Hawaiian Cruise: Ko Olina and Aulani

First up, Mix and Match Travel Agency is announcing our BIG GIVEAWAY!!  It’s SO GOOD!  You don’t wanna miss it so read all the way to the bottom of the post to hear all about how you can enter.

I’m so excited to finally share this vacation recap with you!  For Spring Break this past year, our family of six along with the Shull six headed to the beautiful state of HAWAII!

Shay and I are always discussing trips, vacations, and destinations on our must-visit list so last year we decided we’d love to make a Spring Break Hawaii trip happen and got to work!

I have a couple quick things I’d love to discuss before we jump right into it…

1. This trip was one hundred percent paid for by me.  Oh, how I wish that wasn’t the case.  haha!  If anyone would like to send me to Hawaii, please e-mail me ASAP!  I always share my true thoughts and opinions here in this space but I’d never want you to think a trip was comped so I’m making it sounds much better than it was.  Know what I mean?  

2. Mix and Match Travel Agency can help YOU with a vacation just like this or we can tweak it a bit to make it the perfect getaway for you!  If this looks like something your family would enjoy, please reach out to us.  We’d love to help you! 

3.  If you have any questions about something I’m leaving out or forgetting to share, please comment or e-mail me and I’ll be sure to answer!

WAHOO!  Let’s get right to it!
We had four super pumped kids ready for the gorgeous beaches of HAWAII!

Check out my cute airplane neighbor.  🙂

My vacay tank is here.
Britty was in her happy place.  We let the big kids sit together and I’m almost certain we could have ended the vacation right there with six happy big kids.  A row of big girls and a row of big boys was all it took.

These two have been the best of friends since 2015.

Just a tad bit excited to BE IN HAWAII!

Earrings are here.
Our shuttles arrived to transport us and all of our luggage to the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club.

Each family had their own two bedroom villa.  Ours had king beds in each room with a pull out sofa bed in the kids’ room making it the perfect little spot for my four.  They had their own bathroom and plenty of space.
This is a look at their room.

With their own bathroom.

A living room, dining area, and kitchen as well as the nice big patio were all in between our bedrooms.  We didn’t hit up the grocery store because we set sail just a few days later but if our family was staying any longer we would.  The kitchen {I forgot to take a picture of} was large with lots of space, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.

And then our room with the king and master bathroom was on the other side of the villa.

Bowen is my most go-with-the-flow kid.  He was a big fan of island time.

And this girly had heard, “Hawaii”, “Hawaii”, “Hawaii”, so she was excited to finally arrive!

The views from our balcony did NOT disappoint.

The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Resort is nestled right in the heart of Ko Olina on the island of Oahu and just about  twenty miles from the Honolulu airport.  We’d heard amazing things about this area in general….great dining, amazing resorts, and awesome beaches so when we booked our cruise and planned a couple days in Oahu it was a no brainer.  There are three other resorts in Ko Olina and one of those is Disney’s Aulani, located right next door to the Marriott.  We chose to stay at this Marriott resort because while I work with most of our Disney clients that’s just a portion of our clientele.  Staying at the Marriott, but popping over to Aulani for things was our way of getting to experience two great resorts we could come back and share with our clients.

When I ordered this tank top, they were fully stocked and even had other color options.  Now it’s all sold out from the boutique where I purchased, but I found it here.

After checking out our room and grabbing dinner in our resort, we all showered and headed to bed.  We were exhausted!

Thanks to jet lag {it didn’t take long to acclimate} I was up early reading my kindle on the balcony with a cup of coffee in hand the next morning.

My pajamas were screaming Hawaii…right?  {Long sleeve available}

Our resort had numerous activities going on throughout the day to keep guests entertained.  We really wouldn’t have had to leave and the beach, pool, and daily entertainment would have kept everyone happy.

The gang all met up for a character Aunty’s Breakfast at Makahiki at the Aulani Resort.

My cover-up is this one and I’m wearing a medium.
Makahiki had a wide spread of delicious breakfast foods.  Our kiddos had everything from Mickey waffles to fried rice to omelets.  Absolutely delicious!  And then Pluto, Goofy, and Minnie made their way to each and every table for pictures and a few hugs.

All smiles for Goofy!

Britty is a big Minnie fan, but when she made her way over in person she preferred Nixon to be holding her.

He didn’t mind one bit. 😉

As we were walking through Aulani, we took a peek at one of the villas that was open for viewing and I knew you’d want to see too…
This is a two bedroom villa with a similar set up to our rooms at the Marriott.  One king with a master bathroom.

And then another king with a pull out sofa in the other room with living room, dining space, and a kitchen as well.

Aulani’s resort is spectacular.  The pool, beach area, and all the landscaping is immaculate.  

One of my favorite things about the entire Ko Olina area is the coves at the beach.  It eliminates big waves so the water was always pretty calm, which is great when little kids are playing in the ocean.

