Honolulu, Oahu

D Shook
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 course. We booked a cheap hotel before the cruise, which turned out to have a great view from our 16th floor room. I splurged on our arrival and had an airport lei greeting. His were red and white carnations, very masculine looking, and mine were lovely white tuberose, with a wonderful aroma. They lasted 3 days, since we put them in the refrigerator each night. There are several sites online for this service. When we got off the ship we treated ourselves to one night at the Royal Hawaiian (aka Pink Palace). If you can afford it - get discount through frequent stay programs - you will not regret staying at this luxury hotel (thinking romance here). Took a surf lesson on waikiki beach! As far as tours, you can do stuff on your own, or take a package. We've done both. Probably enjoyed driving the jeep around the island more than the tour, since we could stop wherever we wanted. Tours usually do not stop at the Bonzai pipeline, although they all go by it, but you don't see much from the bus. if you do the Arizona memorial on your own, do it early, and be there 30 min before it opens in the am. Lines get long and shade is a premium as the day goes on. I enjoyed the Park on the north side of the island with the cliff divers. However, the polynesian cultural center is probably the best bang for your buck, if you want to learn about culture. The luau didn't compare that well to the one we did at Paradise Cove, but the evening show was well worth the price. Many tours stop at Dole Pineapple. Get a pineapple cone, it's great! Of there is also a ranch, I'm blanking on the name, but they have horseback riding, helicopter tours, ATVs, scuba and snorkeling, and waverunners. Several movies have also been filmed there (In Harms'Way, Pearl harbor, etc) and you'll start to recognize it after awhile. Along with the Polynesian cultural center, I'd recommend the ranch as a high priority stop.              

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