March 10th, 2022
Our final full day in Hawaii is here already. The problem with doing so much is that time really flies by! While we will technically wake up in Hawaii tomorrow, we will be heading to the airport REALLY early so it really doesn’t count as a Hawaii day. So the hours are counting down on our final day in paradise.
We actually have a pretty relaxed start to the day. The morning dawned as a beautiful clear day and We decided to do a bit of exercise. Kate took to a nice run done the Waikiki Oceanfront, while I opted to take to the water for a nice early morning swim.
After which we headed to a nice Breakfast joint that was situated under the Hotel. Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast offers some really nice healthy Breakfast sandwiches and some delicious Cold Brew Coffee that really hit the spot as the temps were already getting high!
Makani Catamaran- $118
Our first stop for the day was the Makani Catamaran Sail included on the Go Oahu Pass. Like most attractions this required pre-booking but this was no issue at all. The Catamaran sails from the Kewalo Basin Harbor which is a short drive through the City. The confirmation Email seemed to suggest parking at the harbor would be rickey but we had no issue but tbh it was pretty quiet in general so maybe things can get more hectic during the summer months.
We arrived at the Kiosk and scanned our passes and then had 15-20 mins to wait until boarding. The harbor is not the most scenic and we just spent the time people watching and seeing who was milling around and likely to be on our Sail.
Soon enough the Crew arrived and welcomed us aboard. The Makani Catermaran is pretty large with two big nets upfront and a large seating area behind. There is a large undercover area near the bar and then space at the back two ur of any weather. There are also two large toilets on board that are pretty decent for marine heads!
There was a short briefing about safety, seasickness, and what we were likely to see on our adventure. They also spent some time explaining the important things, namely the Bar. drinks were pretty reasonable at $8 for a large insulated 16oz cup, and then only $6 refills. We had Mai-Tai’s and they were plenty strong enough and really nice, but they were more rum and pinab=pe juice than a real Mai-Tai. But still, the Rum content was sufficient to make us happy.
Once out of the harbor we were instantly into some Whales. Unfortunately, they were pretty far away and the Crew was pretty sure we would encounter more on the journey. We are usually pretty lucky with our whale sightings so expected some more to show up later.
The Sail is billed as just that. A chance to get out o the water and enjoy the thrill of sailing along the stunning Honolulu waterfront. There are no guarantees of wildlife or whale sightings but we know that at this time of year it’s highly likely. There is also no snorkel stop which is disappointing, but that is what we signed up for.
As we sailed along the Clouds forming over the mountains were pretty ominous and it looked like we would get a short soaking at some point of the trip, but in reality, the clod bursts stayed away and the sun came out more as we headed along the coast towards Diamond Head. After 20 min the engines slowed as a pod of Dolphins made a real brief appearance.
We took a short stop at Turtle Canyon, a popular Turtle Cleaning station just off Waikiki. There were two Snorkel boats there and the Sea was teeming with tourists. Just off the main reef, well away from the melee there was a large Turtle just chilling on the Surface! We then progressed on. As we neared Diamond Head the sun really came out and we spent the rest of the trip regretting the amount of suncream we hadn’t put on!
Once at Diamond head, the cruise turned around and headed back a little further out to sea. This was the section we expected to see whales but we were unfortunate to not see any more sightings. Once back near the harbor the tour still had 30mins left to run so heads directly out to sea via a little dog-leg to try and get some more whale sightings but nothing was doing. Instead, we just relaxed in the sun enjoying ut cocktails!
When we finally headed towards the shore we did get one final wildlife spot, another Turtle just hanging out on the surface.
Overall the sail had been really enjoyable. There were only around 20 guests on the boat which is pretty low for the amount of space and we spent most of the time just chilling on the front nets taking in the beautiful scenery and sipping cocktails.
We really think Pearl harbor is one of the most incredible and interesting places to visit in all of Hawaii. We have been several times in the past but we just can’t head to Oahu and not pay our respects to the Loss that occurred on that infamous day. It really helps that all the Museums that are at an additional cost are included on the Oahu Pass.
We arrived at the museum and were stung with the No Bags Policy. We really find this hard to understand and with the Open Top Jeep, could not risk leaving anything in the car. So we needed to rent a locker to store our bags. This was $10 each but we refused and simply stuffed my bag on Kates and saved $10.
We went in and still had a little time before our Arizona Tour. So headed to the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum.
Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum – $22
We were a bit taken aback by the fact this museum has greatly expanded since the last time we visited and not for the better really. It has expanded to incorporate a large number of exhibits that were previously free. There is a New Museum and exhibition on the Pacific Fleets Submarine Campaign that is very interesting and well put together.
Overall the Museum is MUCH better and now well worth the $22 entry fee but a little of the extra used to be free. The Highlight of the Museum is Still the Bowfin Submarine. This was a very vengeful machine and inflicted heavy losses o the Japanese fleets as reprisals for Pearl harbor.
You can head out onto the decks and take a tour through the bowels of the ship. Simply walking through really highlights the claustrophobic interior and the horror that serving on one of these vessels must have been. It’s bad enough for 5 mins but to be trapped under the water with 80 crew members for 70+ days while enemy ships, planes, and subs attempt to blast you out of existence. It sends shivers just thinking about it.
After the Fleet Museum, we headed over to our pre-reserved Arizona trip. This is a free tour but must be pre-booked and takes you out to the USS Arizona Memorial. You can read more about this here and how to book.
