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UnCruise Hawaii on the Safari Explorer: Incredible Island Hopping

UnCruise Hawaii on the Safari Explorer: Incredible Island Hopping

I’ve been excited about doing an UnCruise in Hawaii for a long time and we’ve finally completed our sailing from the Big Island to Molokai. It was incredible and I am excited to share just what made it so special and unique. We travel to Hawaii a lot (more frequently than we ever expected) so getting to see the Islands from a different perspective doing UnCruise Hawaii was awesome and gave us a completely new set of stories and experiences to share.

I don’t just want to gush about how wonderful the boat and crew were, but I want to share what made small ship sailing in Hawaii such an unusual experience, both for us adults and the kids. If you have any questions about what it’s like to sail around Hawaii or what the UnCruise experience is like for a family, please leave a comment or send us a note. Planning a small ship sailing is a special commitment and has a premium price, so ask away and we’ll help you sort it out!

Full Taylor Family kayaking from UnCruise Safari Explorer at Lanai Hawaii 1

UnCruise Hawaii Podcast Episode

Yes, us adults had an incredible time on the Safari Explorer as we island hopped around Hawaii, but the kids did too. They had a very different adventure, or at least a different point of view, than us parents did. Give a listen to our podcast episode where we chat it up hearing directly from the kids what they loved and learned during our UnCruise Hawaii sailing.

See end of article for full podcast episode transcript.

Prep for our Hawaii UnCruise

I am such a planner, and when you’re heading thousands of miles for a special sort of travel experience, you plan things and thoughtfully pack. That’s just what we did for our Hawaii UnCruise sailing, but what made it a little tricky was that the only part of the trip I could really plan/pack for was the few days on the Big Island of Hawaii before we set sail. The way UnCruise words their itineraries is a bit vague, and there’s a reason for it.

When you’re doing an UnCruise Adventure, there’s a fair amount of the experience that is left up to the weather, the wildlife and the captain. Now that I know what that means, not just on paper but in practice, I get it and appreciate it. Before we set sail though, I was a bit stressed about not having a clear plan for activities and anything on board. This is my Type A side shining through, but once onboard I chilled out.

Taylor Family in wetsuits for Manta Ray Snorkeling with UnCruise Big Island Hawaii 2

Note: we now partner with UnCruise so may receive a commission at no cost to you if you choose to book and use our code, TWODADS500, when you book. 🙂

What to Pack for an UnCruise Hawaii Sailing

Pajamas and swim shorts.

I’m kidding, but I really actually could have only packed pajamas and swim wear and we would have been fine for our sailing. The UnCruise Hawaii itinerary has a combination of the following: snorkeling, hiking, on-land cultural immersion, kayaking, skiff tours, biking, swimming, and relaxation. So how do you pack for an itinerary like this? Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that this is UNCRUISE, not a mega ship sailing, so it’s very informal and intimate. It’s a casual setting with your friends, not a formal nightly dinner party.

So here is my UnCruise Hawaii packing list for CLOTHING:

  • Swimwear – this may include swim shirts / rash guards – 3 per person
  • Landwear – you’ll have three days with shore excursions plus embarkation/disembarkation – 4 or 5  mix-n-match sets of clothes
  • Look-nice-wear – it’s always fun to make a little effort every now and then – 2 or 3 aloha shirts
  • Shoes – flip flops for everything EXCEPT hiking / biking, for which you’ll need close-toed shoes (I’ve used THESE KEENS for four trips to Hawaii)
  • Hats – a wide brim hat and a cap are both recommended due to the amount of sun time
Full Taylor Family dining onboard Safari Explorer UnCruise Hawaii 1

Now, there are some other things that we also pack when we’re traveling that make everything even more delightful, and that includes when we’re doing an UnCruise sailing. We bring specific gear and activities that help our family during travel, and these things are VERY important to us because we do travel so much.

Our non-clothing packing list:

When you’re packing for an UnCruise Hawaii sailing, or any trip for that matter, it’s always good to pack and then unpack and repack with fewer items than the first round. Really, packing lighter than you think you should is recommended for warm weather destinations, particularly when you’ll be in a ship cabin for a week.

Rob Taylor snorkeling at Sharkfin off Lanai with UnCruise Safari Explorer Hawaii

Embarking on the Safari Explorer from Kona

It’s really exciting when your sailing day finally arrives. We knew that we were doing the UnCruise Hawaii trip a year before we set foot onboard, so the anticipation and excitement also became a feeling of accomplishment, that our patience and planning finally paid off. We arrived at the King Kamehameha Beach Resort near the Kailua-Kona pier and immediately found our check in desk.

Book the King Kamehameha Beach Resort here!

We were greeted and our luggage was tagged and stored (still accessible to us for the few hours before boarding). We were given name badges and welcomed to relax in the staging area, head to the beach or walk around Kona. We love the small beach at the King Kamehameha Beach Resort and there is some good snorkeling, so we grabbed our gear and went off to relax. We also started to see others in the staging area who would be sailing with us, but without an official introduction yet, we kept to ourselves.

When it was time to board, we all came back together for simple introductions by our expedition leader and a quick go-around-the-room, and then it was off to the ship. The Safari Explorer was waiting for us with the crew, ready to go Hawaii island hopping! An introduction to Captain Andy, a quick photo on the pier so we had a guide to who we were sailing with, and then being shown to our cabins made for a smooth boarding process.

Our bags were already waiting for us in our cabins, so after our steward showed us the ins and outs of it, we checked on the kids (they had their own cabin) and found them settling in nicely. This was the point where our Hawaii UnCruise really was a reality and I personally was able to chill and just enjoy.

