Honeymoon in Hawaii (Oahu & Aulani) Trip Report - Sep 2019

d0naldduck123

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Aloha! I just got back from my 5-night honeymoon at Oahu and Aulani. I really enjoy reading other trip reports and thought that this time I'd try writing one. So please feel free to follow along and ask any questions! :)

Before I go on about the trip itself, here is a little background:
My BF and I recently got married and decided to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon. Both of us had never been to Hawaii, and being a Disney fan, we had to spend a few nights at Aulani. We were leaving the day after our wedding, so due to our budget we decided to go for a split stay and did 2 nights at Waikiki and 3 nights at Aulani. We booked our flights and the hotel at Waikiki through our credit card rewards, and booked Aulani by renting DVC points. It was our first time renting points, so we were a bit nervous, but there were no problems at all. It was surprisingly very easy and ended up saving us a lot of money. We booked towards the end of Feb, so a week or two past the 7 months date. The only availability for a studio room at that time was an ocean view so I think we got very lucky to even have a studio room available. The ocean view via DVC was still cheaper than booking directly, so it was a very easy decision to just go for the ocean view, And I am so glad we did - the view was amazing. With that, here is Day 1!


Day 1: Arrival

We had an early flight but we got back late from our wedding so I just didn't sleep and spent the time last minute packing. For breakfast we splitted a breakfast hotdog at the airport.
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I think I fell asleep as soon as I got on the plane - I don't even remember the take off. We had a couple hours layover at Dallas, so we had another breakfast at McDonalds :rolleyes1
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Then we were finally off to Oahu! I don't remember take off for this one either...
So the reason we ate again at McD's was because we didn't think the flight to Oahu would give us an in-flight meal since it was a domestic flight. Turns out they did give us a meal - it was a chicken wrap and some chips. I watched Coco, then fell asleep watching Endgame. It was a 9-hr flight, I think, but it wasn't too bad. We landed and went to pick up our rental car from Alamo. We took the shuttle to Alamo and picked out our car and we were off! The first two nights we stayed in Hyatt Centric Waikiki. It was a few blocks in from the beach, but we chose the hotel because it looked very modern and relatively new.
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I think it was around 4pm by this time, so we unpacked, changed and went out for dinner. We went to Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, a Japanese place famous for pork cutlets. We got a pork cutlet and a tiger shrimp donburi.
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We ground our own sesame seeds and poured the tonkatsu sauce.
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We were lucky to have seats. There were only two seats left at the bar table when we got there. The restaurant doesn't have many tables, and the tables were all reserved. So I'd highly recommend making reservations in advance. The food was very, very good. The cutlet was crispy, and the sauce on the shrimp donburi was great! Not too overpowering but still flavorful.

After dinner we just explored the streets. Went to the ABC market and got a tote bag, then went to the Honolulu Cookie Company to buy some cookies. Their seasonal flavors were the cinnamon apple cookie and the pumpkin cookie dipped in white chocolate. They had samples of most of the cookies available and the pumpkin cookie was so so good! We then went out to the beach during sunset.

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After watching the sunset, we explored the streets some more. By 8 pm we were tired so we headed back to the hotel since we had an early morning planned.

Coming up next...an early morning at Hanauma Bay, North Shore, and an adventure trying to find a phone charger.
 
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    I'll be following along! It was this time three years ago when my DH and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii as well! I've been reminiscing lately, so it will be fun to read your report. So far, your trip sounds a lot like ours!
     

    plygph

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2012
    Good lord post more we are all waiting................ LOL

    Love Oahu and Aulani will be there in February cannot wait. Dreaming of Malasada's from Leonards as I write this.

    Congratulations on your wedding.
     
  • purpliequeen

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2005
    Yay! Off to a great start. I also remember how EXHAUSTED we were departing for our honeymoon the day after the wedding. Fortunately, we had a late morning flight so we did get about 2-3 hours of sleep between the late partying and the good-bye brunch. I especially remember eating instant ramen in the crappy Air France lounge at Boston Logan... I was so overstimulated at the wedding & brunch that I don't think I ate much food (despite there being a lot of it in front of me and it tasting delicious!). To this day, I still can't believe I traded fresh oysters & prime rib for instant ramen... So no judging of your food choices in your first post!!!!
     

    d0naldduck123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    Great start! What airline did you fly and from where did you originate? The Hyatt looks amazing! Can't wait to hear more!

    We flew American Airlines from IAD. The flight wasn't bad - no delays, and the flight from Dallas to Oahu was good with the tv screens.
     

    d0naldduck123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    Good lord post more we are all waiting................ LOL

    Love Oahu and Aulani will be there in February cannot wait. Dreaming of Malasada's from Leonards as I write this.

    Congratulations on your wedding.
    Oh my gosh the Malasadas were sooo good. I wished we had bought more
     
  • d0naldduck123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    Yay I'm so glad you guys are following along! :love:

    Day 2: Exploring Oahu

    The next day we had a very early morning because we were off to Hanauma Bay! We heard the parking lots fill up around 7am so decided to head out around 6am. It was no problem waking up early because we were on jet lag from the East coast. Both of us were awake around 5:30. Our hotel let us check out beach chairs, towels, umbrella, boogie boards, and even a GoPro for free. We learned about the GoPro rental the day before, but we completely forgot about it in the morning, so we ended up just renting out some beach chairs, towels, and a boogie board, then we were off! On our way, we stopped at...

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    Leonard's Bakery! We decided to pick some up and eat them for breakfast at Hanauma Bay.
    We got one original, one cinnamon sugar, one custard cream, and one macadamia cream. There was quite a line that early, so we ended up waiting a bit and leaving the store around 6:30.

