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#41
1,971 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Seattle is an epicenter of the app-based Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) - Seattle was among the first markets for both Lyft and Uber and the services are wildly popular here.

They're also generally 40-50% cheaper than medallion cabs, which are hard to find and generally not as reliable whether you phone or use an app to hail them. TNC drivers picking up inside the city must have vehicle inspections and insurance which exceed the requirements for medallion cabs - I am a frequent UberX user (most business days) and have never had an unsatisfactory experience. I use Lyft when availability on Uber causes surge pricing, and have had great luck as well. Estimated pickup times from the apps are generally reliable, and both have GPS tracking that show where your assigned car is.


Three ProTips:

1) TNCs are not allowed to pick up from the airport drives. The more expensive Uber (Black car / SUV) services are, but if you just need a Prius, simply follow the signs for light rail (instructions above, with diagram) and rather than walking up to the train platform, take the pedestrian skybridge and elevators (just out of view on my marked-up photo) to 176th St & International Blvd, approximately a 4-10 minute walk from any baggage claim, 30 seconds from the light rail mezzanine. There is a designated "kiss and cry"-type pick up/drop off location. You will generally have a car almost immediately - there's usually a couple waiting in that lot, in fact. TNCs can, however, drop you on the arrivals level on your return to the airport.

2) The TNC drivers do not generally have a lot of "local knowledge" - use the function to set an end destination via the app, or know roughly how you'd like to go. Frankly, the cabbies here aren't any great prize at this either, but since TNC drivers tend to not spend 40 hours a week behind the wheel, you may want to have looked at route guidance. In general, knowing the intersection nearest your destination is better than "I want to go to The No-Tell Motel". For Pier 66, I would mention "Pier 66, on Alaskan Way" and for Pier 91, I would add "The south end of Magnolia, off Elliott". From either cruise terminal, I would specifically ask to go to the airport via 1st Avenue S and Highway 509 rather than I-5, unless they're aware of traffic issues. Conversely, from the airport direct to the piers, I would recommend 509 to the Viaduct and exiting at Western Avenue.

3) These services are incredibly popular between 1 and 2 AM on Friday and Saturday nights; either wind up your revels a little early, or hang out after closing time on the street enjoying an ever-popular Seattle Dog (a sidewalk cart grilled hot dog with grilled onions and cream cheese) while the surge pricing, availability and your liver recover.
#42
WA state
2,861 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Gardyloo
I would start by updating these threads to eliminate references to the Pier 30 cruise terminal, which hasn't been in use for two years, and replacing them with information regarding the T91 terminal.
Originally posted by LauraS
Whoops! You are 100% correct, and we will get right on that! Passed the info over to our editorial team just now.

Thank you,

Laura
Hmm, these original messages were dated in Feb, 2011 and here it is Oct, 2015 and the Pier 30 info is still present in that thread? The old "editorial team" must have taken one heck of a cruise to still not have gotten to the thread! Any idea when the 270 pages of closed messages are going to be edited/deleted/whatever?

Tom
#45
1,674 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Seatac now allows Uber, Lyft and Wingz as of 3/31/2016 all the ride share firms are allowed to operate at seatac legally. The downside is you have to meet your driver in the garage next to where you would find the taxis. Its pretty easy to cross the skybridge from baggage claim. On the good side they have indtoduced Uber Pool which is $16.50 for one or two people into downtown Seattle. The downside is the airport is requiring cars averaging 45 mpg so the majority of these will be Prius size but for one or two people it would be fine. Uber X is also available for up to 4 at about $29 into downtown. Cabs are still about $45 or more. Uber black or Suv's can pick up curbside. On a practical note the airport as an onsite limo provider which established a flat rate of $45 into downtown Seattle for up to 4. You simply call Ground Transportation from the phones inbaggage claim and they will come to the door closest to you, which makes this one of the more affordable and easy way. Fares to the ports may be a bit higher but when shared not a big deal. The onsite limo provider is STILA who has an office in the parking garage near the cabs, and ride share lines.
Hope this helps
#46
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
If you are treating Seattle (and vicinity) as a "destination" and have 2-3 days and a car here are some "out and about" places and things to do that will expose a lot more local flavor. All within a day's drive of Seattle. In no particular order.

