A Five Star Experience

Columns Order of the Day

September 4, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Casual elegance coupled with the “Aloha Spirit,” the Star of Honolulu provides its guests with an enchanting and enjoyable experience. The Star of Honolulu has entertained both tourists and locals alike for the past 50 years, according to executive chef Adam Gilbert. He says that the Star Sunset Dinner & Show Cruise offers guests an unforgettable yet affordable experience, as kamaaina can enjoy year-round special rates on all Star of Honolulu cruises with a valid Hawaii ID.

  • Executive chef Adam Gilbert with the Star Sunset Dinner
  • Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
  • Half Baby Romaine, Kamuela Vine Ripened Tomatoes and Sesame Star Puff Pastry with Papaya Seed Dressing
  • Premium Mai Tai
  • Experience the beautiful sunset aboard the ship.
  • Main Entree of Steamed Snow Crab Legs and Sirloin Steak with Port Wine Sauce
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“You get a quality meal that’s value-oriented, where you get the all-you-can-eat crab promo,” Gilbert says. “The show is excellent; the dancing and entertainment are top-notch. And then, you’re on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a great view. I’m really proud to work here because of the complete package of what we do.”

“For the Star Sunset Dinner & Show, it costs $72.50 per adult and $43.74 per child (ages 3-11) with valid Hawaii ID,” says Eric Burgoyne, sales and marketing director for the Star of Honolulu. “We are unique in that we extend your kamaaina rate to your entire party, which makes our cruises great for entertaining out-of-town guests.”

The two-hour Star Sunset Dinner & Show Cruise begins every evening at 5:30 p.m. when the 232-foot, 1,500-passenger tour vessel departs from Aloha Tower Marketplace at Pier 8 and makes its way around the island’s coastline to Diamond Head and back. The three-course meal starts with the Half Baby Romaine, Kamuela Vine Ripened Tomatoes, a Sesame Star Puff Pastry with Papaya Seed Dressing and a loaf of freshly-baked Poi bread and butter.

The quality of the food makes the Star’s dining experience different from others.

“We’re 100 percent quality oriented and we really push local sustainability,” Gilbert explains. “The amount of lettuce we buy from Maui is astronomical, and we only buy local, vine-ripe tomatoes. Our quality is really good and we’re extremely consistent. We’re now up to a prime sirloin so it’s really good quality steak, and every year I go to the Boston Seafood show to talk to crab vendors so we really do get the best Canadian Snow Crab clusters.”

This menu’s main entrée consists of Sirloin Steak with Port Wine Sauce and Steamed Snow Crab Legs, served with fresh lemon, clarified butter and citrus Ponzu, homemade mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh vegetables. Special menus of fish (Grilled Mahimahi Filet with Island Salsa), chicken (Grilled Rosemary Olive Oil Chicken) or vegan (Grilled Vegan Garden Patty with Vegan Lasagna) are available for guests within 24 hours’ notice.

“We always carry backups (of these entrees) on board, in case somebody didn’t realize they were allergic,” Gilbert says. “Our vegetable meal is gluten-free and vegan, for those with special vegetarian or dietary needs.”

This Star product is especially popular because of the all-you-can-eat crab special, which has been ongoing for the past two years.

“We serve one cluster of crab one hand on the plate, and then the waiters walk around throughout the night with baskets of crab to keep filling you up until you’re satisfied,” Gilbert says.

“The all-you-can-eat crab special is being offered now through Dec. 31 at no additional cost to the customer,” adds Burgoyne.

About halfway through the meal, guests are treated to the Star’s feature show, “My Hawaii Lei of Memories,” a performance that celebrates Hawaii’s culture and beauty. Throughout dinner, guests are welcome to explore the ship’s four panoramic decks.

The three-course menu concludes with dessert Macadamia Nut Ice Cream. Although this Star product’s menu has not changed drastically over the years, Gilbert says that it has undergone slight alterations to provide customers with higher quality products.

“We do more internal upgrades that probably aren’t noticeable by a large group of people, like upgrading the quality of steak to prime,” Gilbert says. “(In the future) we may potentially upgrade the Macadamia Nut Ice Cream to caramelized Macadamia Nut Ice Cream.”

While Gilbert says that the Star’s cruises tend to attract more tourists, the Star Sunset Dinner & Show Cruise option draws more locals, especially during the holidays.

“We really focus on special occasions,” Gilbert says. “For locals, we do a lot of birthdays, business parties and Christmas parties.”

Star of Honolulu

  • Where
    • Docked At Pier 8
    • Aloha Tower Marketplace
    • Aiea, HI 96701
  • Call
    • 1-800-334-6191 Or (808) 983-7827
  • Website