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  #1  
Old April 20th, 2012, 05:18 PM
ddloml ddloml is offline
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Default Vancouver luggage question

DW and I will be on the Island Princess which travels southbound from Whittier AK and ending in Vancouver BC on a Wednesday. Once we disembark from the ship at the end of the cruise we'd like to explore Vancouver for the day. Our plan is to get on the evening Amtrak Cascades train to Seattle to visit family for a few days before flying home from Seattle.

So what do we do with our luggage between the time we leave the ship and board the train? I don't think we want to drag the suitcases around town for 6-8 hours. Is there a place to store them, preferably in the area of the cruise port/train station, while we explore?
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  #2  
Old April 20th, 2012, 06:36 PM
mapleleaves mapleleaves is offline
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There is storage available at the pier.
http://www.prioritybaggage.ca/servic...storageservice
Or you can take it the Amtrak station. In Seattle there is no charge, probably the same for Vanc

Last edited by mapleleaves; April 20th, 2012 at 06:37 PM.
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  #3  
Old April 20th, 2012, 06:38 PM
zephyr17 zephyr17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddloml View Post
DW and I will be on the Island Princess which travels southbound from Whittier AK and ending in Vancouver BC on a Wednesday. Once we disembark from the ship at the end of the cruise we'd like to explore Vancouver for the day. Our plan is to get on the evening Amtrak Cascades train to Seattle to visit family for a few days before flying home from Seattle.

So what do we do with our luggage between the time we leave the ship and board the train? I don't think we want to drag the suitcases around town for 6-8 hours. Is there a place to store them, preferably in the area of the cruise port/train station, while we explore?
The ViaRail (Canada's "Amtrak") baggage desk at Pacific Central Station where the Amtrak train leaves from will day-check the bags for $3 CDN each (and have been known to tie the straps of a couple of bags together and call them "one").

Last edited by zephyr17; April 20th, 2012 at 06:39 PM.
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  #4  
Old April 20th, 2012, 07:01 PM
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A third option is to take them to the Pan Pacific or Fairmont Waterfront hotel and give the bell desk a nice tip to hold them in their lock-up for you.
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  #5  
Old April 20th, 2012, 11:42 PM
ddloml ddloml is offline
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Default Thank you

Thank you everyone for the ideas. It looks like there will be options to consider, and they all look like good ones.
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  #6  
Old April 28th, 2012, 07:47 PM
powelweb powelweb is offline
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We're doing the same thing but on the 8/8 sailing.
If I can ask a few follow up questions
What time we will likely be disembarking from the island princess, and how long will it take for a cab ride to get to the train station at that time?

Will they be accepting luggage to check for the evening train in the morning, or will we just be storing it and still needing to plan to be back at the train station earlier enough to check the luggage ?

Personally, I think I'd feel better having the luggage stored at the train station and have picked up our tickets so we don't have to make another stop at the end of the day.

I guess another option would be if we book with a private tour operator who can take the luggage with us during the day so no storage needed.

Appreciate any help with these questions.
TIA
Wendy
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  #7  
Old April 29th, 2012, 02:39 AM
zephyr17 zephyr17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powelweb View Post
We're doing the same thing but on the 8/8 sailing.
If I can ask a few follow up questions
What time we will likely be disembarking from the island princess, and how long will it take for a cab ride to get to the train station at that time?

Will they be accepting luggage to check for the evening train in the morning, or will we just be storing it and still needing to plan to be back at the train station earlier enough to check the luggage ?

Personally, I think I'd feel better having the luggage stored at the train station and have picked up our tickets so we don't have to make another stop at the end of the day.

I guess another option would be if we book with a private tour operator who can take the luggage with us during the day so no storage needed.

Appreciate any help with these questions.
TIA
Wendy
Via will just store it. You have to retrieve it from Via and then check it with Amtrak. However, it will not take any extra time to check it, the way they handle checked baggage at Vancouver is very different from customary Amtrak practice, as you do not check it until after you check in for the train and go through US Immigration in the Vancouver station. Then you check it in right at trainside just as you board the train. The only additional time you need to allocate is the time to pick it up from the Via baggage desk.

