While in port, climb aboard one of the world's largest passenger submarines to see Hawaiian fish, coral and turtles.
This was better than expected. The tendering to Lahaina went well. The submarine was very fun and although there were not a huge amount of fish to see on it, the guide we had was excellent. Her humor was appreciated and her knowledge of the sea and its creatures was perfect.
We also later went on the Catamaran and it was perfect.
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
The Atlantis Submarine company is very polished and organized with up-to-date equipment and friendly knowledgeable staff. That said, my husband and I who are admittedly large people found our discomfort in the sub detracted from our experience. (Yes, I should have known and I do not fault Atlantis for our obesity.) We did see many types of fish and a sand shark. The company has a sunken vessel they paid for themselves, creating an artificial reef guaranteeing a variety of fish and several large schools are always available for viewing. This excursion is well worth it if you do not want to snorkel and if you can comfortably sit in a small space for about 45 minutes.
In Lahaina Atlantis shuttles you to their submarine in a boat which was a bit of a rough ride - fun! You get to watch the sub surface - fun! and then the staff quickly transfer the previous group off the sub and your group on and down - expertly! I do have minor mobility issues but never felt worried about falling.
THE PORT OF LAHAINA is very small and requires tendering. I was led to believe that the number of tenders allowed at the dock per ship is limited. The day we arrived there was already a Royal Caribbean ship anchored and between regular dock traffic and tenders from the two ships significant time spent idling in the tender waiting for our turn enter the harbor area left many passengers over-heated, crabby and just plain impatient. (In one case the 10 minute journey took 35 minutes and the motion of the near empty tender caused a couple of cases of sea-sickness.) Unfortunately this also meant that the dinner-time rush back to the boat ended in a queue that I overheard was "hours" long. On the other hand even though I went ashore twice I never waited more than 20 minutes at either end. My recommendation? Take a cab/bus (long walk) out to Aloha Mixed Plate for an inexpensive meal with a nice view and the sounds of the Old Lahaina Luau next door and head back to the ship after everyone else but still an hour before last tender.
Provider: Holland America Line
Bad, very canned. Cramped, and nothing original.
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
We took a submarine tour here and we all thought is was very cool. Maui is very warm and the shopping is fantastic. This is the island to shop on.
Provider: Independent Operator