Mt. Rainier:
On clear days it sits there about 60 miles SE of downtown Seattle in majestic view. Iconic. Many like to visit it up close. There two major options for destination - Paradise and Sunrise.

Paradise - This is the major destination at Mt. Rainier National Park and has the main visitor center. Thus it can be crowded, especially on nice weekends. It is the most accessible for mobility challenged visitors with some paved trails. The view of "the mountain" (as locals call it) is close up but also partially hidden by ridges in front of it.

The hike to Panorama Point and the Nisqually Glacier overlook overcomes this. The drive from Seattle is about 103 miles and in good traffic about three hours.

Sunrise - This is the lesser known and smaller visitor center on the east side of the mountain. Much less crowded and the view from just a little farther away is more spectacular than from Paradise.
There are a number of great hikes from Sunrise including the Mount Fremont Lookout trail. Lots of Marmots to view around Frozen Lake. About 95 miles from Seattle but 3-1/2 hours. Also nearby that side is Crystal Mountain where the ski gondola operates in the summer for spectacular views of the mountain. CM Gondola

Mowich Lake - Super locals gem tucked in to the NW corner of the park. For outdoor enthusiasts on a clear day this can be a highlight of your whole trip by taking the hike to Eunice Lake and the Tolmie Peak lookout tower. Along the way a short s(few hundred yards) side trip to Ipsut Pass is rewarded by a breath taking view of the Carbon River valley. Nearing the lake there is a pretty waterfall just off the trail. All the way to Tolmie Peak is an all day hike r/t so pack a lunch (and pack out the garbage). Take some DEET bug spray for biting flies. View from lookout:

About 63 miles from Seattle and 1-1/2 hours in good traffic. Caution for rental cars - the last few miles are unpaved which might not be allowed in the contract.

Comet Falls - On the road to Paradise at the Kautz Creek trailhead is the trail to one of the taller waterfalls in the USA at 462 feet. Bonus - several smaller waterfalls along the way. Details.

Mountain Loop Highway
A beautiful day trip into the edge of the Cascade Mountains. From Granite Falls to Barlow Pass the road is paved. Views of snowcapped peaks and waterfalls along the South Fork of the Stillaguamish river. The pavement ends at the pass and Monte Cristo trailhead. Monte Cristo was a gold boom town high in the Cascades that eventually busted and became a ghost town. Closed for several years for mine tailing remediation it has re-opened this year. 4.5 mile hike each way. The Mt. Loop is unpaved from the pass towards Darrington - one lane road with traffic both directions (with pull outs). Not suitable for rental cars which can turn around at the pass.
Info

Mt. Saint Helens
A three hour (in good traffic and not on Fridays) 154 mile drive from Seattle. Site of the 1980 massive landslide and eruption. Fascinating to observe the recovery of plants and animals over the years after the destruction. Great place for a picnic lunch on sunny days - kids have a ball feeding the Gray Jays. Don't be dismayed of there is a low deck of clouds in the morning as long as afternoon forecast is for clear. The road to the visitor center will climb above the clouds.
Wiki Info
USGS Site

Scenic Beach State Park
A little known gem on the Kitsap Peninsula with great views of the Olympic Mountains across Hood Canal. Also a great excuse to take the Bremerton ferry from Seattle and cruise through scenic Rich Passage. If you can't get all the way to Hurricane Ridge the Scenic Beach is a fair alternative that it often overlooked.
Scenic Beach

Historic Aircraft Collections at Paine Field
There are a couple very good historic aircraft collections in the Everett area at Paine Field where Boeing has its huge aircraft assembly plant. While the plant tour and the Future of Flight center are located there and get all the attention at the same airport are two collections of historic aircraft. At the center of the west side of the field off of SR-525 (Mukilteo Speedway) is the Historic Flight Collection. At the south end of the field is the Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection which mainly focuses on WWII planes from many countries as well as a few tanks and a V2 rocket. In another area they have some modern planes including the White Knight that carried Spaceship One to launch altitude.

NW Trek Wildlife Park
Near Eatonville (on the way to Mt. Rainier) is a great open air wildlife park featuring animals of the Pacific NW. NWT
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RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
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#47
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Another thread questioning the very high price of hotels inspired the concept that may be there was a big event at the same time - thus jacking up hotel rates due to demand.

A few resources are available to avoid the busiest events.

