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Tips on Visiting Pearl Harbor?
Old 05-03-2016, 05:12 PM   #1
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Tips on Visiting Pearl Harbor?

DW and I taking NCL cruise of Hawaii, and have a few days beforehand for sightseeing. We intend to see Pearl Harbor first thing, on the morning of our first full day.
Besides USS Arizona memorial, what else is recommended? We can't do an all-day thing - DW has back problems so very long times on our feet causes problems. So, I'm guessing 3 to 4 hours tops is our limit.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:19 PM   #2
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This looks interesting:

Honolulu Exposed - WWII Red Light District Tour
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:23 PM   #3
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I recently went and only did the USS Arizona memorial myself because of time constraints. There was plenty of interest occupy us wandering around the grounds, into the little museum, etc. for the 90 minutes we had to wait for our ferry over to the memorial. And, I could have easily spent another 90 just doing that.

I have toured other submarines and battleships; so, I did not feel like I missed out on too much there. Although, if I had a full day to spend, I probably would have toured the ones there.

When planning the remainder of your day, consider the emotional impact this may have on you. I tend to be a bit stoic; but, this really took its tole on me for the day. Upbeat activities may be a bit lost on you afterward.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolChange View Post
I recently went and only did the USS Arizona memorial myself because of time constraints. There was plenty of interest occupy us wandering around the grounds, into the little museum, etc. for the 90 minutes we had to wait for our ferry over to the memorial. And, I could have easily spent another 90 just doing that.

I have toured other submarines and battleships; so, I did not feel like I missed out on too much there. Although, if I had a full day to spend, I probably would have toured the ones there.
....
We did this too before our NCL cruise, but we included the Missouri and a tour around parts of the area. CoolChange was rights--we should have kept it to the Arizona and Pearl Harbor--that was overwhelming and emotional and we have been on other retired battleships etc., and the Missouri although of course interesting was a footnote on our day. And having never been to Hawaii we would rather have spent that time walking on a beach.

We took the tour the day before the cruise started--several people did it the morning the ship sailed, and it meant getting to the ship in midafternoon and they seemed a little stressed out about that.

We called some random number in a guidebook to get a tour arranged. There are some cautions that all the tickets other than those through a tour may all be given out early in the day leaving you out of luck. Whether or not that is true, after having come all that way, we didn't want to risk that so we prepaid for a tour bus.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:48 PM   #5
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Be sure to take the cruise over to the wreck. It is a solemn experience, knowing that there are almost 1000 heroes still entombed in the wreckage. When I was a kid, it was really nothing but a boring boat ride. When I went as an adult, and a veteran, it was an entirely different experience.

We will likely never again have that kind of heroism in the USA...

https://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:14 PM   #6
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We also did a luau before the cruise (we had to do a luau on our once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian trip!)--there is one through the ship during the cruise that most of the passengers did but it was sort of nice being on the ship and not lining up to board a bus with many hundreds of people (but it seemed like they all had a wonderful time). You could probably email the hotel about this and other precruise ideas.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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I would do at the least the two exhibit galleries and the USS Arizona Memorial (which includes a nice video before you get on the tender to go out to the Memorial). That would take 2-3 hours if you don't rush.

We didn't do the USS Missouri because we had done the USS Midway a year earlier when visiting San Diego, so we did the USS Bowfin (submarine) instead.

The Pacific Aviation Museum is also at Pearl Harbor. I wanted to go there but DW was tired out.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:23 PM   #8
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The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (of which the USS Arizona Memorial is part of) opens at 7:00 AM. Admission is free, although I believe tour companies charge to basically take you there and back (and maybe a tour of Ford Island as well) and for picking up the tickets early for you. The lines for tickets start as early as 6:15 AM if not earlier, but if you get there before 6:30, you should be able to get tickets for a tour that morning of the USS Arizona Memorial. If you get there later, then tickets might be gone for that day or you're relegated to tours later in the day.
If you are staying around Waikiki, there are public buses that take you to the USS Arizona Memorial, if you want to save some money. You can check TheBus for routes and timetables.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:46 PM   #9
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+1 The tour operators want to charge and arm and a leg for a bus ride and a ticket you can get for free if you just show up there early. IIRC we got there at 7am on a Saturday morning and were on the first tender. Later in the morning I checked and there were still plenty of tickets for tours that day. This was in early February 2014.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:48 PM   #10
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We really enjoyed Diamond Head, you can see it from Waikiki beach, local buses go there, but they mean a long walk up a road, so you probably want to take a taxi there.
Even then, there is a very long walk up sidewalk, stairs to get to the top, so check it out beforehand if walking is an issue.



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Old 05-04-2016, 06:02 AM   #11
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+1 I meant to mention that... our hike up Diamond Head with DD on her 30th birthday and our visit to Pearl Harbor were a couple of the memorable highlights of our trip. We also enjoyed the Dole Plantation and Iolani Palace tour. DD and I took a hike up Manoa Falls and DW and I toured Waimea Falls Park.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:00 AM   #12
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We liked going to the pineapple fields and also snorkeling.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:31 AM   #13
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If you are into a little snorkeling, Hanauma Bay State Park - Hanauma Bay Hours

It's been a long time since we were there, but it was fun. We found that frozen peas were the best thing to feed the fish. Not sure what the rules are now.
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