Vancouver Info if needed

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#1
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
Hi there..I live in Vancouver and have worked at several of the hotels in the city..and have also worked on cruise ships before, so I've done more Alaska cruises than I care to admit..I'll gladly answer any questions about the city, cruising or what have you!
#2
6,587 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Do you think the on/off trolley is the best idea for spending the day in Vancouver before catching the train to Seattle?
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#3
Houston, Texas
41 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by shoppie
Hi there..I live in Vancouver and have worked at several of the hotels in the city..and have also worked on cruise ships before, so I've done more Alaska cruises than I care to admit..I'll gladly answer any questions about the city, cruising or what have you!
I have a few questions. We are arriving in Vancouver on May 26 around 1:00pm and staying at Westin Bayshore. We leave on the Wind on May 28th and plan to board the ship around 2:00pm. We would like to do a whale watching excursion (a couple of threads are saying we won't see whales in Vancouver in May.....is this right?, visit Grouse mountain and possibly a trolley/carriage ride through Vancouver. What is your suggestion for how we should spend our time, ie what should we do with our limited time on Friday and Sunday and how should we spend the bulk of the day on Saturday. I read somewhere about the sunset on Grouse mountian. Is it really nice and would it be possible to squeeze it in either on Friday night or Saturday with other activities. I am not too concerned about restaurants....just activities. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
#4
Queens, New York
768 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
We spent a few days in Vancouver pre and post cruise this past September. The trolley is definitely the best way to see the city. Be sure to get off and enjoy the sites. Stanley park is absolutely beautiful. There is also another free trolley that takes you to different sites within the park. Since it was raining pretty hard when we we were at the park we took the park trolley rather than walk. We also spent some time at the aquarium. We then got back on the trolley and got off at Gastown. We went to Storeyum and enjoyed it very much. There were many other stops on the trolley that we didn't have time to get to.
The next day we went to Capillano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. They are very close to each other and can be done on the same day. We had a great day.
We also took the ferry over to Granville Island which I did not enjoy as much as the other sites.
I hope this helps, we planned our stay in Vancouver from the advice of people on these boards and had a fantastic time.
#5
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
To mringenoldus: Hi! Thanks for your question..I would agree with the other post on this thread and say that the trolley is a great way to see many sights in and around the downtown Vancouver area. For $30 for each adult..it's far more inexpensive than paying a cab to go to each location individually. Check with your hotel concierge as well because they often have coupons for a dollar or two off your fare. You'll head through Stanley Park with stops at the aquarium etc..then on to English Bay, Yaletown, Gastown, Chinatown and more. First trolley usually starts around 9am with the last one in the vicinity of 4pm. Tickets can be purchased from the driver with Canadian cash, Visa or Mastercard. Please note that the fare includes one complete circuit with hop on and hop off priveleges. Hope this helps!
#6
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
To TylerMan: Thanks for your questions! I think that the whale watching idea is a great one! However, because these excursions go out usually mid-day (11am or noon start time) and last anywhere between 3 to 5 hours, you should plan on making this your Saturday activity. As far as seeing whales in May..well..you might and you might not..not unlike other times of the year. From May onwards whales come in close to shore as they hunt for salmon..I should also mention that there are some 80 'resident' orcas that live year round in and around the Georgia Strait between the Mainland and Vancouver Island. That said, during the salmon runs, many more 'transient' orcas migrate in from other waters looking for food and this starts generally in May and increases towards summertime. One of the nice things, though, is that most of the whale watching companies communicate with each other whilst out in the boats and so your guide will be in constant contact with other 'eyes' should a pod of whales be sighted. In the unfortunate circumstance that you don't see any whales at all, most companies offer a lifetime guarantee meaning that you may come back at anytime and keep coming back until you see a whale. On a personal note, I have taken the whale watching tour in late May and saw a full pod of orcas! As far as Grouse Mountain goes, you could combine that with the Capilano Suspension Bridge as they are both on the North Shore of Vancouver. This might be an idea on the Friday afternoon/evening (providing that the weather is clear for the view from the top)..there are a few dining options on Grouse Mountain, your Concierge can assist with reservations, so you could make an evening of it and watch the sun go down over a good meal and bottle of wine! The ticket for the tram to the top of Grouse is a touch pricey (around $35/person if memory serves), so consider that in your plans. My suggestion for your embarkation day would be to jump on the trolley and do the circuit..it stops at many of the great sights around Vancouver such as Stanley Park aquarium, Chinatown, Gastown etc..so you can stay as long or as short as you choose with your hop on hop off priveleges. The trip from the Westin to the Canada Place cruise ship pier is no more than fifteen minutes, but be prepared for it to be PACKED! Have the taxi driver drop you off right downstairs in the terminal and don't let him do the lazy thing and leave you in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel where you'll have to haul all your luggage down. (these cabbies will try and get away with it though..and pay with credit card or canadian cash..these guys will often try to rip you off on the exchange rate)..hope the info helps!
