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First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

Dallas, Texas
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First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

We will be visiting Maui in May with our 4 year old son. We will appreciate any help and suggestions. We will be staying at the Westin Maui. We are interested in the following activities.

The Road to Hana (using a tour service) - Has anyone used Valley Isle Excursions through adventuremaui.com?

Snorkeling - suggestions please???

A Luau - The Sheraton Kaanapali Sunset Luau (location and beautiful view of the ocean) and Royal Lahaina Luau (very kid friendly) were recommended. We will not be able to do the Luau at the Sheraton because it only on Wednesday nights. Also, I have read a lot of good things about the Old Lahaina Luau on this site.

Aquarium

Please recommend good restaurants for breakfast and dinner. I love seafood. A friend recommended Buzz's Wharf.

Sugar Cane Train Ride - Is it worth it to pay the extra money for the BBQ dinner and show?

Is May too late to for whale watching?

Thanks for your help!!!!!

Beverly Hills...
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1. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

What activities are you planning to do with your son? The road to Hana is very twisty...does he get carsick? (When our son was 2 we went up to Haleakala....my son who was never carsick threw up all the way down....we called the car the barf-mobile after that)...We have been to the aquarium with our kids when they were younger...good choice.

How well does your son swim? (re: snorkeling)

How well does he sit during dinner?

Are you planning to hire a babysitter or bring your nanny?

Beverly Hills...
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2. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

What activities are you planning to do with your son? The road to Hana is very twisty...does he get carsick? (When our son was 2 we went up to Haleakala....my son who was never carsick threw up all the way down....we called the car the barf-mobile after that)...We have been to the aquarium with our kids when they were younger...good choice.

How well does your son swim? (re: snorkeling)

How well does he sit during dinner?

Are you planning to hire a babysitter or bring your nanny?

Chicagoland
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3. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

I would not take a four-year-old on Road to Hana, to Haleakala or to a luau. The Sugar Cane Train is probably too young for him -- amusement park trains are much more fun. (The only reviews I've read on TA of the tour bus for RTH have been negative -- bored driver/guide and obscured -- darkened -- windows in a van.)

The Oceanarium is expensive, but I think he will love it. There are a couple less formal restaurants right there in the little area around the Oceanarium.

The Iao Valley would be interesting (bring clothes w/long sleeves, long pants -- it's cool). Go up to Sprecklesville and see the windsurfers (east side). There is a goat farm in Kula.

Chicagoland
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4. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

I would not take a four-year-old on Road to Hana, to Haleakala or to a luau. The Sugar Cane Train is probably too young for him -- amusement park trains are much more fun. (The only reviews I've read on TA of the tour bus for RTH have been negative -- bored driver/guide and obscured -- darkened -- windows in a van.)

The Oceanarium is expensive, but I think he will love it. There are a couple less formal restaurants right there in the little area around the Oceanarium.

The Iao Valley would be interesting (bring clothes w/long sleeves, long pants -- it's cool). Go up to Sprecklesville and see the windsurfers (east side). There is a goat farm in Kula.

Santa Barbara CA
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5. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

Buster:

Supposedly, after March, the Sheraton Luau will also be held on Mondays. We've booked a Monday date in July.

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

Thanks to all for your comments.

ChiSue - Thanks so much for your suggestions!!!

We plan to take our son to the Maui Ocean Center and the Reef Dancer or the Atlantis Submarine. We plan to purchase the book, Maui Revealed.

Answers to questions….

Our son sits well during dinner. We eat out often and take him with us most of the time. People always comment on how well behaved he is. We are not brining a nanny and do not plan to hire a babysitter.

My son and I can not swim (I can swim a little…not much). I have checked with several companies that offer the snorkeling tours and have been told you do not have to swim for the tour. My husband is interested in the snorkeling.

We are still undecided about the Road to Hana. I have read that some kids do find and some don’t. I am leaning more to “no” since it is such a long day.

However, I think the Luau will be fine with our son. I noticed that the Royal Lahaina Luau has a special kid’s buffet.

I have also heard that Mama’s Fish House is good.

canada
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7. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

We went to kaanapali with little ones. Doesn't take much to thrill them, since everything is so wonderful. Take along a life jacket for around the pool, & especially the ocean. You can walk down the beach to the Sheraton to Black Rock to snorkel. Check out hotel grounds along the way, look at fish ponds etc. We went to what I think was the Royal Lahaina Luau, at a hotel north of Black Rock on the ocean. The kids loved it! They hads a kid buffet, & a fire dancer! The train ride thrill wore-out quickly, but running around under the banyan tree in Lahaina could have lasted all day if we let them. Aquaruim was enjoyed, as was the Ioa needle. Nobody dared the road to Hana, so can't help you there. Honestly, they just love to sit on the beach with their sand toys, swim in the pool, look at fish etc. No need to feel like you have to book a lot of activities-just enjoy! As for whales, they're mostly gone by May. Maui would have the biggest chance of seeing them, but even then chances are slim I think. Be sure to go to the Whalers Village, a nice diversion from the beach. They have a Mc Donalds for cheap/fast kid-friendly. We also liked the Hula Grill, ocean front restaurant in the Whalers Village. Enjoy! Aloha!

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

Thanks potatofeet!!!

You are right...it does not take much for kids to have a good time.

We are really looking forward to our trip!

Beverly Hills...
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9. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

Definitely bring a life vest or swimmies for the Westin pool. You can also buy an inexpensive raft that will be a big hit, especially under the waterfalls.

When we stayed at the Westin 3 years ago there were very few lounges in the shade. Even with lots of sunscreen and hats we got burned. By day 3 I would get up early, 6 ish, and reserve two chairs in the shade. I would have been thrilled to pay for a cabana or an umbrella, but at that time...not happening. The hotel also had some art classes, lei making classes on a daily basis. There was a nominal fee. At 4 you would probably be required to stay with him, but the kids seem to have fun. (While we have never used a Kids Club or program I recall seeing kids having fun grouped together by age).

The Hula Grill, outdoors, is fun for little ones, decent food, and the floor is sand. Fun for the toes and in a pinch a small sandbox.

Most restaurants have good fish. We liked the Plantation House (in Kapalua) and Pacific O's.

Oregon
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10. Re: First trip to Maui with 4 year old son - lots of questions!

I don't know when you are going but it might be worth it to get in a beginning swimming class for your son. Just so he'll feel comfortable putting his head under water. Our son took 4 weeks worth of classes twice a week before going on our trip and actually learned to swim while on vacation because we were in the pool so much. I would also recommend the Hula Grill or Leilanis on the beach for dinner(s). They are both expensive but can be pretty casual. Your son sounds like a mature 4 year old so you'll enjoy the experience that much more.

If you do take a longer road trip, get some chewable Dramamine. Try it out a home first. I give our 4 year old about a 1/4 to 1/2 tablet at a time and it does its job. I would not sign up for a snorkel cruise unless you all get a chance to practice snorkeling in very shallow water. And like chisue said, there is no need for the cruise. There are so many wonderful beaches and you won't get seasick at the beach.

Don't bother with the cane train. A good meal somewhere nice would be worth the money rather than with the train ride.

I can't stress enough that kids just love the water so you don't need to have a lot of planned activities to have a fun filled vacation.