- No argument here. The new tourist luau at Sea Life Park on Oahu
is the only luau in the world to feature a baby wholphin.
Right off the
bat, a wholphin - in the park but not yet in the dictionary - is a
cross between a dolphin and a false killer whale.
baby is now only one-quarter whale, since her mother was the
world's first wholphin, born in Sea Life Park in 1985. Her father
was the whale, her mother an Atlantic bottlenose
speaking, the wholphins, dolphins, whales, seals, turtles, penguins
and other marine creatures at Sea Life Park do not actually appear
on stage or in the audience at the luau. But as part of the
program, luau guests visit them and see a sea-life show before they
move on to the nearby stage and tables set outdoors in an area of
the park called the Meadows.
From then on, the
show is the tried-and-true luau, but one of the better examples of
the species. The Polynesian music and dance show is by Tihati, a
local production company which has been doing this kind of thing
for 30 years. The food, both Hawaiian and haole (non-Hawaiian)
comes from Sea Life Park's own kitchens, and veteran luau watchers
(including this reporter) rated it top quality.
The buffet includes sashimi,
lomi lomi salmon, tako poke, tofu with shoyu ginger,
potato/macaroni salad, cucumber/tako namasu, teriyaki beef, grilled
mahi-mahi, kalua pig, laulau, poi, chicken long rice, yakisoba,
Hawaiian sweet potato, haupia and assorted cakes and pies. Two
drinks are included in the price.
As light fades
over the nearby ocean, the audience experiences dances, music and
costumes representing styles from several Pacific islands. The show
also includes a fire dancer, and even one comic hula performed by a
4-year-old member of the troupe. Volunteers from the audience are
also coaxed on stage to try to learn the hula.
Sea Life Park has
had several owners and managers since it opened in 1964. Most
recently owned by a New York investment company, it was taken over
in January by Dolphin Discovery, the company that operates several
marine-oriented parks in the Caribbean and in Mexico, notably
Xcaret on the Yucatan Peninsula.
The owners have
been implementing several changes and improvements in the facility
over the past six months and have indicated more are on the
all-included prices for the evening luau are adults, $83.33,
juniors (4 through 12), $50. There are discounted prices for
military personnel. Transportation from Waikiki is available for
$12. All tickets to the luau include admission passes to the park,
which are good for up to 30 days.
Sea Life Park and
the luau are commissionable to agents who call Atlantis Adventures
at (808) 973-9805.
Sea Life Park is
near the extreme eastern end of Oahu, about a 30-minute drive from
Waikiki. For more information about the park, or to make
reservations, phone (808) 259-7933. The park's Web site is at www.sealifeparkhawaii.com.
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].