Because it is a ship, albeit not a mega cruise ship, there are the standard safety briefings for muster, PFDs and procedures, but that’s quick and easy. Meeting the rest of the crew was next and then it was off to the decks to wave goodbye to Kailua-Kona. It was the perfect start to our adventure.

Taylor Family checking into Trailblazer Cabin on UnCruise Safari Explorer Kailua Kona Big Island Hawaii 1

Pre-Sailing Accommodations

We 100% recommend arriving at your departure port the day before (Friday), if not two days before (Thursday) your sailing. There are enough inconsistencies in flying these days that you don’t want to risk a big delay causing you to miss your Hawaii UnCruise (or Alaska or Baja…). For a Kona departure, there are lots of choices.

We really like the King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriott (where you check in for your sailing) and also the Club Wyndham Kona Hawaiian when we’re in Kailua-Kona, and have also stayed at the Royal Kona Resort and even the Holiday Inn Express Kailua-Kona. I would recommend a place that’s walking distance to the pier for departure, but also there are plenty of Ubers in Kona and it’s not difficult to get around.

If you’re doing the reverse sailing, you’re hotel options on Molokai are very limited. There is either the Hotel Molokai, which is cute and we do enjoy (clean, good pool, nice rooms) or you can rent a condo at Molokai Shores. The condo option is good if you’re arrive a few days early to have some extra time exploring Molokai on your own.

Taylor Family in Two Queen Room at King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriott Kailua Kona Big Island Hawaii 4

UnCruise Hawaii Sailing on the Safari Explorer – Itinerary

As I share what our itinerary and experiences were like for our UnCruise Hawaii sailing on the Safari Explorer, please keep in mind that the official itinerary from the company is rather vague and very flexible. There are several notations about “captain’s choice” and such, and that’s because one of the joys of UnCruise is getting to be flexible and follow the good weather and wildlife. So, our Hawaii sailing was different than the week’s sailing before ours or after ours. Each experience is unique! See the company site for their itinerary description.

When booking an UnCruise small ship sailing, mention our code (online or via phone) TWODADS500 to receive $500 discount towards your passage. Education and adventure await!

Taylor Family boarding UnCruise Safari Explorer off Lanai Hawaii 1

Exploring Hawaii’s Kona Coast with UnCruise

I will say it a million times, the Big Island of Hawaii is my favorite for lots of reasons. From Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to visiting Hilo, from scenic drives on the Big Island to unique beaches, every trip is so different. And now sailing along the Kona Coast on the Safari Explorer with UnCruise has changed my view of the Big Island forever. I love it even more.

The coastline on the western side of the Big Island is fascinating. It’s full of lava flow cliffs, small bays, shallow sea caves and some really cool beaches. Sailing along the coast you get to see it all from a new perspective, all while watching whales and dolphins around you. Highlights of the activities on the Kona Coast included:

  • Wildlife watching ALL THE TIME
  • Hiking up the Hualalai Volcano
  • Night snorkeling with manta rays in a new spot to us
  • Early morning visit to Kealakekua Bay – my favorite snorkeling spot on the Kona Coast

The Safari Explorer can get wonderfully close to the cliffs and snorkeling areas, either directly or with its skiffs, so exploring the coast of the Big Island felt fresh and new and beautiful.

Taylor Family with Waves Crashing on Lava Cliff Kona Coast from Skiff with UnCruise Safari Explorer Big Island Hawaii 1

Something to keep in mind if you’re thinking that any activity doesn’t sound right for you, when you’re doing the UnCruise Hawaii sailing you can choose to do different activities than the ones I’m sharing about. For example, while we were doing the hike up Hualalai, other people opted to have a beach day at Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Site to relax and watch the sea turtles (honu).

After a few days sailing along the Kona Coast on the Safari Explorer, we said goodbye to the Big Island and did an overnight crossing of the strait between Hawaii and Maui, the ‘Alenuihāhā Channel, we woke up on the north shore of Molokai. This is one of the most dangerous sea crossings in the world and we got to enjoy sleeping through it!

On Deck Welcome drinks with CJ on UnCruise Safari Explorer Big Island Hawaii 1

Flexible Sailing Days on the Safari Explorer

“Captain’s Choice” strikes again! But in the best way. That whole UnCruise flexibility piece really does set you up for an unusual and amazing trip. Flexible sailing days on the UnCruise Hawaii itinerary allowed us to have a very special experience: sailing along the north side of Molokai. Here you’ll find the tallest sea cliffs in the world, at a towering 4000 feet high. We woke up to a gentle announcement from our captain to look out the port side and wow. Cliffs, green walls, waterfalls, albatross and tropics birds, whales… What a way to wake up!

Other highlights of our flexible sailing on the UnCruise Hawaii itinerary brought us to sea caves for kayaking, trawling around following humpback whales (proper distances), and getting to watch the sunset over Maui.

Something I found surprisingly pleasant about the sailing days was the amount of downtime for straight up relaxing or doing school work. Traveling on UnCruise with kids meant that there would be homework to complete, and when we would sail between destinations/activities, this was the perfect time for the kids to catch up on reading or worksheets. I also used this time for writing and chatting it up with other passengers. 

Sea Cliffs North Shore Molokai from UnCruise Safari Explorer Hawaii 11

Visiting Lanai for UnCruise Hawaii

Lanai is one of the least visited islands in Hawaii. It’s known as the Pineapple Island, as at one point 90% of the pineapple consumed in the USA came from this one island. Almost the whole thing was farmland, which wasn’t smart. Farming all but ended and now it’s a quiet island with few residents, a small town (Lanai City), only a few options for places to stay and not much else. But there are lots of hiking spots and biking trails, and our kids’ favorite thing ever: the Lanai Cat Sanctuary.

