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gjb2019

Booking Nieuw Amst, Alaska, Vancouver - two questions

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New to this both HAL, and cruising in general) and am unable to locate answers to a few questions on the HAL website. Hoping people here can help me out...

 

We are booking a September Inside Passage cruise, roundtrip Vancouver. Does anyone know what time the HAL counter, for check-in, actually opens up (as opposed to the time it might state on the travel documents)? Have people had success with turning up much earlier and being able to get through before the crowds show up? We need to make arrangements far in advance for when to arrive at the port, so it'd be very helpful to know what the earliest time people have found they can check-in might be.

 

The other question we have is whether or not we will be allowed to bring bottled water and cans of ginger ale with us, as either carry-on or checked baggage?

 

Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, gjb2019 said:

New to this both HAL, and cruising in general) and am unable to locate answers to a few questions on the HAL website. Hoping people here can help me out...

 

We are booking a September Inside Passage cruise, roundtrip Vancouver. Does anyone know what time the HAL counter, for check-in, actually opens up (as opposed to the time it might state on the travel documents)? Have people had success with turning up much earlier and being able to get through before the crowds show up? We need to make arrangements far in advance for when to arrive at the port, so it'd be very helpful to know what the earliest time people have found they can check-in might be.

 

The other question we have is whether or not we will be allowed to bring bottled water and cans of ginger ale with us, as either carry-on or checked baggage?

 

Thanks!

I believe the time indicated in your travel documents would be the correct one.

 

As to bringing beverages onboard.  You are allowed a "reasonable amount" of water and sodas.  They must be carried on, not in checked bags.

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No matter what our documents state and the disembarkation port, we arrive around 10:30 and are usually on the ship between 11:30 and Noon.

 

You are permitted to bring as much soda and bottled water as you want -- no limit.  Has to be with your carry-on luggage.  NOW -- some people have stuck a label on their bottled water, etc. and had it delivered to their cabin.  But as thin as these bottles are, I would be afraid that many of the bottles would be smashed.

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1 minute ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

No matter what our documents state and the disembarkation port, we arrive around 10:30 and are usually on the ship between 11:30 and Noon.

 

You are permitted to bring as much soda and bottled water as you want -- no limit.  Has to be with your carry-on luggage.  NOW -- some people have stuck a label on their bottled water, etc. and had it delivered to their cabin.  But as thin as these bottles are, I would be afraid that many of the bottles would be smashed.

 

Oh dear ... we would like to bring at least a 12-pak of bottled water (plastic bottles) with us, and that's pretty heavy to carry around with us until the cabin is ready. Glad to hear it's okay to bring it, but was hoping it could just get checked with our bags.

 

Is that at the Vancouver port, that you have gone as early as 10:30?

 

thanks

 

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3 minutes ago, gjb2019 said:

 

Oh dear ... we would like to bring at least a 12-pak of bottled water (plastic bottles) with us, and that's pretty heavy to carry around with us until the cabin is ready. Glad to hear it's okay to bring it, but was hoping it could just get checked with our bags.

 

Is that at the Vancouver port, that you have gone as early as 10:30?

 

thanks

 

If it would help any, I'll just point out that you can bring beverages onboard from port stops, also.

 

Add to that - the water onboard (from the taps) is processed the same as most bottled waters.  You might think about just bringing a personal refillable water bottle to use.  That would also cut down on the plastic waste onboard.

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Yes -- even at Vancouver pier.

 

HAL tries to have all cabins ready by 11:30 so that you can drop off all carry-ons before going to lunch, exploring the ship, etc.

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You might find this thread useful:

 

There are a number of other similar threads in the West Coast Homeports Forum and in the Canada Ports of Call forum.

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One other issue.  Have you looked at flights?  Holland recommends no flights departing Vancouver earlier than 1100.  We're flying back to Alabama through Atlanta.  The earliest flights after 1100 are at 7PM  won't get home until 10 on Sunday.  If you're flying in the day before, best book hotels now.  Vancouver hotels are expensive.

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3 hours ago, gjb2019 said:

New to this both HAL, and cruising in general) and am unable to locate answers to a few questions on the HAL website. Hoping people here can help me out...

 

We are booking a September Inside Passage cruise, roundtrip Vancouver. Does anyone know what time the HAL counter, for check-in, actually opens up (as opposed to the time it might state on the travel documents)? Have people had success with turning up much earlier and being able to get through before the crowds show up? We need to make arrangements far in advance for when to arrive at the port, so it'd be very helpful to know what the earliest time people have found they can check-in might be.

