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marcyjane
September 26th, 2006, 01:16 AM
I posted this on the Ports of Call board, but thought I might get some answer here as well.

Has anyone been to the Polynesian Cultural Center and is it worth the money. Also if so which package did you choose?

On their web site it states that they open at 12:30 pm, but doesn't say how long all the visit is, I'm sure it must be a long day if you pick a package that includes the show at night.

One more question is it best to go ahead and book on the web or wait til you get there can you get a better deal?


Just any information will be helpful.

Thanks,
Marcy

AZ_Roy
September 26th, 2006, 03:02 AM
I posted this on the Ports of Call board, but thought I might get some answer here as well.

Has anyone been to the Polynesian Cultural Center and is it worth the money. Also if so which package did you choose?

On their web site it states that they open at 12:30 pm, but doesn't say how long all the visit is, I'm sure it must be a long day if you pick a package that includes the show at night.

One more question is it best to go ahead and book on the web or wait til you get there can you get a better deal?


Just any information will be helpful.

Thanks,
Marcy

We did the big package at the Center in 2003 and it was a blast and worth the price as well. If you do the full deal you are there until past 10pm as I recall. Good fun and good food, I think they even fed us twice! :)

rideev
September 26th, 2006, 05:31 AM
Has anyone been to the Polynesian Cultural Center and is it worth the money. Also if so which package did you choose?




Marcy,

Ask me at the end of January as we will go there when we cruise in January. My roommate (I am in the Army stationed in Kuwait currently) just came back in August and he went to the PCC while there, along with another luau or two. He and his wife both said it was one of the best things they did on Oahu, right behind the Arizona. Two make it more impressive, he used to be stationed in Hawaii so he knew the Island rather well. They were on a land vacation on Oahu for 2 weeks.

Rich, from Middle Kentucky!

marcyjane
September 26th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Rich from Kentucky,
Thank you for all you're doing for us here in the states and be safe. Rich I am from Tennessee, between Chattanooga and Nashville.

AZ Roy, On the big package it says Guided Tour how did that go. Did you all go with the guide or on your own.

Thanks
Marcy

Kay240
September 26th, 2006, 08:51 AM
I'm sailing (POH) October 30- November 6, and plan to go on the BEST OF OAHU GRAND FINALE TOUR, which is for flights after 9:30 PM. I have tried to get information about the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER segment (first stop is PEARL HARBOR) for two months! Everything I have read makes it sound VERY INTERESTING: canoes, different villages, singing, dancing, demonstrations, IMAX, food...:D I read somewhere there was an "after 4" admission price which is lower, but you will miss seeing alot if you come that late; it's probably good for people who have been there before.

DavidMcD
September 26th, 2006, 10:31 AM
We have been many times (former residents and now frequent visitors to Hawaii), but not through NCL. The web site for the pcc is http://polynesianculturalcenter.com/

We usually do not do the luau (makes the day too long with little kids), but still have fun!

graymadeb
September 26th, 2006, 10:33 AM
The Polynesian Cultural Center is well worth it - whatever way you go. I wouldn't bother with a tour guide - it's all pretty much self-guided/self explanatory with the shows in the different villages, etc. Most of the performers are native students from various Polynesian cultures studying at the BYU Hawaii Campus. You'll love it!

Tobintemp
September 26th, 2006, 10:53 AM
We did this a few years ago. It is really a full day and well worth it to stay for the evening show. It is laid out by different Polynesian countires and each has it own shows. We didn't do the laua, but just had the regular dinner buffet beofre the show. The evening show and the canoe pagent were the highlights for us.

Deb in Cali
September 26th, 2006, 11:30 AM
My husband and I did the PCC years ago and were extremely dissapointed. I know that I am in the minority here, but you couldn't pay me to go back. We thought that it was a waste of our time and money. I don't know if we just had heard too much about it and had unreasonable expectations, but the day was a diaster.

This was scheduled for our last day in Hawaii. We thought that it would be a great way to end a great vacation.

