintenance to the room but on a few occasions we had to leave the room in order to use the bathroom. Had we been staying at a regular hotel, I would have switched rooms at this point. Plumbing issues aside, we set out early in the morning to drive to the northern portion of Halekala National Park.

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We had played around with the idea of getting to Haleakala in the dark to see the sun rise. Sleep eventually made the decision and I am glad we waited as we really enjoyed the view on the way up.

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We were above the clouds and it was an exhilarating feeling. At one point we were next to the clouds and drove through one.

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We are on the May 21 sailing. Thank you so much for your thorough review and pictures. All you have done helps with planning and knowing what to expect. We typically cruise on Princess but wanted to do the islands here.

Linda

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We had played around with the idea of getting to Haleakala in the dark to see the sun rise. Sleep eventually made the decision and I am glad we waited as we really enjoyed the view on the way up.

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We were above the clouds and it was an exhilarating feeling. At one point we were next to the clouds and drove through one.

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Is this a fairly easy drive? We are doing a R2H tour on our first Maui day and we were talking about renting a car on day 2 but I'm nervous about the roads. Your pictures are really beautiful!

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We had played around with the idea of getting to Haleakala in the dark to see the sun rise. Sleep eventually made the decision and I am glad we waited as we really enjoyed the view on the way up.

We were above the clouds and it was an exhilarating feeling. At one point we were next to the clouds and drove through one.

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What was the temperature like up there? Lite jacket temperatures? Shorts or slacks?

Looked like a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing the images....

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We are on the May 21 sailing. Thank you so much for your thorough review and pictures. All you have done helps with planning and knowing what to expect. We typically cruise on Princess but wanted to do the islands here.

Linda

 

Thanks, I'm glad it has been helpful! My husband and I have only been on two other cruises, but both of them were with Princess. The POA just seemed like the best way to do all of the islands and have as much time as possible on them. Have a great cruise!

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Is this a fairly easy drive? We are doing a R2H tour on our first Maui day and we were talking about renting a car on day 2 but I'm nervous about the roads. Your pictures are really beautiful!

 

Thanks! It was a drive I didn't want to do myself - I made my husband drive both up and down :D The road is paved and there are always two lanes. There are a few twists and the elevation is what makes me nervous. Overall though it wasn't bad and if I had to I could have driven it myself. Definitely worth the views.

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What was the temperature like up there? Lite jacket temperatures? Shorts or slacks?

Looked like a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing the images....

 

It was a little chilly and windy. We both wore long pants and rain jackets/windbreakers with the hoods up. It was such a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine. And definitely warmer once we were closer to the ground.

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The pictures are really great. We are sailing May 7th and this is what makes it all worth it. Some awe inspiring pics being above the clouds! Your review has been fantastic too! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Bonnie

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Thanks! It was a drive I didn't want to do myself - I made my husband drive both up and down :D The road is paved and there are always two lanes. There are a few twists and the elevation is what makes me nervous. Overall though it wasn't bad and if I had to I could have driven it myself. Definitely worth the views.

 

Thanks for the response!

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The pictures are really great. We are sailing May 7th and this is what makes it all worth it. Some awe inspiring pics being above the clouds! Your review has been fantastic too! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Bonnie

 

Your cruise is so close! Have a great time.

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Your review is wonderful, (so are your pictures) , that said it is very helpful and informative to us. Going to go on this cruise in Sept (POA) .

 

Thanks again for all your hard work posting the review.:)

 

Thank you :) I used these boards so much when planning I needed to give back. Plus, it is my way of reliving the vacation again.

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There is a building fairly early on the road with a bathroom and some information. Around mile marker 20 there is a Visitor's Center that I recommend stopping at for some views and a souvenir if you want one. Further up the road is the summit and the highest elevation. I suggest going here and walking by the observation building to the left of the parking lot and a short trail to the right.

At the summit with our Jeep in the background:

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And a few views:

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Edited by sjmbruce
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When we were ready to leave Haleakala, we decided to head to Lahaina. My original plan was to drive even further and see the heart shaped rock and Nakalele blowhole. However, we had already witnessed a fantastic blowhole on Oahu, we knew there was a possibility of nothing happening, and we'd basically be rushing there to take a few pictures and race back. I'm glad we spent more time enjoying and less time driving. If you do decide to go to the blowhole, still take highway 30 to Lahaina and keep driving. Go back this way too. Highway 340 looks like a better route on a map but google it - it sounds terrifying and our rental agency also forbid driving this portion of road.

It was about an hour and a half to drive down Haleakala and get to our destination. The road to Lahaina is a really nice, scenic drive. It's around 45 minutes to get back to the rental agency from there.

We finally tried shave ice at Hawaii Gelato.

I had blue hawaiian and watermelon flavors:

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My husband enjoyed coconut flavoring with fresh coconut on top:

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Before going to Hawaii, I read and heard complaints that shave ice are really just expensive snow cones. While it is basically the same, the way the ice is shaved somehow makes it much softer and it feels like eating a handful of soft, fluffy snow.

Edited by sjmbruce
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Lahaina has a lot of shops, bars and restaurants. There is also a historical courthouse and a huge banyan tree that covers almost two acres.

 

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We left Lahaina early in order to stop at one of the roadside beaches we saw driving in. We stopped at the fourth beach on the right with the name of Olowalu. It wasn't the most beautiful beach but it wasn't crowded and the water was clean.

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There is a tradition of leaving a lei you recieved in Hawaii in the water in hopes that you will someday return. As long as your lei is made of flowers, I don't see a problem with this. However, check how the flowers are strung together. The ones you receive from NCL are strung together with string and pieces of plastic. Once the flowers disintegrate you'll have basically thrown garbage into the ocean that can harm wildlife. I wanted to leave my lei in the water, so I took it apart and threw away the plastic before putting the flowers in the ocean. Hopefully I'll go back!

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We put the airport into our GPS as our destination to get back to the ship. We returned our car at four and waited 15 minutes or so for a shuttle back to the pier. We were really hungry but knew dinner wasn't being served yet at the buffet so we decided to try to Cadillac Diner. We dropped our stuff in our cabin and headed out. This was the first time I had seen the grand staircase clear of people, so I took the opportunity to snap a picture:

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We were always too rushed in the morning to sit down for a full meal, but here's the Cadillac's breakfast menu:

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And their milkshakes. They don't have a price on the menu, but they are $5.50:

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The rest of the menu:

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Edited by sjmbruce
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