This past weekend our little family had the fun opportunity to partner up with Carnival Cruise Line and join Carnival Miracle ship here in Honolulu. This was such a fun experience because it was like a “taste test” of the islands and the many things that each island has to offer. We will be sharing our experience as we cruised from Honolulu, Kaui, Kona and ending in Hilo in a series of blog posts. Each post will include what our family loved about visiting each island and spending time on the ship. This is going to be so fun and can’t wait to share more!
So many people ask, “What are the best things to do and see while on Oahu?” Our island is so beautiful with so many treasures; it’s just a matter of knowing how to make the most of your time. Carnival offers really cool “Shore Excursions” that give you the opportunity to do activities where you have a guide and will take you to some key spots on the island. And if you have done the guided tour route before and are looking to explore on your own, there is enough time to rent a car and do just that.
We had never done the guided tour so we wanted to have that experience with our kids and see what it was like. Doing the guided tour was surprisingly very interesting because we learned things from our guide about the island that we never knew before. For example, did you know that the banana tree is actually an herb and that there are 137 islands including major and minor islands and islets in Hawaii. It was fun to learn different facts like this as you go around the island and just enjoy the scenery and the view. The tour that we went on took us to small shops that sell items that can only be found here in Hawaii. Then we stopped off at a farm for lunch that has the freshest food and makes all their menu items from what they grow on the farm. The drive is so pretty going through the pineapple fields heading up to the North Shore. The drive along the North Shore is one of my absolute favorites. Driving along the North Shore, you are so close to the ocean and can see the huge waves coming in while driving! The tour takes you all the way around to the east side of the island and along the Ko’olau mountain range, which is so pretty because the mountains literally flow into the water. We love this drive! Doing the tour gives you the opportunity to see every part of the island and all the beauty that Oahu has.
If you decide to rent a car, and the weather is sunny and hot, I would recommend heading straight to the North Shore and spending the day up here. You can stop in a small fruit stand and get some amazing local fruit. After you can spend the day at any of the incredible beaches up here. Our favorite beaches to swim and just camp out for the day are Sunset, Ehukai Beach Park or Waiamea. After the beach, if you’re up for it, you can do a quick hike (1.5 hours R/T) to the bunker right at the elementary school and watch the sunset. It is absolutely stunning! On your way back, you can stop in at Halewia for a quick bite before heading back to the ship.
Whether you do a “Shore Excursion” or you go on your own there is so much do and see that you will for sure be able to make the most of your time while visiting Oahu.
On the ship for kids:
Our kids were so excited about the golf, ping pong and basketball court! If we would let them, they could have spent all day up at the mini golf. It is really fun to be on a ship in the middle of the ocean cruising around playing golf with the boys on the top deck and just enjoying where we are at and what we are doing. The boys loved this aspect of the boat so much and asked to play golf almost every time we had down time.
So whether you do a “Shore Excursion” or explore on your own, there is so much do. You will surely be able to make the most of your time while visiting Oahu, on shore and on ship!
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.