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Old Sep 26, 10, 3:15 pm   #1
 
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Best way to Pearl Harbor from Waikiki?

Aloha!

Me and the Ms. are headed to HNL for a 4-day mini anniversary vacation. Alan Wong reservations made, and all is good.

The only outstanding question is about Pearl Harbor. We're staying in Waikiki beach and would like to make a day trip, but I'm a little unsure about the best way to go. The key think is that we don't want to be rushed, so we don't want to do a planned tour with a definite start/stop time. But which is the least expensive/most hassle-free way to go? We could (a) rent a car and drive ourselves, (b) pay a driver/take a taxi both ways, (c) take TheBus, or...(d) is there another option I haven't thought about? I like the flexibility of having a car, but it seems to introduce a lot of hassle with parking, etc., especially since we'd only use it to go to Pearl. TheBus, according to their website, takes 1.5 hours each way, which seems insane. Would the cost of a taxi be prohibitive? (Can you even get one to take you there?)

Any recommendations would be most welcome... Mahalo in advance!
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Old Sep 26, 10, 3:25 pm   #2
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With that much time in Waikiki, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to rent a car anyway to see much more of Oahu. You don't want to go to places like the North Shore, Lanikai, Makapu'u, Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head, etc.?
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Old Sep 26, 10, 5:40 pm   #3
 
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I agree with SAT Lawyer...rent a car and see more of Oahu. As to Pearl...verify with hotel...Navy runs best tour and only boat that docks AT Memorial. Try to get to reception early as it gets busy and you will want to see movie before tour.
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Old Sep 26, 10, 7:35 pm   #4
 
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Getting a car for the day and seeing more attractions makes sense. If you do, rent it as early as the agency opens. Some get long lines. But, if this is not your desire, don't rule out TheBus. It's only $2.50 per person ($1 for seniors) each way and properly planned can take a little less than 1 hour. Get to the Arizona as close to the 7 am opening as possible. You can't take in a pocketbook, bag, etc. Get a transfer on the way back, and you can stop off at a place such Chinatown, Ala Moana (shopping) Center, historical downtown, etc. We always use TheBus to go to the Memorial. Plan your trip at:

http://www.thebus.org/

Looks like they changed the name of the Memorial:
http://www.nps.gov/valr/
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Old Sep 27, 10, 7:18 am   #5
 
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I fifth the suggestion to drive. It's a short drive from Waikiki, especially if you go early (which is highly recommended). Parking on-site is free. Just don't leave valuables in the car.

I'd also highly recommend booking an Explorer's Tour on the USS Missouri. We've done both the self-guided and the tour and got so much more out of the latter.

When you're done, you can drive to the cemetery.
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Old Sep 27, 10, 9:34 am   #6
 
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Thanks all for the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAT Lawyer View Post
With that much time in Waikiki, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to rent a car anyway to see much more of Oahu. You don't want to go to places like the North Shore, Lanikai, Makapu'u, Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head, etc.?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st Cav Vet View Post
I agree with SAT Lawyer...rent a car and see more of Oahu. As to Pearl...verify with hotel...Navy runs best tour and only boat that docks AT Memorial. Try to get to reception early as it gets busy and you will want to see movie before tour.
Here's the thing: We only have four nights and three full days and would prefer to spend time at the pool/beach than in the car. The day we plan to go to Pearl is the day we have a 7:30pm dinner reservation at Alan Wong, so we don't want to be too ambitious. With more time, I'd love to drive around and see lots of places. But we just don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenfromDE View Post
Getting a car for the day and seeing more attractions makes sense. If you do, rent it as early as the agency opens. Some get long lines. But, if this is not your desire, don't rule out TheBus. It's only $2.50 per person ($1 for seniors) each way and properly planned can take a little less than 1 hour. Get to the Arizona as close to the 7 am opening as possible. You can't take in a pocketbook, bag, etc. Get a transfer on the way back, and you can stop off at a place such Chinatown, Ala Moana (shopping) Center, historical downtown, etc. We always use TheBus to go to the Memorial. Plan your trip at:

http://www.thebus.org/

Looks like they changed the name of the Memorial:
http://www.nps.gov/valr/
Thanks. I was under the impression the trip from Waikiki to the Arizona Memorial could take a lot longer than an hour with traffic, but if not, then clearly it's the cheaper way to go...

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Originally Posted by Recreation View Post
I fifth the suggestion to drive. It's a short drive from Waikiki, especially if you go early (which is highly recommended). Parking on-site is free. Just don't leave valuables in the car.
I guess my (reformatted) question is this: If all we're doing is a round-trip to Pearl, is the cost/hassle of renting a car worth it?

Quote:
I'd also highly recommend booking an Explorer's Tour on the USS Missouri. We've done both the self-guided and the tour and got so much more out of the latter.
Definitely planning on the Explorer's Tour! Looks really interesting.
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Old Sep 27, 10, 12:41 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by as219 View Post
I guess my (reformatted) question is this: If all we're doing is a round-trip to Pearl, is the cost/hassle of renting a car worth it?
Depends. As to the cost, it might or might not be cheaper to rent a car than to use other means. Certainly it would be cheaper than paying for each of you to take one of the guided tours. (Note: I'm pretty sure the guided tours all do much more than just touring the USS Arizona Memorial (e.g. USS Missouri, Punchbowl Cemetery), so their schedule might not work for you anyway.)