#7
Spencer, TN
688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Shoppie, thanks for offering your help. I have a few questions. First, is it necessary to have air conditioning mid June? We are considering staying at the Times Square Suites on Denman & Robson, the the bedroom has A/C, no A/C in Den or LR. Also, do you know anything about this hotel, is it in a good location for touring the city, we are not renting a car and will be in Vancouver 3 nights prior to sailing the Serenade on 6/18/06. We sail out of Ballantyne, so we do not need to be near Canada Place.

Other considerations for hotels are:
Best Western Sands - Denman & Davie
Renaissance Vancouver -W. Hastings
Blue Horizon-Robson & Burrard.

Any info on locations and condition of hotels would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Nancy
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#8
6,587 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
You can't find a nicer place than Barclay House at the West End. It's a B&B just off Robson. It may not still be available with short notice, however.
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#9
michigan
300 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Any good restuarants for breakfast in vancouver? We will have our 9 year old son with us. Is there any good restuarants that kids would enjoy? We are staying at the Sheraton on Burrard st. Thanks for any information you can give me.
#11
Greenville, South Carolina
363 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Can someone tell me what transportation is available to get from the Vancouver airport to the Marriott Renaissance Hotel? We arrive on Thursday 5/18 around 11:00 am.
#13
Spencer, TN
688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Times Square Suites is at 200-1821 Robson Street-according to the map, Robson and Denman cross each other right near Stanley Park.
Thanks, Nancy
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#14
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
To GrannyNanny: I must admit I had never heard of the Times Square Suites before..but after looking at their website I know exactly where it is and have driven by the building many times. Although I can't comment on their service or hospitality, I will say that the location is a great one! Denman and Robson is in Vancouver's West End, known to locals for being the nexus of Vancouver's colourful and vibrant gay community, but the West End is really much more than that. The West End of the city is truly proof that a downtown core can still have beautiful residential neighbourhoods exist side by side with the hustle and bustle of the city. You'll be very close to some excellent restaurants and shopping along both Robson (Vancouver's answer to Rodeo Drive) and Denman Streets. Plus, you'll only be a short cab ride or a pleasant stroll from the heart of the downtown core including Pacific Centre Shopping Mall, the Vancouver Art Gallery and more. To the West of you is Stanley Park and to the South along Denman, you'll arrive at beautiful English Bay..a wonderful place to watch the sun set from a restaurant patio (may I recommend the Boathouse, if you have a penchant for seafood and an amazing patio!). I highly doubt that you'll need a/c in June..even with global warming .. but then again, the need for a/c is quite subjective..one thing you'll note about Vancouver, though, is that even when it gets hot, there is very little humidity thanks to the moderating influence of the Pacific on our weather. As for your other hotel suggestions, they each cater to a bit of a different experience. The Best Western Sands is in the heart of English Bay at Denman and Davie, during the warmer months, this area of the city can get absolutely packed! so you may prefer the comparative calm of the Times location. The Renaissance is on W Hastings, just West of the financial district of the city..it's a beautiful hotel, but the location means you'll need to cab it a bit more to get to where you want to go..the financial district is fairly uneventful after five pm as you might expect! The Blue Horizon Hotel is East of the Times along Robson Street and thus is closer to the centre of the downtown core. It's an older hotel that has had some renovations done to bring its decor up to date. By luxury standards, it sits squarely in the middle of the pack..but not a bad option if you'd like to be closer to the city centre. Hope the info helps!