The day that we were there many of the areas were of limits to us or had way too many people because of the other areas being off limits. Some VIP from one of the cultures was visiting and apparently PCC was gving him and his group the royal treatment. We only saw on or two of the areas. Then, the areas we did get to see were poorly staff with very little demos going on. Everybody on staff was too busy trying to see this VIP or wanted to talk about it instead of what they were suppose to be discussing .

My husband is 1/2 Tahitian and one of the purposes of the visit was to learn more about his culture. So we made a beeline to vist the Tahitian village. While it was open, and there was one staff member there, there was nothing going one. It was pitiful. The staff memeber liiterally said "Well normally there is someone over there doing ___________, and there is usually someone over here doing ______________", etc. I guess we were suppose to imagine it all.

So we walked over to another area. There was no one there, it was totally abandoned. Then we decided to try the boat ride that would take us around to one of ther other lands. We were not permited on it because it was being used exclusively for the VIP. A few minutes later we saw others on it so we rushed back. Once again we were denied.

We would have left, but transporation was part of our deal, so we were stuck there unitl 10 PM or whenever they closed. I wanted to cry. So we just sat down and talked by one of the lands for an hour or so until it we were able to eat at the dinner buffet. The food was okay, but I am not sure if it was really just okay, or it was our preception after our lousy day. We did see the floor show, but I was too cranky to really want to enjoy it and just want to go back to the hotel.


Deb

threecats
September 26th, 2006, 12:36 PM
The country exhibits at the PCC are awesome, although I found some of the shows very cheesy. Especially the big parade on the lagoon in the afternoon reminded me a lot of Disney World. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend a visit.

We rented a car in Honolulu instead of taking a tour, and drove up to the PCC ourselves. We didn't stay for the luau, but chose to do some more driving and sightseeing (north coast, Dole pineapple plantation) instead.

Middleager
September 26th, 2006, 12:48 PM
We had 3 couples last year. We went just after lunch. Saw many pavalions and shows, including the canoe show in the middle of the afternoon. We went there with a mind to learn and enjoy the different culture, the singing and dance. It was really really good. Wished we had more time.

We did the package including the luau and the night show. The luau show was good. Food was not bad, but not great. But the atmosphere was good. You get a flower lei at the entrance. Because we lined up early, we were able to get a seat at the front and right by the stage to see the shows. They don't serve alcohol, so that may disappoint some people. I like wine with my dinner, but it was no problem because we were in paradise, immersed in an incredible cultural experience.

The night Horizon show is a must. It was so good I during the break I went out to buy a DVD and book describing the performance. After the show we were tired, and as the driver it was even more tiring for me, having to drive 1.5-2 hr back to Waikiki.

If you get the Entertainment book, you can use the coupon to get discount (I forgot, but was worth the money of the book) for the ticket.

marcyjane
September 26th, 2006, 02:29 PM
You All have been so helpful and I thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to post.
The information has made up our minds.

Just a couple more question in case someone looks at this post.
Are there places to set at each village with some shade and if you get a coupon book can you order on line and get the discount?

Thanks,
Marcy

cocoajo
September 26th, 2006, 09:30 PM
You All have been so helpful and I thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to post.
The information has made up our minds.

Just a couple more question in case someone looks at this post.
Are there places to set at each village with some shade and if you get a coupon book can you order on line and get the discount?

Thanks,
Marcy

All of the villages had shade and places to sit. I used the same coupon from the Entertainment Book, and I called them directly to buy our tickets. Hopefully you decided to go with the guided tour? I've taken the guided tour both times I've been, and I've heard from others who haven't had a guide that you don't have the opportunity to see as much, as the guides know how to maximize your time there.

Also remember that the Polynesian Cultural Center is owned by the Mormon Church and they do not serve alcohol or caffeinated drinks at the dining areas unless you ask for it. Have fun! And if you remember or have the opportunity, try the pineapple deelight!

marcyjane
September 26th, 2006, 10:57 PM
I feel so blessed to get all this good information.
Just wondering about these coupon books you all keep talking about, where do you get these and are they just for Oahu attractions or to they have special or deal on the other Islands we will port at as well.

Thanks,
Marcy:o

cruznut1111
September 26th, 2006, 11:01 PM
the guides know how to maximize your time there.



