I get a lot of emails asking for things to do with the older kids, age 9-12 so I decided to do a series of cool tween activities on Maui. All of these things require participation which I believe equals more fun for the older kid who no longer needs mom & dad holding their hand but yet still needs a little guidance.
This 2 1/2 hour experience meshes education, water fun and photography all into one. The naturalists at The Ritz Carlton’s Jean-Cousteau Ambassador of the Environment center first give you a little background and knowledge on the sea and then they shuttle you to the beach to actually go see all that you’ve learned. You also get a camera to use under water, a snack after your snorkel and your photos to take home to share.
The “Cities Under the Sea” excursion takes place in gorgeous Kapalua Bay. This is where we put on our mask, snorkel, fins and with a camera around our neck, set off to explore.
And so began one of the coolest experiences, breathing while face deep in Maui’s waters! I’ll admit, snorkeling gets me a bit anxious and it had been NINE years since I had last breathed under water. But with the help of my naturalist (and a floaty…yeah, I wore a floaty…and LOVED it!), I felt right at home in the water in no time.
We headed to the north side of the bay for clearer water and quickly spotted fish that we had just learned about back at the Ambassador’s of the Environment offices. Our naturalist, Jaclyn dove down and brought up a couple of sea creatures so we could get a closer look and even feel.
We didn’t have to go that far before we spotted a sea turtle noshing on some sea grub. We also passed by a school of about 20 fish riding the ocean’s current and snapped pics of a couple of butterfly fish, who we learned mate for life. (how awesome is that?!)
Under water was magical and it was indeed very much like a bustling little city. Growing, breathing and and working together to sustain a happy home. And that’s when I fell even more in love with the ocean, the sea.
“People will protect what they love.”-Cousteau
That’s the mission of The Ritz Carlton’s Jean-Cousteau Ambassador of the Environment. To educate and then to give a hands on experience so that we can make a connection, fall in love and in turn help to protect and save our little cities under the sea. For me this experience was mission accomplished. I left with a deeper understanding and connection and a exhilarating feeling of wanting to be a helping hand in making sure that my buddies under the sea are well taken care of.
This is an experience for all to enjoy but I think tweens will especially love it. And hopefully these little mini adults will carry what they learned with them and help become stewards of the environment.
Cost: $89 per guest/$69 per child under 15
disclosure: this excursion was part of a social media tour with the Maui Visitors Bureau where I got to experience first hand many of the awesome things Maui has to offer, in exchange for me writing about them. All opinions are my own..good, bad and the funny.