 

The other question we have is whether or not we will be allowed to bring bottled water and cans of ginger ale with us, as either carry-on or checked baggage?

 

Thanks!

Hi, I live in Vancouver have embarked here 6 times, we get there about 9:30am.  Security luggage screening opens at 10:00am.  We get our luggage screened then we go through U.S. customs, no waits at all.  We then get checked in by HAL, then we sit in chairs until we are ready to embark around 11:30 am.  All very relaxed. You just need patience while waiting in the chairs to embark. But everything is done you even have your key card.   Can be there sitting for 30 minutes.  We chit chat with other cruisers, all very nice.  Last year we were on-board at 10:30am was advised rooms were not ready but we could go to public areas.  There were three ships in port that day.  Most of the time they wait until cabins are ready.  Have a great cruise.

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13 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

Vancouver hotels are expensive.

That is an understatement!  Even Airbnb is expensive in Vancouver!  

We are going to Vancouver in September for 12 days to visit our son and at one stage thought I would have to remortgage the house to pay for accommodation.

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1 hour ago, VMax1700 said:

That is an understatement!  Even Airbnb is expensive in Vancouver!  

We are going to Vancouver in September for 12 days to visit our son and at one stage thought I would have to remortgage the house to pay for accommodation.

Our airfare is also very expensive.  We'll not be sailing again from SEA/VAN.

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15 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

One other issue.  Have you looked at flights?  Holland recommends no flights departing Vancouver earlier than 1100.  We're flying back to Alabama through Atlanta.  The earliest flights after 1100 are at 7PM  won't get home until 10 on Sunday.  If you're flying in the day before, best book hotels now.  Vancouver hotels are expensive.

 

As regards the hotels, yes very expensive near or at the port.  But just a few blocks away it gets much cheaper, and I find comparable to hotels/motels in Fort Lauderdale, for example.

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On our July 21 Noordam cruise, we flew into Vancouver from DFW the day of the cruise. We landed at 11:30am and Canadian Customs in the Airport was a night mare took over an hour to get through as 100's of people were in line ahead of us in a line that snaked back and forth. Then to the HAL transfer bus and embarkation at the cruise port another 30 minutes. Took just a few minutes to get our sea passes and finish with HAL, but back to a long line to go through US Customs before we could board. It was after 2pm by the time we boarded and got to our cabin. The steps counter on my watch said I walked over 7000 steps in the airport and the cruise terminal.

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As a local who cruises twice a year out of Vancouver, US customs has had its staff cut due to budgeting.  That is where the hold up is now a days.  Even Nexus and handicap waits are extremely long.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

In order to minimize waiting times, is it better to arrive early, before 10AM, or to arrive later, after 130PM?  We are arriving the night before.  Our hotel allows late check-outs up to 2 PM.  I'd much rather spend the time in a hotel room than getting to know a couple of thousand people waiting in line.  There will be three ships in port.  We do have global entry and passports.

Edited by RocketMan275

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6 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

In order to minimize waiting times, is it better to arrive early, before 10AM, or to arrive later, after 130PM?  ...

 

Never having done this before, I know I am not the best person to offer any opinion ... from the responses here, however, it looks like if there might be a hold-up at the port it'd be with waiting for US customs clearance. Customs line-ups can be brutal depending on how many officers are on duty and how many questions need to be asked of howevermany people in line ahead of you, and I'm not a risk-taker, so for me, going early-early in the hopes of being toward the front (rather than the back) of any possible long customs line-ups, is likely to be less stressful to me. Everyone is different though ... your mileage may vary!

 

Really appreciate all the input from you folks who have posted here - thank you very much!

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28 minutes ago, gjb2019 said:

 

Never having done this before, I know I am not the best person to offer any opinion ... from the responses here, however, it looks like if there might be a hold-up at the port it'd be with waiting for US customs clearance. Customs line-ups can be brutal depending on how many officers are on duty and how many questions need to be asked of howevermany people in line ahead of you, and I'm not a risk-taker, so for me, going early-early in the hopes of being toward the front (rather than the back) of any possible long customs line-ups, is likely to be less stressful to me. Everyone is different though ... your mileage may vary!

 

Really appreciate all the input from you folks who have posted here - thank you very much!

Appreciate your thoughts.  

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