The guide did everything from hold an umbrella over us when a little rain started, to going and collecting crab legs off the buffet for us to augment our sit-down dinner. The special seating, boat ride and backstage tour really made it a special day. We were always led to each village a few minutes before its show and seated in the front row on blanketed benches. We thought we were mighty special that day.

FrozenOne
September 27th, 2006, 12:32 AM
I think the website is www.entertainment.com (http://www.entertainment.com)
You can get them for a whole bunch of cities.
For Hawaii, there is just one book.
Some of the coupons you can use anywhere in the states.

I have ripped mine all apart to save space in the backpack....

Kiera99
September 27th, 2006, 10:02 AM
I just went to PCC, this August. My grand-children voted this event their favorite. We got the $80 package. The Entertainment Book has a $40 coupon. They will credit the money back to the credit card you used to book the event. The luau and food were just OK. What crab legs?!? Maybe the more expensive tour W/guide has a better luau. I think Deb in Cali was there on the wrong day. We had fun at every village. Especially Samoa & Tahiti. The Horizons show was not as good as I remember it. However, it was still fantastic! You can hold your tickets and go back again within 3 days. We rented a car and stayed from 12-9pm. It was about an hour drive.

Kay240
September 27th, 2006, 10:33 AM
My husband and I did the PCC years ago and were extremely dissapointed. I know that I am in the minority here, but you couldn't pay me to go back. We thought that it was a waste of our time and money. I don't know if we just had heard too much about it and had unreasonable expectations, but the day was a diaster.

This was scheduled for our last day in Hawaii. We thought that it would be a great way to end a great vacation.

The day that we were there many of the areas were of limits to us or had way too many people because of the other areas being off limits. Some VIP from one of the cultures was visiting and apparently PCC was gving him and his group the royal treatment. We only saw on or two of the areas. Then, the areas we did get to see were poorly staff with very little demos going on. Everybody on staff was too busy trying to see this VIP or wanted to talk about it instead of what they were suppose to be discussing .

Deb

What a shame! Did you complain to management either then or later? I can understand a VIP can be disruptive, but you are paying guests, and it appears that hundreds of people did not get the experience they paid for because of the VIP.

suziehmkr
September 27th, 2006, 10:46 AM
While we had a less than perfect visit to PCC, I still rate it as an awesome experience. We had problems with our bus not having air conditioning - so everyone was ticked by the time we got there. DH was ready to go back, he was so ticked. I talked him into staying. Our guide was not that great and we missed many villages. I will use that as an excuse to go back on our own. I am sure a tour guide can be great... unfortunately ours was new, didn't get us to the shows on time and we spent alot of time waiting for the group to regather after each stop. I did write to PCC about this after our return, but did not get a response. We would go back again - but on our own, with no tour guide. On the other hand, friends of ours were there the same day and had a great tour guide.

I personally REALLY enjoyed the parade & the show - to the point where I now take Polynesian Dance class and just danced in my first show a few weeks ago.

dyslexic pirate
September 27th, 2006, 02:09 PM
Is the PCC staffed by young people on "missions for the church" meaning they work for room and board?

Are there areas of the center that are for mormons only and are closed off to the general public like they have in their temples/churches?

Is the center exempt from paying taxes since it is run/owned by a church?

The history of Hawaii and the meddling in the culture by various churches is very heartbreaking. Although, the PCC seems to be trying to preserve the cleaned up version of the early polynesian culture. (I'm assuming it doesn't show the devastation brought on when white men discovered it and how missionairies became rich by enslaving the locals)

Middleager
September 27th, 2006, 02:39 PM
The history of Hawaii and the meddling in the culture by various churches is very heartbreaking. Although, the PCC seems to be trying to preserve the cleaned up version of the early polynesian culture. (I'm assuming it doesn't show the devastation brought on when white men discovered it and how missionairies became rich by enslaving the locals)
Not sure what your point is. Perhaps you can start a separate thread to question the PCC, or how if you believe a cultural show about American culture need to accurately depict black slavery or how white men cheated and killed Indians and grabbed their land. But that belongs to another thread.