Chris Taylor at Lanai Cat Sanctuary Lanai Hawaii 2

Off shore we enjoyed kayaking to the sea caves and swimming just a bit from the cliffs of Lanai, and did some incredible snorkeling at an area called Shark Fin. On land our family split up to what each of us wanted (that’s the cool thing about the flexibility of the Hawaii UnCruise itinerary). Chris and the kids joined a few other guests and went in a van (transportation provided) to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary. They loved it and got to spend hours hanging out with kitties.

I joined some other guests from the Safari Explorer and went for an ATV ride with a hike. We went from the Lanai Adventure Center, where other guests headed out on E-bikes, and headed up the mountain in the middle of the island in a Polaris (like a hunting ATV), and then continued on over the hills to an epic view of Molokai and Maui. Here I just took in the view and actually photographed breaching humpback whales from afar. We all enjoyed our time on Lanai very much.

Rob Taylor hiking Koloiki Ridge Trail with Lanai Adventure Center and UnCruise Hawaii 4

Exploring and Learning on Molokai

I honestly knew nothing about Molokai before we visited during our UnCruise Hawaii sailing. All I knew was that there was a leprosy story, perhaps a leper colony, on the island and that’s it. Well, Molokai is much more than that, although that’s an important part of the island’s modern history.

When the 1946 tsunami hit Hawaii, it didn’t just crash into Hilo. When it got to Molokai it swept up into the Halawa Valley on the North Shore and wiped out the whole village and farm system in the valley. Today this valley is a place to learn about Hawaiian culture, the history of the people who lived here and farmed the Halawa Valley dating back 1500 years, and see how the current residents live with their farm and off-the-grid lifestyle. As a part of the UnCruise Hawaii itinerary you get to visit.

Taylor Family at Hale Presentation at Halawa Valley Molokai with UnCruise Safari Explorer Hawaii 2

The drive to the Halawa Valley is beautiful and when you get to the valley itself it’s amazing. We opted for the 3.4 mile round trip waterfall hike when we arrived, but due to rain and the rising river we didn’t get to complete it. Instead we got to spend time with Greg, whose father lived in the valley when the tsunami hit, and we got to tour the taro farm and learn a bunch about Hawaiian customs. We finished with a visit to the cove at Halawa Beach Park.

We finished our visit to Molokai with a special dinner (pā’ina), hosted by aunties and uncles, with live music, local Hawaiian dishes and spending one last evening with our UnCruise friend we’d made. The pā’ina was the perfect end to our amazing week aboard the Safari Explorer.

Taylor Family at Hawaiian Potluck Paina on Molokai Hawaii 1

Wildlife on our Hawaii UnCruise

When you’re visiting Hawaii with kids, it’s difficult to pinpoint what they really take in and enjoy, but our small ship sailing experience with UnCruise left us with no question about what they loved the most: the ABUNDANCE of wildlife. There was rarely a moment in our 8 days, 7 nights on the Safari Explorer that we didn’t have a whale in view or dolphins at the bow of the ship. 

Pan Tropical Spotted Dolphins at Bow of UnCruise Safari Explorer in Hawaii 3

We estimated our humpback whale sighting count at over 170. When it comes to dolphins, we saw three different types: bottlenose, pan-tropical spotted and Hawaiian spinner dolphins. There were Hawaiian monk seals in several places, and so many cool birds. My favorite experience though is always being in the water for snorkeling and seeing underwater life.

Several times we boarded our skiffs to head to awesome snorkeling spots. Getting to snorkel with monk seals, Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu), octopus and manta rays was such a treat. Adding another layer of cool to the experience, almost every time we got in the water we could hear humpback whales singing! We also used a hydrophone when out on the water to hear the whale songs even better, and it was downright astounding.

Humpback Whale Fin off UnCruise Safari Explorer Maui Hawaii 1

“You didn’t go ashore on Maui?”

That’s correct. During our UnCruise Hawaii sailing we didn’t have the normal port visit to Maui. Following the raging fires of 2023 that burned Lahaina to the ground, the visit ashore was removed from our Safari Explorer itinerary. That’s okay though, because we did have a special day of snorkeling at our favorite spot on Maui, Olowalu Beach. Snorkeling here is one of the best things to do on Maui, so although we didn’t get to make port here, we still had a fantastic experience underwater.

Tip: you can always book a few days on Maui for after your sailing if you want time on the island. There are lots of flights to the mainland from Maui (OGG) so it’s an easy way to end your trip to the Islands.

Taylor Family Snorkeling with UnCruise Safari Explorer at Olowalu Beach Maui Hawaii 1

Disembarking from UnCruise Hawaii

It may sound cheesy but disembarking from the Safari Exploring for the last time was sad. We said goodbyes to the passengers and crew that we got to know. The kids hugged their new buddies. We waved as we got in the van to Hotel Molokai to kill time before our departing flight. Thankfully we had a lovely place to spend a few more hours with some of those we had met. We had a dip in the pool, watched more whales breaching between Molokai and Lanai, and enjoyed lunch as we quietly watched the water.

Spending a week on the water in close quarters with everyone was a wonderful experience. If you haven’t read our article about what to expect on an UnCruise, and about the community we found on board, be sure to give it a read and listen to our podcast episode about it. Sailing on the Safari Explorer around Hawaii was one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had. Ever.

Expedition Leader Terra onboard UnCruise Safari Explorer off Big Island Hawaii 1

Continuing Hawaii Visit Options

If you’re like us, making the journey all the way to the middle of the Pacific Ocean means that you want to maximize your time there. Please take a look at our Hawaii Island Hopping article for ideas for how to spend a few extra days or to dig further into Hawaiian culture and nature.

