It sure gets five stars from me!
We were invited to the Star of Honolulu’s dinner cruise to experience their top-level entertainment and 7-course dinner.
The Star of Honolulu is Oahu’s most popular cruise ship, going out every night of the week, and also doing morning whale watch cruises in the winter.
The vessel has a capacity of 1,500 passengers, having four different floors to accommodate different tiers of dinner cruise that they offer, including both buffet and table service options.
Each floor also features its own entertainment, from live jazz, hula dancing, and various Polynesian performances done live on board.
Seating arrangements depend on the floor you’ve booked, with the top floor being couples only, while the lower floors feature larger tables as well.
Private rooms are also available for events or parties, and the vessel is the only one on the island to feature fully ADA-compliant elevators.
Before the cruise even begins, a live hula show takes place right at the dock for anyone at Aloha Tower to watch.
On Fridays, you’ll even be able to see the fireworks at the Hilton from off the coast of Waikiki.
Our invitation was for the Five Star dinner cruise, meaning we would be seated in the top floor.
Known as the “Super Nova room” (they love their star-related terms), this level of the cruise ship is has the smallest capacity, making it a more intimate dinner experience.
This atmosphere is further enhanced by soft jazz music, featuring a live pianist, singer and wind player (saxophone and flute).
We began the night with a short tour of the boat’s various decks and features, ending with a captain’s greeting.
The Five Star cruise includes a welcome reception on the upper deck hosted by the captain of the ship, which includes a chance to take a picture with the captain, a Bellini toast, and hors d’oeuvres that serve as the first of your seven courses.
After the reception, we were shown to our seats in the Super Nova room.
Since the food wasn’t being served yet, we were able to go outside to watch the sunset.
Star of Honolulu conveniently lists the approximate sunset times for each month in their drinks menu, so passengers can look it up and head outside at the right time.
There’s no need to worry about knowing exactly when sunset is, however, since there are enough windows on the boat that you’ll know when the sun is setting.
On the Five Star cruise they also had an attendant taking pictures of passengers on request, which showed excellent foresight on the cruise’s part.
Every sunset in Hawaii is beautiful, and going on a sunset cruise is, in my opinion, the best way to watch a Hawaiian sunset. The Star of Honolulu is a step above the others, though, because of its size: being on the top of the ship gives you a spectacular view of the sun as it slowly dips into the horizon.
Getting back to our seats, we were able to order drinks with the drink tickets we received (3 each) for being passengers on the Five Star deck.
Ryoko ordered a rainbow martini, one of the signature cocktails, while I had a Manhattan.
Soon after, the second course of our meal arrived: a black truffle consomme with mushroom custard. The broth was delicious, and incredibly flavorful with the custard adding a nice texture to the soup.
The third course was a salad consisting of baby romaine lettuce and tomatoes with an amazing balsamic-based dressing.
The fourth course was the seafood entree: live-flown Maine lobster.
The lobster was delicious, and I was surprised to see the claw so immaculately de-shelled.
Between the two entrees was a intermezzo of a raspberry sorbet, a cold, tart treat that cleansed the palate.
The next entree was the tenderloin steak, which was nothing short of amazing.
Served with mushrooms, foie gras, and a truffle sauce, it really was the highlight of the dinner.
The seventh (and last) course in this extravagant meal was the dessert: Tahitian vanilla ice cream with Macadamia nut toffee, paired with baba au rhum and a strawberry.
Between courses we were able to step out for a few moments to get some fresh air and take in the lights of Waikiki from the water.
As our meal neared its end, musicians appeared to accompany the solo pianist and play live jazz music for us.
All in all, it was a beautiful evening on the Star of Honolulu. Read on for more pictures of our sunset dinner cruise!