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CruisinginWonderland

Cruising to Hawaii in October— Getting On Base

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Hi there!

 

Is the base on Oahu easy to get onto? Also is there anything on base that is better than other things to do on the island. Or should we not bother? I’m 90% sure we are going to rent a car.

 

I know Pearl Harbor is it’s own thing with the public & I'm really looking forward to visiting.

 

I guess I’m just looking for any general tips regarding this base & island. ☺️

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Which base? Hickam? What’s your status? How long are you on Oahu?

 

Been awhile since I’ve been there, but Hickam and Pearl Harbor were no issue with an AD or retired ID. Not sure either is worth the time for a short cruise stop. Pearl Harbor, Arizona, Missouri, Punch Bowl cemetery, Diamond Head if you have time. 

 

If your AD or retired ind go to Waikiki, the Hale Koa is worth a stop.  Small exchange with lots of souvenirs, decent restaurants, and a very cool bar right off the beach. 

 

Time me is your main concern...

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4 hours ago, markeb said:

Which base? Hickam? What’s your status? How long are you on Oahu?

 

 

Time me is your main concern...

 

We are AD. Our all board call time is 11pm. 😁  Either Base, probably Pearl Harbor for sure. Hickman if there’s anything worthwhile. Good to know about the exchange! We plan on renting a car. 

Edited by CruisinginWonderland

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17 hours ago, markeb said:

If your AD or retired ind go to Waikiki, the Hale Koa is worth a stop.  Small exchange with lots of souvenirs, decent restaurants, and a very cool bar right off the beach. 

 

The Hale Koa (Armed Forces Resort) right on Waikiki is a great place to visit.  Right next to the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  Lots to see on the beach area.  Several pools, hot tub, water sports rentals.  Great beach bar and IMHO the best Mai Tai's on Oahu! 

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18 hours ago, CruisinginWonderland said:

 

We are AD. Our all board call time is 11pm. 😁  Either Base, probably Pearl Harbor for sure. Hickman if there’s anything worthwhile. Good to know about the exchange! We plan on renting a car. 

 

Just to be sure we’re on the same sheet of music...

 

The USS Arizona Memorial, while on Pearl Harbor (the body of water), is not on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. It’s operated by the National Park Service. The USS Missouri is moored on Ford Island, which is on the base, but tours go there. I assume you can drive there with an ID, but I believe you can also catch a tour from the visitor center at the Arizona. 

 

There is a huge exchange on the Hickam side, but I have to say that’s not where I’d spend time on a cruise ship stop, or are you spending time on Oahu pre cruise? Also, if you’ve never been, traffic on Oahu is beyond horrible, so keep that in mind if you’re renting a car. You don’t need one in Waikiki. It is useful if you want to drive around the island, but there are typically tours that do that as well. 

 

Now, I wholeheartedly agree with RoperDK about the Mai Tais at the Hale Koa, and you have one of the best views of sunset on Oahu. 

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Coming from someone who previously lived at Pearl, there isn’t anything special to see.  If you want to visit Arizona Memorial make reservations in advance as you could be waiting awhile for you tour.  Right now I don’t think you actually get onto the memorial as under repair but there’s still a tour.  

 

I also 2nd what the others said about Hale Koa, it’s a great resort.  We’d go stay for weekends even though we lived so close.  Cheap drinks by HI standards and the PX sells affordable decent souvenirs.

 

if you do decide to visit the base, I guess the best thing I’d say is go to the Hickam side and try to figure out if any ships are coming in and head to Bishop Point. It’s neat to see them come into the harbor there.  And, an added bonus if coming back from deployment and topside is lined with sailors in theirs whites.  Emotional experience.   

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Parking at the Hale Koa's parking garage is relatively inexpensive if you take your rental car to Waikiki.  (Military ID card holders only.) 

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If you stay at the Hale Koa (and I also heartily recommend it), ask for a corner room on a higher floor (the tower on the side of the “recreation” area vs. the Hilton). Those rooms are the most expensive, but then you get such a good rate there you might as well do it up in style! It has amazing views, is relatively quiet, and has a large wrap around balcony. There is also a secluded elevator very close to those corner king rooms that make for a quick exit and entry! 

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