I've been reading through the reviews and have noted that I actually travelled on the same cruise as Carl, however my booking was through New Zealand based Wild Earth Travel. Carl has done an excellent summary of the cruise, I could ... Read More
I've been reading through the reviews and have noted that I actually travelled on the same cruise as Carl, however my booking was through New Zealand based Wild Earth Travel. Carl has done an excellent summary of the cruise, I could not agree with his comments more.
In particular -
a) the crew made us feel like family, they were so welcoming and really embodied the Hawaiian hospitality.
b) I really appreciated the knowledge aboard, particularly the Cruise Leader Dai Mar's expertise and of course Captain Rod's. Having Dai Mar, a marine biologist, as a cruise leader meant that we had the best opportunities to see the marine life that Hawaii presents, and boy, we didn't lose any opportunities. From the humpback mother and calf only 20 metres away before we had left the wharf at Molokai to snorkelling with Green Turtles, Dai Mar was always making sure that we had the best wildlife experience. When snorkelling he would go to a huge effort to make sure that we saw the highlights of the underwater world, whether it was coral, fish or other wildlife. I also appreciated that they bought experts on board, such as whale experts, manta ray experts, and local Hawaiians to teach us more about their culture. It was a privilege to spend time with them.
c) I found the Safari Explorer perfect for a small, intimate and informal cruise. As Carl mentioned, the ship was not full, so we were extremely well looked after, but it was never overbearing .
d) The activities. I loved the opportunity to try sea kayaking, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding and even snorkel with Manta Rays at night. I was initially apprehensive about this, but it was one of the best experiences that I have ever done. I could not recommend it more highly.
e) The chance to visit less populated islands - such as Molokai. As a big fan of Alan Brennert's book Molokai, this laidback island was a big highlight.
f) the food. As Carl mentioned, the food was so fresh, and delicious, and incorporated a lot of local flavours. The chefs went to a huge effort to make sure that we were well fed, not to mention the delicious cocktails that they served us.
All in all if you are looking for a small, informal, relaxed cruise with a nice mix of adventure and relax time, I would really recommend this. I think it would be perfect for groups as well, in fact one of my dreams is to bring my friends and family back again in a big group. Read Less