There’s a lot of options to chose from and it can be hard to chose which is the best fit for you/family. I typically rely on reviews and of course if the package/company fits our budget. For our snorkeling trip I went with Eo Wai’anae Tours. Our tour came with a meal & snacks. The total cost was $500. I booked it with a discount using a discount code they advertised on their website. The only downside to our tour was that I got sea sick (which of course is not fault of Eo Wai’anae. Now, I didn’t know this going into our tour. The last time I went snorkeling was when I was pregnant and so I honestly thought it was due to the pregnancy hormones causing havoc on me that triggered getting sick on the boat ride. Well, this time around I am surely not preggo, so now I know I get sea sick. Next time around I’ll be prepared with anti-nausea medicine. Anyhow, the Captain and her staff were great and friendly! The Captain would stop the ship if she saw sea life along the way. We saw a baby whale and it’s mum, some sea turtles, and pod of spinner dolphins which we got a chance to encounter up close while in the ocean snorkeling. My husband told me that they literally came within 3 feet of him and that our guide was really nervous because that was a first for her for them to get so close. Because hubby was busy with our 3 older kids, I was on baby duty but the Captain was kind of enough to take baby so I could have some time to snorkel and swim with the dolphins. I didn’t last long though because I started getting nauseous in the water. I ending up puking majority of the boat ride 😦 and at one point while hubby was in the water with the kids, I started feeling sick while holding Zakiyah, but the Captain came to my rescue and took her until hubby came back on board. Of course this is all TMI, but it just goes to show how kind the staff are.
They definitely have the ohana vibe going strong!
So this post is going to be multi-part. I’ll be adding to it as I finalize our trip to O’ahu. We leave in 1 month and will be staying in Waikiki for 2 weeks! I booked our condo through Redawning vacation rentals. It’s in the heart of Waikiki, with plenty of amenities and can fit my whole tribe and it cost $2,000 total. No resort fees and free parking! I’ve booked through Redawning before and had a great experience so hopefully it pans out the same this time around! I’ll keep y’all posted. I’ve also booked our snorkeling trip. I booked it through Eo Waianae Tours, and even scored 30% off our snorkeling package which included lunch & is baby friendly, for a total of $500. Our luau is booked through Diamond Head Lū’au. Unfortunately there was no discount. If you guys know of a better option for a Lū’au in O’ahu let me know! I do want it to be beach front which is why I passed on the Polynesian Cultural Center. I had originally purchased GoCards sold by SmartDestinations but found I wasn’t saving any money at all. They only allow use of your 3, 5, or 7 day pass on 1 premium activity which sucks because the two main events we wanted was a Lū’au and snorkeling. Which after all is said and done, the Lū’au and snorkeling trip cost the same amount as the GoCards (each person has to have a GoCard, kids are discounted and my teen is treated as an adult). They did have a snorkeling option that wasn’t premium but it is self guided at Hanauma Bay. I would highly recommend a guided one where you get to go out to sea (hopefully in calm waters) that has lunch & snacks provided. It’s well worth the cost especially if your going as a family with little ones who get hungry and cranky if they don’t eat! So far our trip is just under 5k, which includes airfare, lodging, 2 main activities, and car rental. I would say not shabby considering we are staying for 2 weeks! Our condo does have a full kitchen which we plan on utilizing to help offset costs but we do plan on enjoying the food scene while out there! I plan on updating this post to give you a more accurate reflection of what our total costs were and my experience with the vendors we used, though that may be a separate blog post altogether 😉