Besties…these girls were super sweet together.

Check out that background!  This area was absolutely stunning. 

It’s hard to keep your eyes open when it’s such a bright, sunshiney day.

See what I mean about the waves?

These Texas kids were living their best lives!

Just another day in paradise…

I could go on and on about this beach, this resort, this location.  The kids and I are already working on a return trip.  Working on getting Tab on board that is.  🙂

Smith is now my favorite child.  Can you tell why?
After a quick clean-up, we made our way to Monkeypod Kitchen for dinner.

Night number two had jet lag catching up with us just a bit.

Please notice how Bowen handled his jet lag.

It looks like I took a different guy on vacation with me…I promise it’s Tab.  We look a little sleepy too.  This was just one of the many reasons I’m so glad we decided to do a little land vacation before our cruise because it just took us a couple days to get accustomed to island time.  By the time we boarded the ship, we were mostly on Hawaii time.

This was our final full day in Ko Olina so we were determined to make it a great one.  

And if that hip pop is any indication of how it turned out, I’d say we nailed it.

10:30 a.m. brought a daily water slide race…the big girls participated.  The slide is hard to see in this picture, but it’s located at the top of the stairs and then they came out…

Madeley was a big fan of beach days!

And so was I.  🙂

Bowen, Ashby, and I took a little walk to see the gorgeous views.

Worth it!

The coolest part about this resort was the grounds were stunning and super kid-friendly but it all looked very lagoon-like and didn’t scream, “KIDS!”.

Night #3 brought matching Hawaiin attire and a luau.  Again in order to experience both resorts we booked our luau at Aulani.  Shay and I debated on matching wardrobes for the night and clearly, matching won out.  I couldn’t find a seller that had all the sizes in both boys and girls but managed to find some that looked very similar.

Luau Ready!

Ko Olina has a shuttle that takes you to the other resorts and into town.  We rode the shuttle right over to Aulani.

This luau was tucked into a little secluded area at the Aulani resort in a very pretty, quaint setting.  Tab and I have experienced another luau on Oahu and this one had way less people.  It was a much smaller crowd, which I preferred.  When we arrived the girls set to work making bracelets.

See what I mean?  A very gorgeous backdrop for a luau.

Everyone say, “HULA!”.

Just like all things, Disney did a great job on the food, drinks, entertainment, interactions, and so much more.

Fresh tatoos for everyone.

Moana arrived to kickoff the festivities.

And I was excited about it!

We saw flame throwers, lots of hula dancing, and Mickey and Minnie!  Such a cool experience my kids will remember forever!

That wraps up our stay in Ko Olina!  In Part Two, we’ll be setting sail and headed straight to Maui!  I can’t wait to share all the fun that was had.

Remember, if you’re interested in booking a trip to Hawaii, let us help you!  You can e-mail us at mixandmatchtravelagency@yahoo.com or head to Mix and Match Travel Agency to learn more!

Now for the BIG GIVEAWAY!

Drumroll please….

 Woohoo!  One lucky winner is going to get a Mix and Match Travel Agency vacation of their choice!  They can either head to Mexico, Walt Disney World or take a seven night cruise!! 

One winner, three options!

All winners must be US residents. Please note, it is up to the winner to provide the documentation they need in order to travel. This trip includes hotel/cruise accommodations, ground transportation, and for Walt Disney World, park tickets. The winner of this trip can travel anytime between January 1, 2022 and October 1, 2022. This trip is not sponsored by anyone other than Mix and Match Travel Agency and terms and conditions do apply and are subject to change depending on the travel industry. Rafflecopter will randomly select the winner and their name will be announced on Tuesday, June 8th.  All entries do require you to like, follow along or comment on social media.  Blog comments are not a valid way to enter. The value of each destination is approximately $4000 and all accommodations will reflect that price range. If the winner elects to fly to their vacation destination, air travel is not included in any option and must be obtained by the winner. 

We are really excited to travel again and want to bless someone else with a vacation too in 2022!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. 6.2.21
    Lauren D said:

    I have some of the best memories from visiting Ko Olina with my family!! This was so fun to read today 😁

  2. 6.2.21
    Elspeth Mizner said:

    Yay! So glad we are learning about your trip! The pictures look awesome!

  3. 6.2.21
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    Ohhhhhh! Take me back! I loved your pictures too!!! I would do every detail over again. Love, love, loved.

  4. 6.2.21
    Angela Ellingson said:

    Loved reading about this vacation and seeing pictures from both you and Shay! So glad the podcast is back, too!! This is a dream giveaway!!!

  5. 6.3.21
    Kjlb37 said:

    So fun that you both did blog posts with same and different pics! We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian in 2019 and it was lovely but this resort makes me want to go back and stay here ASAP!!