Regardless of your choice on baggage, you should be at the station by 4:45 to line up for check-in and US Immigration. They close up completely at 5:30, 15 minutes before departure. The line during cruise season can be quite long, although if you are ticketed in Business Class, you basically get to cut the line, as Business has its own separate and much shorter check-in line

I ride this train very frequently, at least twice a year if not more, and am very familiar with how things are organized in Vancouver.

The cab ride should be short. It is only about 7 minutes from Waterfront Station by Canada Place to Main Street/Science World by the Via/Amtrak station on the Skytrain, so I imagine the cab would only be 10 minutes at most. Other posters will know more about the cabs, as I've only used Skytrain to get to/from the station.
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  #8  
Old April 29th, 2012, 08:59 AM
powelweb powelweb is offline
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Thanks, Zephyr- that info is really helpful.

We're ticketed in business class but I do need to pick up the tickets at the station which I could do that morning while we're dropping off the luggage.

This is our first Princess cruise, so I have no idea when we'll be able to disembark since we don't have a flight to make and have no rank in their loyallty program, and we're trying to figure out how long we're have for touring time. I'll check on the Alaska board to see if this has been answered already.

Just to be safe, sounds like we should try to be back at the station by 4.

really appreciate this info- thanks again!
Wendy
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  #9  
Old April 29th, 2012, 04:52 PM
zephyr17 zephyr17 is offline
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If you are in Business Class, 4:30 is plenty (if you have tickets already). Just don't be really late, as they assign seats "first come, first served" so your chances of getting 2 seats together on the water side is best if you are not too late checking in. BTW-Business Class seating is 2 + 1.

If you are going to drop bags and don't have tickets, it is very good idea to get your tickets when you drop off your bags. They won't be busy then and it will take just a minute. When it gets close to train time in the afternoon after 4, they are a lot busier and it will take longer.

Last edited by zephyr17; April 29th, 2012 at 04:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old April 29th, 2012, 05:48 PM
powelweb powelweb is offline
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we're actually a party of 5 with 2 seniors and a child, and we'd like to get seats together. Plus I'm sure the senior ladies will feel better/ more settled if we're at the station and all checked in ready to go instead of pulling up at 4:30 and seeing lines.

The fun part will be that we may end up separating for the day so the DH and DD can go to Calipano Suspension Bridge and see the cliffwalk while I stay in the city with the ladies on the HOHO trolley bus with less walking for the seniors.

Which side is the water side for the train to Seattle- right side on southbound?

Appreciate all your great info again, Zephyr.
Wendy
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  #11  
Old April 30th, 2012, 12:50 AM
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Yes right side on southbound.

Cheers

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  #12  
Old April 30th, 2012, 08:36 PM
zephyr17 zephyr17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powelweb View Post
we're actually a party of 5 with 2 seniors and a child, and we'd like to get seats together. Plus I'm sure the senior ladies will feel better/ more settled if we're at the station and all checked in ready to go instead of pulling up at 4:30 and seeing lines.

The fun part will be that we may end up separating for the day so the DH and DD can go to Calipano Suspension Bridge and see the cliffwalk while I stay in the city with the ladies on the HOHO trolley bus with less walking for the seniors.

Which side is the water side for the train to Seattle- right side on southbound?

Appreciate all your great info again, Zephyr.
Wendy
Yes, the water is on the right side and is on the "2" side of the aisle in Business Class. The crew will make every effort to seat you together, and if you are reasonably early, they will certainly keep you together. Probably what they will do with 5 travelers is seat 3 of you in all seats in one row, then put 2 on the two side of the next (or preceding) row.

In Business Class 4:30 is fine because the long line you will see is for coach class (queues up to the right side of the Amtrak podium and may wrap around the waiting room). The Business Class line on the left side of the Amtrak podium will be considerably shorter. I usually shoot for getting there between 4:20 and 4:30.

Again, I do recommend you pick up your tickets earlier in the day so you have them when you arrive and all you will have to do is pick up your bags from Via and get in that nice, short Business Class check-in line.
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  #13  
Old June 15th, 2013, 01:18 AM
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Bumping up...this has some helpful information !


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