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Polynesian Cultural Center


philv
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We will be sailing on the Pride of America next August. Arriving in Honolulu 2 days prior to cruise. We would like to spend a full day at Polynesian Cultural Center including luau and evening show. We would like package including transportation from Waikiki and all the good stuff. Can anyone with recent experience recommend good source for arranging day?

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@philv my first try would be to arrange it directly from the Polynesian Cultural Center, they offer a discount for early booking, lots of options for different packages at different price levels, & shuttle service from several hotels either with an island tour before (the PCC opens at noon or 12:30) or without.

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I've seen the PCC mentioned a few times for a luau, now I see there are different choices, i.e. a gateway buffet and a luau buffet. All I know about a luau is the pig thing and maybe fire dancers or something. We're just entered the "activities" planning stages for out May 2024 trip so this thread is timely. I've heard of other luaus, but the PCC offers the villages thing, which sounds kind of tourist trap-ish, thoughts?

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3 hours ago, DCwom said:

 I've heard of other luaus, but the PCC offers the villages thing, which sounds kind of tourist trap-ish, thoughts?

We were there in the Spring; the touristy thing is and it isn't, but its all included with the price of admission. In the Tahiti pavilion EVERYONE in the audience is in a boys v gals hula dance off.

 

The luau buffer is a dinner show, the show goes on while you eat. Then there's the HA Breath of Life show that's on later in the amphitheater. You can go to the Gateway Buffet or graze in the Marketplace (food trucks and stalls) until show time. 

 

There might be other venues for the a luau, but you shouldn't miss the HA show if you go.

 

Note there is no alcoholic beverages in the PCC. It's owned operated by the LDS and a lot of the employees are students from BYU-Hawaii next door. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, DCwom said:

I've seen the PCC mentioned a few times for a luau, now I see there are different choices, i.e. a gateway buffet and a luau buffet. All I know about a luau is the pig thing and maybe fire dancers or something. We're just entered the "activities" planning stages for out May 2024 trip so this thread is timely. I've heard of other luaus, but the PCC offers the villages thing, which sounds kind of tourist trap-ish, thoughts?

I don't find it tourist trap-ish...the villages are staffed by students from the students from the local branch of BYU (Mormon University) & the ones I met are very eager to share the culture & traditions of the islands they come from...yes, they are created villages from many island nations, but the people sharing are actually from the cultures & nations they represent, for someone who will not be able to travel to the many places represented, it is IMHO a lovely way to experience a bit of each...yes there are presentations designed to appeal to tourists, but there are also individuals who will answer questions about life in their homes...

 

there are many options, you can do the luau which is a buffet accompanied by the roast pig being removed from the pit & the show of various dancing...there is the gateway buffet which has a couple of musicians & a very extensive menu...there is just spending the day in the villages & there is the evening show Ha which is wonderful...I would go again for sure

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We enjoyed our trip to the PCC and learned a lot about the different Polynesian cultures at the villages.  Even though the luau was sold out the day we went, the Gateway Buffet had a great variety of very tasty food.  The Ha Breath of Life show was worth the price of admission by itself.

Edited by DanvilleCruiser
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I would go on annual PCC field trips and planned the day for students at least 10 different times with all the seriousness of the ultimate maximizer. Arrive early and try to hit all of the villages. Grab the canoe tour at the beginning or very end. Donʻt miss SAMOA show and the activity time at Aotearoa. Highly recommend! 

Just make your way around in order- with a little back and forth for the movie to watch in the heat of the day! So much fun!! 

Edited by 808cruisers
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  • 2 weeks later...

I ordered package on PCC website. Their website mentioned 10% discount by ordering at least 10 days in advance. When I got my order confirmation, it did not reflect the 10% discount. I emailed them at customerservice@polynesia.com. They replied it was the customer’s responsibility to use promo code when ordering to get discount. I didn’t see any promo code. Rather than arguing with somebody in a phone call I cancelled booking and will order again once I see the refund on my credit card. I’ll look very carefully for promo code. Just thought I’d warn people.

