Cruise ships are all about family fun - pool time, movies and dinners together. Even though everyone will no doubt have had a great time by the time the cruise ship docks in Honolulu, in front of you lies different types of fun things to do. Honolulu is the ideal family locale. Plenty of attractions, sights and places to eat and shop can be found within a tight radius, most just a short distance from the cruise port.
On average, cruise ships dock mid morning, so you'll be seeking out mid-day fun. Since you and the family will most likely have had breakfast, it's straight to the surf, while the morning winds and ocean are still calm. Make sure to bring a swimsuit and towel when departing the ship, and make your way to Waikiki Beach.
Surfing brings families together — Photo courtesy of Coconut Wireless
This is the mecca for surfing not only in the state, but also on the island of Honolulu. Waikiki is the ideal place for novice surfers to give the sport a try. Stop by one of the many surf board rental shacks at the back of the beach, and book a session with a guide. It's fun for the whole family.
Lunch will soon roll around, and when it does, walk down the street to Duke's Canoe Club. Named after the famous Hawaiian Olympic swimmer and surfer, Duke's is well-known with locals and visitors for its delicious Pacific Rim menu, tropical drinks and oceanfront location. Perfect for family lunches, Duke's will be a hit with family members of all ages.
After lunch, head right across the street to the International Market Place. Offering more than just shopping, the market place is an attraction itself. A multitude of small booths, off-beat shops and vendors come together to make a sort of outdoor mall. It's a perfect place for unique souvenirs or gifts for those back home.
Unique shopping — Photo courtesy of Coconut Wireless
As your time on land nears the end, stroll south down the street towards the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. The zoo and the aquarium are across the street from each other, and depending on time, you may have to choose between the two attractions.
The zoo has recently expanded and now includes new elements such as an expansive elephant area. Honolulu Zoo is fit for both a full day spent exploring as well as a rather quick walk through. Pick up a map at the entrance to pick out your favorite animals.
Across the street and bordering the beach is the aquarium. A much smaller venue than the zoo, the aquarium can easily be explored in a short time. Most of the sea life lives in open aquariums, making them visible from above. Children will love seeing the Hawaiian aquatic life while browsing along the ocean.
Fish, hanging out at the aquarium — Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski