When planning a peak experience for our stay in Maui, I knew that I wanted something unique and absolutely beautiful. I thought about a helicopter ride, driving the road to the Crater of Haleakalā or going to a luau. However, neither of those options really fit with the time span of time I wanted to allow. So, when I opened my search to dinner cruises, the Royal Sunset Dinner cruise with Alii Nui Charters was a clear winner.
Because it was out of the chauffeur zone of the Hotel Wailea drivers, it was easy to get a Lyft to Wailuku.
Once we got on the boat, those with heels on were advised to take them off. While those, like myself, with flat shoes were allowed to keep them on. The limited load of reservations gave everyone full space to explore and enjoy everything that the boat had to offer.
Welcome and Introduction
After a wonderful introduction by the captain, including an overview of the evening. Our dining experience began with our first drinks and appetizers.
Of course, I ordered a MAI TAI (Light Rum, Triple Sec, Macadamia Nut Orgeat, Passion Orange Guava, Pineapple, Kula Dark Rum Float).
Our first selections were plated light bites of JACKFRUIT CAKE WITH SWEET THAI CHILI SAUCE AND TOASTED GARLIC, BIG ISLAND AHI TUNA WITH A SPICY SRIRACHA MAYO and a CARAMELIZED, ONION AND CHEESE TART.
I devoured mine within seconds.
Whale Watching in Maalaea Bay
The Humpback whales were delightfully active in the Bay. Our captain pointed out a mother, her calf and her male escort, making their way in the water.
He steered the boat in their direction, offering us delightful opportunities to take photos and bask in the glory of such magnificence. I was ecstatic to take photos of whale parts.
It was a blessing of the Earth. I was definitely not on a whale watching cruise off of Newport Beach.
Sunset was simply magnificent.
I had to repeatedly remind myself that I was on a boat, in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Maui.
It reminded me of my experience on the Spiridakos Sailing Cruises Sunset Boat Tour in Santorini, Greece.
I’ve seen the sun set on the Indian Ocean in the Maldives.
But this… this hit different.
ALI’I NUI SALAD
(Kula Greens, Arugula, Candied Macadamia Nuts, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onions, Feta)
(Lemon infused olive oil and sea salt)
TRUFFLE AND PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE
MOLOKAI SWEET POTATOE PUREE
(Coconut Milk, Onion, Ginger, Lime)
SESAME CRUSTED CATCH
(Meyer Lemon Sauce)
HULI HULI CHICKEN
GINGER BRAISED SHORT RIBS
(Ginger Sake Sauce)
Desert was a lovely slice of CHOCOLATE TART.
But, what was most stunning than the dessert?
The star filled night outside.
It was worth the trip.
I marveled at the constellations and planets I could see with my naked eye. I could even see the Milky Way! Couldn’t take a photo of it though. But, it left me astonished at the beauty of Earth. There is so, so much to be thankful for and in gratitude for on this planet. So, so much.
When we returned to the dock at the end of our two hour and a half experience, all I could feel was a sense of fulfillment.
The evening was perfect.
Alii Nui Charters
300 Maalaea Rd – Slip 56
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793