The Royal Hawaiian Luau
An Adventure in Paradise
by Charlie Doremus & Ellie Ferri © 2003

Charlie Doremus & Ellie Ferri, who are both legally blind  Honolulu residents, share their lavish Luau at the world- famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Hawaii, land of enchantment, land of sun and sand, melting pot of the Pacific. But is Hawaii the right place for people with disabilities, blindness in particular, to choose as a vacation spot? In a word, yes.

Having lived in Honolulu, out state capital, for better then seven years we have become familiar with the city and its surrounding areas. It is our hope to dispel many rumors regarding Hawaii and assure disabled travelers, no matter what their disability might be, that Hawaii as a vacation choice is very user friendly. 

As a matter of practicality, the island of Oahu. known as the "Gathering Place" and center of activity for business and recreation is by far the best for those with disabilities. Oahu is the only island to offer mass transit, both fixed bus and para-transit services. Known simply as "The Bus" it is an award winning service covering most of our 620-plus square mile island. Most buses are wheelchair accessible. 

Although there are many attractions here on Oahu, which we feel are suitable for the visually impaired, we would like to focus on one attraction that is available in the heart of Waikiki, "The Royal Hawaiian Luau"

"The Royal Hawaiian Luau" takes place, fittingly, at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Know as "The Pink Palace" the Royal was opened in 1927 and was the watering-hole, along with The Moana Surfrider for the rich and famous for many years. 

Situated on the ocean lawn, the Royal Hawaiian Luau is held Mondays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m., allowing the staff to offer superb service to all their guests. With Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach as a backdrop, you are drawn away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and introduced to a mixture of food, music, and dance from the varying groups that comprise the Polynesian cultures. 

The evening begins as malihini (guests) and kama’aina (locals) are offered a traditional lei greeting. After being escorted to you seat the fun begins. Mai Tai and Luau punch flow freely as local musicians take the stage and join dancers in traditional Hawaiian costume. 

Approximately 20 people are seated at each table, and, therefore, become part of the "ohana" (family) that has gathered for an evening of "ono" (good) food and music under the stars. On each table there is fresh pineapple, leeks and cubes of haupia, along with dried beef, a local delight, all accented by candlelight. 

As Hawaiian music echoes across the white sand beach and the aroma of the evenings’ feast fills the are warm air the staff ushers everyone towards the buffet lines. What awaits is a spectacular presentation of foods from all around the Pacific. 

For those who feel the need for assistance, feel free to ask. The staff is well trained and will be more than happy to describe, in great detail, each mouthwatering item on the menu. 

Here is just a sample of foods awaiting you:

Kalua Pig (Hawaiian Style Roast Pork) 
Mahi Mahi (tender white fish) 
Lau Lau (Steamed Polynesian Spinach with Pork and Fish) 
Chicken Long Rice 
Teriyaki Steak 
Fried Rice 
Baked Sweet Potato 
Fresh Pineapple & Sliced Fresh Fruits 
Tossed Salad, Namasu, & Bean Salad 
Tako with Miso 
Poi 
Lomi Salmon 
Seafood Salad 
Haupia (coconut dessert) 

Coconut Cake, Pineapple Chiffon Cake, Guava Chiffon Cake, Banana Bread, and Carrot Cake.

After dinner, as your food digests, the evening’s entertainment begins. Dancers from Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and, of course. Hawaii are joined by musicians to dance, "talk story" and sing of and about their special places in the Pacific Rim. During the extravaganza, guests will be invited up on stage to learn and later perform the traditional dance of the islands, the hula. Don’t be shy, for here is your chance to get up close and personal with a large Hawaiian warrior or a beautiful maiden. The performances are colorful, fast paced, and well described by the shows emcee. The styles of each region are mixed with information, and you are sure learn about them without really knowing it. 

One of the highlights of the evening is when the emcee invites everyone to dance on the lawn to "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" giving those in love the chance to get close under the stars. 

Before the grand finale, the most spectacular performers appear on stage, the fire knife dancers. Even if you are unable to see the flaming swords fly through the air you are sure to feel the heat from the blazing weapons. Fire knife dancing has a long history in the Pacific, and some of the finest dancers display their skills at this luau. 

As the Luau comes to a close, all are asked to stand and hold hands in a show of friendship.

There are several Luaus to choose from on Oahu, but the Royal 
Hawaiian Luau offers the best value. You can have an enjoyable evening without having to travel by bus to other parts of the island. The hotel is fully accessible, and the staff is polite and willing to offer assistance.

For information and reservation feel free to contact the hotel by e-mail at: RHDINR.376@sheraton.com
Visit their web site at: www.royal-Hawaiian.com/de_luau.htm
or phone the hotel at 808) 931-7194

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