Queen Mary 2 stops in Honolulu for the day

Elizabeth Harding
Elizabeth Harding
Kasandra Kim
Kasandra Kim
Raewyn Catchpole
Raewyn Catchpole

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - At more than 1,200 feet long, the Queen Mary 2 is the longest cruise ship in the world. But it's not the size of the ship that local retailers are watching. Instead, it's the number of visitors spending time on our shores.

Many hope Queen Mary 2's arrival brings in a big wave of buying in Waikiki.

It's a floating resort. But, unlike many Waikiki hotels, occupancy is high on the Queen Mary 2 which stopped Saturday morning in Honolulu.

Passengers had just enough time to hop on shuttles to Waikiki for a day of sun, surf, and a little shopping.

"We're going to Pearl Harbor and then we're going to come back and do some shopping so it will be rush to see what we can find," said passenger Elizabeth Harding.

For retail stores like the Honolulu Cookie Company, the Queen Mary 2's short-time-visit could help, as long as passengers leave with some short-bread-cookies.

"They are planning on coming back before they leave, and buying souvenirs and stuff, it's really helping us," said retailer Kasandra Kim.

This big ship's visit is not providing as much of a boost as retailers would like. Many of the passengers on board the Queen Mary 2 are from Australia and New Zealand, where the economy down-under is also on a down-turn.

"The dollar in the New Zealand currency is only worth half as much as the USA dollars, so we're not spending," said passenger Raewyn Catchpole.

While Hawaii struggles to stay afloat in a sea of economic uncertainty, one thing Waikiki retailers offer at no cost is some aloha spirit.

"They're only here for a short period of time but in the meantime we give them our aloha," said retailer Kasandra Kim.

Waikiki retailers hope passengers will spread the word about how beautiful Hawaii is. This word of mouth advertising and promotion could be worth more than the $800,000,000 luxury liner that brought them here for the day. .

Other stops on the Queen Mary 2 include Thailand, Greece, and Italy. Saturday night they set sail for American Samoa.