Friday, December 9, 2011

Pride of Maui Sunset Dinner and Cocktail Cruise - Review

Almost ready to board
We just had an unforgettable experience on The Pride of Maui's Sunset Dinner and Cocktail Cruise and we'd like to share it with our readers. It was a perfect Maui day and everyone waiting in line to board was in good spirits as they anticipated a cruise down the Pali coast into the sunset. Our first impression as we boarded was how spacious the vessel was, offering plenty of seating on the lower deck with easy access up two wide staircases to the upper viewing deck. We decided to stay downstairs for the moment and listen to the soothing sounds of entertainer Mitch Kepa who accompanied himself on guitar as he sang familiar Hawaiian songs.  Later in the evening Hawaiian born Mitch told us that he had been performing on Maui for over 30 years and still performs at the Weston Maui on Sundays and Mondays. He also has a day job as a youth counsellor at Aloha House. What a busy guy!

Mitch Kepa

The bar opened as soon as we were out of the harbor, and crew members Stephanie and Randy changed hats and became our friendly bar tenders, blending and pouring anything your heart desired until the cruise was over.  I was impressed that the drinks were premium quality, and included in the price.

Stephanie and Randy

I decided to check out the upper deck so drink in hand I made my way up the stairs into the refreshing sea breezes.  Maalaea Harbor was already shrinking from sight and I was fascinated by the views of the Pali coast from the ocean, not to mention the surrounding islands and the beginnings of a marvelous sunset.
I had an interesting chat with captain Tiffany who told me that she had been working on Maui ships for 8 years and has been a captain for 4 years. I guess you have to put in 270 days on a ship combined with taking lots of written tests, in order to qualify for a captain's licence. I felt proud that women are now able to take on jobs that were once dominated by men.

Captain Tiffany

The sunset was splendid to say the least, and as I watched the aftermath of colors painting the sky, mouth watering smells wafting up from the lower deck, drew me back down.  It was supper time and Tiffany had stopped the ship in a quiet little cove so that we could eat in peace.
Chef Kelly outdid herself with her offering of baby back ribs glazed with her own signature BB sauce made with guava jelly and fresh hot horseradish. They literally melted in your mouth and were oh so good! We also enjoyed some delicious chicken, tasty garlic fettucini, seasoned roasted veggies and a yummy artichoke dip served with croustini. All the food is freshly prepared by Kelly from scratch, and the ribs are grilled right on board. Dessert was an amazing strawberry shortcake with fresh local Kula strawberries. Kelly has been catering on Maui for 18 years, and before that she worked for Disney as an event planner and wedding co-ordinator.The Pride of Maui certainly knew what they were doing when they hired her to be their chef!!

Chef Kelly

Gary and Dawn Adams
I also have to mention how friendly the other passangers were. Gary and Dawn Adams from Wisconsin took the cruise as their last Maui adventure before flying out that night at 11:00 PM. They had already been on the Pride of Maui Snorkeling Trip and couldn't say enough great things about it, which is why they chose to go on the Pride of Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise. Oh yes and then there was the cute honeymoon couple who danced to their favourite song.  Mitch even handed over his guitar and let the fellow sing a few songs of his own.

Honeymoon Couple Dancing

As we approached Maalaea Harbor we were a little sad that the cruise was coming to an end. After all, what more could you ask for when all your senses are so wonderfully satisfied in the space of only two hours?
Without a doubt we highly recommend The Pride of Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise to all our readers and friends.


  1. Wow! I think I will have to go on a sunset dinner cruise when I come over in January. The food sounds great, as does the music. Actually it all sounds great. Book em dano!

  2. The Dinner Cruise sounds like a very enjoyable experience..we will look into doing that in Feb-March when we come to Maui!! One of these years I would like to spend Christmas in Maui!! Sylvia

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