Waiola Shave Ice
Ahhhh...this is the PLACE for a refreshing, cool snowcone on one of those hot summer days, or really any day in Hawaii...Waiola serves some of the BEST shaved ice. It's been around for ages, as far as I know! The ice is crushed so finely that it just melts in your melts, not to mention the smooth and creamy condensed milk that's one of my favorite toppings. You can also put mochi balls, which are so sweet and give a great pop of flavor. Waiola is just around the corner at almost any neighborhood in the town of Honolulu.
The Waikiki Beach is the most prominent tourist attraction of Hawaii. Crowded with tourists and locals, this beach still is quite well maintained. With local hula performances, concerts, and the Waikiki strip, you can't get bored! We usually would come here on the weekends towards the evening, because the sunset is a spectacular sight to catch. Boogie boarding or surfing are also some of the fun activities you can take on at Waikiki. But mostly, roaming with your family and friends gives you the time of your life here.
Getting AroundMost days cruise employees are going to have enough time off to make their rounds on foot. As the Hawaiian islands aren't very big and most shops set up near the ports on foot is generally a good way to travel. Other times though the shops and restaurants are more than a 10-minute hike so taxis are always waiting at the port to take passengers anywhere on the island. Rental cars are also an easy option to see more of the island, and can either be booked on board the ship ahead of time or at the port as soon as you step foot on land.After a morning swim and assuming you still have some time before work back on the cruise ship the best place to enjoy libations and friends is the Row Bar, an outdoor tiki bar in the concrete office and condo complex across the street from the cruise terminal. Their flat bread pizzas are quite tasty, and their drink selection is at the dispose of the bartender’s creativity. Now, once you visit a few of bars a few weeks in a row the bartenders will figure out you are indeed a cruise ship employee, to which they normally respond with “That’s rough, have a free drink (or three).” Row Bar was definitely one of these places, and I wish I had discovered this place before my last month in Hawaii.A good swim, a few bites and a few drinks and it’s back to work. Don’t worry, most employees aboard the cruise ship have had a few drinks before they get to work. It helps the day go by.
USS Arizona Memorial
To commemorate the veterans from the Pearl Harbor attack, this memorial reminds us of all of the brave and strong soldiers who fought for their country. A ferry takes you out to the memorial which straddles the sunken hull of the ship, which still spews out oil bubbles leaving glistening puddles on the surface of the ocean. A chilling feeling travels through my spine every time I visit the memorial. The war wall is engraved with a multitude of names of soldiers and their legacies they leave behind. An eerie hush envelops this mystifying and emotional environment...
Diamond Head Luau
I've only been to the Diamond Head trail a few times. It's an extremely pleasant climb for daily hikers, but a slight challenge for those new at it. The steep staircase was the toughest part of the climb for me, and ducking through those low boulders was a bit claustrophobic. But he view at the very end is well worth the climb!
Manoa Falls Trail
This hike was included with the pass! Be careful if it's been raining, the rocks get really slippery and there are no rails. When I went, someone along the trail broke their ankle and had to be airlifted out. Beautiful hike though! There's a nice snack shop at the bottom with shave ice; perfect for an after hike snack!