The long and short of it though, from Molokai you can fly on Mokulele Airlines (very small planes) to either Honolulu (Oahu – HNL) or Kahului (Maui – OGG), and then from there it’s easy to get to either the Big Island of Hawaii or Kauai.

If you haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time on the Big Island, that would be my first pick. Waterfalls, volcanoes, unique beaches and fascinating historic/cultural sites make it easy to spend 3-10 days on the Big Island. You can do a few days on the Kona side and then the Hilo side for two very different experiences from what you have done and seen on the UnCruise Hawaii itinerary. Check out our One Week Big Island Itinerary.

The second choice to visit, in my not so humble opinion, is Kauai. I do love Kauai and we’ve enjoyed many days of hiking and sightseeing here. The Garden Island is more mellow than Oahu and again, you can easily spend a few days of a whole week on Kauai. Check out our 5 Day Kauai Itinerary.

Oahu is my next pick (yes, more so than Maui) because it’s got great beaches, tons of hiking, and awesome food. Oahu is more than Honolulu, so spending a few days enjoying beaches and exploring the North Shore of Oahu and the sights all around the island is very much worth your time.

Maui is my last pick for additional time in Hawaii. Yes, Maui is beautiful and there are lots of things to do, but I just prefer the other islands more. The highlight of visiting Maui is spending time in Haleakala National Park. It’s incredible and I’ve never seen any other place like it. This is YOUR time, so you choose the sort of experience you want!

Taylor Family on Tarmac MKK Molokai Airport Mokulele Airlines Hawaii 3

Planning our Next UnCruise – Alaska!

While you’re onboard, you actually have an option to book or put a deposit down on another UnCruise, which also gives you a big discount for the next one you do. And if you’ve done multiple, the discount increases with each cruise you’ve done. Want to head to Alaska? Great. Think it would be amazing to sail around Baja California? Awesome. You can put down a deposit and then book something within the next three years. We already had our next sailing booked, so we didn’t do the deal, but others in our group did.

Where else are we exploring with UnCruise? I’m so glad you asked!! Next up: Alaska on the Frontier Legacy! It’s going to be amazing, in particular because we’re doing the Kids in Nature itinerary, so there will be more families than our Hawaiian Seascapes sailing.

Join us! Get info here!

Humpback Whale breaking surface off North Shore of Molokai from UnCruise Safari Explorer Hawaii 9

If you have any questions either about our Hawaii UnCruise itinerary or our overall experience sailing with the company, please leave a comment or send us a note. We’re happy to share more about it all! Also, we get to spend a lot of time in Hawaii so have lots of recommendations and advice if you need it, so reach out if you do!

UnCruise Hawaii is a very different way to explore the islands. See why small ship sailing on a Hawaii UnCruise is the best way to see multiple islands from a unique perspective, visiting with Hawaiian communities and low impact travel in mind.

UnCruise Hawaii Podcast Episode Transcript

Please excuse any errors in the transcription of this episode.

[00:00:13] Speaker A: Welcome to 2TravelDads podcast. Here we share our favorite destinations, travel tips, stories from our adventures, and bring on awesome guests to share insights into their travelsome lives. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and check out our detailed show notes at

Welcome back to another episode of 2TravelDads Podcast. I’m Rob and today I’ve got two special guests with me. First up, we have got Mr. Elliott Taylor.

[00:00:47] Speaker B: Hello.

[00:00:47] Speaker A: Hello.

Who is a charming nine year old fellow. And we are going to dig into our Hawaiian UnCruise that we just got back from, and then Oliver will join us, who is twelve, and he’ll share his thoughts and opinions on stuff. So, yeah, here we go, Elliot. Let’s chit chat.

Well, first of all, let’s kind of say what we did. We went to Hawaii and do you remember where we started our sailing?

[00:01:21] Speaker C: I actually forgot.

[00:01:23] Speaker A: That’s okay. We sailed from the big island from Kailuakona to. Do you remember what island we ended on?

[00:01:33] Speaker C: No.

[00:01:34] Speaker A: Molokai. Molokai. We sailed from the big island around Maui and Molokai and Lanai and then ended on Molokai. So that was our loose itinerary. But I know you had a favorite experience that you wanted to start with, even though it was in the middle of the trip. So do you remember what was the super duper cool and amazing thing that you got to do on lanai?

[00:02:00] Speaker C: So me and my brother and some more people got to do a cat sanctuary, and it had like seniors kittens, and there was this one really cute kitten and it was actually quite small and for some reason it had to follow me around in the kittens area.

[00:02:36] Speaker A: Oh, that sounds adorable. I didn’t go with you there, and I kind of wish I would have. I went hiking instead, and my hike was really pretty, but I think all the kitties. Do you remember how many kitties were at the lanai cat sanctuary?

[00:02:49] Speaker C: I think like 700.

[00:02:52] Speaker A: Yeah, 700.

They said that normally it’s about 500.

[00:02:56] Speaker C: Kitties, but they rescued 200 last year.

[00:03:00] Speaker A: Exactly. Because of the fires that happened in Maui. Yeah. So that’s a lot of kitties. Were they friendly? Were there cranky cats?

[00:03:09] Speaker C: Well, there wasn’t that many cats that wanted to follow us, but there were a few. There were a few, but the rest just either just laid there or they would just run away.

[00:03:25] Speaker A: Oh, that happens.

[00:03:27] Speaker C: Or they’re just nervous.

[00:03:29] Speaker A: Yeah. What’s something else fun that we did that you really enjoyed? Did you have a favorite snorkeling spot? Did you have a favorite whale experience. What was something else that you really enjoyed?

