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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting to Know Hawaii: Germaine's Luau

The Need to Knows:
  • Germaine's Luau is located at 91-119 Olai Street, Kapolei, HI 96707.  The Google Maps location is below:
  • According to the online reservation form, Germaine's looks to be closed on Mondays but open every other day, including holidays.
  • Tickets cost $78 for adults, $65 for junior tickets (age 14 to 20), $55 for children (age 6 to 13), and free for kids under 5.  Discounts are available for military through any of the island's ITT offices, although I am not sure if there is a kama'aina rate.  There are also websites that offer discounts, like HawaiiDiscount.com.
  • Since Germaine's is located right on the beach, wear flip flops or sandals because you'll be walking through sand.
  • Casual, comfortable attire is your best bet at luaus like this one.
  • With an adult ticket, you get two complimentary drink tickets, but after that, be prepared to pay for the rest of your drinks and of course souvenirs.
One of the (many) things my parents, Mr. L, and I wanted to do while they were visiting was to check out a luau.  I previously had never been to one (I was waiting for guests!), so I was really excited to see what all the fuss was about.  A friend of mine suggested Germaine's to me, and after being pretty happy with their prices via our ITT office and the menu that I saw on their website, I decided that we should definitely go to Germaine's Luau!

We arrived a little bit before 5:15 in order to arrive before the tour buses coming from Waikiki.  The luau location was somewhat easy to find, although this area isn't very pretty since it's in the industrial district of Kapolei.  But we looked past that and walked into Germaine's with an open mind.

We checked in at a little booth in the front and made our way to the table area.  We were able to pick wherever we wanted to sit (no preferred seating is available at Germaine's or different level party packages) and so we sat down and got comfortable.  With each of our (adult) tickets, we had two drink tickets available to us for free, so we all opted to get something from the bar.  They had a good little selection, although some of the drinks cost did cost two tickets.  We also had some complimentary pineapple waiting for us at our table.

At a little past six, the show began and our hostess came out to greet us with some of the night's performers.  They blew a conch shell to signal the start of the ceremonies, and after our hostess for the evening greeted us, the king and queen made their entrance.

After the introductions, we were led over to the pit area so we could see the star of the show make its debut -- the kalua pig that had been cooking since 5 o'clock that morning!  We could already smell it and let me tell you, it smelled divine.  We could not WAIT to try it!

We returned to our seats and some activities involving audience participation started while everyone waited their turn to head to the buffet table.  First up was a contest between three guys to see who could do the best hula!

We have a winner!
It was really funny to see, and you could tell the audience enjoyed the action they saw on stage, haha.  A little while later, they brought up the ladies of the crowd to learn how to do a traditional hula dance.

It looked like everyone had a blast, especially the kids!

By the time the luau demonstration was done, it was time for our table to grab some grub!  And now I really, really hate to admit this...but I took zero food pictures.  What?!  I know, I know!  I'm a terrible blogger.  So in lieu of food pictures, I'll drop this beautiful sunset with the Barber's Point Lighthouse in your lap!

The food was actually very, very yummy.  They had a variety of things from that amazing kalua pork fresh out of the ground, pineapple cole slaw (that I loved!), a chicken dish that was very tasty, salad, lomilomi salmon, poi mac salad, and a lot more.  I got to try a lot of things I've been wanting to since we got here (especially poi since I'd heard so much about it!) and we were all very satisfied and happy with our meals.  Here's a borrowed picture from Yelp to give you an idea of everything:

After the meal (and me going back for seconds...I was hungry!) the rest of the night's entertainment began.  We got to see tons of traditional Hawaiian outfits and dances as well as a lot of dances from all across the Pacific islands.  And if you've ever seen a Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football game, the male dancers even performed a traditional haka, which is an ancestral war dance of the Maori people.

Traditional Maori haka
I think all of us had a really great time overall.  We weren't very sure what to expect since none of us had ever done a luau before, but the food was delicious and the entertainment was great.  We might try out some of the other luau venues on the island just so we can compare, but I'll definitely always have a soft spot for Germaine's since they were my first luau experience.

Have you ever been to a luau before?

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