Feedback on planned Oahu Days

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#1
84 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Hi - I'm looking for feedback from all of you Hawaiian experts! We'll be in Oahu about 5 days before our POA sailing and since we've never been, I'm trying to plan out our days to give us a rough idea of where to go. Am I missing anything? Or doing too much?
DAY ONE - MONDAY JULY 24
Arrive around 12:30 pm local time.
Get rental car.
Day at HHV


DAY TWO - TUESDAY JULY 25
Arrive by 7 to get tickets to Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial (no tickets available online)


DAY THREE - WEDNESDAY JULY 26
Arrive between 8-9 - Diamond Head
Drive North Shore.
Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole Lookout, Makapu'u Beach, Kailua Beach Park , Nuuanu Pali Lookout, Byodo-In Temple, Sunset Beach, Waimea Valley Falls/Botanical Garden, Dole Plantation


DAY FOUR - THURSDAY JULY 27
Waikiki
Manoa's Falls
Germaine's Luau


DAY FIVE - FRIDAY JULY 28
Kualoa Ranch
Return Rental Car
HHV Fireworks


DAY SIX - SATURDAY JULY 29

3 pm - Board ship
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#2
Kentucky
430 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by tommyjean
Hi - I'm looking for feedback from all of you Hawaiian experts! We'll be in Oahu about 5 days before our POA sailing and since we've never been, I'm trying to plan out our days to give us a rough idea of where to go. Am I missing anything? Or doing too much?
DAY ONE - MONDAY JULY 24
Arrive around 12:30 pm local time.
Get rental car.
Day at HHV


DAY TWO - TUESDAY JULY 25
Arrive by 7 to get tickets to Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial (no tickets available online)


DAY THREE - WEDNESDAY JULY 26
Arrive between 8-9 - Diamond Head
Drive North Shore.
Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole Lookout, Makapu'u Beach, Kailua Beach Park , Nuuanu Pali Lookout, Byodo-In Temple, Sunset Beach, Waimea Valley Falls/Botanical Garden, Dole Plantation


DAY FOUR - THURSDAY JULY 27
Waikiki
Manoa's Falls
Germaine's Luau


DAY FIVE - FRIDAY JULY 28
Kualoa Ranch
Return Rental Car
HHV Fireworks


DAY SIX - SATURDAY JULY 29

3 pm - Board ship
Hi tommyjean. I did almost this exact same trip back in October 2015 except I had 7 days on Oahu (3 days pre-cruise and 4 days post-cruise.) It is my favorite trip to date and I really think you will enjoy it. You will be exhausted, but it is so worth it

I think all your plans are fine except for Day 3......IMHO, I don't think you will make it to all those sites. You might want to move some of those that are closer to Waikiki to another day. The day we went to the North Shore (we followed the same route you plan to travel), traffic was really bad...especially on our return trip going towards the Dole Plantation.

When you go to Manoa Falls, I highly recommend you bring some bug spray and extra old shoes you won't mind getting muddy. It is a nice little "rain forest" and about halfway in you will start to encounter the bugs and mud. It was a nice little hike and I am so glad we went there. Make sure you go early.......we had the trail pretty much to ourselves going in, but there were lots of people walking in on our way out.
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#3
84 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thank you! So it's sounding like the North Shore drive is a day in and of itself? I wasn't planning on stopping at all of the stops, but listed them as reference points. I'll take another look. Thank you so much!
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#4
Middle Tennessee
2,457 Posts
Joined May 2004
On day 3 are you planning to hike Diamond Head and then drive around the island? I guess it is technically possible, but it will be a long day and you may get into some heavy traffic. Keep in mind that Dole Plantation is a big gift shop with some pineapple plants. Now I have to say we always stop there, it it is a quick stop to buy a few souvenirs and get a dole whip. We also always stop at the Byodo-in Temple. Beautiful spot to take photos . It is so peaceful. If you find yourself up near the Polynesian Cultural center (going toward north shore) not too far down the road (15 mins?) you will find the white Giovanni's shrimp truck. Be sure and stop...it may be crowded, but super yummy.
#5
1,232 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
We spent 3 days in Oahu following our Sydney to Honolulu cruise. We took the Escape Waikiki Tour. Kevin was wonderful. He will customize your tour if you want. His knowledge and enthusiasm made the trip so much fun. I recommend this tour as great wys to get your bearings. It is the best tour we have ever taken.

https://www.escapewaikikitours.com/
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#6
Western PA
1,226 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Day 3 may be a little ambitious. If you are planning on hiking Diamond Head, figure it will take you two to two and a half hours to do that by the time you wait for parking to open up and do the hike. Parking is limited there, so you may have to wait for a spot.

If you plan to snorkel Hanauma Bay, these two activities would be a day in themselves.


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#7
62 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
I suggest you hike Diamond Head the morning that you board the ship. Hiking it early is best because it gets crowded & hot. Then get back to hotel before check out to shower before ship. We spent 6 days on the north shore (plus Pearl Harbor the day we got off the ship & diamond head day we got on) and loved it. The dole plant is interesting. We spent more time there then we planned. It can be a giant time suck (not bad but just keep that in mind).