[00:03:42] Speaker C: I really liked when we were snorkeling at an area called shark fin.

[00:03:49] Speaker A: Shark fin was some of the coolest snorkeling. That was so pretty.

[00:03:52] Speaker C: And we had our first experience with a animal called the Monk seal.

[00:04:00] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. So actually, was it somewhere else? It was somewhere else, but shark fin was amazing. We’ll talk about that in a second. We got to see the monk seal at Olualu on Maui. Tell us more, though. What else did we see with the monk seal?

[00:04:15] Speaker C: Well, dad spotted, like, octopus.

[00:04:19] Speaker A: That was at shark Fin.

I think we snorkeled so much that it all got kind of mixed up.

[00:04:25] Speaker C: Yeah.

[00:04:26] Speaker A: So at Oluwalu, when we saw the monk seal, we also got to see some sea turtles. Right. And do you remember when we were at Oluwalu in November, we also saw turtles.

[00:04:37] Speaker B: Oh, yeah.

[00:04:38] Speaker A: It’s a pretty great snorkeling.

Yeah, yeah. But the monk seal was really cool, and he was very graceful in the water, and he kind of gave us the side eye as he swam by, which I’m glad he didn’t want to come hang out because I would have gotten nervous.

But then shark fin, that was where we saw the octopus. That was really cool. Do you remember what else was really cool about snorkeling at shark fin?

[00:05:02] Speaker C: No. Oh, like the wall of fish.

[00:05:06] Speaker A: The wall of fish. Yeah. That was pretty awesome.

[00:05:09] Speaker C: There were, like, angel fish and pyramid fish.

[00:05:14] Speaker A: Yeah.

Were those pyramid butterfly fish is what they were called?

[00:05:18] Speaker C: I think so, yeah.

[00:05:19] Speaker A: And there were pufferfish, box fish. It was really cool. That was one of the coolest places because there were so many. Not just fish, but such bright fish. That was the brightest group of fish I’ve ever seen. Yeah, I know. I talked to Oliver about this, but when we were doing our thing, could you hear the whales in the water?

[00:05:46] Speaker C: Yes.

[00:05:46] Speaker A: Yeah. What did you think about that?

[00:05:49] Speaker C: I don’t think it was very far away because you could really hear it, but Oliver and Papa didn’t hear it, and I actually don’t know why.

[00:06:04] Speaker A: I know. I felt like it was super loud. And when we watch all the video that I took underwater, you can hear the whales in each one doing their.

That’s my best whale sound. Do you want to give a whale sound a go? No. Okay, that’s fine.

Yeah. No, each place that we went snorkeling, that was something that was really cool. So we had three big snorkels. So we did Kayala kakua Bay at the Big island. That’s the captain cook one. Were you with me for that or did I have Oliver with me for, um.

I think it was you.

[00:06:40] Speaker C: And was you because Oliver spotted the octopus.

[00:06:43] Speaker A: Oh, that’s right. Because there was the octopus at the first one and Oliver and Papa got to see it and we didn’t.

But we got another one at another time, so that was good. So we went snorkeling there at the big island, and then we did a nighttime snorkel with manta rays at a different spot than we did before. And this time it wasn’t so good.

[00:07:03] Speaker C: Yeah, saw like three or four.

[00:07:05] Speaker A: Yeah. When we went in November, we saw like twelve, and that was amazing. This time the manta rays weren’t really feeling it and it was a really sandy spot, too, so it was a little different.

And then we had Olawalu and shark fin. Yeah, those were all great snorkels. So what else did you want to talk about? You were just saying you had something that you wanted to.

[00:07:24] Speaker C: What I really want to talk about, too, is how I kind of got to work with Julia, the chef that makes all the pastries.

[00:07:36] Speaker A: Yeah.

[00:07:37] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:07:37] Speaker A: Tell us all about that.

[00:07:38] Speaker B: Okay.

[00:07:39] Speaker C: So there was actually a lot of steps, and I feel like since there was like 15 yards of steps, that we were kind of underwater but still dry.

[00:07:59] Speaker A: Oh, I see what you’re saying. Yeah. So where the galley is where you guys would do your baking, you had to go over that threshold and down into the belly of the ship, which, you’re right, that was in the underwater portion of the boat. And what did you help with?

[00:08:15] Speaker C: So I helped with some puff pastries. I got to fold and shape them.

We tried to do chocolate, but actually they exploded.

[00:08:35] Speaker A: Well, it sounds like baking on the ship is kind of like baking at home. It’s kind of hit and miss.

[00:08:40] Speaker C: Yeah, kind of cool. But we also did like mango and guava and mixed berry and raspberry.

[00:08:51] Speaker D: Cool.

[00:08:53] Speaker A: You guys were productive people.

Who else did you really enjoy hanging out with on the ship?

[00:09:00] Speaker C: I really liked to hang out with three people who usually work at the bar.

[00:09:08] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:09:09] Speaker C: And they are Tam, Dorian and.

[00:09:14] Speaker A: Ah, yeah.

[00:09:16] Speaker C: And CJ. And dorian work on other ships, too.

And CJ will be on the.

Is it the legacy?

[00:09:30] Speaker A: Yeah, the wilderness legacy when we go on in June.

[00:09:33] Speaker C: Yeah. And Dorian, I actually don’t know, but I know he goes on other boat.

[00:09:42] Speaker A: Yeah. That’d be cool if he was on our ship, too, but I don’t think he’s going to be on our ship this next time.

[00:09:46] Speaker C: Andy will.

[00:09:47] Speaker A: Yeah. Andy will Captain Andy. That’ll be awesome.

[00:09:50] Speaker C: And Tam, she just works on the Safari explorer.

