My trip to Maui in April 2011 included a night out on the Hula Girl Dinner Cruise. The Hula Girl is a beautiful, red 65-foot catamaran that docks on Kaanapali Beach to pick up its passengers. On the night of our cruise, about 15 people set sail at 4:30 pm for a 2.5-hour dinner cruise.
We met the boat in front of the Whaler Village shopping complex. If you take this trip, be prepared to leave your shoes behind and to get a little wet as you wade a few steps into the ocean to climb a set of stairs that gets you on board the Hula Girl. Our crew included the captain, the first mate (who is also his business partner), a chef named Lucas and another crew member who attended to the docking and undocking duties. This last crew member also served as the bartender.
Once onboard, we motored a few hundred feet off shore, then listened to a brief welcome and safety presentation from the captain. After that, passengers were invited to roam throughout the boat, which included bench and trampoline seating on the main deck, a flybridge with room for 12, and the dining area of the boat, which houses eight tables and booth-style seating. Throughout the cruise, we enjoyed live music from a solo artist. Speakers throughout the boat allowed you to hear the music no matter what your location.
Cruise and dinner
The weather was perfect for our evening sail, and we traveled north down the shoreline, anchoring in a bay past Kaanapali Beach. The sheltered spot provided calmer seas for our evening meal. Along the way to the bay, the first mate, Inca, took our dinner orders. Passengers chose their own seating spots in the dining room after the boat moored in the bay. My husband and I chose to share a salad and order two mahi mahi entrees with scallops and crabmeat over jasmine rice with asparagus. The salad was beautifully presented and fresh, including a citrus vinaigrette dressing, tomatoes, red bell pepper, pickled artichoke hearts and feta cheese. The seafood dish had wonderful flavors. For dessert, we shared a warm chocolate lava cake with whipped cream. It was very tasty, although I wished it had come with ice cream instead of whipped cream. The boat offers a selection of sodas, juice, coffee and tea, as well as alcoholic beverages. Appetizers are also available. If you wish, you can just enjoy the cruise and not order any food or beverages.
Restrooms and pricing
A trip to the restrooms during our cruise revealed very clean facilities, with a window in the ladies’ room which may help prevent seasickness while below deck. On the way back to Whaler’s Village, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the “city lights” of the Maui coastline.Because we made our reservation online, we received a discount for our cruise tickets, which totaled about $150 for two people. Our salad cost $5, while our seafood entrees were $23 each. The dessert we selected cost $5.
We would take this trip again in a heartbeat. The views were wonderful and the atmosphere was very relaxing. The crew was efficient and helpful without being intrusive. The food was reasonably priced with great flavors. I highly recommend this trip as part of your Maui itinerary.
Tip: When planning your activities, review my experience on the Trilogy whale-watching cruise.If you’re looking for a place to stay in Maui, check out my review of the Aston Mahana at Kaanapali rental condos. When considering restaurants, read my review of Capische in Wailea.