USS Missouri Museum – $35
After the tour, we headed out to Ford Island for the USS Missouri Museum. A decommissioned Battleship which was the location for the official Japanese Surrender Articles. The Ship was commissioned after the Attack on pearl harbor and served in several battles against the Japanese Empire such as Iwa Jima and Okinawa and was one of few vessels to actually inflict damage n the Japanese Home Islands.
Walking the Decks is a fascinating experience and seeing the Exact Spot of the Japanese surrendered, and the articles they signed, on the desk they signed them on, is really moving, this sort of history really is staggering.
It’s also just an incredible piece of engineering! they really don’t make like this anymore and the hulking great ship is really intimidating. It is also the setting for several Hollywood Movies including Pearl Harbour, Battleship, and Under Siege.
Pacific Aviation Museum- $26
Finally, with time moving along, we paid a fleeting visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum. Another really iconic exhibit and situated in the preserved hangers that were actually attacked during the Peral Harbor Raid. Bullet holes and damage are still visible in the Hangers.
The collection is pretty impressive as well, with the star of the show a Mistibishi Zero one of the most iconic aircraft of the theater, along with a host of other Aircraft used in the pacific. Such as the P-40 War Hawk, F4F-3 Wildcat, Dauntless Dive Bomber, and a Rather Forlorn B5N1 “Kate” Dive Bomber, one of only 2 in existence.
There is also the Rathean Pavillion and Hanger 79 all housing some more modern aircraft from the Jet Age such as the FA-18, F16A, F-4 Phantom, F15a, F14 Tomcat, and even a Mig-15.
The Restoration of Swamp Ghost has come a long way since we last visited. This is a b17 Flying Fortress, that survived the attack on pearl harbor only to be brought down over Papua New Guinea in 1942. It lay where it was ditched in a remote swamp until 2006 when it was recovered and brought to Hawaii for restoration The Aircraft sits on Display and is undergoing restoration as time permits.
Overall it was a bit of a push to fit everything in before closing, the exhibits probably demand a bit more attention than we allowed considering the time constraints but we really wanted to see everything. We got back to the main Visitor center as it was closing and headed back to Waikiki.
Cheeseburger in Paradise
The problem with leaving Pearl Harbor at closing time was the fact is shut at 5:30 pm, which turned us out into Rush Hour. The H1 was chocked right up and we decided it would be best to fight through the city, as at least we would enjoy the sights and the Seafront at times. Still, the 30-minute drive took us nearly 1:30hr, and we had to stop for fuel as we would be taking the car back very early in the morning.
Hawaii is well known for high fuel prices but the cost at the minute along with the frankly abysmal fuel economy of the Jeep really made us wince!
Back at the hotel, we spent an hour or so packing everything up and getting ready for our flight out tomorrow morning. We then headed out for one final night in Waikiki. We had decided to head to Cheeseburger in Paradise. We know it’s a bit of a tourist trap but we love the Lahaina (Original) Branch and were pretty disappointed to be so close to Maui and not actually visiting so this would have to do.
When the Waiter asked if we had been before he looked a little taken aback when we said no, but we had been to Lahaina many times. It was almost an admission this was not going to cut it! We ordered the obligatory Mai-Tai and the BUFFALO BLEU CHEESEBURGER and the original CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE. They were pretty good burgers but it’s just the ambiance and location, it just doesn’t live up to the Lahaina spot.
We settled up and headed out to grab dessert. It had been several days since we had eaten Cheesecake and we needed to rectify this. So we wandered over to the Cheesecake factory to grab some Take-Out Cheesecake. We had been disappointed at the VEgas Outlet as they did not have the very cherry ghirardelli® chocolate cheesecake which we had not tried yet so wanted to make up for that.
We really love anything Cherry and anything Chocolate, and anything Cheesecake, so this was a bit of a dream! We ate this back in the Hotel on our lanai as we said goodbye to Hawaii. Staggeringly the Stars really came out that evening and Maui’s Fish Hook was really visible right in front of the Hotel. Annoyingly the direction it was pointing, if we had followed it, would have taken us to Maui.
Not this time unfortunately and we instead vowed to make plans to head back to Maui as soon as we got home. For now, we had to console ourselves with Phase 3 of this trip. We will end the Hawaii Phase of this trip here and Move on to the next one starting in the early hours of Tomorrow Morning.
Today we technically visited 4 attractions, but we prefer to look at it as 2, really the Peal Harbor attractions are all part and parcel of visiting the Memorial. Even just today’s attractions beat the pass price so it’s very clear what incredible value the pass provides!
- Makani Catamaran- $118
- USS Missouri Museum – $35
- Pacific Aviation Museum- $26
- Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum – $22
- Total for Day – $201
Go City Oahu Pass Running Total – $552
TOTAL SAVING – $353
A total saving of $353 is simply staggering. However, this is not actually the best way to look at it. Without the Pass, we would have visited Pearl Habor, Kualoa Ranch, and visited a Luau. Just these attractions would have cost MORE than the pass. So the Makani Catamaran Sail, Polynesian Cultural Center, and the Paddle Board Rental were all freebies.
These are things we just would not have done without the Pass! We thoroughly enjoyed everything we did and it made the whole visit to the Island so much more complete. This is what we really mean when we say the Go Oahu Pass can help you See More AND Pay Less!
Make sure you read our FULL Go City Oahu Pass Review here if the Pass sounds like something that may interest you!