[00:09:57] Speaker A: Got it.

[00:09:57] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:09:58] Speaker A: I like Tam. She was cool.

[00:09:59] Speaker C: Yeah.

[00:10:00] Speaker A: So, is there anything else you wanted to specifically talk about?

Did you learn anything interesting during our week on board?

[00:10:10] Speaker C: Yeah.

[00:10:11] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:10:12] Speaker C: That some hawaiian songs were inspired by different fruits.

[00:10:18] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:10:19] Speaker C: But some of the fruits aren’t actually native to Hawaii.

[00:10:23] Speaker A: Oh, that’s true.

[00:10:24] Speaker D: Cool.

[00:10:25] Speaker C: And so, our.

Geez, what’s his main job?

[00:10:33] Speaker A: Who, Sam?

[00:10:34] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:10:34] Speaker A: Sam’s one of our expedition leaders, but he’s also chief ukulele engineer.

[00:10:40] Speaker B: Yep.

[00:10:41] Speaker C: And we call him Sam the man.

And he made a presentation all about songs.

And so I knew a few of those songs.

My favorite was lava.

[00:11:03] Speaker A: Oh, I. Lava you. Do you want to sing a little of it? No.

[00:11:07] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:11:08] Speaker C: But there was one very weird song to me that was called Guava Jelly.

[00:11:16] Speaker A: Oh, guava Jelly. I think that was Sam’s favorite song.

[00:11:20] Speaker C: Yeah. And Sam was also a seahorse guy.

[00:11:25] Speaker D: Yeah.

[00:11:26] Speaker A: He worked at the Seahorse farm in.

[00:11:33] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:11:34] Speaker D: Cool. Yeah.

[00:11:35] Speaker A: Well, I loved having all that time on board with you, and you were great. You were good about doing your homework, hanging out either in the library or the lounge, doing that. So that was great.

And we got to see so many whales. Did you like watching the whales or the dolphins?

[00:11:50] Speaker C: More dolphins.

[00:11:51] Speaker A: Why?

[00:11:54] Speaker C: I liked the spotted dolphins because some of them would slow down and then speed up. But the spinner dolphins, I just liked how they were jumping and spinning, and we actually saw, like, 175 whales.

[00:12:18] Speaker A: Is that what the final count was?

[00:12:20] Speaker B: I think so, yeah.

[00:12:21] Speaker A: It was something crazy. And we saw him jumping, reaching, and.

[00:12:27] Speaker C: Something they were doing very weird. Was just slapping their tails against the water.

[00:12:32] Speaker A: Yeah, that was really cool. There was that one that was really close to the boat, and when I was watching him, when he’d slap, I could feel the hoomp, like, the kind of the pound of the sound. You could feel it kind of, like, hit your chest.

[00:12:46] Speaker D: It was really cool.

[00:12:48] Speaker A: Yeah, super neat.

[00:12:50] Speaker D: Well, cool.

[00:12:50] Speaker A: Thanks for sharing with me. It was great. There’s something else you want to share?

[00:12:56] Speaker C: And usually we learned that Hawaiians actually used to eat dog.

[00:13:03] Speaker A: Oh, we did. Where did we learn that?

[00:13:05] Speaker C: I feel like it was some sort of monastery.

[00:13:08] Speaker A: Oh, was that when we were at the.

[00:13:10] Speaker D: The.

[00:13:11] Speaker A: In the halava valley? Yeah, Mr. Greg taught us about that.

[00:13:14] Speaker C: And also, what was it that we got to try?

[00:13:19] Speaker A: Poi. Oh, that’s right. There was the poi that we had. What’s poi made out of?

[00:13:25] Speaker C: Root.

[00:13:26] Speaker A: Yeah, tarot root. That was pretty cool. So when we went to the holle, we got to visit. You’re making the funniest face. We got to visit a really cool family who have lived in the halava valley for hundreds of years, farming. And then when the big tidal wave hit Molokai, I think, what was it, 1947 or something, it wiped out everything. And so they rebuilt, and now they’re the only family there. And it was a really cool, interesting place to visit. And we got to try their farmed goods and talk about all kinds of different traditional hawaiian life things.

[00:14:08] Speaker C: And also there was a hawaiian greeting that was like, forehead to forehead and nose to nose.

And how many people were going there always had to do it to greet them. Also, they had to bring a gift and put it on stones.

[00:14:36] Speaker A: That was really interesting. We learned a lot there. And the thing that is funny, because I get kind of uncomfortable around people I don’t know. And so when I saw that we were going to be going forehead to forehead, nose to nose, to greet people, I got really anxious. But then everybody else was doing it, and it felt really normal. And Mr. Greg made a really good point that that sort of greeting, when that’s offered to you, it’s rude to not accept. That’d be like not accepting a handshake from somebody.

[00:15:07] Speaker C: Yeah.

[00:15:07] Speaker A: I was like, that’s an interesting way to look at it. And that was a great insight into that sort of hawaiian culture. I loved it.

[00:15:15] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:15:15] Speaker A: Anything else you want to share about?

[00:15:17] Speaker C: No.

[00:15:17] Speaker D: Okay, cool.

[00:15:18] Speaker A: Thank you for joining me, Elliot. I love hearing what you enjoyed, and I can’t wait to do Alaska with you this summer.

[00:15:25] Speaker C: Anytime.

[00:15:26] Speaker A: Excellent.

Now I’ve got Oliver with me, and he is going to also share what he enjoyed of our uncruised experience in Hawaii. Welcome back to the sir.

[00:15:38] Speaker B: Hello. Hello.

[00:15:40] Speaker A: So, where would you like to start? Elliot had a little bit of talk about snorkeling, a little bit of talk about cats.

