Honolulu, Oahu Information
by Tom Ogg
Language and Currency
What is Honolulu, Oahu Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
English is the primary language and the US dollar is king!
Honolulu is a major city just like any other large city in the United States. It just happens to reside on one of the most luxurious island chains that was ever created. It offers a melting pot for cultures from all over the pacific and is quite diverse. It is also the gateway for fabulous Waikiki Beach.
Honolulu and Waikiki Beach enjoys perfect weather year around. The trade winds keep the air temperature comfortable.
Aloha Tower, Honolulu, Hawaii
The ship docks at Aloha Tower, which is in downtown Honolulu. Aloha Tower is approximately half way between the airport and Waikiki Beach.
To begin with, Aloha Tower has ample shopping and restaurants and bars right at the foot of the gangway to satisfy just about anyone. However if you want more shopping, you can make your way to Ward Warehouse, the Ala Moana Shopping Center (once the largest shopping center in the world) and then continue on into Waikiki where you could spend a week and not hit all of the stores, boutiques, shops and kiosks. Of course, Waikiki's famed "International Market Place" is not to be missed offering hundreds of unique and one-of-a-kind boutiques.
Ala Moana Shopping Center has International stores that you would find in the finest malls throughout the world so you would expect to find the finest in jewelry, fashion designs and the basic necessities. Waikiki offers unlimited shopping for just about everything under the sun. All Hawaiian products (aloha shirts, tee shirts, candles, soap, macadamia nut products, Maui chips, bathing suits, surf related products, Hawaiian arts and crafts) and everything else you can imagine.
Oahu is home to numerous attractions from Sea Life Park on Oahu's South side to the Polynesian Cultural Center located on Oahu's north west side. By all means, I suggest that you arrive early and stay late for your cruise as there are numerous things do do on Oahu. First and foremost, no trip to Oahu is complete without touring Waikiki Beach. This Mecca for sun worshipers is, with a doubt, one of the most famous beaches in the world. At the very heart of Waikiki Beach lies Kuhio beach. Over the last several years Kuhio Beach has had a complete make over to the tune of millions of dollars. Mush of the history and legend of Kuhio Beach has been captured in the Water and Streetscape treatments that enhance Waikiki. A heiau (ancient place of worship) waterfalls, tide pools, foliage and walkways have all been added to create a surreal experience along the ocean side of Kalakaua Avenue.
Sightseeing in Honolulu is quite easy. The city bus system follows a route between the airport and Waikiki and announces the sights available at each stop. If you want to go see the Arizona Memorial, the bus will tell you where to get off, ditto for just about every other attraction. The only catch to the bus is that you may not bring luggage on board. If you are debarking in Honolulu and spending a night or two, just grab a taxi to your hotel in Waikiki and then grab one of the buses that say "Honolulu" or "Airport" to hear the various announcements. There are tour operators located on just about every block of Waikiki offering everything from fishing, scuba diving, submarine rides, sailing excursions, luaus, visits to island sights like city tours, Polynesian Cultural Center, Waimea Park and so on. You could spend a month in Waikiki and still not see it all.
Yes, don't miss dinner at Michele's at the Colony Surf Hotel and don't miss Waikiki Beach.
Without a doubt, you should treat yourself and whomever you are traveling with to a dinner at Michele's at the Colony Surf Hotel. This restaurant has been a tradition in Waikiki with locals for the past 30 years and continues its superb reputation as the best place to eat in Hawaii. Their menu is to die for (a perfect blend of Hawaiian dishes blended with continental cuisine) and the view of Waikiki accross the ocean at night is the best Hawaii has to offer. Michele's at the Colony Surf is located towards Diamond Head on the other side of Queen Kapiolani Park. Be sure to make reservations and if there is a special occasion, request an ocean front table. Michele's is not cheap, but it is a once in a lifetime memory and is the very essence of Waikiki and Hawaii.
A favorite bar with locals and tourists alike is "The House Without a Key" at the Halekulani Hotel. Sunsets here are met with a reasonably priced glass of wine or other cocktail, unlimited Maui Chips and authentic Hawaiian entertainment. Whenever I am in Waikiki, I head over to the Halekulani Hotel at about an hour before sunset to settle in for the daily event.
An honorable mention would be the Banyon Bar at the Moana Hotel. Located right on Waikiki Beach under a huge Banyon tree, this bar allows one to relax in the unique environment of one of Waikiki Beach's oldest hotels right in the middle of it all.Places to Eat in Honolulu
89 users found this review helpful.
We were up early and had breakfast in the windjammer. We did the Arizona Memorial and Oahu sightseeing tour through the ship and had to be in the terminal by 7:15AM....read more
Philip M. Haggerty,
73 users found this review helpful.
Since many cruisers will stay an extra day or so in Honolulu, it is appropriate to describe in our ports of call section of this...read more
32 users found this review helpful.
Half a day is not enough time, so add an extra day to your trip. Waikiki is the place to stay, unless you're a golf fanatic who can't be more than 5 min from a...read more
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