Hawaii Mom Blog: A Magical Morning on the Dolphin Star - Kids Free July 1 to September 30!




June 9, 2015

A Magical Morning on the Dolphin Star - Kids Free July 1 to September 30!

There's something just so enchanting about dolphins, so when Hawaii Mom Blog was invited to go on the Dolphin Star's Wild Dolphin Watch & BBQ Cruise, I was extremely excited!

Dolphin Star
I drove to the Waianae Boat Harbor to meet the rest of the guests, most of whom were arriving via Royal Star Hawaii's Deluxe Motor Coach (which is under the same parent company as Dolphin Star).    

I was promptly checked-in and welcomed aboard the 149-passenger Dolphin Star (Hoku Nai`a), which includes a 360-degree observation deck on top, and a dining room deck on the bottom.  

2nd deck
First deck
After an informative safety briefing and an offering of ginger pills (to help those with a tendency to get motion sick) we were soon on our way.  In just about 10 to 15 minutes we came across an enormous pod of spinner dolphins.

Spinner dolphins!
More dolphins!

It was such a sight to see!

They were gracefully swimming in the ocean, and when they jumped out of the water everyone would cheer!

My son thought it was so neat to see all the dolphins, but what he really loved about the Dolphin Star was the Keiki Program.

Coloring activity
Robin, one of the crew members, led the activities, and she was wonderful with the kids - asking them all sorts of questions about marine animals and teachings the kids a lot too.

The activities began just when we could see the dolphins, and instead of doing the activities I was anxious to take my son to check out the dolphins, but one of the crew members said "Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to see the dolphins."

And he was right.  I had imagined we'd see dolphins off in the distance, quickly swimming by, but instead the dolphins were slowly swimming through the ocean, and they lingered for quite a while!

Shortly thereafter we cruised down the Waianae Coast Line.

Makua Valley
Beautiful coastline

It was simply breathtaking!
A gorgeous day out on the ocean

Soon it was time for lunch!  
The Create-Your-Own Gourmet Burger Lunch bar includes burgers that are grilled onboard, taro buns, grilled pineapple, Kamuela tomatoes, Kula lettuce, potato chips, and more.

I love that local ingredients are offered, and that everything is fresh - I can't remember the last time I saw such fresh leaves of lettuce and slices of tomatoes!

Water and fruit punch are available to drink, and additional beverages are available for purchase.

The DIY burger bar was a hit!  If you don't eat meat, the crew will offer to grill up a cheese sandwich so you can make your own kicked-up grilled cheese, or if you give at least 24 hours notice, you can get a Vegan Garden Burger.

The two-hour cruise was almost coming to an end (an afternoon 3-hour tour includes snorkeling), but when we headed to the dock another boat was in the boat slip, so we headed back out to the ocean for a few more minutes, where we got to see a couple of sea turtles (I was too slow to snap a photo), and we even got to see the dolphins once again!

While back out at sea we also saw a large piece of debris in the ocean, and the crew fished it out!

It was quite a thrill to see so many dolphins, but in the event that you don't see any dolphins on your tour, Dolphin Star offers a Dolphin Guarantee (get a free return "Dolphin Check" until a dolphin is sighted).

The entire Hoku Nai`a crew was outstanding, and watching the dolphins and seeing the beautiful Waianae Coastline truly made for a magical morning. 

For more information on Dolphin Star's cruises and prices, click here.

For Dolphin Watch reservations on July 1 to September 30, 2015, kids are free!  One child tours free per paying adult, and if you're interested in the BBQ or snorkeling, just pay the difference!

Dolphin Star is a member of the Dolphin SMART program, which focuses on responsible viewing of dolphins in the wild.

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