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Lois R
May 17th, 2007, 12:12 PM
Hi,:) for all you West Coast experts....what is the best way to
get from Seattle to Vancover?
Train......Bus.....? Can I get some solid advice?
I would be arriving in Seattle and staying there overnight.
The airfare from here to there is dirt cheap for the time I am considering.
Less than 230.00 roundtrip across the country:D
Thanks.....this would be for the month of September.

Any and all help would be appreciated!!!:)

Lois R
May 17th, 2007, 02:13 PM
I should have done a search first;) I found what I needed.
Amtrak looks like the easiest way to go:D. Now the question
is do I have the $$$ to book the cruise:) :eek:

MBeamTX
May 17th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Lois,
There is also a shuttle bus from Sea-Tac airport to Vancouver. It's very convenient, stopping at Vancouver airport as well as downtown hotels and Canada Place. I took it one year. Here's a link to the web site:
http://www.quickcoach.com/

Happy cruising,
Susan

Lois R
May 17th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Hi Susan, thanks for the link:)

GORDONCHICK
May 18th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Lois - we are taking Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver on 9/12 (2 days before embarking Merc). The only issue some might have is that there is only one train and it pulls out of the station at 7:40am. Not really an issue for us because we are early risers. We plan on getting to the station by 6:30 (they stop loading luggage around 7:05 I'm told). We booked business class, and for the three of us, it was $120-ish total (we got the express ticket delivery because we didn't want to have to pick up our tickets at the train station that morning and it was $12 more). I like the idea of traveling by train, having a dining car, and a more comfy seats and being able to move around. It's about a 3 1/2 hr trip.

GORDONCHICK
May 18th, 2007, 09:39 AM
ONe more thing about Amtrak - if you do book or even look at this option, make sure you are looking at Vancouver BC, because there are other trains that go to Vancouver WA. The Vancouver BC train is called Cascades.

Lois R
May 18th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Carmen, thanks for the tip:)

creddick
May 19th, 2007, 09:19 AM
We took the train last September. In fact, we took the train from Michigan to Vancouver. In my opinion, the only way to travel. Also, the upgrade to business class is worth the few extra $$. Sit back and enjoy the trip.

Cruise Gypsy
May 21st, 2007, 03:22 AM
We live in Seattle and take cruises from Vancouver all the time. I love the train trip and you can see a lot of bald eagles enroute.

Another thing when book on Amtrak make sure you are on a train, the list on the Amtrak site includes the bus on the same page - sometimes people forget that Amtrak also does bus service.

One other thing when you arrive in Vancouver depending on your luggage situation if you are traveling light the Vancouver light rail system is about a block from the Train station and can be the faster way to the cruise port.

Have a great trip:D

Tideone
May 22nd, 2007, 04:07 PM
I will be traveling via Amtrak to Vancouver on the Cascades July 2.
Yesterday I got a call from Amtrak informing me that they have discontinued business class service on the Cascades and I would be entitled to a refund at the ticket counter in Seattle.
Due to the lateness of the departure of the Cascades from Vancouver back to Seattle, we will be flying back to Seattle so we can connect with the Empire Builder and not have to spend an extra night in Seattle.

GORDONCHICK
May 23rd, 2007, 12:47 PM
I will be traveling via Amtrak to Vancouver on the Cascades July 2.
Yesterday I got a call from Amtrak informing me that they have discontinued business class service on the Cascades and I would be entitled to a refund at the ticket counter in Seattle.
Due to the lateness of the departure of the Cascades from Vancouver back to Seattle, we will be flying back to Seattle so we can connect with the Empire Builder and not have to spend an extra night in Seattle.

Business class is only discontinued for a specific time period because they are repairing and working on specific railcars. We will be traveling in September, and that is long before all the cars are schedule to be back on track.

DrKoob
May 26th, 2007, 11:07 PM
When it is running the real reason to spend the extra $$ for business class is that when you get to Vancouver you get to disembark the train and go through Canadian customs first (before the rest of the train). If you are in the back of the train, you can spend an hour or more waiting to clear. We do busineess class and then make it to the taxi stand (taxis are CHEAP in Vancouver) before almost anyone else.

