Why go to Maui?
Maui's friendly locals and vast, picturesque coastline embody everything a Hawaiian vacation is expected to be
As per its reputation, Hawaii can be quite expensive, so you'll want to save up for the trip
Hawaiian vacations are considered once-in-a-lifetime for a reason: The experience is like no other
Maui Cruise Port Facilities?
Kahului Harbor is an industrial terminal, and the city is not a touristy one. A circuitous pedestrian path takes you out of the port, where you can walk across the street to Maui Mall, which houses a Whole Foods, Long's Drugs, movie theater and other shops. With a little scrambling, you can also hoof it to the beach near the port that you can see from the ship (just be careful where you swim because sharks are near).
If you anchor off Lahaina, you'll tender to a pier right in front of Pioneer Inn, one of the oldest accommodations in Maui. From there, you can begin exploring Front Street -- a hub for shops, restaurants and activities/tour providers -- on foot. Call a taxi, rent a car or take a tour if you wish to explore other parts of the island.
Good to Know?
Maui is a very safe place to vacation, and violent crime is rare. However, car break-ins occur regularly. Do not leave anything in your vehicle, especially cameras, shopping bags or other easy-to-grab items.
Maui offers little in the way of public transportation, and while you may call for a cab, it's not an effective way to tour the island. It's best to rent a car to see the island's most visited attractions; try Discount Hawaii Car Rental for the best rates.
If docking at Kahului, take a complimentary car rental shuttle bus to nearby Kahului Airport (about a five-minute ride) to rent a vehicle from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National or Thrifty. If your cruise ship overnights there and you'd like to keep your car, there's free parking right across from the tour bus pickup area outside the terminal, but it's small and will be filled up if you get back late. Other options include airport parking for a fee or leaving your car in the Maui Mall parking lot overnight.
Your cruise ship may also offer a shuttle (for a fee) to and from Lahaina (look for tours called "Lahaina on Your Own"), which is convenient if you only want to stay in that area. Free shuttles to the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center (with typical mall stores, free Wi-Fi and a kids' play area) depart from the port; from there, you can catch the Maui Bus to select destinations, including Wailea, Kihei, Lahaina and Paia.
If you plan to rent a car in the Lahaina area, make reservations at one of the agencies at Kapalua's West Maui Airport (JHM) and not the Kahului International Airport (OGG) on the other side of the island. (There's also an Enterprise outlet at the Sheraton on Kaanapali Beach.) Some companies will send a shuttle to the pier for pickups; others require you to take a cab to their office. The Maui Bus also offers service from Lahaina to Kaanapali.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
A variety of bank branches and standalone ATMs are located near both cruise ports: Kahului and Lahaina. In Lahaina, there's a Bank of Hawaii ATM at the Wharf Cinema Center (also public toilets); in Kahului, try the Maui Mall or Long's Drugs. Most banks handle foreign-currency exchanges.
Everyone speaks English there, but it is fun to learn a few Hawaiian words. "Aloha" can mean many things, but you'll use it most often to denote "hello" and "goodbye," while "mahalo" means "thank you."