What was your favorite activity that we did across that whole week at sea?

[00:15:52] Speaker B: I really liked all the snorkeling we did because we saw lots of cool animals, including fish and sea turtles and octopus.

[00:16:00] Speaker A: There was octopus, that’s true.

Which was your favorite snorkeling spot?

[00:16:06] Speaker B: I really liked Kiyali kakua Bay. Yeah, that one’s pretty cool. And Olawalu, where we saw the sea turtle.

[00:16:15] Speaker A: Yeah. And it was funny because when we went to Olawalu back in November, it was super duper clear, remember? And then this time it was kind of, I don’t know, a little turbid.

[00:16:25] Speaker B: It was deeper here, too.

[00:16:27] Speaker A: It was because. Yeah, we were at a different part of the bay, but it was pretty great. And you guys have gotten really good at snorkeling, which is awesome. And so with the snorkeling and snorkeling. Olawalu, was there something about the way we did it that you really liked? Do you prefer to go from shore? Do you like going off the skiff? What’s your preferred snorkeling method these days?

[00:16:49] Speaker B: I think it’s easier to go off the shore because you just sort of, like, get in at your own pace.

[00:16:55] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:16:55] Speaker B: But getting off a boat is really fun because there’s less time for cool creatures to get away, so you get to see a lot more.

[00:17:02] Speaker A: That’s true. That’s a great point.

What do you think about? I know that it was kind of turbid when we did our manta race snorkel because we were in a sandy spot and the waves were a little bit rough. What’d you think about the nighttime manta ray snorkeling?

[00:17:18] Speaker B: I thought it was really interesting because there weren’t actually that much mana rays the night we were doing it, but there were lots of pipe fish.

[00:17:27] Speaker A: Oh, yeah.

[00:17:28] Speaker B: And they kept swinging over, eating the plankton, because once your eyes really adjust through the water, you see just all the plankton going through. And I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure I heard Elliot say that you saw an octopus or a baby octopus.

[00:17:44] Speaker D: We did.

[00:17:44] Speaker A: Yeah. There was a little, tiny little octopus guy who was kind of floating past us.

[00:17:49] Speaker D: Yeah, it was pretty sweet. Cool.

[00:17:51] Speaker A: What else did you enjoy?

[00:17:55] Speaker B: The boat itself was really cool.

The boat had, like, a game room. It had a living room or just a lounge.

Had its own restaurant built in. And sometimes you could actually just go into the front of the captain’s area and look out and see what’s happening.

[00:18:16] Speaker A: Oh, cool. I didn’t know you went up to the bridge.

[00:18:18] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:18:18] Speaker D: Cool.

[00:18:19] Speaker A: Who was up there? Was it Captain Andy, or was it Tiffany?

[00:18:22] Speaker B: Well, Captain Andy was there, and so was Tara. You asked me to go up there to get her because of the red wing traffic bird.

[00:18:30] Speaker A: Oh, that’s right. Yes. Tara got very upset when I would see wildlife and not get her. She was our expedition leader.

[00:18:36] Speaker D: Cool. Yeah.

[00:18:38] Speaker A: What else? Come on, tell me all about it. We had a whole week of exploring.

You seemed like you were really jamming out and excited about different things.

[00:18:47] Speaker B: I think the skiff tours were also really cool because you just go around getting sprayed in the face with lots of water, but then you’re just cruising along. Then you see a whale breach a couple hundred yards off. That’s just going.

[00:19:06] Speaker A: Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

And then we did our kayaking and stuff as well, which it didn’t look like you were enjoying that super. A lot. But also, I know you’re an observer.

[00:19:18] Speaker B: Yeah. I’m not a paddler.

[00:19:20] Speaker A: You’re not a paddler at all.

True story.

[00:19:23] Speaker D: Good times.

[00:19:25] Speaker A: So we did some good kayaking. What did you think of when we went up the Hualalai volcano on the big island and did our lava tube hike?

[00:19:35] Speaker B: I thought that was pretty interesting because I learned a lot of things that I didn’t really know, like laws about harvesting coal wood and about all the different native plants.

[00:19:45] Speaker D: Yeah.

[00:19:46] Speaker A: What did you think of the lava flows itself? Did that make sense to you? Kind of what we were looking at.

[00:19:51] Speaker B: Sort of made sense, yeah. We saw lots of birds on the hike.

[00:19:55] Speaker A: That’s true. Yes.

[00:19:57] Speaker B: We saw an apapane nest with little eggs inside.

[00:20:02] Speaker A: Oh, that’s right. In the lava tube. We saw the apapane nest. And then did you get to see the eevee? Yeah, I love those. Those are the bright red honey creepers with the really curved beaks.

[00:20:14] Speaker B: The orange beaks.

[00:20:15] Speaker A: Yeah. Orange, red. Potato, potato.

[00:20:19] Speaker B: Whatever floats your boat.

[00:20:20] Speaker A: Whatever floats your boat.

That was the hike where I slipped and I broke my phone, but I didn’t break my camera. Thank goodness.

[00:20:30] Speaker B: There was this one point where just everybody kept falling. Five people fell, including, like, the hike expedition leader. He fell, too.

[00:20:38] Speaker A: Yeah.

[00:20:39] Speaker D: Good times.

[00:20:40] Speaker A: But it was fun and it was pretty. And that was a really cool hike. I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed going through the lava tube, which is like an open cave. It was super interesting. Let’s see, what else did we do on Molokai?

We went out to the hale in the Halawa Valley. Elliot talked a little bit about this. What’d you think about that? Did you learn anything interesting?

[00:21:04] Speaker C: Yeah, I thought it was really cool.