    We pulled up to the parking lot right before 7am. The lot wasn't full but there were a lot of people there already. There's a $1 parking fee, and an entrance fee of $7.50 per person, but I think they only start enforcing that when the ticket booths open (at 7am I think). So we didn't pay anything to get in! There were employees there that gave us a brief explanation. One employee told us where the snack shop was, but then he said it was expensive and that Costco food is cheaper and better. :rotfl2:I'm glad we got there before 7 because by the time we were leaving, we saw a huge line waiting to watch a video before walking down. So after that brief interaction, we were on our walk down to this view!

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    There's a shuttle that takes you up and down the hill - I think $1.50 one way. It was a pretty long walk down and we had a bunch of stuff, so we paid and took the shuttle on the way back up.

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    Malasadas on the beach!
    These were so good! I especially liked the filled ones - we should've bought more of those! After our breakfast, we went in to snorkel. The water was a bit cold because it was still pretty early, but we adjusted quickly. We bought our snorkels at our local Costco for $10 each, but I believe they do also rent snorkels if needed.

    DH had never been snorkeling before and he barely knows how to swim but he got the hang of it pretty soon. I was so proud of him :banana:
    We saw a whole school of fish at one point! But I forgot to take pictures :(

    These are some of the pictures I do have.
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    I think we snorkeled off and on until around 9:30 then we got ready to leave. There were places where you could wash off the sand, and the bathroom had changing stalls available as well.

    We took the shuttle back up, and got ready to go to our next destination, Turtle Beach.
    We got in the car and I realized neither of us had brought an extra phone charger for the car or a portable charger. We both left ours at the hotel. :confused3 Maybe it was too early for us after all. I was already down to 50% on my phone after taking so many videos of us snorkeling, so I put my phone on airplane mode to save as much battery as I could. More on this later, though.

    On the drive over, we stopped at Halona Blowhole. There was a lookout right off the road.
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    We finally made it to Turtle Beach. I read somewhere to go between 11 and 1, and we got there around 11:30. Sadly, there were no turtles to be seen anywhere on the beach. :sad1: But all of a sudden DH said look! and he pointed to the water. I just saw random people snorkeling, but when the wave hit, I saw two turtles! They were almost on shore, but I guess they wanted to hang out in the water because they never came out. They did pop out there heads now and then. It was so cute!
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    At one point the turtle got right near this guy!

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    LOL do you see him right in the middle? I think that's either his head or fin sticking out of the water.

    After watching them for a while, we were pretty hungry, so we went to Giovanni's Shrimp Truck for lunch. The parking lot was pretty much full and there was a LONG line. We ended up waiting nearly an hour from waiting in line to order then waiting again to get our food.

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    Continued in next post...​
     

    d0naldduck123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    Day 2 Part 2

    For lunch I got the scampi (garlic and butter) and DH got Lemon and butter.
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    By this point both our phones were down to very low battery levels, so we took a quick picture, then put it on airplane mode, and repeat. :rotfl2: We only knew vaguely how to get to Waikiki, but had no clue how to get to our hotel once we got to Waikiki. So we either needed to find a charger or save up our battery.

    We started our drive back, but we made a quick stop at the Dole plantation. (I was secretly hoping they'd sell a pineapple shaped portable charger or something in the gift shop).

    While we didn't find a charger, we did find this:
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    Yayyy Dole Whip float!

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    We walked out and saw how pineapples grew. I never really thought about how pineapples would grow. I don't know if I assumed they'd be on a tree or from the ground, but they just kinda spike up like this!

    It was around 3 by this time and we really needed to get going before our phones died on us! We checked the directions on getting back to the hotel but they were a bit more complicated. We were about 30 minutes out when my phone was 5% and DH's was 8%.There was a Daiso within a couple of miles so we decided to navigate there and buy a charger. Daiso is a Japanese store that came to Hawaii pretty recently. They're kind of like the dollar tree but better quality, and they pretty much have everything. So we get to the Daiso, but no iPhone charger! The only ones available were micro-USB ports. We looked around and thankfully there was a mart right nearby, so we finally bought our charger. :cool1:
    We felt a lot better knowing we'd be able to get back to the hotel, so we went shopping at Daiso to look around. They sell a bunch of cute Disney stuff, and everything was $1.50.

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    I bought these Mickey shaped clothespins and a circular hanger!

    After charging our phones, we headed back to the hotel. Our plan was to eat at Marukame Udon for dinner, and it was right around the corner of our hotel. So we got changed and walked to the restaurant...only to find it closed for renovations! And the renovations just started right on that day!

    We went for plan B and got a poke bowl to go from CoCo Cove. On the way there, we stopped at a musubi place and bought two Musubis to eat later.

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    This is the poke bowl! The spicy ahi was way spicier than I thought it would be, but still very fresh and good. We shared the poke bowl and a ramen.

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    We finished off that night with Kona coffee.IMG_3617.jpg

    When we got back to the hotel, we spent some time packing because we were heading to Aulani the next day!:jumping1:


    Coming up...arrival day at Aulani! with more delicious donuts​
     
    Last edited:

    Burgundy Rose

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 18, 2016
    What a wonderful start to your TR! I love how detailed your report is, I'll definitely keep reading. Thank you so much for sharing :lovestruc
     

    Eeyore daily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2019
    Looks like you guys had a lot of fun as soon as you got there! I never knew about the pineapples, I just thought they grew from trees.
     

    Noah_t

    Mouseketeer
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    May 8, 2019
    Yes! I need to go back to Aulani even if its through someone elses memories and pictures I will take it.......
     

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