Looking for a good pre-cruise hotel on Oahu

I've got my next cruise booked and paid for! Big Smile

Heading out of Honolulu on Pride of America this fall!

So here's my plan, such as it is, and questions that I'm hoping you can help!

We fly in on Friday early afternoon (about 1:30pm) and either get an Uber or rent a car to go to a good hotel. Perhaps we do sightseeing, perhaps we just deal with our jet lag. Next day, we return the car and catch an Uber or transfer to the ship, which departs at 7pm Saturday.

So does anyone know a good hotel? Does it make sense to stay away from Honolulu? What would be the best way to get to the ship (and for that matter, to get from the ship to the airport at the end of the cruise)? What would be the best sightseeing activities?

Tags: Hawaii Honolulu Oahu

4 Answers

We rented a car and stayed at the Hilton Waikiki Beach. Drove around Oahu the next day and saw some beautiful scenery. Dropped off luggage at terminal and returned car, which was about 2 blocks away. Walked back to terminal. Rental was with Enterprise. Warning: Rental office closes at 5 sharp, so you want to make sure you have plenty of time. Major stressor for me. Forgot that I had to top off the fuel and was running late.

Have you checked tripadvisor or are you only looking for personal cruiser advice?

I have looked at TripAdvisor, but there are so many listed that it is a daunting task to wade through them.

Any personal experience would be appreciated.

Also, does anyone know the time that NCL opens the ship for boarding?

A year ago January we got off our cruise in Sydney, then flew up to Oahu and stayed a week. We too found the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel to be a good choice. Not right on the beach but almost with decent views.

Now, we have been to Hawaii hundreds of days since we first visited in 1970, but it had been decades since we spent any time on Waikiki, brother-in-law used to own a condo on the north shore which we often used. But most of our time has been spent in the outer islands, in recent years on the Kona Coast because the kids own a unit there now. It is very difficult to find a place to park in Waikiki and when you do, expensive. So we decided not to rent this time.

On line I found Charley's Taxi, which we used both going and coming from the airport, rate was very reasonable (Like $25.00) and they used a large limo style vehicle which held our cruise luggage easily.

That was almost the first trip ever to Hawaii where we didn't rent a car. Glad we didn't too, since there were so many other options which allowed me to enjoy looking around. We found "The Bus" to be the way to go. You can get a multiple day pass, do most of the island on it even, or just get on it and go for a ride around all of Waikiki for two bucks. What is neat though, if we wanted to go to a place to eat on the far side of Waikiki we just got on and got off near the restaurant, for two dollars per. Then going back to the hotel another two dollars per, it makes so many stops you are very near your hotel, matter of fact, right next to it in the case of Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel. Another thing I did, through the Hilton's helpful concierge staff (Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel) I took an eight hour around the island of Oahu tour, included an excellent lunch, tour of the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pineapple Train ride, many stops, etc. Been a long time since I've been on the north shore. I couldn't get my wife interested in such a day long tour, but it was worth it, with 24 nice folk in a very comfortable van. Sure beats driving, I got to see something for a change. Actually, I didn't study the tour very well since I expected a "box" type lunch somewhere along the way. I was amazed when our guide said we are eating here at this fine dining facility. He had called in meal orders for us all, from off the menu, so they were ready for us. I ordered pork, an excellent lunch it was.

A few months ago we were in Waikiki again off a cruise, two nights in a post cruise deal. We had booked the very expensive Royal Hawaiian Hotel (Pink Palace), for nostalgic reasons. But when we got there we found that they were on strike and Regent had switched us to a very nice waterfront hotel that was not on strike. Good on them. This hotel, the Alohilani Resort. We ported in Honolulu just before dawn, so we got to the resort very early in the morning because these cruise lines usually like to kick you off the ship as soon as possible to make room for the new load coming on board before noon. But we were fortunate in that the Alohilani said they could put us in a room right then, however, if we wanted to wait sometime in the lobby they could find a better view for us. Hey, we took them up on the right now offer and certainly couldn't complain. Nice sized balcony, looking right at Diamond Head not that far away and lots of ocean view to the right. So the rays of the setting sun were right on Diamond Head which is pretty colorful that time of day.

The Alohilani has recently been greatly refurbished with a name change and all. It is very clean, modern, quiet, with a staff that certainly is very friendly and very accommodating in every way. The room itself was about average size for a high end hotel, and the bathroom was mediocre. Air conditioner took a little getting used to but it was okay. Beds were super. The buffet breakfast was complimentary under the package we had, however, it was a full hot breakfast and perhaps the best prepared we ever had in a hotel. The T.V. was huge with a large selection of channels including our favorite news channel MSNBC. A year ago we got stuck in a La Quinta Hotel in Boulder, Colorado that didn't have MSNBC, I wrote to La Quinta about it and they said they would take in "under advisement" LOL, hello Hampton.

Anyway, the Alohilani and complex is adjacent to Kalakaua Avenue which is adjacent to Waikiki Beach. We enjoyed the first day at the hotel but on the second day our flight didn't leave until shortly after 10:00 PM. Check out time was 11:00 AM. I went down to the desk to discuss this, believing we could maybe negotiate a few hours more in the room. Fortunately, they have a rate structure which allows a lot more, $30.00 per hour or $60.00 until three in the afternoon, or $100.00 until six in the evening. We took the six, giving us two entire days in the hotel and on Waikiki. Only hotel I've ever ran into this lenient.

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