Honolulu, HI (WTAP)-- After a six and a half hour flight, we landed in Hawaii. We changed planes in Denver and picked up two more travelers. Every seat was filled.
United Airlines no longer provides a viewing screen, but allows you to use your smartphone to register for DirecTV to subscribe. Every seat has a spring loaded clamp for your phone or tablet. They also allow you to pay for a sandwich if you want to eat.
These were a few of the changes inside our travel this year. Also, there's a mandatory charge for your main bag! What a surprise!
We got rolling at 7am and traveled to visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Since 9/11, bags are not permitted, including fanny packs. You can purchase a locker for $4 to store your belongings in while visiting the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
The welcome center has been completely rebuilt, with new sounds and audio visual displays that show both sides of the attack. It is a dramatic improvement over older technology. In front of every flat-screen TV display is a clear plastic dome labeled "soundtube". Despite asking several people what it is for, no one on staff could answer me!
I suspect that the dome is for an alternative audio track narrative in another language, but I got answers that ranged from surveillance camera, to fire suppression, to audio surveillance, to broadcasting. No one knows.
The boat ride was nice, and we were respectful as we filled into the gleaming white memorial.
Back on the motor coach, our driver Wes proves clever and humorous as we tour the city. He is an expert driver and never gets rattled by the busy traffic weaving around us!
We enjoyed a marvelous lunch at the Aloha Tower (seen in the Hawaii 5-0 opening). One lady feels faint and is taken by a family member via taxi back to the hotel to rest. It's a reminder that we must stay hydrated and use sunscreen as we continue touring the Island.
Everyone is feeling that the tour has been so much more than expected. We are looking forward to dinner and a day with free time tomorrow.