We’ve been spending Christmas in Hawaii for years now, and have our same non negotiables that get included in every holiday. We stay at The Royal Hawaiian (in the same rooms so it really feels like home), the kids and Stuart surf with the Waikiki Beach Services team every day, and I paddleboard, ideally with honu for company.
We do always try to add some new experiences each year though, and I’ve written posts on our return home 2016 and 2017 which outline some of the things we’ve tried out. Some of them have been added to the ‘must do’ list – it gets a little longer each year – while some remain great once offs, so here’s the 2018 update.
One of the differences this year was the kids played an active role in researching and putting forward options. Sascha found submarine scooters, and as soon as we saw the pictures we were booked in and heading there the next day. This was a fantastic snorkel alternative, where you drove your own little personal submarine around seeing all of the fish (and atracting even more via a little fish food bag attached to the front of the scooter) and the turtles moving in and out of the turtle cleaning station. No issues with your snorkel mask fogging up, or not being able to go deeper than your breathing tube! We did this with Island Watersports Hawaii who were great. They send a photographer down to take pictures, and I had my GoPro on my wrist taking shots as well, but this is one I can definitely see us doing again.
Sam’s pick was parasailing over Waikiki, and we headed out on a beautiful clear day with X-treme Parasail. We had a gorgeous rainbow colored parachute and soared high over Waikiki and got some great photos both via my GoPro and courtesy of the onboard photographer. I’m not great with heights – yes I’m going to space, which is a lot higher, but that’s in a spaceship not dangling from a little rope harness – and apparently my white knuckle grip on the straps and concern that I had just heard the parachute rip (it hadn’t, on any of the occasions I thought it had) was highly entertaining for my fellow flyers.
Not all activites are winners though. I’d booked night time Glow in the Dark SUP with Endless Adventures months ago, and was super excited about trying this out. We turned up at Ala Moana Beach Park and waited 45 mins before giving it up as a lost cause, when no one turned up and none of our phone or Facebook messages were answered. Unfortunately a search via online review sites the following day revealed that it’s become this guy’s standard operating procedure so we’re now in the process of trying to get the booking refunded. Not easy when he still hasn’t responded to a single email, call or online message! All was not lost though thanks to one of last year’s discoveries which has transferred onto the must do list, Yoga Floats . We’d booked a couple of family yoga sessions, and discovered that Kelsey had also added Glow in the Dark paddleboarding to her reportoire. We happily headed out with her instead and had a great time in a very different experience to daytime paddling.
We left our island home with our rooms booked for next December, confident that we’ll revisit some of these and undoubtedly also have some new favorites to add to the list post Christmas 2018.
As always all of our experiences were paid for in full – even the one we didn’t actually get to experience!- and the above forms nothing more than our thoughts and reflections on each.