Back to the OP's questions. I called earlier to book the tickets with the PCC, and indicated we had the Entertainment coupons. I was able to to choose seats for the Horizon show at night. I got the seats right besides those who paid a much higher price (in the next category), so it was almost from the same angle/distance. So yes, there is advantage to booking early, so that you choose the better seats. On the other hand, the theater is big and beautifully decorated. Even people sitting at the back would still enjoy the show.

Hawaii is quite different than the rest of America. The people, the scenery, the climate, the culture, the history, etc. When we were there, we wanted to learn more about the Hawaiian culture, and the polynesian culture. The PCC is a great place for that. After a trip there you'll gain a better appreciation, and at least know where each one is on the globe (it shows in the front of each village).

alwayssingin
September 27th, 2006, 05:59 PM
You can read about the history of PCC, mormon involvement, etc., on the website. (And no, I'm not Mormon. :))

http://www.polynesia.com/purpose-and-history.html

beachchick
September 28th, 2006, 02:11 AM
Is the PCC staffed by young people on "missions for the church" meaning they work for room and board?

Are there areas of the center that are for mormons only and are closed off to the general public like they have in their temples/churches?

Is the center exempt from paying taxes since it is run/owned by a church?



What I was able to find out is that there are employees, as well as various types of church missionaries and BYU-Hawaii students (many church-sponsored; that is their financial aid is dependent on their working at the PCC) at the PCC. I was also interested in the tax status. I just checked. Yes, it is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 institution, but I don't know if they are listed as charitable or religious.

I don't think it is unreasonable to ask these questions. Some of us may choose not to spend money at the PCC because we prefer not to have that money support a specific church, and especially when the PCC is tax-exempt. Doesn't mean we hate the church (far from it), but we do have the right to decide without being labeled as somehow anti-religion (nope, not that either) or any other pejorative word. Some of us simply want to know beforehand.

I do think that any issues anyone wants to discuss about the development of the Hawaiian islands, any cultural/societal problems, and/or the LDS involvement does belong on another thread, or really on another board. I don't think anyone is trying to sweep cultural issues under the rug. I do think that showing the various Polynesian cultures in a positive light is a good thing. And, frankly, if you want to talk about invasions and violence, there was plenty of that between the different Polynesian peoples and even the early Hawaiian societies. So, let's not just run around blaming everything bad on the "white man"; it's just not true.

beachchick

CruisinMK
September 28th, 2006, 02:32 AM
Church is an absolutely integral part of Hawaiian culture and life.
Same throughout Polynesia. To set one up as antithetical to the other is absurd.
To be blind to all the good church has done here is a thoroughly brain damaged view of history and reality.

Moets
September 28th, 2006, 05:07 AM
I've read on this forum that it is possible to make a reservation for PCC included transportation. Where is the point of departure and how late will the bus depart v.v.?

Is it only possible to make a reservation on the internet?

When you make a reservation is this always included a guide?

When we decided to rent a car, who will you recommend in Waikiki?
In some places is it posibble that they deliver the car to your hotel, what about Honolulu?

beachchick
September 28th, 2006, 05:16 AM
MikeKaye: I hope that I didn't give you the impression that I don't see the good things that the churches have done in Hawaii. That's not at all what I meant. I simply do not agree with many of the policies and beliefs of the Mormon church. Do I think they are "bad"? Of course not. My mother was raised in Salt Lake City (we're Methodist/Episcopal; definite minority there), and I've visited and stayed with her Mormon friends many times. They are truly lovely people, but again, I don't agree with many of their beliefs. I agree that to paint the church in a negative light in the history of Hawaii is, on the whole, wrong. I don't think everything that any church has ever done has been "good" or neccesarily with the best of the native cultures in mind. To "convert" them as a primary goal does, to an extent, bother me, but certainly it has been done with good intentions. I don't see that everything the Mormon church has done has been perfect or altruistic. I do see that the Mormon influence has irrevocably changed the Hawaiian/Polynesian societies. Is it better or just different? That's a matter of personal opinion. I never meant to imply that the churches have not done good things in the islands. Although, it is not just the church that has influenced Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. There are multiple factors at work.

I do not agree with the rant against the church, but I do see that not all influences have been positive. Just most of them. And that is my opinion, not a statement of fact.

beachchick

dyslexic pirate
September 28th, 2006, 05:40 AM
I questioned whether the PCC is indeed run by the Mormon church to see if indeed it is a 501c3 organization.

