If it's your first time on land in days, or maybe even weeks, then you're no doubt looking forward to exploring the shores of Honolulu, and have limited time to do so. You and your sweetheart (ku'uipo, in Hawaiian) may be venturing out on a honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary or simply joyriding, but together you can experience the best of Honolulu with this half-day guide for cruising couples.
You don't want to miss the boat back home (Then again, would it be so bad to be stuck in Hawaii?), so this itinerary guides you through the best of Honolulu within a reasonable distance from the port of Honolulu.
Cruise ship guests often reach land mid-morning, and that's usually after a hearty buffet breakfast on the ship. When leaving the ship, make sure to take a bathing suit, towel and camera with you.
Waikiki Beach — Photo courtesy of Pandk / Flickr
Streets and shopping
Once on the island, the first stop will be exploring the busy streets of Waikiki.
Waikiki is more than shopping; it's a place where street performers like human statues painted in silver and gold entertain crowds while musicians and dancers share their art nearby. While here, walk through the International Marketplace to pick up some unique gifts and souvenirs.
Silver Man at Night — Photo courtesy of Varin Tsai / Flickr
Just across the street is Waikiki Beach, an expansive strip of white sand reaching from the heart of Waikiki to Diamond Head crater. On any day in Waikiki, the beach draws surfers of all ages, beachcombers, sunbathers and a range of other characters.
If you feel adventurous, rent a surfboard from one of the many small surf shacks backing the beach. If you've never surfed, book a lesson.
For sunbathers and beachcombers, explore the beach and take in the views of the volcano crater and many surfers.
Another notable sight is the Duke Kahanamoku statue near the center of the beach. It pays homage to one of Hawaii's heroes, an Olympic swimmer and top surfer. He'll likely be smothered with an abundance of fresh flower leis.
A Hawaiian hero — Photo courtesy of Loren Javier / Flickr
Roy's is famous for serving top-of-the-line Hawaiian fusion cuisine (Think fish, veggies, steaks.) in an upscale atmosphere.
Yard House is a pub, bar and restaurant all in one. But rather than a small dive bar, it's an open-air, stylish and modern local eatery serving over 100 beers on tap, and delicious pub fare.
After lunch, there will be time for a few sights. Toward the southern end of the beach is the Waikiki Aquarium. It's a quick and easy walk through for under $10. Exotic and rare sea creatures are on display in open tanks, and the oceanside venue is open and in the sun.
If you're in need of retail therapy, shop your way down the street before heading back to the ship.