I was humbled and delighted by this tour. Information on the tour was a little sketchy so I was very pleased that I was easily checked in at Kona Airport after driving from Hilo. The Polynesian Adventure representative had my name and directed me to the bus that took us to Pearl Harbor. Kanolel, our guide, was both knowledgeable and charming. He knew that if he got us started at Pearl Harbor, the site would take care of itself. I wished our visit to the site could have been longer allowing time to tour the submarine but the museums were so engrossing that there wasn't time. I would have traded the Honolulu site seeing for that in a heartbeat. The trip to Ford Island and the Mighty MO was an unexpected pleasure. I had never bee n on a military ship at all, no less one so famous. To stand where the surrender document was signed and hear the respective stories of both that and the Zero pilot's burial made me feel proud of our leaders of the time. The contributions of political, military and bad luck in the events of that day have many parallels to our current day situation with North Korea. Those who do not learn from the past are destined to repeat it..
Jay was our guide and he was awesome. A wealth of knowledge. The day trip is a great way to experience Pearl Harbor and some local historical sites as well as Waikiki beach. Unfortunately the day we toured Pearl Harbor the winds were too strong to be tendered out to the Arizona. The downside of the trip was that we had to wait in the morning over an hour at the Honolulu airport for additional tourists in our group to arrive and then at the end of the day our flight leaving Honolulu was an hour and a half after others in our group.
The assisting personnel at the airport and the tour guide were terrific and made the day. Both were courteous, knowledgeable, professional and eager to assist. The tour guide shared much information about Oahu, Honolulu and the national monuments/memorials. He was also entertaining and friendly. He made certain we reached each destination on-time, including the airport through heavy traffic. The personnel make the tour highly recommended despite what appears to be a high price.
We had booked this excursion in advance of our holiday and what a disappointment. Everything started well. We were met at Kona airport and checked us in and provided us with instructions on where to meet. We arrived before the rep at Honolulu which was a little unsettling as we were unsure if we were at the correct meeting point we were. They made everyone wear pink stickers so we all waited together. The guide was very friendly and welcoming and wasted no time informing us of the change to the plan. Apparently the operator yes Viator were aware of this and should have contacted us. If we had been advised of this change we would have picked a different day as Waikiki was the reason we booked this tour through this operator. Turns out Sunday 13th March 2016 Waikiki beach is closed due to a festival it happens every year so we would not be going. Instead we would sit on a bus and drive around some of the local roads, not exactly fun. The driver did his best to fill the void but you could see he was struggling at times, it even felt he was making facts up to make it vaguely fun.
So with this in mind we started the coach journey to Pearl Harbour, despite the plan changing and the operator padding out the time with a long bus journey we did not have enough time in Pearl Harbour. The entire day was rushed except when sitting on the bus doing nothing wasting time. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side either this day, due to high winds although it did not seem very windy the boats were not running across to the Arizona memorial but if they were we wouldn't have had the time to fit it in.
I understand there is a lot to fit in on this tour but there is just not enough time to do it. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't book this tour. I would look for a 2 day tour option or book a pearl harbour tour only, as you really do need longer there than they book. I also think Viator need to review this tour and consider if this is something they should offer.