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Canada Day celebrations in Vancouver July 1st


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We are taking a cruise leaving from Canada Place on July 1st, Canada Day. I understand festivities start in the morning, lasting all day near the terminal. I am guessing it will be pretty busy as we check in. I did post this on the Pacific Princess Roll Call too, but there are not too many of us on there, despite this cruise being sold out in several categories for some time now.

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We are taking a cruise leaving from Canada Place on July 1st, Canada Day. I understand festivities start in the morning, lasting all day near the terminal. I am guessing it will be pretty busy as we check in. I did post this on the Pacific Princess Roll Call too, but there are not too many of us on there, despite this cruise being sold out in several categories for some time now.

 

The activities are on the pier itself. You will enter into the underground bypassing all the activities. However, before you check in you can check it out. Lots of fun stuff happens. Here is the website:

 

http://www.canadaday.canadaplace.ca/

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We will be coming in via skytrain, so that may be busy I would imagine.

Actually I am looking forward to checking in, dropping our things in the stateroom, then checking out the festivities.

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We will be coming in via skytrain, so that may be busy I would imagine.

Actually I am looking forward to checking in, dropping our things in the stateroom, then checking out the festivities.

Don't expect to be allowed to do this - the Canadian immigration officers will almost certainly be finished with disembarking passengers and leave the building c.10am. By the time you get on board they'll be done so there will be nobody to process your reentry to Canada (i.e. you won't be allowed off as you are currently in the USA for all intents & purposes).

 

Drop your suitcases off with the longshoremen, then bribe the Pan Pacific hotel bellhops to hold your carry-ons for a while if they're too much to handle while wandering about Canada Place.

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Don't expect to be allowed to do this - the Canadian immigration officers will almost certainly be finished with disembarking passengers and leave the building c.10am. By the time you get on board they'll be done so there will be nobody to process your reentry to Canada (i.e. you won't be allowed off as you are currently in the USA for all intents & purposes).

 

 

I have read posts in the past by passengers who have boarded and then left the ship. They did post it was a pain entering Canada again and then entering the USA again when reboarding.

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Thanks for the heads up.

Do you think it makes a difference that I am Canadian, residing in Canada?

Reason I ask is that seven years ago, first ever cruise from Vancouver to Alaska on celebrity we did exactly that. I don't remember any kind of delays whatsoever.

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I too recall posts about getting off after boarding, but every post I've seen this year has said that pax were told they could not get back off - hence the warning. Since it's a public holiday I expect the bare minimum of staff numbers and time - would *you* like to work on Canada Day? ;-)

 

At the end of the day would you rather risk not being able to get off, or dealing with your carryons for a while? Plus the queues for boarding are usually shorter later in the day...

 

Your citizenship is irrelevant. On ship = USA/on shore = Canada so no immigration staff available = nobody gets off.

Edited by martincath
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I too recall posts about getting off after boarding, but every post I've seen this year has said that pax were told they could not get back off - hence the warning. Since it's a public holiday I expect the bare minimum of staff numbers and time - would *you* like to work on Canada Day? ;-)

 

At the end of the day would you rather risk not being able to get off, or dealing with your carryons for a while? Plus the queues for boarding are usually shorter later in the day...

 

Your citizenship is irrelevant. On ship = USA/on shore = Canada so no immigration staff available = nobody gets off.

 

 

If you are wanting to partake in some of the festivities at Canada Place, check in your luggage with the porters, have minimal carry-ons and go enjoy before heading through security/customs. Just make sure you check-in before the required time.

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I too recall posts about getting off after boarding, but every post I've seen this year has said that pax were told they could not get back off - hence the warning. Since it's a public holiday I expect the bare minimum of staff numbers and time - would *you* like to work on Canada Day? ;-)

 

At the end of the day would you rather risk not being able to get off, or dealing with your carryons for a while? Plus the queues for boarding are usually shorter later in the day...

 

Your citizenship is irrelevant. On ship = USA/on shore = Canada so no immigration staff available = nobody gets off.

 

 

I have not seen that in our travels through Canada Place. We were always allowed off after checking in and placing our carry-ons in the cabin.

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Please don't get me wrong - I am very grateful for the warning - the reason I love Cruise Critic. I was just surprised, but then, when I did it before it WAS seven years ago and my first ever cruise, so maybe I have forgotten and it was more time consuming than I now recall. And I was so excited by the whole idea of being on this huge ship nothing was going to dampen my enthusiasm.

Thanks again.

p.s. Twelve cruises later and I am still excited!

