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PCC evening or not?

Music City, USA
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PCC evening or not?

My wife and I have 6 full days on Oahu and 6 full days on Maui. Based on reviews, we're planning on going to the Old Lahina Luau on Maui.

It looks like the PCC is open from 12:00-5:00, followed by their luau or buffets from 5:30-6:30, then Ha from 7:30-9:15. Based on forum comments, the luau is unremarkable (that's why we're looking at OLL), but the PCC and Ha are very good.

Choice #1 is to do PCC during the day, then leave and skip the evening meal and Ha.

Choice #2 would be to do PCC in the day and stay for Ha, picking one of the buffets (is the Prime one worth the extra?) for dinner.

Which one would you choose and why?

Should we plan on arriving at opening to be able to see all of the nations/villages on one day?

Help me TripAdvisor....you're my only hope.

Surrey, Canada
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1. Re: PCC evening or not?

I won't tell you what you should do, but I will tell you what I did. We did your choice #2, The villages, pageant, and prime rib dinner, followed by Ha. Had a wonderful experience, and this was my third time going. First time that I actually enjoyed the food. I have done the luau, and would suggest you skip this, especially if you are going to one on Maui.

Both our moms really had a good time, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening show, even though it was a long day for them.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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2. Re: PCC evening or not?

I've been to the Polynesian Cultural Center a couple of times in the last year. My visitors and myself fully enjoyed it. If you have the time and the money, do the full day with the prime rib dinner followed by the show. That was the best option out of all the dinner options for me. I've done them all too!! If you can't make it for the full day, just make sure you see HA, a Breath of Life. Best Polynesian entertainment in the islands.

California
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3. Re: PCC evening or not?

Well, I see no problem either way.

Skipping the luau or the buffet - no big deal. And no, I would not pay extra for the prime rib. A little heavy in the heat anyway.

The evening show is great - but it is long, and it runs late. The PCC is about an hour from Waikiki. If you find that you have other opportunities for music and dance ... and you want to skip it ... fine. Have dinner in Kailua heading south or the North Shore heading north.

Yes, you can see the villages easily in one day. They are not all that big. I read recently that the PCC is switching over from the village format - which is a great idea. It's not EPCOT or anything. Some of the presentations are more geared to kids. Samoa is the can't-miss.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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4. Re: PCC evening or not?

The prime rib buffet is MUCH more than just prime rib. There's a large selection of foods from various Polynesian islands as well as the usual Hawaiian and standard American fare.

California
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5. Re: PCC evening or not?

pzp -- did you get the impression that we thought the prime rib was only prime rib? Isn't it the other buffet with the prime rib and other add-ons? th

Have you eaten there recently? The two buffets I had there ranged from awful to terrible (except the crab legs). Even the most recent review from someone I trust ... said the PCC food is pretty bad still. Even with the new chef and remodel.

The strong suit for the PCC is the quality of entertainment, but monkey will see that in the parade and the villages ... should they choose not to stay.

Edited: 09 April 2013, 00:15
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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6. Re: PCC evening or not?

I was there last October, and it was pretty good. I wasn't too impressed by the parade. Ha was good.

Saint Cloud...
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7. Re: PCC evening or not?

I liked the food at the Gateway Buffet better than at the Ali'i Luau.

But, I have not seen much difference in the food at most luau venues.

Feast at Lele on Maui has good food. You also pay for it.

Aha 'Aina, a Royal Celebration at Royal Hawaiian Hotel has good food. And you'll pay much more for it.

Go to PCC. Get either the Ali'i Luau Package or the Admission/Evening Show package with the buffet.

Stay for Ha: Breath of Life. Best Polynesian entertainment in Hawaii.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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8. Re: PCC evening or not?

Last time I went was last March and then again just this past January. In March (2012) I got the prime rib buffet because I didn't like the luau food. This was much better. For that dining category, you get the Prime buffet which has prime rib, crab legs, baked fish, sushi, sashimi and chicken. Plus all kinds of sides and desserts.

It is also combined with the Island Buffet (same thing as Gateway Buffet). Where you can get a huge selection of other types of food including turkey. When you eat at the Prime Buffet, you get table service, linen table clothes, glass dishes. At the Island Buffet there is no table service, no table clothes and the dishes are plastic.

This past January we got the Island Buffet. I much prefer the Prime Rib Buffet. The food isn't for a foodie but for a regular person like me, it was just fine. I had no problems with it.

Edited: 09 April 2013, 01:14
Music City, USA
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9. Re: PCC evening or not?

Thanks. That helps a lot. Now to get Mrs. 'lizard's input and get this itenerary nailed down.

Surrey, Canada
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10. Re: PCC evening or not?

I agree with you msfuzz, I too am not a foodie, but I know what I like. I just recently reread my trip report from this past May, so almost a year ago now, and my review of the PCC food was good. I really liked the chicken, and found the prime rib just melted in my mouth. To me, that's more than just o.k.

However, everyones experience will be different, and you will rarely get to people to agree on the same thing. I've even read where someone was unimpressed with the Ha show, now I find that hard to fathom, but there it is. Different strokes as they say. The best thing I can say to the op is, don't go expecting gourmet, and you won't be disappointed, and you may even be pleasantly surprised. Have a wonderful holiday.