Seafair brings in a lot of people the first weekend of August (basically right now!) Labor Day weekend draws a lot of visitors for the Bumbershoot music festival at Seattle Center.

Others (mostly much smaller) can be viewed at Events

Also the Washington State Convention Center sometimes beings a lot of visitors to town. WSCC Schedule. Lists the size of the groups - for example 9/2/16 PAX West is estimated for 25,000 people.
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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#48
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Given that earlier in the thread there were instructions for how to get to the Whole Foods near Pier 91 we can now add Total Wine to the options for pre-cruise wine buying. They just (couple weeks ago) opened a store about a block from Whole Foods.
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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#49
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Port of Seattle has published the preliminary 2017 schedule for cruise ships. Handy to see what other ships will be there and which terminal.

Seattle Cruise Schedule

Also - found an interesting tourism site for Seattle with a bunch of videos that may be of interest to those planning pre or post cruise visits.

VisitSeattle.TV
Sample Episode

And lastly - on YouTube search #HEYSEATTLE for a bunch of one minute "answer a question" videos. Or click Here
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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#50
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
One City - Two Cruise Terminals
(and where did they come from?)

This is for curious people and history buffs who want to know about Pier 66 (Bell Street Cruise Terminal) and Pier 91 (Smith Cove Cruise Terminal). Prompted by a conversation with my 90 yo father the other day I decided to do some web surfing for information about the history of Seattle's cruise terminals. Mostly a bunch of links but some of it is fascinating reading. A lot of the information is from the Paul Dorpat series (and book) "Seattle: Now and Then" web site and Seattle-Times column archives.

My father served in the Navy at the tail end of WWII on a Destroyer based in Bremerton. When I mentioned we were cruising out of Pier 91 he said "Oh, I know that pier well, when the war ended we docked there to transfer to troop trains headed for Newport-News and the Norfolk Navy Base." Before they left he spent a few weeks scrubbing out a floating dry dock there with kerosene. I had not known there was a Naval station there - actually the Seattle Naval Supply Depot with 2 Million Sq. Ft. of warehouses on the huge pier. It used to be Pier 41 before the Navy renumbered all the piers in Seattle.

Here are the links and notes for what became the cruise piers we know today:

Pier 91:
http://www.historylink.org/File/10175


Pier 66
http://www.historylink.org/File/2479

Wiki - Pier 66

Great history of the Seattle waterfront from Paul Dorpat
https://pauldorpat.com/seattle-now-t...ory-chapter-1/

Keep adding to that number to the end for the next page up to 7 where it ends

A history of the glass works and the Finntown settlers at Smith's Cove (note possessive Smith's as it was then) that includes history of Dr. Henry Smith one of the foremost characters of Seattle history.
https://pauldorpat.com/2012/04/28/se...e-glass-works/

Wiki - Smith Cove

http://www.dahp.wa.gov/blog/2010/10/...s/3-southwest/

Admiral's House - A Quarters - Commander's House at NSD Seattle - Built in 1944
This is visible from the terminal at Pier 91 above the marina next door - with the long sloping lawn below it.


Early planning and funding for Pier 91 - discusses the impact of cruise industry on Seattle area economy
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/artic...se-1280061.php


The first ship - HAL Amsterdam
http://www.seattletimes.com/life/tra...lion-terminal/


The biggest ship (so far)
http://q13fox.com/2016/05/16/largest...t-bay-is-here/


NCL Pier 66 Deal
http://www.seattletimes.com/business...-15-year-deal/
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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#51
WA state
2,861 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Sequim88
One City - Two Cruise Terminals
(and where did they come from?)
Fascinating! I've copied all of this into a Word document and printed it as a PDF, giving the authorship credit to you and saved it for future reference. I'll attach a copy of the PDF to this message for you. Thanks for researching and writing it! Good work!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf History of Piers 66 & 91 in Seattle.pdf (74.9 KB, 9 views)
#52
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Thank you very much! Seattle history fascinates me since I personally remember a fair bit of it. Like watching them build I-5 and when the Smith Tower was the tallest building in Seattle. The first taller building (besides the Space Needle) was the SeaFirst Bank building (now Safeco Plaza) and the way it stuck out compared to the Space Needle earned it the nickname - "The Box the Needle Came In". Now dwarfed by the Columbia Center.

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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#53
Seattle WA
4,492 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
You might enjoy these strolls down memory lane...

