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lana094

Are we cutting close? Flight arrives at 11:30 am on embarkation day

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Hi,

 

It is too late to change flight right now. We are less then 45 days from cruise from Vancouver. But I'm getting more and more nervous. Our direct flight from Newark supposed to arrive to Vancouver at 11:30 am. Celebrity Eclipse with embark at 4:30 pm. My understanding that the latest we have to be on the ship is 3:00 pm. There is one more ship in the port that day.

Question 1: How long does it take to go through customs and get your luggage in the Vancouver airport from US flight?

Question 2: In this time of the day (around noon) what is the fastest way to get to the port. Taxi or train?

Question 3: From your experience, where the worst bottleneck should we expect (customs, traffic, boarding the ship)? Any advice on how to avoid it?

 

Please tell me that we will make it???😨

 

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2 hours ago, lana094 said:

It is too late to change flight right now. We are less then 45 days from cruise from Vancouver.... Please tell me that we will make it???😨

 

 

My question is: is it really too late to change? Have you looked into it? Others will come along and give you a timeline of what to expect, but I wanted to ask anyway.

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I agree with Karen - it's almost never too late to change a flight, and with over a month there will be seats on some alternatives. What we're really looking at here is what would it cost you to change your flight, and is that amount worth risking the impact of missing the ship to your vacation?

 

Only you know your airline, thus it's policies/what you paid/what changing will result in being charged - you SHOULD look into that because a same day cross-continental flight is, to be blunt, a very foolish risk to take if it is in any way avoidable...

 

Once you have the info, weigh it against the reliability of your specific flight (you can Google for this, various flight trackers also record on-time performance, typical delays when there is one) and the local issues which are:

1) anything from a few minutes to over an hour at Immigration; depends entirely on how many other planes landed about the same time as you and during the 30-60mins beforehand. By the time you do that, bags should be available - 20 mins is a pretty safe bet for your suitcases to be on the carousel. Customs varies from seconds (hand over form or kiosk printout, keep moving) to hours (bringing in contraband, or legal-but-needs-paperwork stuff like ammo/guns, or random chance, or CBSA don't like your face and ask extra questions up to tear apart your luggage) but for the vast majority of folks is on the seconds end of the scale.

 

2) SkyTrain ALWAYS moves faster than cabs, as no other traffic to worry about. But there's a tiny extra walk at the airport, the frequency of the trains (probably 7-10 mins midday) and a ~8min extra walk to the pier - so end to end a cab is usually a wash with SkyTrain in timing - call it 45mins from walking out of customs to arrival at the pier.

 

3) the later you are, the less of a bottleneck boarding is (peak is noon through 2pm, but end time of peak depends strongly on how many other ships are in port) - curb to cabin in 20 minutes if there are no queues, but it can take 3 hours if you have a multiship day early in the season. Since you're talking about cruising in July all the new staff/training/processes stuff should have been resolved, so things should be running fairly smoothly and I note that Eclipse always shares port with 1 large HAL vessel and occasionally a very small luxury ship (Seabourn Sojourn), so I'd guess that your worst-case boarding time would be about 90mins; traffic noonish on Sundays you have no commuters to worry about and generally fewer cars - afternoon events could have an impact but the huge fireworks displays aren't until the end of the month and Canada Day is right at the start, so a 40-ish days from now cruise you shouldn't have any big scheuled events to worry about. There's always going to be at least a little construction adding to the theoretical 30min drive, but it's probably just an accident on one of the bridges that would be a common enough thing to consider planing for - and as long as the first bridge off the airport isn't impacted there are reasonably efficient routes to avoid the downtown bridges and get to the pier. If the brown stuff hits the proverbial fan travel time by cab can double. SkyTrain has it's own bridge, so only if there is a system failure does that travel time vary more than about a minute on the 26min trip so it is safer if you're planning for worst-case scenarios.

 

4) you didn't ask, but it's relevant and in your favour - since Eclipse sails RT cruises only in your timeframe, if you do miss boarding then at least you CAN join the ship at the first US port by flying up there. The cruise would then become a US-Canada one-way, so there's no law against it. So when you're weighing your flight change costs you need to balance against a low risk of you having to pay for hotels and flights to get you to your next port out of pocket. All-in-all I'd say that if you have a reliable airline, the odds that you will be delayed enough to miss the boat are on the slim end of things - but unfortunately pretty much every single factor except cab vs SkyTrain is outside your control so you are pretty much in the lap of the Gods!

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^   +1.

 

Exactly. My friend has laid it out perfectly here - gotta say, I was nervous just reading the reply!  😞 That's how close OP is cutting it, in my opinion.

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Interestingly, the couple traveling with us next week bought Princess EZ Air and they were allowed to book flights from New York to Vancouver that arrive YVR at 1pm on the day of cruise departure 😯!!  Their philosophy is that Princess is responsible for getting them there, but I would be a nervous wreck!!  

 

We’re flying in 2 days early!

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The only way you will have a problem is if there is a disaster at Newark.  Even if your flight is an hour late you will be fine.  The flight is direct which is a huge plus.  Allow 45 minutes max for immigration and 45 minutes max for a cab ride. Traffic at that time is not a problem It’s a 25 minute ride.

 

That gets you to the port by 2:00PM at the very latest. 

 

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thank you everybody for taking your time and replying to my post!

We were able to change our flight to come a day earlier (also direct flight). I guess we were lucky because it was a flight schedule change and airline waived the change fee.

I guess I don't need to worry about missing the ship.

 

Thank you again!

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5 hours ago, lana094 said:

We were able to change our flight to come a day earlier (also direct flight). .....I guess I don't need to worry about missing the ship.

 

Phewww! So happy for you. Now you can enjoy your trip with less worry. Have a great time! 😊

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Please make a change. Consider this - We had a cruise May 30 through June 8. We flew in to BWI from ATL pho for lunch on the 29th. We had a lovely day planned including and not over in a bed and breakfast and special transportation. The problem is that all four of our bags did not arrive with us. The short story is that they dribbled in throughout the evening with the last two arriving on the 11:15  flight (HH  took a cab over to retrieve that I was not trusting they would get to us in time).  If we had flown  in on the 30th, we would have left for that cruise with not one thing with us but our medications in the backpack.  Then on the flight back from BWI to ATL, they were such severe thunderstorms in Atlanta that the airport kept closing. We were taken off the plane at one point and later left to sit on the tarmac for hours. Everyone onboard missed their connecting flights. We arrived home 6 hours later than expected. We also had something similar happen to us after our last Alaska cruise when we flew from Vancouver to Seattle to Atlanta – that was about an eight hour difference due to delays. It is not a risk worth taking.

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Oops got distracted and didn’t see the last few posts. So glad you got it changed!

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