[00:21:05] Speaker B: We didn’t get to do much of the stuff we were planning to do there because it was all sort of rainy, but we learned about a lot of the fruit and vegetables they grow there. And we got to try the. It’s not poi, but it’s like, we have to research something.

[00:21:21] Speaker A: Pohina? Is that what it was called? I couldn’t remember. Elliot just called it poi, and I let him roll with it.

And then that was also where we learned about those different customs. And we got to see how he blew into the conc shell. That was cool.

Let’s see. We did so much stuff. I’m racking my brain.

[00:21:43] Speaker C: It was that day where we.

[00:21:45] Speaker B: I think the place is called lanai, where we went. Like, we actually got to go to shore and do all that cool stuff.

Me, my brother, and my papa, we went to a cat sanctuary.

[00:21:58] Speaker A: Yeah.

Tell us the story of the cat sanctuary. I didn’t get to go there, so I don’t really know too much.

[00:22:05] Speaker B: So the cat sanctuary, it’s not, like, in a really sort of, like, suburban, rural, that sort of area, anyway. It’s this huge place. Like, a huge enclosure.

Like, there are certain enclosures. Like, there’s one for older cats, there’s one for younger cats, there’s one for cats with special needs, all sorts of cats. And when you first enter, they gave you a little bag of cat treats. The second you stepped into the first enclosure, ten cats would come and crawl all over you. And when you actually went to one of the seas and sat down, five cats would come and sit all in your lap.

[00:22:44] Speaker A: So, friendly cats.

[00:22:46] Speaker B: Yes, very friendly cats.

[00:22:48] Speaker A: Thank you for not bringing one home, because. Yeah, I don’t think that Biju would have enjoyed that, but it looks like your face says you wanted to bring one home.

[00:22:57] Speaker D: Good times.

[00:22:58] Speaker A: Whale watching. That’s something else that I really wanted to chat with you about.

[00:23:04] Speaker D: Good times.

[00:23:04] Speaker A: I’m losing my speech abilities.

Something really cool that I got to hear a couple of times was the hydrophone. Do you remember using the hydrophone?

[00:23:15] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:23:16] Speaker D: Tell us about that.

[00:23:18] Speaker B: So the hydrophone is basically just like a microphone you put into the water, and you hear all the stuff that’s happening, and when you put it into the water at the spot we were at, you could hear all the whale song. It was like, kind of like a super high, but low pitched ambulance siren.

[00:23:38] Speaker A: That’s a really good way to describe it, actually. Yeah. And, gosh, when you got to hear the hydrophone, there were, I don’t know, what, seven, eight different whale songs going on all at once.

[00:23:48] Speaker B: Yeah, but it’s not like the whales are really close, because you can hear a whale song from, like, a hundred miles away.

[00:23:54] Speaker A: Yeah, but there were also so many whales there in that Maui nui area between Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, that, gosh, they were probably all screaming at us.

[00:24:05] Speaker B: Breach here, breach there.

[00:24:06] Speaker A: Oh, it was craziness. It was funny. I took thousands of pictures.

[00:24:11] Speaker D: Good times.

[00:24:12] Speaker A: So, after a week at sea, what was your absolute favorite aspect of our UnCruise? Is it something related to the ship? Was it an activity? Was it the crew? What was your favorite takeaway?

[00:24:27] Speaker B: I think that the whole thing was equally cool because the activities were fun, the boat was fun, the food was good.

[00:24:34] Speaker D: Cool.

[00:24:35] Speaker A: So just holistically awesome.

[00:24:38] Speaker B: Yes.

[00:24:38] Speaker A: All right. Are you excited for our June sailing?

[00:24:41] Speaker B: Yes.

[00:24:42] Speaker A: Excellent. And then, so we didn’t talk about it when Papa and I recorded another podcast episode about UnCruise. But if you were going to pick one other cruise to do, what would it be?

[00:24:53] Speaker B: Cabo.

[00:24:54] Speaker D: Cabo.

[00:24:56] Speaker A: So you want to do the Baja California?

[00:24:58] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:24:59] Speaker A: Why?

[00:25:00] Speaker B: Well, I’ve been there before and it’s super awesome. I’ve gone there on my birthday a couple of times in Mexico, which is super cool. The beaches are super nice, there’s lots of turtles and fun things you can do.

[00:25:13] Speaker D: Cool.

[00:25:13] Speaker A: So you want to do the cruise down there?

[00:25:15] Speaker B: Yes.

[00:25:15] Speaker D: Okay.

[00:25:16] Speaker A: I’ll work on it. I’ll work on it.

[00:25:18] Speaker C: But hopefully early November.

[00:25:21] Speaker A: Oh, you want to do it for your birthday?

[00:25:23] Speaker B: Well, yeah, that’ll be fun.

[00:25:24] Speaker A: That would be fun.

[00:25:26] Speaker D: Cool.

[00:25:26] Speaker A: Well, thank you for joining me and for sharing your thoughts and opinions and feelings. We will have you back again to talk about something else, probably Peru when we get back from Peru.

[00:25:36] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:25:37] Speaker A: Thanks so much for tuning in. Be sure to hit that subscribe button and share this with a friend that you want to go and experience an UnCruise with. And don’t forget, if you go to slash podcast episodes, you can leave your own questions for us to answer in a podcast episode. So until next time, thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you later.

[00:25:59] Speaker B: Goodbye.

[00:26:00] Speaker A: 2TravelDads Podcast is created by Rob and Chris Taylor in St. Augustine, Florida. We’d love to answer your questions here on the podcast, providing both our experience and stories to share our own insights into whatever you’re wondering about. Visit to leave your questions and to check out past episodes and show notes. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button and have an awesome day.