If it is you should be able to write off the price of your tickets as a tax deductible donation to a charity.

Think of the millions of dollars the PCC is bringing in each year tax free and all the people who don't get credit for it on their taxes. (those millions could go toward supporting the LDS women and children living in polygomous sects in Colorado and Utah who currently utilize millions of dollars in welfare money....your tax dollars each year)

When I researched Hawaii I was amazed at how the missionaries (from a variety of churches) just about destroyed the Hawaiian culture. Did away with the local way of dressing, banned the hula etc. It really is fascinating to see the power struggles that took place and then when you see all the churches that are everywhere in Hawaii, it's still very intriguing to wonder just what the undercurrent must be even today.

The PCC is all about the history of Hawaii and religion was and is still a big part of this state and it's future. So I don't think the two can really be discussed separately.

dyslexic pirate
September 28th, 2006, 07:14 AM
A 501c3 organization by law cannot charge a set admission. They can ask for a suggested donation.

CruisinMK
September 28th, 2006, 09:39 AM
those millions could go toward supporting the LDS women and children living in polygomous sects in Colorado and Utah

Many people know that the LDS Mormon church forbids polygamy, sad to see an unfair smear perpetuated here.

When I researched Hawaii I was amazed at how the missionaries (from a variety of churches) just about destroyed the Hawaiian culture. Did away with the local way of dressing, banned the hula etc.

For the overwhelming majority of people (commoners), local dress meant "almost naked". Yup, those ti leaf skirts are post western contact, 1875.
A truly traditional hula would be really interesting! Just don't ask where to put the dollar bills, it is rude. More about Hula...

"A common misrepresentation of history holds that the missionaries banned hula. While it is true that they openly disapproved of hula as both a licentious and idle pastime, they had not the authority to enact laws. In 1830, Ka`ahumanu, the queen regent and a convert to Christianity, issued an edict banning public hula performances, but this had little effect. Although it was apparently never formally rescinded, the law was so widely ignored, especially after Ka`ahumanu died in 1832, that it virtually ceased to exist. In 1836, for example, the French consul for Manila visited Honolulu, and attended a state banquet hosted by the king. Part of the festivities was a formal hula performance. [...] King David Kalakaua's 1883 coronation and his 1886 jubilee celebrations included performances of ancient and newly created dances."

Hula was never in any real danger, they had schools operating during the ~50 year edict on every major island.

Among the converts to Christianity was King Kamehameha II, who after western contact (but before converting) abolished the traditional "kapu" system. You know, the one where women were given the death penalty for eating pork, bananas and coconuts, or for eating with men. Sure would be interesting to see a truly traditional Hawaiian luau. Now remember honey, whatever you do don't eat the pork or sit anywhere near me.

Traditionally commoners owned nothing, were often malnourished from heavy taxes, even their wives could be taken by chiefs. They were killed for looking at chiefs, stepping on their land, failing to bow. Chiefs were supposedly divine gods.

King Kamehameha II also destroyed the Hawaiian temples, where human sacrifice was often rampant. Probably wouldn't have happened and stuck if people weren't happy to be liberated from it.

So how about that old time religion? I'll just talk about the religious temple sites close to where I live. Heiau (religious temple) at Diamond head had remains showing many human sacrifices with bones broken by clubs, eyes scooped out, other signs of torture. Downtown Honolulu, a Heiau at Fort street right near where the cruise ships come, they had many human sacrifices impaled on poles in lines leading to the temple. Waikiki and punchbowl Heiau had ovens for burning human sacrifices. Mass drownings of commoners at Kewalo Basin. I should be a tour guide.

Evidence of human sacrifice stop before 1300, apparently the early Hawaiians were relatively peaceful and the nastiness was introduced by invading Tahitians. King Kamehameha was offered a human sacrifice when he was sick, but refused. Perhaps his trusted western advisers had influenced him to refuse the traditional offering.

