We just got back from Oahu! It was a really great trip.
We stayed at Waikiki Beach Marriott. They gave us a two-level room upgrade for the price of one level. It was our honeymoon/one year anniversary trip so I think that the lady at the counter felt sorry for us! :) The room was beautiful, as was the view from the lanai. We loved staying there. It was clean and quiet and wonderful! It was right across the street from the beach and had an unobstructed view. It was nice to be on the far end of Waikiki, it wasn't as busy and congested on the sidewalks or on the beach. I would recommend it to anyone!
We spent a lot of time walking up and down the street looking in shops and such on our arrival day and during some of our downtime the other days.
Wednesday we went to the Swap Meet. It was very hot with no shade as I had read on the forum, but we got a lot of great deals. It's definitely a worthwhile trip for those on a budget. We rode the city bus to the swap meet. Next time, we might just take a shuttle. The ride was a long one... we were the first on the bus and last off on the way back.
We had some great meals in Waikiki. We LOVED Cheeseburger in Paradise. Went there twice. I had one of their salads the first time and my husband had the 'Shroom and Swiss burger. Be careful if you go there! The burgers are really wonderfully juicy but my husband ended up wearing his! The second time we went, we both got burgers and they were SO amazing! It was really fun to sit there and people watch. We also ate at the Cheesecake Factory twice. I love their avocado egg rolls! For our anniversary we wanted to go somewhere nice, our concierge suggested Tanaka of Tokoyo. It's kind of like Benihana but much closer to where we were. We had an absolutely wonderful time and our chef, Barry, was really great! You could tell that he loved what he was doing and was absolutely amazing at it. We were lucky because it wasn't busy at all so Barry spent a lot of time with us!
We loved the Polynesian Culture Center and were glad that we got the Ali Luau package and sprang for the tour guide for the afternoon. It was so nice just to listen in and follow someone around all day rather than having to struggle with the map. Cousin Jermaine was lots of fun and very informative and welcoming. We hit everything that I had wanted to see and had GREAT seats for the Canoe pageant.
We booked the Morning Dolphin Snorkel Sail with Hawaii Nautical (http://www.hawaiinautical.com/) on Friday. The crew was wonderful, very accommodating and knowledgeable. It was my most favorite thing about our entire Oahu trip! We saw some spinner dolphins and then went to another place to go snorkeling! So many fish for my very first time. My husband even got tapped to help put up the 450 pound sail. Not a day we will soon forget! We definitely want to go out with them again someday! Since we chose the morning sail, we had breakfast onboard, very yummy. We didn't want to get off the boat at the end of our time... we'll definitely be back.
We also took some time to go out to Pearl Harbor. Such an experience, humbling and moving. The construction made things a little more difficult to figure out but it was OK. We took Reliable Shuttle there, organized through our concierge, they picked us up on time and kept us entertained...
Not much at all to complain about but, we had searched online for a low price airport shuttle company and were really disappointed with Waikiki Shuttle. We were confused when we arrived at the airport and couldn't find our shuttle, and the driver (who we were talking to on the cell phone) was no help at all. Turns out we weren't "outside the airport" even though we were standing outside... We didn't know to take the shuttle to baggage claim. Luckily we figured it out and finally found the driver, with no help from him. Then, because we had already paid for a round trip, we had to return with the same company. The shuttle was a half hour late to come get us... The lady on the phone kept telling us that the shuttle would be there in a few minutes. Turns out that they contracted their pick up to another shuttle company who was given the wrong name of who to pick up. It was a big frustration.
We definitely didn't get in everything that we had planned, guess we'll have to go back! :D Lots of fun and lots of great memories!