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Aloha, Aulani! Aug. 2021 Trip Report

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello Friends,

Not sure where Aulani trip report goes on here, so hopefully if it gets moved, I'll be able to find it again! :D

It has been a few months since we were at WDW (while they still had full masks and social-distancing policy). But now, we are less than a couple of days away from flying to Oahu for our delayed Hawaiian vacation. We originally planned this in July of 2020, but we all know what happened then. Back then, we planned on staying for a week at Aulani, and then hop over to the Big Island and spend another week there. But when we were making our revised plan for this year in late December, the entire Hawaiian islands were not open yet, so we decided to bite the bullet and planned our entire stay just on Oahu.

We fly out very early this Friday, and will be there for almost 2 weeks. The first part of our vacation will be at an RCI resort on Waikiki. We actually converted a few of our DVC points to RCI for a different accommodation last year. So when we had to cancel due to the pandemic, the points stayed with RCI and had to be used by the end of this year. So we are burning them at a Wyndham resort on Waikiki for 5 nights. After that, we will transfer to Aulani for another 8 nights there. We will have a 2-bedroom DVC villa with an ocean view. Like I said in my previous trip report, we had a lot of DVC points that will go POOF if we don't use them, so we splurged!

This will be our first stay at Aulani, so obviously, we are extremely excited to visit this resort. We have booked the Ka Wa'a Aulani Luau, planned on searching for the hundreds of the Menehune, pin trading at the Kalepa's store, etc... etc. I also have a list of places to eat, mainly focusing on local and native Hawaiian food. We definitely want to do a food crawl around downtown Honolulu and also along the North Shore area. And of course, we will do some shopping. Oh boy, are we gonna do a lot of shopping. This is not going to be pretty.

Off site, we have plans on going to visit Pearl Harbor, hiking up Diamond head, and we also have booked a zipline excursion, among other things. So yeah, there will be plenty of things to do.

As always, I will try to report live from where ever we will be or whatever we will be doing. I still have a lot of packing to do. And I mustn't forget Donald either!

Zz.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I'll be interested for you to keep an eye out for the current state of COVID restrictions. Flower lei greetings, complimentary infused water, valet parking, poolside refillable mugs, any sign of kids activities, housekeeping, etc.

I expect it's still bad news on all of those fronts.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
I'm in for a Hawaiian trip report. Will the Polynesian Cultural Center be open when you are there? I really enjoyed that place. When I hiked Diamondhead I went early on a Saturday morning and when we were done there was a farmers market at a community college (or some school) nearby, it was nice to get some local snacks and fruit.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'll be interested for you to keep an eye out for the current state of COVID restrictions. Flower lei greetings, complimentary infused water, valet parking, poolside refillable mugs, any sign of kids activities, housekeeping, etc.

I expect it's still bad news on all of those fronts.

There will definitely be quite a few COVID restrictions. I know that Ama Ama restaurant is still not open. While other things are slowly opening up or being reintroduced, things can easily change during the next couple of weeks with the Delta variant being more prevalent.

I’m not sure I ever figured out in your last trip report either, how many are in your travel party? Not just you and Donald, right? 😉

While Donald would not mind if it will be just me and him, there is a group of us that will be there. There will be 5 of us when we are at the RCI resort. We will be down to 4 when we move on to Aulani.

I'm in for a Hawaiian trip report. Will the Polynesian Cultural Center be open when you are there? I really enjoyed that place. When I hiked Diamondhead I went early on a Saturday morning and when we were done there was a farmers market at a community college (or some school) nearby, it was nice to get some local snacks and fruit.

I believe the Cultural Center is open, but only one of us in the group will be going there on a day-long tour of Oahu. We have tickets to visit the palace, and I have intentions of making last-minute plans for more, such as the Zoo, but we're leaving that for later.

Zz.
 

BigDis

Well-Known Member
Definitely following. Just got back from a 2 week trip to Hawaii. Stayed on the Big Island and Maui. On our travel day between the 2 islands we left the Big Island early in the morning and traveled to Oahu for the day. We toured Oahu that day and then flew to Maui for the second part of our trip. We had dinner at Aulani before we left for the airport to fly to Maui. What a beautiful resort. You will love it. Our family agreed that we will be booking a trip to stay at Aulani in the future.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Definitely following. Just got back from a 2 week trip to Hawaii. Stayed on the Big Island and Maui. On our travel day between the 2 islands we left the Big Island early in the morning and traveled to Oahu for the day. We toured Oahu that day and then flew to Maui for the second part of our trip. We had dinner at Aulani before we left for the airport to fly to Maui. What a beautiful resort. You will love it. Our family agreed that we will be booking a trip to stay at Aulani in the future.

The Big Island is definitely something that we wanted to do, and it was on our plan for last year. But when we made our definite plan for this year last Dec., island hopping was not an option, and we decided to stick with our current plan after all of Hawaii opened up.

This is definitely a good excuse for us to come back again in the near future, hopefully under better circumstances.

BTW, how was going into Hawaii at the airport as far as checking COVID vaccine and stuff? I've done the Hawaii Safe Travels stuff, and I also had set up the Clear app. I already have a check mark on the Safe Travels website for exemption from quarantine, and I'll also be bringing my vaccination card. I also have my Walgreens app that shows my vaccine records..... Boy, am I armed with my vaccine info or what? :)

Zz.
 

cgersic

Well-Known Member
I'm totally in for this trip! It's been 7 years since I've been to any of the islands, so I feel bad that you aren't getting the Big Island, but I'm excited to read all about this! Aloha!
 