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18 hours ago, philv said:

I ordered package on PCC website. Their website mentioned 10% discount by ordering at least 10 days in advance. When I got my order confirmation, it did not reflect the 10% discount. I emailed them at customerservice@polynesia.com. They replied it was the customer’s responsibility to use promo code when ordering to get discount. I didn’t see any promo code. Rather than arguing with somebody in a phone call I cancelled booking and will order again once I see the refund on my credit card. I’ll look very carefully for promo code. Just thought I’d warn people.

The promo code, "early10", is right there on the booking page:

 

Screenshot2023-09-07at10_04_43AM.thumb.png.40f47224a72328fcd36abb834cd3281a.png

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2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

The promo code, "early10", is right there on the booking page:

 

Screenshot2023-09-07at10_04_43AM.thumb.png.40f47224a72328fcd36abb834cd3281a.png

I went through the web pages myself, I can see where the OP was thinking they selected the discount. Typically when you click on "Save 10%..." you get taken to a special page or at least a promo code is pre-populated on the form. In this case you need to see the small light orange text, then remember to enter the code on a subsequent page (actually 2 pages down). I don't think this is a case of bait & switch as much as just poor web site design (i.e. no user experience design & testing). Caveat emptor, which the OP actually did, so good for them and thanks for the heads up.👍

Edited by DCwom
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  • 2 months later...
On 8/20/2023 at 6:32 PM, travelin.sisters said:

@philv my first try would be to arrange it directly from the Polynesian Cultural Center, they offer a discount for early booking, lots of options for different packages at different price levels, & shuttle service from several hotels either with an island tour before (the PCC opens at noon or 12:30) or without.

I am wanting to book this experience when we arrive in Honolulu a few days prior to our cruise.  I do want the full experience of a Hawaiian luau, food, culture, dancing, shows.  I am deciding between the Luau package and the Gateway buffet package.  Will the luau package get me the experience I am looking for?  We've never been to Hawaii to really want to experience that part of their culture.  With the packages they offer online they all come with the Islands of Polynesia and I believe the Ha Breath of Life show at night.  We are committed to spending the whole day there from what I can gather with the times of the packages.  Any advice is appreciated.

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13 hours ago, JasmineC said:

I am wanting to book this experience when we arrive in Honolulu a few days prior to our cruise.  I do want the full experience of a Hawaiian luau, food, culture, dancing, shows.  I am deciding between the Luau package and the Gateway buffet package.  Will the luau package get me the experience I am looking for?  We've never been to Hawaii to really want to experience that part of their culture.  With the packages they offer online they all come with the Islands of Polynesia and I believe the Ha Breath of Life show at night.  We are committed to spending the whole day there from what I can gather with the times of the packages.  Any advice is appreciated.

it will be a wonderful experience...if you want the luau show then you should to the luau package it has (I am told since we did the buffet) the pig coming out of the imu (underground pit oven) the traditional luau dancing & show & a buffet of luau foods...the Gateway buffet will have more food options (it is very extensive, but they just had a couple of guitar players singing requests...the PCC opens at noon & you will want to get there as close to then as possible in order to see & experience everything in the villages where you will also see shows & participate in activities...then dinner at either the luau or the buffet & finally the show Ha (what we saw of it was a highlight of the day)

 

if you are interested in my live of our cruise I shared a lot of info, photos & papers from our time at the PCC (on pages 10 & 11)

please ask if there are any other questions I can answer for you

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/9/2023 at 6:45 PM, PAcruiser25 said:

I will look into this more. Looking to spend some time on the beach on this day too if that's possible.

Also, does anyone know how the vegan/vegetarian options are at this luau?

Thanks.

Menu is on their website, doesn't change much:

https://polynesia.com/dining

 

Then there's the Marketplace where you can graze among the food trucks or food stalls.

Edited by Philob
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