Fri, August 16
Very excited to arrive in port this morning as we had spent a week in Honolulu about 4 years ago, so we were looking forward to coming back again. Goal for the day – SHOPPING!
We explored the island last time when we stayed at Waikiki beach, went to a luau, Diamond Head and Pearl Harbour, so with retail therapy first and foremost in my mind, there was no better place to start than at Ala Moana Shopping Centre, the world’s largest open-air shopping centre, with over 290 stores and restaurants. Eventually, after a quick lunch we made our way to Walmart, situated one block away. Similar to KMart in Australia (on a larger scale) it included a pharmacy, spectacles store and cafe – and liquor, of course. I found the sewing department which had lots of fabric whilst Alex was busy shopping in the art section, so we were both happy!
Our next stop was our favourite store in Hawaii – Hilo Hatties – great souvenirs, clothing and jewellery at good prices. Lovely cotton fabrics in a variety of colours and patterns – very well made too. The ABC stores are not to be overlooked as they have a very good range of everything from clothing to snacks and very well priced.
By this time we were loaded up with parcels so caught a cab back to the ship, dropped off our shopping and then back to the bus to go to Waikiki beach. After a very welcome Lava Flow cocktail (beer for Alex!) relaxing in deck chairs by the pool with some friends at one of the lovely hotels on the main road, we all explored the shops that we remembered so well and eventually came to the International Market which is a large market of stalls and shops selling all manner of items with tourist appeal.
Waikiki really comes alive as the sun goes down and it is very easy to lose track of time, but finally we made our way across the road to the beach to take photos of the sunset from the water’s edge before making our way back to the ship. Waikiki Beach probably ranks low on a list of Hawaii’s beaches, and it can get crowded; but somehow, once you are there on one of the world’s best known beaches, it doesn’t seem to matter!
Back “home “once more, we stopped at the buffet for a quick snack of fresh fruit before making our way up to the top deck to watch our departure at 10.00pm. Oahu was a fairyland of lights as far as we could see and was a beautiful sight as we made our way out of the harbour and then north west towards our final Hawaiian stop, Nawiliwili. A quick swim in the pool followed and then off to bed. What a wonderful day we had.