Tour operator was very good and had offered a package of tours for this cruise at a greatly reduced price. I believe we received good value for money. There had been recent changes at the Maui Tropical Plantation (past couple of years) and these were interesting to see.
This was the 2nd part of The Best Of Maui excursion. The little tram ride takes you see all the different things growing there, and there is a lot. They stop at a spot to show you a demonstration of how to open a coconut. Also got to see several Texas Longhorns. And there are chickens running around everywhere. The excursion includes lunch at the plantation: soup, salad and make-your-own turkey and/or ham sandwich with water, ice tea or coffee.
Then go in the gift shop to buy macadamia nut ice cream or pineapple sherbet. I got the pineapple and kept adding pineapple to it from the free sample plate by the door.
Got off to an Early Start and was able to visit a local park before the tour time. The Park was beautiful and I found it worth visiting. Then went to the Plantation trip, riding a little Tram around a farmed grounds with a wide variety of plants. Visit Gift shop and the went to the Iao Valley. This was what I wanted to see, High Mountains, creek flowing thru with some locals swimming in the creek, wish I had some swimming gear looked like fun...
Loved the Maui Ocean Center but the Maui Tropical Plantation was a little underwhelming, although certainly recommended for mobility-impaired folks and first-time visitors. Happy to see the Made on Maui store on the premises (but easily missed since it's quite small).
We actually took the "Best of Maui - Plantation, Iao Valley & Ocean Center" offered through NCL. It made for a very long day, but was enjoyable.
The Maui Tropical Plantation had a big shopping opportunity - I found some tea, coffee, and sugar cane stirs. They also had ice cream made in Hawaii with many different tropical flavors - we tried several flavors and I crave it now just thinking about it!
The tour of the plantation itself was fun, but it was a bit uncomfortable. They filled the tram completely full - even if a row had large folks who really didn't fit well with the count they wanted in the row. My hubby and I are heavy and basically I ended up having my thigh wedged against the side of the tram and it wasn't very comfortable. They did stop at one point along the way and a girl showed husking a coconut. Be careful clamoring for the front row when you watch - my husband complained the rest of the day that he got something in his eyes when she was cracking the shell. If that was it or dust I can't say, but he was grumpy for a bit after that.
We did have a lunch there and that was good. Nothing amazing, but good and more than enough to fill someone up.
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