We do love the train from Seattle (we live here) but the only downsie to the train round trip is that it doesn't leave Vancouver for the return trip until 6:00OPM and that is just too late when we get back to Seattle at 10:00.

RedmondCruiser
May 28th, 2007, 12:40 PM
Though I hate buses, I would recommed taking the Cruise lines bus transfer. You can take a commercial shuttle bus, called "Quick Shuttle", but they do a milk run up to Vancouver and you have to take out ALL your luggage at the boarder for inspection, then put it back on the bus. This is a real pain. They do drop you off at the cruise dock though --- as does the cruise ship bus transfer. Remember that on the cruise ship bus transfer you normally do not even need to get off the bus or lug your luggage around since it is a homogenious group going to one specific location, and Canadian Customs generally give them a pass through. We have never taken the train but remember that the train does not drop you off at Canada Place.

mollyeilis
June 3rd, 2007, 07:22 PM
I just love the train! You do Customs when you get to the VAncouver station, so unless there's something odd going on (one person here mentioned a stop with customs agents getting, but that has never happened to us) you don't stop at the border, just keep on going by!

I'll re-mention the two important things to note when booking online...the Vancouver WA vs BC thing, and the train vs the multiple bus listings...be sure to pick the right ones!

Also, if you are a AAA member, click those buttons or tell the agent when booking, as you should get a 10% discount.


yeah, it's early going north and late going south, but the time in between is great!

JackofHearts
June 7th, 2007, 04:57 PM
I used my frequent flyer miles to get first class xcountry from Florida to Seattle, so transportation to the cruise has been cheap. Anybody done a limo or car service from Seattle to Vancouver? I've done a little checking with one companyand it appears it would be a little more than double the cost to have a chauffer door to door. I'm tempted! Thoughts?

Lois R
June 7th, 2007, 06:13 PM
I would be surprised...gas is so expensive these days. A 3 hour
drive? Gosh, I figured it would be close to 500 bucks or something:eek:
for a limo ride.

DrKoob
June 7th, 2007, 07:48 PM
Be advised that taking a car from Seattle to Vancouver is problematic. I would not do it on the day of the cruise. For instance, this Sunday, the main border crossing at Blaine is closed for six hours for a Festival that celebrates Canadian/American happiness. Everyone is real happy except those sitting in miles and miles of lines waiting to cross while folks dance around throwing flowers. There is another crossing but it is one lane both ways and the waits can be horrific. If you are going to drive, do it the day before your cruise.

Gawga Girl
June 10th, 2007, 08:49 PM
Just returned from Vancouver to Seattle. Used the Quick Shuttle. Service was fine. No luggage unloading at the border, US Border agent entered the bus, took up Custom Clearance slips said "Have a good trip" and we went on our way. The bus was fully packed. We were picked up at Ballyntine and went over to Canada Place and finished out the remaining seats. There was a helpful agent in the terminal at the dock. The bus driver handled the luggage. Trip took 4 hrs. We booked our hotel with the bus line and used the Holiday Inn Express. Their shuttle took us to dinner and to the airport. The Quick Shuttle dropped us at the Hotel.
We traveled from Seattle to Vancouver on Amtrak. Wonderful trip, Lovely Views and great legroom. Price was under $30.00 per person for seniors. Very comfortable ride. I would do both again with an edge to the train. The train doesn't leave Vancouver until 6:00 PM hence it is best to go up on the train and return on the bus

kingfish06
July 5th, 2007, 10:44 AM
We will be taking Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver. What's the best way to get to Canada Place from the Amtrak station? We are a family of 4 with two kids (ages 10 & 7) and a weeks worth of luggage. I assume taxi is easiest. Any ideas on cost and travel time?

Also, which side of the train is best on the north bound trip?

DrKoob
July 5th, 2007, 11:47 AM
Best way for you folks will be a van taxi. Figure 15 minutes from train station to cruise terminal and about $20 CAN.