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#8
Coronado, CA & Corona del Mar, CA, USA
650 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
I would move the Diamond Head hike from Wednesday to Thursday and move it from 8 - 9am to more like 7am. I know you think 7am sounds early, but assuming you are coming from the mainland U.S. you will be awake. It is a big time change. You also want to hike as early as possible so it is cooler.

You can hike Manoa Falls after. It is a very easy hike and cool because of the rainforest canopy.

On Saturday I would Uber to the Farmer's Market at Kapiolani Community College. It is a great time and a nice way to interact with locals. It is right next to the entrance to Diamond Head crater so you could also do the Diamond Head hike early that morning.

In any case, I would NOT do Diamond Head as late as you are or before going to the North Shore; just go to the North Shore that day.

TripAdvisor (parent company of Cruise Critic) has a great Oahu forum and even if you don't belong to TA you can still read the Top Questions that have great tips on dining, on itineraries for driving the island circle tour and more.

TripAdvisor Oahu
#9
Western PA
1,226 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by scottca075

On Saturday I would Uber to the Farmer's Market at Kapiolani Community College. It is a great time and a nice way to interact with locals. It is right next to the entrance to Diamond Head crater so you could also do the Diamond Head hike early that morning.

Just remember that the farmer's market closes at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, so you would need to do the hike early enough to be able to make the market afterward.

You could take The Bus instead of uber, or you could walk it from Waikiki. We walked from Waikiki to Diamond Head, did the climb, got to farmer's market just as it was starting to break down for the day, and walked back to Waikiki in three hours.



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Grand Princess - April-May, 2017 -Hawaii Review with photos
Celebrity Summit - January, 2017 Review with photos
Oasis of the Seas - November, 2015 Review with photos
Coral Princess - April 2014 -Panama Canal Review with photos
Allure of the Seas - March, 2013
Voyager of the Seas - March, 2012
Grandeur of the Seas - September, 2010
Serenade of the Seas – May, 2010
Independence of the Seas - March, 2009
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Several between on Carnival, Princess, RCI

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#10
84 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thank you everyone! I think I have it roughly laid out. I totally expect most of it to fall apart but at least I can show I tried
This is my plan:
DAY ONE - MONDAY JULY 24
Arrive around 12:30 pm local time.
Get rental car.
Day at HHV
DAY TWO - TUESDAY JULY 25 - OAHU
Arrive by 7 to get tickets to Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial
DAY THREE - WEDNESDAY JULY 26 - OAHU
Arrive between 7-8— Diamond Head
Hanauma Bay (stop and look at), Halona Blowhole Lookout, Makapu'u Beach, Kailua Beach Park (has beach facilities), Nuuanu Pali Lookout
DAY FOUR - THURSDAY JULY 27 - OAHU
Dole Plantation
Waimea Bay Beach Park
Shark's Cove
Laniakea Beach (turtle beach)
Sunset Beach
DAY FIVE - FRIDAY JULY 28 - OAHU
Kualoa Ranch
Chinaman' Hat, Kualoa Park
Return rental car
HHV Fireworks
DAY SIX - SATURDAY JULY 29 - OAHU

2 pm - Board ship


Look do able?
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#11
Kentucky
430 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by tommyjean
Thank you everyone! I think I have it roughly laid out. I totally expect most of it to fall apart but at least I can show I tried
This is my plan:
DAY ONE - MONDAY JULY 24
Arrive around 12:30 pm local time.
Get rental car.
Day at HHV
DAY TWO - TUESDAY JULY 25 - OAHU
Arrive by 7 to get tickets to Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial
DAY THREE - WEDNESDAY JULY 26 - OAHU
Arrive between 7-8— Diamond Head
Hanauma Bay (stop and look at), Halona Blowhole Lookout, Makapu'u Beach, Kailua Beach Park (has beach facilities), Nuuanu Pali Lookout
DAY FOUR - THURSDAY JULY 27 - OAHU
Dole Plantation
Waimea Bay Beach Park
Shark's Cove
Laniakea Beach (turtle beach)
Sunset Beach
DAY FIVE - FRIDAY JULY 28 - OAHU
Kualoa Ranch
Chinaman' Hat, Kualoa Park
Return rental car
HHV Fireworks
DAY SIX - SATURDAY JULY 29 - OAHU

2 pm - Board ship


Look do able?
I say it's very doable Keep in mind it's extremely windy at Nuuanu Pali Lookout, so anyone with long hair might want to bring a ponytail holder or something to keep their hair from blowing all around......brushing out my hair afterwards was awful. Have a great trip!
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December 2016 - Royal Caribbean - Freedom of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
November 2016 - Princess - Caribbean Princess (Southern Caribbean)
October 2015 - Norwegian - Pride of America (Hawaii)
January 2014 - Royal Caribbean - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
#12
854 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
A note on the Arizona memorial tickets- they release some more online the day before, so you may consider checking online the day before. Typically there are some available. Also once you have tickets settled, it's not often a full day thing unless you plan to do all the other museums etc nearby. So you might consider if you can get the tickets online the day before taking the other half of that day and doing something else, or perhaps a beach day or just relaxing at the resort.

~Katy

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