I really hate to put down a cruise excursion when I was really looking forward to it, but in this case, you really need to know the truth.
We had signed up for an excursion to the WWII monument the Arizona, and we were really looking forward to it, but when we exited the ship, and entered the huge terminal, we joined a line of almost 800 people. This long, long, line inched along for 45 minutes while bus after bus left for the same place and slowly, realization dawned.
How in the world can the small memorial out in the harbor, accessible only by small boats accommodate all these people?
Jim had been to the memorial before and knew that since the boats that transport people to the memorial are small, that it would take hours just to get onto the Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE history, but even I would not spend my day standing in line with other cruise passengers waiting to a glimpse of the memorial.
Now this is important……. Our recommendation is, if you want to visit the memorial, get off the ship at the earliest time allowed, catch a taxi and go to the monument on your own. It will be well worth the effort and will actually save you money and will also save you from wasting your day! After your visit, head into Honolulu and enjoy Waikiki beach and shopping.
So……. Jim and I looked at each other and both of us knew instantly that after waiting 45 minutes already, we were going to ditch the line, catch a taxi and head into Honolulu to explore Waikiki beach and the shops. We felt such guilty freedom as we sped in our taxi toward the city, but big smiles of relief were on our faces.
After a walk on the beach, we decided to check out the kiosks and shops at the International Market Place, where you can find the typical tourist souvenirs, but where we also found a gentleman carving Tikis out of local Hawaiian wood. They were beautifully carved and it was fun to be able to purchase work from a local artisan.
While the marketplace is filled with items that won’t cost you a fortune, if you want to shop upscale, just walk across the street to the posh hotels like the Moana Surfrider Hotel or the Outrigger Hotel. The shops are filled with high-end art, and beautiful but expensive jewelry and clothing. I must admit, it was tempting to step into the shops, but Jim was already headed toward Duke’s Canoe Club which is located in the Outrigger Hotel and opens out onto the beach.
The restaurant is named after one of Hawaii’s most important citizens, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, born in Honolulu in 1890 and grew up on Waikiki beach, swimming, surfing and canoeing. Representing the U.S., during three separate Olympic Games, he won four Gold Medals and one Silver Medal in swimming and went on to introduce surfing to New Zealand and Australia. He acted in 28 movies and made surfing popular in California. He is remembered not just for remarkable speed as a swimmer, but for his grace in the water, his good humor, and his sportsmanship.
It’s fun to think you are hanging out on the same beach Duke enjoyed!