You can't go wrong on either side of the train but I would go with the left side (Puget Sound) when you are facing forward on the train. Reserve Business class if you can. The extra $6 per person is well worth it. You will get a $3 snack bar credit and you will get off the train and through Customs first. We have done Customs from non-business and it can take up to an hour.

Have a GREAT time!:D

kingfish06
July 5th, 2007, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the info. We've already booked Amtrak and it seems business class is not available. I believe I read somewhere (Amtrak site or here) that they are doing service on the business class cars for the next several months. If anyone has any updates on that, please share.

Assuming business class is not running, any ideas on how they prioritize debarkation? We would certainly love to get through customs as fast as possible.

Thanks again!

kingfish06
July 5th, 2007, 01:00 PM
DrKoob,

I just noticed from your profile that you were on the Infinity cruise from Vancouver to San Francisco Aug/Sep 2005. My family and I were also on that same cruise. It was a test cruise of sorts to see how our kids liked cruising. Needless to say, it went well and we are now off to Alaska in a few weeks.

Thanks again for your info on the Amtrak and taxi transfer.

cruiser02
July 5th, 2007, 02:43 PM
You could also rent a car from Seattle to Vancouver. Using Alamo a one way is about @ $130 and the drop off point is at the Pan Pacific next to the cruise terminal As someone said before, I would not plan to make that drive the morning of the cruise. That border can and does back up. BUt the drive is good Just another thought to check out.

kingfish06
July 5th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the thought Cruiser02. We have an evening flight into Seattle the night before the cruise. So we figured it would be best to kick it in Seattle for the night and then head up to Vancouver in the morning. We are renting a car for the return trip from Vancouver to Seattle. We'll be staying over in Seattle for a couple of nights so there's no real concern regarding border crossing delays on the return trip.

While on the subject, we are renting through Hertz. I understand we have to taxi from Canada Place to their Seymour St. office to pick up our car. Anyone have any experience with that? I imagine the taxi lines at Canada Place will be pretty long that morning. I was thinking of hightailing it a block or two away to hail a cab away from the crowds. Anyone ever done that or have any other tips or tricks?

Also, we are exchanging the rental car the next morning in Seattle so as to not have to continue paying the higher rate on the one-way rental. It's certainly a bit of work, but in the long run, well worth it as we save quite a bit in airfare this way. And as a bonus, we get to spend some time in Seattle.

DrKoob
July 6th, 2007, 08:00 PM
DrKoob,

I just noticed from your profile that you were on the Infinity cruise from Vancouver to San Francisco Aug/Sep 2005. My family and I were also on that same cruise. It was a test cruise of sorts to see how our kids liked cruising. Needless to say, it went well and we are now off to Alaska in a few weeks.

Thanks again for your info on the Amtrak and taxi transfer.

Kingfish,

Yes, we were on that cruise. We have always referred to it as the Martini Mates cruise. We had the most active Cruise Critic thread on that cruise and have made some life-long friends. In fact that thread is still going strong 2+years later and we have had numerous reunions with a number of people from that cruise. In fact we just returned with spending some time with friends from that cruise in BC. And we are cruising with about half of that group to Alaska in August and with the other half in the Med in October. It was a GREAT cruise.

And believe it or not we have experience renting from Hertz on Seymour. We did the same thing, took the train up, then wanted to leave Vancouver earlier than the 6:00 pm departure of the train. Here's what to do. Disembark and leave the family at the Starbucks in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel. Then you (or your spouse) can walk to the Seymour Street Hertz in about 10 minutes tops. It is less than 4 or 5 blocks away. Then pull back around to the Starbucks and pick up the family. It was a piece of cake. I did that with my wife and another couple that we were driving back to Seattle with and it worked great. Feel free to ask anything else.

When are going to Alaska? We are on Infinity on August 25 and have a pretty active thread going.

newaddiction
July 12th, 2007, 02:14 PM
since we're on the question of getting from Seattle to Vancouver - can anyone tell me about a ferry? we sail to alaska in 2008, RT from Seattle. We want to check out the Capistrano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver at the end of the cruise but need to figure out how to get to Vancouver first.