BigDis

Well-Known Member
The Big Island is definitely something that we wanted to do, and it was on our plan for last year. But when we made our definite plan for this year last Dec., island hopping was not an option, and we decided to stick with our current plan after all of Hawaii opened up.

This is definitely a good excuse for us to come back again in the near future, hopefully under better circumstances.

BTW, how was going into Hawaii at the airport as far as checking COVID vaccine and stuff? I've done the Hawaii Safe Travels stuff, and I also had set up the Clear app. I already have a check mark on the Safe Travels website for exemption from quarantine, and I'll also be bringing my vaccination card. I also have my Walgreens app that shows my vaccine records..... Boy, am I armed with my vaccine info or what? :)

Zz.
Things have already changed since we were there. When we went we had to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of our flight and proof of being vaccinated. We had to upload the information onto the Hawaii Safe Travel website. Our connecting flight out of Denver took us to the Big Island. When we got to Denver, they had a checkpoint to show them our uploaded information from the website on our phone. They then gave us a wristband to wear. If you didn't do this, once you got to the Big Island you had to wait in a very long line to show this information to get your wristband. The wristband proved that you didn't need to quarantine. Since we were there, Hawaii lifted the requirement for the COVID test. You now only have to show proof of vaccination as of today. As with all things COVID, this is subject to change.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Very excited to hear about Aulani. It’s on our “someday” list. I did my semester “abroad” on Oahu at UHM and had an awesome time. Definitely go out and explore the island. There’s so much to see.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks everyone!

I think I'm finally all packed now. I can't believe my luggage is packed to the gills when I'm bringing just a few pieces of clothing to wear. Maybe the two huge boxes of cheerios for breakfast are taking a lot of the spaces! :)

I'm hoping to eat through the cheerios and that should give me plenty of room in my luggage on the way back. I'm also bringing a spare duffel bag just in case we run out of room with the stuff we will be buying.

Donald is all excited. He has his lei on already for the trip.
IMG_4778.JPG


I swear, it feels as if we're trying to make up for lost time. We had a trip to WDW this past April, and now a stay at Aulani. About a couple of hours ago, we just decided to book our DVC room for April of next year. And then.... and then..... we already booked a Disney Alaska Cruise, originally slated for July 2022, but we moved it to end of May of 2022.

Of course, all of the above will be spoiled and ruined by another serious COVID outbreak, like it did in 2020.

OK, I need to figure out what else I might be forgetting. It's not as if I can stuff anything else into my luggage.

Zz.
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Count me in! We are supposed to be going in November. But we’re Canadian soooooo….. one can only hope that things get better in the states. It will be interesting to hear what they are still doing/restrictions. Our travel agent told us that Ama Ama is shutting down completely cause the head chef left, but will be changed to a more affordable restaurant? Whether that’s true or not, I guess we will see.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yawn! Good morning!

It's 4 am. I was awake an hour before I wanted to, and couldn't go back to sleep. So I decided to get up and get cleaned up. I'm now dressed and awake, but we have another 1 1/4 hours before we get picked up to go to the airport. It's not a direct flight to Honolulu. We will change plane at Salt Lake City to a bigger plane, it seems, just from the seat layout. We chose something resembling a premium economy on the way there, but we splurged and will be flying First Class on the way back. That will be nice because we will depart Honolulu late in the evening, and having a flat seat to sleep on will be more comfortable.

Of course, I woke up to the tragic news of a sightseeing float plane crash near Ketchikan, AK, carrying 5 passengers from Holland America cruise ship. I just mentioned last night about our next DCL Alaska cruise in 2022. It is extremely sad to hear something like this.

OK, I'd better go around the house and see what else I need to take care of before we leave.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We are at the airport, bright and early.
525BDAE7-3B0A-4D2C-A5B6-FED396423A23.jpeg

A bit of excitement this morning. 20 mins before we are supposed to get picked up, we got anauto msg from the cab company saying that they are still searching for an available cab for us.

WHAT??!!

So we scrambled to find another cab company and managed to snag one within 10 mins. But the annoying thing was 5 mins after we booked the 2nd cab, the first one txted us that a vehicle will be coming in 15 mins.

WHAT??!!

we cancelled the first one. We are at the airport. That’s what counts. Phew!

Our flight is on time. Everything looks go.

Zz
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
We are at the airport, bright and early.
View attachment 577660
A bit of excitement this morning. 20 mins before we are supposed to get picked up, we got anauto msg from the cab company saying that they are still searching for an available cab for us.

WHAT??!!

So we scrambled to find another cab company and managed to snag one within 10 mins. But the annoying thing was 5 mins after we booked the 2nd cab, the first one txted us that a vehicle will be coming in 15 mins.

WHAT??!!

we cancelled the first one. We are at the airport. That’s what counts. Phew!

Our flight is on time. Everything looks go.

Zz
Cutting it a bit close there, weren't they? So 5 minutes before the pickup time, they said they'd be there in 15 minutes? So already 10 minutes late. I hope they didn't give you a hard time canceling, since it was their fault that you were basically forced to, since they weren't on time. Hope the rest goes smoothly!!
 

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