Hints on Vancouver embarkation process

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#21
YVR & PDX
3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by new_cruiser
Your post doesn't mention Global Entry. I thought that it was available for going through immigration and customs at Canada Place. I'm hoping that we will be able to use it to get through the process more quickly.
It is available - but it's no use for getting through Security faster, only CBP, so it's not as much of a timesaver as at airports.
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#22
4,346 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Originally posted by martincath
Golden is overnighting (I assume so they can see the fireworks!) so everyone should already be checked-in the day before.
In addition to the fireworks.... the Olympic Cauldron will be lit up for cruisers on July 1st.
#23
Alberta
4,026 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by martincath
Golden is overnighting (I assume so they can see the fireworks!) so everyone should already be checked-in the day before. Of course any pax who choose to get off during the morning will still need to get back through Security/CBP. I'd plan to arrive after Golden leaves, and be aware that since we're having 2 days of partying for Canada150 that there will be a shedload of people who hang around a bit early to get good spots to watch the parade (currently sched for 5pm I believe) so aiming for 2pm would be better than 3pm just in case there are any delays getting through the crowds.

From Hyatt, 100% they should walk - it'll avoid all the grief of road closures for cabs - and the walk is easy. Net slightly downhill but it's not really steep enough to worry about.
Thanks very much, martincath! I didn't even think of the Golden passengers embarking the prior day, silly me! But those pax who get off on the Sunday morning shouldn't have to do the full CBP, should they? Wouldn't they be considered "intransit" and have a different path to follow, to their ship, that bypasses CBP?

Thanks for the walking advice, too. I didn't realize that there would be road closures due to the festivities. Just so I can pass on the information, what is the usual attendance at Canada Day fireworks? I realize that there is likely to be more this year but past years info would likely be the minimum for this year.
#24
YVR & PDX
3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Alberta Quilter
Thanks very much, martincath! I didn't even think of the Golden passengers embarking the prior day, silly me! But those pax who get off on the Sunday morning shouldn't have to do the full CBP, should they? Wouldn't they be considered "intransit" and have a different path to follow, to their ship, that bypasses CBP?

Thanks for the walking advice, too. I didn't realize that there would be road closures due to the festivities. Just so I can pass on the information, what is the usual attendance at Canada Day fireworks? I realize that there is likely to be more this year but past years info would likely be the minimum for this year.
For their sake I hope the Golden pax do get to avoid CBP, but overnight cruise vessels are very rare here. Anyone who chooses/is delayed so they have to arrive on July 2 rather than July 1 cannot be allowed to skip CBP, and even if Immigration pre-clearance has been confirmed for the majority who do arrive July 1, what if folks leave the ship July 2 and go on a spending spree - if they can bypass CBP that means lost Customs fees... I know we have one or two posters who have/do work at the pier, maybe one of them can confirm how they've been treating overnight trips as there has been at least one already this season in May.

It's usually ballpark a quarter million attendees for the Canada Day celebrations - who knows how much that will grow this year, but the fact it's spread over 2 days and the daytime stuff is basically the same (bands on stages in the party zone) means we may actually see lower numbers on each day as I can't imagine everyone wanting to come down both days.
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#25
Alberta
4,026 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by martincath
For their sake I hope the Golden pax do get to avoid CBP, but overnight cruise vessels are very rare here. Anyone who chooses/is delayed so they have to arrive on July 2 rather than July 1 cannot be allowed to skip CBP, and even if Immigration pre-clearance has been confirmed for the majority who do arrive July 1, what if folks leave the ship July 2 and go on a spending spree - if they can bypass CBP that means lost Customs fees... I know we have one or two posters who have/do work at the pier, maybe one of them can confirm how they've been treating overnight trips as there has been at least one already this season in May.

It's usually ballpark a quarter million attendees for the Canada Day celebrations - who knows how much that will grow this year, but the fact it's spread over 2 days and the daytime stuff is basically the same (bands on stages in the party zone) means we may actually see lower numbers on each day as I can't imagine everyone wanting to come down both days.
Thanks again, Martincath! Wow, a quarter million people for Canada Day! I'll be sure to advise my colleague so that he can plan accordingly.
#26
YVR & PDX
3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Alberta Quilter
Thanks again, Martincath! Wow, a quarter million people for Canada Day! I'll be sure to advise my colleague so that he can plan accordingly.
We had over half a million for the Celebration of Light fireworks (new peak reached when Disney did one of the shows last year - they had to close the beach! - usually it's more like 300-400,000 on each of the three nights) and Pride claims almost three-quarters of a mil (but that's for the whole weekend not just the parade).
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#27
Quilcene, Washington
2,342 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
We are boarding Oosterdam on 25 Sep-Three ship day.
We sail at 11 pm for Victoria and then down the coast to San Diego and Mexico.
What will likely process be at CP since our first stop is victoria?
Once things quiet down in the terminal (after 3pm) will it be easy to get off the ship and back on?
Thanks!
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Frank and Loren
Olympic Peninsula, WA
[email protected]l.com
#28
YVR & PDX
3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
No CBP since your next stop is Canadian. Odds are high that it will be cruise check-in first, since that seems to be the new normal for all three ship days, then Security, then for you straight to the ship.

