The Dole Plantation
Sunday, my last full day in Hawaii, was spent just with my boyfriend. We started the day out by driving to the Dole Plantation, which was different than what I thought it was going to be. When we first arrived we walked in through the gift shop. The first half of the gift shop consists of clothes, keychains, magnets, and all the typical tourist gadgets people buy. I picked up a pink shirt for my sister that had 3 hearts across it, one yellow; one red; and one green, and it said- “The Dole Plantation”. It's made of the baby doll material, which is my favorite.
The many places pineapples are from.
I saw that they had youth Hello Kitty shirts made only for the Dole Plantation, but they were all a size 6 and I need a size 12, so I choose not to buy a shirt. I picked up a shot glass with the Dole logo, like the ones you see on all their products. It took me forever to find a keychain to buy, but eventually I found one that had different Dole charms dangling from it. After we bought that we went to the second part of the gift shop, which is the food section. Almost everything in this part of the shop is pineapple flavored. They have everything from nuts to ice cream. We walked out the door through there which leads to their pineapple display. They have real pineapples growing of different varieties. We walked around taking pictures of the pineapples and then we walked through the garden.
The Dole Plantation prides itself on their exotic plants and decorative garden. They also have a Koi fish pond, which had more Koi fish than I had ever seen in my life! We went into the maze next. This is the world's biggest live maze! We didn't spend too much time in the maze, because it annoyed me. When we came back into the gift shop from outside we saw the Maui Divers Jewelry stand in the back. We had received coupons upon walking in for a free pearl and 40% off whatever we bought. Well, they had a display of oysters sitting in a bowl and I choose on to get my free pearl. After the woman pulled out my oyster and told me about them, she made me take the little knife and tap the oyster three times and say, "Aloha". My boyfriend totally surprised me by buying a $100 necklace set to put the pearl on in 10kt white gold with a little diamond on the leaf! I also received a complimentary oyster which had 2 pearls in it! I took those home.
The unique plants at the Dole Plantation.
After the Dole Plantation we went back to swim in the pool at our hotel, although I didn't actually get in the pool, because it was a little breezy for me. We had to get ready for our dinner cruise that night too. We bought tickets to the Ali'i Kai Sunset Dinner which was just over $66 a piece for each of us. It is one of the most popular cruises in the Honolulu area. - The cruise line picks everyone up from the hotels by a charter bus, although people could walk or drive to the dock on their own if they had to or wanted to. On the bus ride to the dock we were entertained by our Samoan host. First we went around to introduce ourselves and then he told us about the dinner cruise and the Polynesian Islands.
We're in a field of pineapples!
One thing that was great about the cruise is that it doesn't just take us on a cruise, it explored all of the Polynesian Islands and taught us about them. The hosts and dancers for each group come from different Polynesian Islands, including one from Hawaii. We were known as “Bus 1”. Each bus or group had a number. When we first arrived at the dock we had our pictures taken by a little display they had set up and later we were given the option to purchase the pictures for $20. It was my favorite picture of us from the night, but we didn't have cash in hand to pay for the picture, so we had to pass. Then we enter the cruise ship, but before we are given the option of upgrading our seats. The dinner comes with 1 drink pass, the buffet that is served, and everyone is seated in the middle of the main deck in tables of twenty.
For $20 we upgraded our seats to a 4 person table, that we shared with an older Irish couple, that was by the outside of the main deck, so we could see the view better as we ate. After seating, the Buffet started pretty quickly. Mostly it was Asian food with some fruit and salad. My boyfriend and I ordered drinks at the bar in the back and we bought the souvenir coconut glasses to go with them. The boat we were on had an upstairs outside deck to go on to see the water and scenery, bathrooms on the main deck, and the main deck is also where we ate and were entertained. After eating, the dancers from the different Polynesian Islands came out to dance and show their native traditions. The boat also had a live band for before and after the dancers. The dancers interacted with the audience as well.
Getting My Pearl
Then we had the bus competition. Each bus learned a special cheer before boarding and whoever was the loudest “won a prize”. Well, our bus won and we all got to go in the middle of the main deck and to the Macarania. -Not sure if that was really a prize. After that, while the boat was heading back to the dock, they played all kinds of music to dance to. About 10 minutes before we docked the Dramamine I had taken wore off and I started to feel a slight bit woozy from the boat rocking in the water. I recommend never trying to "tough it out" or take a chance on water, because more than likely the whole night will just be ruined. I really enjoyed the cruise, although I think it was definitely more family oriented and for older couples too. Once we docked, we all boarded a bus back and they took us back to the same stops they had picked us up at.
Our plan had been to walk along the beach that night, but I was so tired that I feel asleep. I never did really adjust to the time difference and that really take away from the trip.