Now I don't believe I've ever done an "event" post but I wanted to tell you guys all about our fabulous day trip with the Polynesian Cultural Center since I was on Oahu just this past 2 weeks :)
First of all, they have a wonderful menu of visitor packages. Our family chose the Oahu Circle Island Tour+ Ambassador Package & Prime Dining though the first time I went over 10 years ago we chose the Oahu Circle Island Tour & Ali'i Luau Package which I can honestly say is the better of the two. (I'll explain later.) Regardless we had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the history of Oahu.
For both packages a bus will come to pick you up at your hotel. Ours came at 8 am which is pretty early for us but we made it!
We visited some of the most famous tourist destinations like Hanauma Bay, Nuuanu Pali Lookout, North Shore, the Dole Plantation and "From Here to Eternity" Beach and drove by many more (like Turtle Beach and Waimea Bay Beach Park).
After a few hours we stopped at the famous Kahuku Shrimp truck but alas we thought it was included in the package and it was not! They only took cash (which we did not have for some ridiculous reason) so the best we could do was smell the delicious food our fellow bus mates had ordered. :(
Once we reached the Polynesian Cultural Center around 1 pm, we ate at the snack bar and started our guided tour. First we were entertained by river dancers representing different Polynesian kingdoms. I also met Cody Mafatu, a Polynesian Cultural Center MC for the luau but also a commercial actor and world traveler. He is an amazing person, bursting with positive energy! Check out his videos on youtube, you will love them!
The Polynesian Cultural Center is actually full of really hilarious hosts and all of the shows were so fun. At one point we had a leisurely canoe ride down the center of the park and my sisters had fun with their beaded necklaces (as seen above). One of my favorite parts of the day was the IMAX movie about the gorgeous scenery of all the Hawaiian islands in association with a story about a boy growing up in the Polynesian islands.
For dinner we had the Prime Rib dining and unfortunately I didn't grab too many photos of the food but it really was a delicious quality buffet. My sister Jasmine is apparently a crab leg connoisseur and said it was excellent. The steak was also full of flavor and cooked to perfection. I liked that there was a full salad bar with a great selection and dessert was on its own level too with cupcakes, cheesecake and pie to boot. I also got a photo with our server Chelsea who happened to be the daughter of the Polynesian Cultural Center CFO. She was super nice and told us about how she was in school to become a sketch artist for the FBI. Cool right? :)
We weren't allowed to take photos during the final show of the evening, but it sure was a sight to see. The story was called Hā: Breath of Life and about the circle of life - much like the Lion King. I guess they change the show/story every 3 years so it is worth seeing pretty regularly as I do believe it is one of the best shows on the island. It was amazing when the performers started playing with fire too. My sister Jasmine actually gasped in shock when one performer threw his burning baton across the stage into the pitch blackness and another performer caught it with ease!
Ultimately it was a really relaxing, fun and informative day and I am so thankful to my sister Irene for helping me with photos all day but by the time we got back to our hotel at 10 pm, we were totally wiped out.
I would recommend the Oahu Circle Island Tour & Ali'i Luau Package though as I believe the day is shorter but sweeter and the dinner Luau in the evening is more of the Hawaiian experience. I mean they even cook a pig in the ground! ;)