View from Kerry Park, around 1970


From West Seattle -



From Pike Place -

#54
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Thanks Gardyloo! When the SeaFirst building was being built I spent several days in Doctor's Hospital downtown (now Virginia Mason I think) recovering from Giardia (yes, from a Boy Scout trip) and watched them hauling up steel beams as they were building it. I think I was about 13 at the time. Since it was built around the time of "2001: A Space Odyssey" it also got called "The Black Monolith".

For the out of towners the Smith Tower is the white building with the pointy top to the right of "the box" and reigned as the tallest actual building in Seattle from 1914 until the SeaFirst bldg. passed it (Space Needle notwithstanding).
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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#55
Closer to the Water Than You. Madison Park, Seattle, WA
75 Posts
Joined May 2017
As of 05/01/17 it is $14.50 for public access to the top of the Columbia Center. Usually open from 10-8 Sat & Sun. Views are nice if the sun is out.
#56
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Twin Peaks Ultimate Road Trip

A recently posted blog to coincide with the new Twin Peaks series that started last Sunday on Showtime. Since many visitors to the Seattle area are TP fans this is a good guide to places featured in the story.

http://www.seattlemag.com/northwest-...eaks-road-trip


The premier was pretty darned good too. Posting here in case a fan searches on "Twin Peaks".
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HAL - Oosterdam - June 11, 2017, Alaska
RCCL - Mariner of the Seas - May 2012 - TA Miami to Rome
RCCL - Serenade of the Seas February 12, 2011 - So. Caribbean
RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas- April 13, 2008 TA Miami to London
HAL - Veendam - June 16, 2002, Alaska
At the moment I have half a mind to go look for the rest
#57
Closer to the Water Than You. Madison Park, Seattle, WA
75 Posts
Joined May 2017
2 people were shot in Pioneer Square on Sunday. I almost stepped on a needle (still in syringe) getting off link today @ Pioneer Square station. The Seattle Mayor does not care about cruise visitors (he does like your teenage sons tho).

Until the Pioneer Square area gets cleaned up I'd stick with the Space Needle/Chihouly Gardens for my excursions. Pike is fine too.

Or just take the 11 bus from Westlake to Madison Park, and enjoy Lake Washington from one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle
#59
Silver City, New Mexico
752 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
I am traveling with a group of friends to Seattle for a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska in May, 2018. I'd appreciate suggestions for hotels that are convenient to the pier. And if it's convenient to the pier, does that mean that it would be convenient to downtown -- Pike Street (Place?) Market? I haven't done my research into Seattle yet, but I thought maybe somebody on this site could start me in the right direction. Many thanks in advance for your advice!

Regards,
Sam


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Explorer OTS - May 18-25, 2018, Alaska
Star Princess - November 20-December 5, Hawaii
Legend OTS - November 15-30, 2014, WB Panama Canal
Mariner OTS - December 11-18, 2011, Caribbean

Voyager OTS - February 20-27, 2011, Western Caribbean
Serenade OTS - October 17-November 1, 2009, WB Panama Canal
Serenade OTS - November 8-15, 2008, to the Southern Caribbean
Radiance OTS - October 21-November 4, 2007, to Hawaii
Explorer OTS - November 1-8, 2003, to Eastern Caribbean
Vision OTS - December, 2001, to Mexican Riviera
Rhapsody OTS - September, 2000, to Alaska
#60
New Jersey
216 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by polarpaws
I am traveling with a group of friends to Seattle for a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska in May, 2018. I'd appreciate suggestions for hotels that are convenient to the pier. And if it's convenient to the pier, does that mean that it would be convenient to downtown -- Pike Street (Place?) Market? I haven't done my research into Seattle yet, but I thought maybe somebody on this site could start me in the right direction. Many thanks in advance for your advice!

Regards,
Sam


Sent from my iPad using Forums
We are leaving from Pier 91 on July 17, and that pier isn't convenient to downtown , not sure what Pier Royal uses. As far as hotels we are using VRBO.com staying fairly close to everything. About a 10 minute walk to most attractions. It is a condo, so we would have more room, and though we plan to eat out for a meals while there, it is nice to have a kitchen option for late snacks etc. We found hotels rather pricey that is why we went this option, and when we booked we were 4 people and would have needed a junior suite or two rooms. Enjoy!

Augie's mom
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