Missionaries couldn't achieve any lasting change without the support of Hawaiian chiefs who adopted Christianity and western norms of their own conscience and free will. Though humorless, the missionaries had the best interests of Hawaiians at heart and did a whole lot of good, carried forward by the "aloha spirit" of the people. Sure there was some initial conflict from old priests resisting the new religion, but what followed was relative peace compared to the 300 years of constant warfare before Kamehameha II.

Church is an integral part of the Hawaiian life and culture today.
The good Hawaiian culture has survived, and is thriving.
Enjoy Hawaii, and if you find that really traditional luau and hula let me know.

Deb in Cali
September 28th, 2006, 10:18 AM
Dyslexic pirate,

This is the second political rant that you have posted in the past two days. I don't think that this is the proper venue for you opinions. Perhaps you should try a different site like Democratic Underground.

dyslexic pirate
September 28th, 2006, 01:19 PM
It's not a political rant. Before I spend my money or endorse a place to visit I like to know who runs it and where my money goes.

And yes, polygamy is alive and well in America. The mainstream LDS church does not acknowledge it but it is still happening.
Why do you think it's been such a big deal in the news that Warren Jeffs who was on the FBI's top 10 list was recently arrested?

dyslexic pirate
September 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Dyslexic pirate,

This is the second political rant that you have posted in the past two days. I don't think that this is the proper venue for you opinions. Perhaps you should try a different site like Democratic Underground.

I haven't posted any opinions. What I have posted is fact.

My opinion is that people should know the facts about what they are spending their money on and how that money is used.

Why do you assume I am a democrat? That, Deb in Cali, is political and doesn't have anything to do with this thread.

dyslexic pirate
September 28th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Just to clarify my position: I am not against anyone who is LDS. I don't agree with many of their beliefs but to each his own.

My comments about the PCC were made to point out that they are not paying taxes. All well and good, but that also means if you go and plunk down some money and it is going to a government recognized charity, that means YOU should then get to write the cost of your ticket off on your taxes.

I don't understand why this isn't stated more clearly in their advertising or printed on the tickets or receipts. (the website does acknowledge the 501c3 aspect) If the tax dedutable status is noted please let me know.

lucylovesvacations
September 28th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Oh wow! I am really disappointed in the narrow view of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) that has been expressed by Dyslexic Pirate. I am a member of this church and I want to come to its defense. We are not polygamists - we do not practice polygamy. Warren Jeffs is not a member of this church. The PCC does not send its money to polygamy groups in Utah and Colorado. Please get your facts straight next time -- rather than ranting about something you know nothing about. www.lds.org (http://www.lds.org) is a website you should check into. Thanks to MikeKaye for your posts. :)

Kay240
September 28th, 2006, 05:30 PM
Just to clarify my position: I am not against anyone who is LDS. I don't agree with many of their beliefs but to each his own.

My comments about the PCC were made to point out that they are not paying taxes. All well and good, but that also means if you go and plunk down some money and it is going to a government recognized charity, that means YOU should then get to write the cost of your ticket off on your taxes.

I don't understand why this isn't stated more clearly in their advertising or printed on the tickets or receipts. (the website does acknowledge the 501c3 aspect) If the tax dedutable status is noted please let me know.


When you go to an event that is held by a charitable organization, you are only allowed to "write off" the amount you paid in excess of the actual cost.

In other words, let's say you attend a dinner dance to raise money for BREAST CANCER RESEARCH, and your ticket was $150. The actual cost of YOUR FOOD, and YOUR SHARE of the cost of decorations, music, etc. was $90; you could add the difference ($60) to your other contributions when you prepare "Schedule A" for that year's federal income taxes.

I would think there is no way to determine the "value received" for a visitor at the Polynesian Cultural Center, as everyone would be having a different variety of experiences due to the multitude of what (I am told) is available!

K.

jrobinso
September 28th, 2006, 10:07 PM
Back to the original question....I have been to PCC twice. It was interesting the first time, but I felt it was overpriced. I did go back again several years ago, and I have no plans to return. It is a long drive from Waikiki, and as I said before a bit overpriced. If it was my first trip to Hawaii and I was on a cruise with limited time on Oahu I would do a different excursion.

Dandylyon
September 30th, 2006, 11:49 PM
Removed my post. Sorry--I realized I don't want to participate in off topic discussion