Results 1-10of 16 Reviews
by two cruisers
January 16, 2009
From journal Maui Must See
April 20, 2008
From journal Summer Port of Call in Maui (July 2007)
South Jordan, Utah
October 3, 2006
From journal Hawaii
June 14, 2006
From journal Maui Family Vacation 2006
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
November 16, 2005
From journal To the Land of Sunsets and Volcanos...
November 7, 2005
From journal Marvelous Maui
May 8, 2005
The Maui Ocean Center is probably the best tourism addition to this island since they invented snorkeling. This is all family entertainment. We rented a magic wand audio guide to share between the two of us. However, that novelty wore off soon, because the narrator was a bit long-winded. The signage along the way was well done, well placed, and sufficient for our needs. The dynamic of the surge zone was interesting and something that isn’t addressed in some other aquariums. It is easy to spend a long time in the Living Reef building. The Turtle Lagoon, Tide Pool and Hammerhead Harbor are worth a visit on the way to the Whale Discovery Center. Here, quiz questions spark an interest in the exhibits. Hawaiians and the Sea is an anthropological exhibit placed at the entrance to the Open Ocean Aquarium. A 54-foot-long glass tunnel allows the visitor to feel what it would be like to have all those fish swimming around you.
But wait, there’s more! The center has a good gift shop and two restaurants. One is a family-oriented fast-food place called Reef Café. The tables where outside and had no sun protection. We ate at the Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant, an open-air but completely roofed structure overlooking the harbor. It had island-style cuisine. I had a crab cake salad with asparagus that may have been the best meal I had on Maui. Entrée and beverage averaged about $18 a piece.
We had not known what to expect when we arrived. I would suggest you don’t cut your time short here. Start at opening time and plan to have lunch here. We saw one family racing through the exhibits with dad repeating, "We’re going to miss the plane!" every few minutes. Don’t do that!
Before returning to our condo, we crossed the parking lot to the Harbor Village, where we checked out a couple of shops and had dessert at the Café O’Lei. We were seated on the lanai overlooking the harbor. That was good entertainment, and we spent $10 apiece for good coffee and remarkable desserts. Mine was a pineapple upside-down cake with a scoop of Lapperts vanilla-bean ice cream on the side on a plate drizzled with caramel sauce. Wow!
From journal Maui – New Finds and Old Favorites
April 9, 2004
There are seats (a carpe-covered bench) all along the tube so that you can sit and watch the creatures float or swim by just behind, above, or below you. Pictures are neat from inside because the water surrounds you. It's like being in a sub without the claustrophobia.
Though the Center is not overly large there were lots of things to see. There is a "trip in the life of a whale" including sounds, sights and a comparison of whale milk to human milk. There is a turtle pond with green sea turtles and a "touch-pool" where you can feel some of the animals that live on the ocean floor, including urchins, starfish and sponges.
From journal Hawaiian Anniversary
January 15, 2004
From the entrance, follow the visitor guide park map and begin your tour walking counter-clockwise starting at the surge zone.
The surge zone was a small lagoon with a water feature which mimics pounding waves that can provide delicate marine life with shelter from predators in the open waters. Immediately to the right, go inside a building which housed the awe-inspiring living reef display; an exhibit of Hawaii’s tropical fishes and living coral reefs. Here, we saw the vivid living colors of such beautiful fish as butterfly fish and the strange-looking yellow margin moray eel, we marvelled at the beauty in the shape of a triton’s trumpet and the magnificent spines of slate pencil sea urchins. I have never imagined the beauty and color of all the different corals under one exhibition: cauliflower coral, antler coral, blue coral, wire coral, finger coral and many, many more.
Then outside again to the turtle lagoon, where we got a close-up view of the most common sea turtle in Hawaii called honu (green turtle), named for the color of its body fat. Then a large outdoor pool called stingray cove, home to stingrays and eagle rays. It was shaded to protect the rays’ sensitive eyes. Next was the whale discovery center, an interactive experience with the humpback whales as they make their annual migration from Alaska to the warm water of Maui, where they mate and bear their calves.
Then into a large 50-foot-long clear acrylic tunnel for a simulated journey of the Open Ocean; a 750,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. Here we got an awesome 240-degree view of sharks, majestic rays and hundreds of other fishes and a lone diver feeding the sea creatures; predators and prey co-existing seemingly peacefully.
From journal Rainbow over Maui
October 30, 2003
From journal Beautiful Maui