As to the hassle, let me explain how the USS Arizona Memorial works, in case you're not familiar with it. The Memorial itself was built on a platform that was erected over the sunken USS Arizona. You can't get there except via a boat. It's not very big, so only a limited number of people can be on it at any given time. Some tour companies have been given permission to dock there, but everyone else has to take a Navy shuttle from the land-based museum center over to the Memorial.

Because of its unique location in the water, each visitor is given a first-come, first-served timestamped ticket which indicates the time that you are to return. Upon return, you first watch a brief movie giving you some histrorical background on the politics surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. Afterward, your group waits on the pier to board the shuttle to go over to the actual memorial.

Let's say that the memorial holds 50 people. The first 50 people who show up that day are given the earliest timestamp -- let's say 8:00am. The next group of 50 is given an 8:20 timestamp. Etc. Because of this process, it's important that you arrive EARLY, because the later you arrive, the later your timestamp will be. Best case scenario is that you'll be given a timestamp that is no more than an hour or 90 minutes from the time you arrive because that will give you a bit of time to mill around the museum and grounds, and perhaps explore the Bowfin submarine next door. Worst case scenario is that you'll arrive and be given a timestamp that is five hours later.

So, my qualified advice is that if you can find a means to arrive no later than 7:30am, then skip the rental car. Otherwise, I'd go ahead and rent the car because you have no way of knowing what your timestamp will be in advance. (If it's five hours from the time you arrive, then you'd probably want to drive back to the hotel and wait.)

Also note that many buses have lots and lots of stops, so be sure to inquire about the pick-up time at your hotel AND the arrival time at Pearl Harbor. Once again, you don't want to get there much later than 7:30am. ETA: I see that you discovered it would take 1.5 hours via the bus. No way would I do that. As far as taxis go, I don't think you'd have difficulty getting one at your hotel. Getting home may be another story because it's a bit off the beaten path. I don't recall seeing a lot of taxis waiting outside the memorial, but then again I wasn't looking for one. I will say that if you get there early, parking if plentiful and free.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Recreation; Sep 27, 10 at 12:59 pm.
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Old Sep 27, 10, 12:53 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
The day we plan to go to Pearl is the day we have a 7:30pm dinner reservation at Alan Wong, so we don't want to be too ambitious.
Some completely unsolicited advice: If you're coming from NYC, there is a 5-6 hour time difference. So 7:30pm is going to feel more like 1am NYC time. We're from Cincinnati, also Eastern time, and if you're like us, you'll find yourself getting up at 5am and eating lunch and dinner much earlier than you'd normally eat. Honestly, we have a difficult time staying up past 8pm early on in the trip, before we've (somewhat) adjusted to Hawaii time. Me? I'd make reservations for around 5pm, if available.

Note: Sunrise on Hawaii is around 6:15am this time of the year and sunset is around 6:30pm.
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Old Sep 27, 10, 1:06 pm   #9
 
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While I admit to having Scottish blood (my friends say 110%), and given your input, TheBus would definitely be my choice! (Don't sit in the handicap seats or front bench seats or you might have to move if a wheel chair comes aboard) Go the next day after arrival since you will be awake at some ungodly early hour anyway. If the timing is right on your return trip, the Ala Moana (shopping) Center has an fantastic food court for lunch. An unusual more upscale place would be in the rear in Nordstrom. Aloha Ken
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Old Sep 27, 10, 2:48 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recreation View Post
Hope this helps!
This is terrific information, Recreation! Thank you so much! Good food for thought here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Recreation View Post
Some completely unsolicited advice: If you're coming from NYC, there is a 5-6 hour time difference. So 7:30pm is going to feel more like 1am NYC time. We're from Cincinnati, also Eastern time, and if you're like us, you'll find yourself getting up at 5am and eating lunch and dinner much earlier than you'd normally eat. Honestly, we have a difficult time staying up past 8pm early on in the trip, before we've (somewhat) adjusted to Hawaii time. Me? I'd make reservations for around 5pm, if available.
Hmmm. Good points. We do tend to recover from jetlag pretty quickly. (Ambien helps!) Our dinner reservation is on our third night there, so I would hope we'd have recovered a bit by then.

Quote:
Note: Sunrise on Hawaii is around 6:15am this time of the year and sunset is around 6:30pm.
Thanks. We arrive at 5pm, which means if we scoot to the hotel, we just might be lucky enough to catch it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenfromDE View Post
While I admit to having Scottish blood (my friends say 110%), and given your input, TheBus would definitely be my choice! (Don't sit in the handicap seats or front bench seats or you might have to move if a wheel chair comes aboard) Go the next day after arrival since you will be awake at some ungodly early hour anyway. If the timing is right on your return trip, the Ala Moana (shopping) Center has an fantastic food court for lunch. An unusual more upscale place would be in the rear in Nordstrom. Aloha Ken
Thanks for the food tips! We're staying in a hotel right next to the Ala Moana center, so that might just work...
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