The Star of Honolulu is more than just a boat that sails off the shores of Oahu. Over the years, it has become a symbol of Hawaiian hospitality and a showcase for the island’s rich cultural history. But what makes the Star of Honolulu a standout among its competitors? Let’s delve into its intriguing journey from a humble tour operator in Pearl Harbor to Hawaii’s most versatile entertainment and dinner cruise company.
The seeds for what would become the Star of Honolulu were sown in 1957 with the operation of two small vessels offering Pearl Harbor excursions. By 1981, the current management took charge, bringing fresh ideas and a visionary approach to diversifying the company.
Setting the Standard with “Experience of Aloha”
In the early days, Oahu was already bustling with more than 15 companies offering basic dinner cruises featuring disposable tableware and all-you-can-drink cocktails. The Star of Honolulu aimed to set itself apart by delivering an unparalleled “Experience of Aloha.” By 1992, they realized their vision by launching the 1,500-passenger “Star of Honolulu” vessel, specially designed for Hawaiian waters. This was Hawaii’s largest dinner cruise ship, complete with ADA-compliant facilities, designer interiors, and customizable banquet spaces.
In a quest to maintain quality control over their offerings, the company opened Paradise Kitchen in 1996. The kitchen has since become a gastronomic powerhouse, producing over 500,000 meals annually, ranging from luau buffets to gourmet dinners and outside catering.
Royal Star Hawaii
The same year, the company also ventured into land transportation by acquiring Grayline Hawaii’s operating permits, subsequently launching Royal Star Hawaii Motorcoach Tours & Destination Services. The service is unique for its punctuality, “Aloha on Wheels” drivers, and safety features like 100% seat belts and Drive-Cam.
Fast forward to 2004, and the company introduced Paradise Imaging, a dedicated photography service capturing guests’ most memorable moments.
In 2011, they debuted a sister entertainment company, Rock-A-Hula, which hosts Waikiki’s largest Hawaiian dinner show. The performance takes the audience on a “Hawaiian Journey,” featuring a variety of music and dance styles across different eras.
Paradise To-Go Entertainment
Due to popular demand, 2017 saw the inception of Paradise To-Go Entertainment, offering a premium level of off-site entertainment customized for private events.
The various brands under the Star of Honolulu umbrella have consistently been recipients of the coveted Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, affirming their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
From its early days as a Pearl Harbor tour operator to its current status as a multifaceted entertainment empire, the Star of Honolulu has remained true to its goal of delivering a high-quality “Experience of Aloha.” Whether on land or sea, in photographs or live performances, the company has seamlessly blended traditional Hawaiian culture with modern amenities and services, setting a new standard for what a Hawaiian vacation experience can be.