#15
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
To lssg: Thanks for your question! Breakfast with a nine year old..hmmm..well..you've got the standard Denny's which is a short 10/15 minute walk from the Sheraton at Thurlow and Davie St..always a classic..but if you'd like to try something a touch more 'Vancouver', may I suggest Sophie's Cosmic Cafe..a Vancouver institution on West 4th Avenue for many a year now. Their breakfasts are big and well priced..and the eclectic decor cannot be placed into a category, other than to say that it's..well..unique..think 50's diner done by a drunken interior designer..and will surely transfix you nearly as much as the meals themselves! A ten minute drive if you have a car, and no more than a ten dollar ride by cab if you don't. In reference to Cafe Zen recommended by the other poster..I'd agree that it's also a great breakfast restaurant in the laid-back Kits Beach area of Vancouver..but I think Sophie's might be more 'fun' and their portions are certainly larger! Hope this helps!
#16
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
To Cal101: Thanks for the question! there are three main options for you to consider. First, is the YVR shuttle..you can't miss it as it's a big ugly green bus that runs from the airport (www.yvrairporter.com for schedule) about every twenty minutes to most downtown hotels including the Renaissance. The damage is about 12 bucks per person. Your next option is a cab, which will run you about 35 dollars plus or minus depending on traffic (please pay with a credit card or canadian cash to avoid being ripped off on the exchange rate). Finally, Limojet Gold has a flat rate of 39 plus taxes and gratuity from the airport to downtown hotels (maximum six passengers for this rate)..you can pick them up at the limo stand at the arrivals level along with the airporter shuttle and taxis. Just make sure you confirm with the limo driver in advance the flat rate and don't let him take you for a ride - so to speak. Unfortunately, not unlike other cities, I've seen my fair share of Vancouver cabbies and limo drivers try to take advantage of travelers. Hope this helps!
#17
Spencer, TN
688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Shoppie, thnak you so much for your reply and suggestions. You can't imagine how wonderful it will be to be somewhere in June without the humity we have here in So. Florida!! I think the Times Square Suites is rated #2 in Vancouver on Tripadvisor, and I found out about it here on CC. Do yoiu know if there are any stores nearby to purchase food, since there is a full kitchen, we could have snacks and some food to save some money, 4 people can get expensive eating out. Also, do you know how far it is to public transportation, the trolly or double decker bus, they told me it's just a "short walk".
Nancy
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#18
Vancouver, BC
13 Posts
Joined May 2006
To grannynanny: Just up from your hotel, east, along Robson street at 1675 Robson you'll find a Caper's Community Market, a full service grocery store with a unique commitment to the environment and the community. Here you'll find a wide variety of organic produce, deli items packaged in biodegradable containers, and various 'fair-trade' products..I'm sure there are several nearby convenience and mini-mart stores in that locale also for those quick fill-ups! Public transportation downtown is ubiquitous and I'm sure there'll be a bus stop within steps of your hotel, your hotel staff should be able to assist you in determining which buses to catch and their times depending on your destination. The trolley bus is also an option..you can pick it up west about five or six blocks on Robson at the Blue Horizon Hotel or North along Denman and then cut over to the Westin Bayshore (you may like to wander the beautiful seawall promenade anyways, which can be accessed by the Westin Bayshore). The GrayLine double decker bus should stop in similar locations, although I don't remember exactly where - and GrayLine's website wasn't much help..your hotel staff will be able to give you hop on/hop off locations for the double decker I'm sure. Hope this helps!
#19
Greenville, South Carolina
363 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Shoppie - Thank you very much for the airport transportation info, it was just what I was looking for and I am sure will be useful to others also.
#20
Spencer, TN
688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Thanks again, your help is greatly appreciated.
Nancy (grannynanny)
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