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I have not seen that in our travels through Canada Place. We were always allowed off after checking in and placing our carry-ons in the cabin.

Not denying yours or anyone else's story about being allowed off. Just pointing out that there are also recent tales of *not* being allowed off - and if there's a single day during cruise season when staffing will be at a minimum anywhere, it's July 1st...

 

If I'm wrong OP is inconvenienced by schlepping their carry-ons around - but also gains back whatever time they would have stood in line for embarkation and disembarkation. OTOH if my warning turns out correct, plans to attend celebrations post-boarding go *poof* - I'd rather be a Debbie Downer and assume the worst when those are the possibilities!

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Not denying yours or anyone else's story about being allowed off. Just pointing out that there are also recent tales of *not* being allowed off - and if there's a single day during cruise season when staffing will be at a minimum anywhere, it's July 1st...

 

If I'm wrong OP is inconvenienced by schlepping their carry-ons around - but also gains back whatever time they would have stood in line for embarkation and disembarkation. OTOH if my warning turns out correct, plans to attend celebrations post-boarding go *poof* - I'd rather be a Debbie Downer and assume the worst when those are the possibilities!

 

I would assume that the OP could check on arrival if it would be possible to get on the ship and then leave it.

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I would assume that the OP could check on arrival if it would be possible to get on the ship and then leave it.

 

That is exactly what I will try to find out once there. Planning on taking my mini Canadian flag with me so will be able to show my patriotism in any case.

Like I said, 12 cruises later and still excited either way, but glad to have the warning, then I will be prepared.

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I agree with all that's been said about boarding but have no experience with getting off/on ship after checking in.

I have a question for the OP: what are the order/dates of your itinerary? I ask this because a few years ago we left Vancouver on July 1 and it timed out that we were in Skagway on the 4th. They had a good 'whoop-de-do" for their national day. There was a parade (stated by a blast from the tour steam train's whistle) that went down, then back up, Main St.. The theme of the parade, naturally, was all about the gold rush that included more than one Mountie.

 

Have a good trip!

Edited by Mr_Astro
clarification and punctuation
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Yes please come down to Canada Place to enjoy our national holiday - I will be there volunteering all day - and am suppose to also do the parade in the evening but given that I am having minor old man's day surgery on the previous Friday I will just stick to the daytime events.

 

As for getting on or off the ship it could also depend on where you are cruising too - if it is Alaska - you clear US customs when you board the ship thus avoiding doing so in the first Alaskan port - you are then considered to be in the US so to leave the ship you would need to re-enter Canada and thus clear immigration.

 

If you are cruising south to SF or LA you don't clear US customs until your first US port.

 

As you are there in July you can't legally leave the ship without clearing Canadian customs.

 

Do as the others have suggested - drop your bags and come and join in the festivities.

 

Cheers!

 

Dennis

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Last year I attended the citizenship ceremony at Canada Place - it was a very moving and inspiring ceremony - they also ask all Canadians - even us native born - to stand and take the pledge of alliance to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd and join in a rousing version of O Canada.

 

Cheers!

 

Dennis

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While I agree with the concept of leaving luggage with the porters and going off to enjoy the Canada Day festivities (Plan A), Canadian Customs (CBSA) do have to keep crew at Canada Place after normal passenger disembarkation if only to deal with the coming and going of crew members and people who may have business aboard the ship. So leaving the ship is not an issue and is often done by pax but be aware you do have to go through the whole security and US customs procedure including the lines....so Plan A does have its merits.

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I strongly suggest that you drop off your luggage and board later.

There WILL be a shortage of CBSA agents that day. I work closely with CBSA and the enthusiam to work overtime on Canada Day is lacking. I would guess that a lot of the agents will be the "newbies" or students that have come on for the summer. That usually means longer wait times as they are more "by the book" compared to the vets.

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It will be busy at Canada Place - they are expecting crowds approaching 250,000 throughout the day and with sunny weather forecast it could even be more.

 

Also - the Olympic Flame will be lit starting at 7 PM - this was confirmed to me by a Port Metro Vancouver executive during our volunteer orientation meeting tonight at Canada Place.

 

As for watching the fireworks - most of the area right at Canada Place is reserved seating for the sponsers - the public can view it anywhere along the seawall til about the 9 o'clock gun - also can be watched at Lonsdale Quay.

 

To try and give more room for the cruise passengers using the entrance off of Howe St and with the main stage close by Canada Place and its volunteers will be tryng to get the crowd to enter the festivities at the foot of Burrard Street - this hopefully will make access to the terminal easier.

 

The fireworks start at 10:30 PM.

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers!

 

Dennis

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