Yes, it will definitely get quieter after the other vessels are into their 'you must be here now or you do not get to board at all' time (90mins pre-departure). Just make sure you find out if there's any different cutoff for you guys to be back on board than the usual 30mins before sailing for a port stop, in case you were planning a night on the town!
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#29
3,064 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by martincath
It is available - but it's no use for getting through Security faster, only CBP, so it's not as much of a timesaver as at airports.


We just used Global Entry at the port in Vancouver and it saved a lot of time. It was a little hard to spot but if you look for the "Crew" signs, there was a small Global Entry sign next to it. If you don't see it, as soon as you get to the line (there should be a person there directing traffic) ask and they will direct you.

Bring your actual Global Entry card or you will likely be delayed, maybe even denied Global Entry.

Also, even if you have used the card for air travel, make sure it is "activated". People with us were delayed because their cards were not activated. I have no idea how that could happen since they have used GE for air travel many times.


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#30
Nottinghamshire, England
1,626 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We embarked at Vancouver and it was a nightmare. We were sent from one holding area to another. It was not until I advised a member of staff that we had requested assisted boarding that things improved. Never know anything like it!

Southampton is easy by comparison well organised according to letter card issued when you arrive.

We are planning to go to Alaska again but will avoid Vancouver this time.
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#31
YVR & PDX
3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by galavant3
We just used Global Entry at the port in Vancouver and it saved a lot of time. It was a little hard to spot but if you look for the "Crew" signs, there was a small Global Entry sign next to it. If you don't see it, as soon as you get to the line (there should be a person there directing traffic) ask and they will direct you.

Bring your actual Global Entry card or you will likely be delayed, maybe even denied Global Entry.

Also, even if you have used the card for air travel, make sure it is "activated". People with us were delayed because their cards were not activated. I have no idea how that could happen since they have used GE for air travel many times.
Assuming that the GE card works the same as NEXUS for logistics, cards are sent in the mail unactivated - need to log on to GOES to confirm receipt & activate, just like when you get credit/debit cards you generally have to call your bank/log in to online account.

Since GE works with passports only just about everywhere except ports and foreign pre-clearance airports, if you forget to do that you'll only find out when you try to use the card in one of those places.

Question, since you quoted one of my posts above, are they now accepting GE at the Security line too so it saved you lots of time? Or was it still just Immigration stage, but you felt it was a big time-saver compared to the non-Trusted Traveler folks?
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#32
3,064 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by martincath
Assuming that the GE card works the same as NEXUS for logistics, cards are sent in the mail unactivated - need to log on to GOES to confirm receipt & activate, just like when you get credit/debit cards you generally have to call your bank/log in to online account.

Since GE works with passports only just about everywhere except ports and foreign pre-clearance airports, if you forget to do that you'll only find out when you try to use the card in one of those places.

Question, since you quoted one of my posts above, are they now accepting GE at the Security line too so it saved you lots of time? Or was it still just Immigration stage, but you felt it was a big time-saver compared to the non-Trusted Traveler folks?


I'm fairly certain that GE is not used on security lines. When we boarded, those lines were non existent so we didn't even explore that option. The customs line was for both ships in port - one was Celebrity and one was NCL (I think). That line looked like Space Mountain on a busy day. I was the hero in our group because I knew to look for GE and reminded them to bring cards.

To put it in perspective, when we checked in with Celebrity, an agent checking someone else in referred to the immigration line as a [email protected]$T Show. Those were her words, not mine.




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#33
YVR & PDX
3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by galavant3
I'm fairly certain that GE is not used on security lines. When we boarded, those lines were non existent so we didn't even explore that option. The customs line was for both ships in port - one was Celebrity and one was NCL (I think). That line looked like Space Mountain on a busy day. I was the hero in our group because I knew to look for GE and reminded them to bring cards.

To put it in perspective, when we checked in with Celebrity, an agent checking someone else in referred to the immigration line as a [email protected]$T Show. Those were her words, not mine.
Thanks for clarifying - I haven't actually managed to board this year at Vancouver myself, all of our potential-cruise-dates have fallen apart for one reason or another, so wanted to correct any out-of-date info I have. It's nice that you got lucky with Security queues despite a lengthy backup at immigration - while the latter does tend to be an unavoidable bottleneck in my experience (and from various reports) when it gets busy there, CBP demand that Security also stop or slow down feeding people through to their room.


That's when GE/NEXUS/Unobtainium cruiseline status may become of zero help - if you can't actually get to the relevant place where you can make use of them! Hence my original comment of GE etc. not being as useful as at the airport, where you are at least guaranteed to be able to head for the short queue in both security and preclearance with your TT card.
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#34
cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,586 Posts
Joined May 2012
We used GE on a 2-ship day a few weeks back. The first step is security and GE does take you to a priority line. Next step is U.S. immigration where the GE booths are to the left. It was busy enough but didn't take me more than 10 minutes, and most of that wait was at US Immigration as there was a changeover in agents.
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#35
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3,831 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
^Thanks for the update.
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