My partner and I had decided to go to Europe for a month in August/September this year and weren't planning on going on any more international trips, as least not until next year anyway.
We had heard Hawaiian Airlines were offering direct flights from Brisbane starting in November. They had a sale in July, we looked at prices and saw airfares were only 1000pp over Christmas!!! Hawaii with other airlines were cose to 2000pp so we knew it was a
deal we couldn't resist so we went ahead and booked it!!
Upgrades were offered both ways. $700 to Honolulu and $735 to Brisbane. As tempting as it sounded, we declined. The flights went quick enough and I got to get a decent sleep on both flights, yippee.
ABC Limos - international airport transfers - www.abclimosvc.com/
Originally we had wanted to book with Hawaii23, however they hadn't responded to e-mails and when they did get back to us, they only had availability for arrival from Brisbane and Vegas.
And we had initially contacted ABC Limos for a tour. We knew Melvin was quick at responding to e-mails, so we dropped him a line. He soon enough responded - he was available so we decided to book him for international airport transfers. We wanted a sedan
but it wasn't available so we got a limo.
Melvin is just lovely!! Excellent service. The limo is the biggest limo we've been in! The limo we had in Vegas last year was big but not this big. Worth every cent!! Glad we followed TA's recommendations. :) If you wanna arrive in style, contact Melvin at
For domestic transfers (for a 2 night Vegas layover), we chose VIP Trans. www.viptrans.com/
We wanted private transfers and because Hawaii23 did not have availability, we ended up booking with VIP Trans for $22 return per person. They were prompt in picking us up for airport drop off, for our Vegas flight. There was someone waiting for us at the baggage carousel on arrival from Vegas and we were taken to our hotel almost immediately. Excellent service. We will definitely use them again.
Holiday Inn Beachcomber - www.waikikibeachcomberresort.com/
We booked a king room at Holiday Inn Beachcomber for an overnight stay at the beginning of our trip, before heading to Vegas for 2 nights then returning to Hawaii for the remainder of the trip.
We had chosen this hotel for its location to International Market Place, Macys, the new Victoria Secret & Ross Dress for Less and of course Cheesecake factory!!! We thought it was fantastic. Definitely good value. We will not hesitate to stay here again!
We decided we wanted a hotel closer to the beach for the remainder of our trip and we chose Queen Kapiolani. The hotel is reasonably priced and minutes away from the beach and cafes/restaurants. The room was decent enough for 2 nights - it was somewhere to shower and sleep which was what we were
after. Like Holiday Inn, we would recommend this hotel.
Makani Kai helicopters - www.makanikai.com/
As we had a short trip, we still wanted to see a bit of Honolulu and what better way to do that than up in the air??
We booked a 30 minutes flight with Makani Kai helicopters via viator.com, at $139.49 per person. viator.com/tours/…d672-5055PALI
We opted for the 9am flight. We were picked up at 8am and met 4 other passengers joining us on the flight. We watched a safety video before being cleared by security to fly. The flight took exactly 30 minutes before landing. We were then taken back to our hotel. We recommend Makani Kai helicopters if you are looking to get a taste of Oahu.
We reserved the 11.30am slot for USS Arizona on Recreation.gov with a $1.50pp processing fee. We also got USS Missouri tickets online: http://www.ussmissouri.com/page.aspx?pid=605
We booked the Pearl Harbour shuttle through VIP Trans at $9.99pp. www.viptrans.com/pearl-harbor-shuttles.html
VIP Trans were right on time for our 7am pick up from Queen Kapiolani hotel. Travel time to and from Pearl Harbour was 30 minutes.
Upon arrival, we collected our USS Arizona tickets in a couple minutes. The USS Missouri queue was longer, we waited approximately 20 minutes.
We got shuttle transportation to the Battleship Missouri and lined
up to get onto USS Missouri. Total time, including transportation was 2 hours and 15 minutes.
While waiting to check out the USS Arizona, we checked out and took photos of USS Bowfin Memorial. It was crowded there so didn't get a good shot. Also took a photo of the USS Bowfin submarine. Hope to check it out another time!
After USS Arizona, we grabbed something to eat before getting the 2pm VIP Trans shuttle back to Waikiki.
Definitely glad we decided to go to USS Missouri. Such a beautiful ship!
Bargains we got for ourselves, family and friends!!! (also got some bargains in Vegas)
- 1 litre Jim Beam - $16 (approx $38 at home)
- Knowing Estee Lauder perfume - $75 ($98)
- Guess Seductive perfume - $24 ($60)
- Skin Expertise Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream - $14 ($30)
- L'Oreal Visible Lift Anti-Wrinkle Foundation - $12 ($20)
- Boardshorts - $9
- Havaianas thongs - $18 (for the same style, $25-30)
- G Shock watch - $88 ($199)
- Hawaii caps - $3.99
- Colgate Toothpaste - $2.99
- Small Colgate Sensitive toothpaste - $0.99c ($3.49)
- Underwear - $5/26 at Victoria Secret and 3 x $1.49 at Walmart
- We had perfect weather the whole time we were there - it sure beat the 35-40 degrees Celsius weather back in Australia.
- Hawaii wasn't crowded like Vegas
- Loved Holiday Inn and its location
- Lovely people!
- The pink shopping trolley is a bargain at $2 per person..we used it to get to and from Ala Moana shopping centre last trip and again this trip.
- I should have got that Guess bracklet I had my eyes on, such a bargain too at $15....next time! :)
- Was surprised at the bargains we got and still had money leftover :P
- Wished we stayed longer!
- Hope the airfares are cheap again for next Christmas so we can spend my birthday and new years in Hawaii!
I have posted ABC Limos, Holiday Inn Beachcomber, Makani Kai helicopters (still pending) and Queen Kapiolani hotel reviews if you want to check out the photos. :)
I will be posting a Vegas trip summary if you want to check it out.
Sorry this got long! Hope you enjoyed my trip summary.