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steve4031

HAL transfers Seattle airport Vancouver day of cruise

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I’ve researched and determined that the cheapest  to get to Vancouver is to fly from my hometown airport to Seattle the day before the cruise and then get to the port.  My first thought was to fly in a day early and then take evening train to Vancouver and stay in a hotel there.  Then I thought about the HAL transfer from Seattle airport.  I could spend the night in Seattle and catch one on f these the day of the cruise.

 

Questions:

 

1. What time do these start leaving the airport for the port?

 

2. How full is the bus?   

 

3.  Does taking the bus guarantee getting on the ship even if there is a unexpected delay?   

 

 

Thank you

 

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IMO, I would feel better taking a bus to Vancouver the night before and staying in Vancouver for the night.  Hotels downtown are a bit expensive, but many are within walking distance or cheap taxi ride to the pier.  Hotels in the airport area are much less expensive, and some are close to the Skytrain, a quick and low cost option.

 

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We stayed at the Sheraton Downtown where the bus was to pick us up at 10 AM to go to Vancouver.  The bus was coming from the airport.  We did this several times and only once was there a hipcup.

 

The bus had to wait for a couple of late planes.

 

When the bus got to our hotel, it was already loaded -- arrived around 11:30.  There were about 30 of us.  The new bus arrived around 12:30.  Traffic was heavy and we got to Vancouver well after 4 -- they held the ship for us.  There was no snack box as we had had on the other buses.  Glad we had packed snack crackers.

 

OH -- we did book the Sheraton on our own.

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I did exactly what you are thinking about a few years ago. It worked well, with the exception that I didn't like getting to the pier at 2:00 PM---much later than I like.

I was on the first bus (or two) that morning; we were assigned based on the time we arrived at the airport. We left sometime after 9:00 AM (IIRC), with the second bus heading out an hour or so later. We had a break on the US side of the border, a reasonable holdup at the border where we had to disembark to clear Immigration, then reboarded, and arrived, as I said, around 2:00 PM. The second bus got held up, I think at the border, and arrived much later.

Personally, if I had to do this again, I would rather pay a higher air fare to go to Vancouver, but embark earlier. But if price was a bigger consideration, I would do this again.

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We live in the Seattle area and ALWAYS fly, take the train, or bus A DAY EARLY. Stay overnight in Vancouver to avoid any glitches and board at your leasure. Much less stressful.

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Greetings,

 

i am definitely flying in a day early.  I think I am  now going to take an early plane to Seattle and take the evening Amtrak to Vancouver the day before the cruise.  Then I can head down to the cruise terminal at my own pace.  I have the Hilton Metrotown boomed.  

 

I too too would rather get on the boat earlier rather than later.  

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Good choice. The light rail can take you from Seatac to the King St. Station in Seattle where you connect with Amtrak. 

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For us it was seamless—2nd bus at 10:00 am, quick passport stop, and sitting in the MDR by 1:00, thanks to being able to use our Global Entry at the US passport control at Canada Place. However, I was stressed the whole time knowing others’ experiences and pitfalls I had overlooked.

 

I booked the only direct flight to Seatac from my airport for the day before, but once I realized that a late-day summer storm could have delayed us a day, causing us to miss the shuttle, I knew I had planned wrong. If booking the day before, catch an early flight. We flew with a companion certificate so saved $800 even with shuttle cost over the quoted airfare price. But I felt stressed. 

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I’m familiar with the light rail and process for getting to King street Station.  If I catch an early morning flight out of Chicago I Can go to Kings St., Station store my bags and then have lunch at Ivars seafood restaurant and then catch the train to Vancouver. 

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You're starting your vacation the right way! 

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Go the day before, it will probably be less stress.  Border crossings to Canada can be quite slow during summer especially on weekends.

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Yes Seattle to Vancouver is about 5 hours by bus, 20 minutes by plane. The question you have to ask is “Are you prepared to miss the ship?”

 

if if you are then go for it. We live in Vancouver and I would not recommend it unless you are coming up in a private vehicle and plan to arrive at the pier at noon. 

 

Good luck and and enjoy your cruise. 

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46 minutes ago, Schooner-ca said:

Yes Seattle to Vancouver is about 5 hours by bus, 20 minutes by plane. The question you have to ask is “Are you prepared to miss the ship?”

 

if if you are then go for it. We live in Vancouver and I would not recommend it unless you are coming up in a private vehicle and plan to arrive at the pier at noon. 

 

Good luck and and enjoy your cruise. 

 

 

I appreciate the heads up.  I’m not interested in a 5 hour bus ride period.  I now plan to fly into Seattle Friday morning the day before the cruise.  If the flight is on time then I will take the light rail downtown.  I will have time for late lunch/early dinner.  Then I will catch the 7 pm train to Vancouver which arrives at 11 pm.  I go to the Hilton Metrotown.  The day of the cruise I take the sky train to the port arriving early enough to board and still follow HAL protocol.  

 

If my morning flight is delayed i still I still have most of the day to get to Seattle to catch my train.  I intend to buy cruise insurance.  If flights gets get canceled it will be much more challenging.  

 

I appreciate the feedback.  

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11 hours ago, Schooner-ca said:

Yes Seattle to Vancouver is about 5 hours by bus, 20 minutes by plane. The question you have to ask is “Are you prepared to miss the ship?”

 

if if you are then go for it. We live in Vancouver and I would not recommend it unless you are coming up in a private vehicle and plan to arrive at the pier at noon. 

 

Good luck and and enjoy your cruise. 

We did a Quick Shuttle Bus a couple of years ago and along the way we had to stop to pickup passengers from the previous bus which broke down!  I am not sure if those people made their cruise, as it was cutting it close timewise.  We exited the bus near the airport so did not get to see what happened, but I would have been very neverous if it were me.

 

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14 hours ago, steve4031 said:

...Then I will catch the 7 pm train to Vancouver which arrives at 11 pm.  I go to the Hilton Metrotown.  The day of the cruise I take the sky train to the port arriving early enough to board and still follow HAL protocol.  

Two caveats about this plan - first, if the train is late enough SkyTrain will have stopped running, and second at any time of day on all transit except the Canada Line to/from the airport you are not supposed to have large bags (bylaws make it unlawful to put them anywhere except on your lap or under your seat, and only the Canada Line trains actually have underseat storage).

 

Enforcement of the rules is low as the trains are automated, and as long as you wait until after the commuter rush in the morning you might even get away with it if there are staff around (empty train means a bag on a seat does not interfere with other pax), but it's always against the rules - and enforcement consists of asking you to leave the vehicle then fining you $186 if you don't. Either way, it would suck to start your vacation... so you really should take a cab when you have luggage.

 

Plenty of folks do take bags on transit and most do get away with it, so it's up to you if you want to risk it - but a Plan B for if SkyTrain has stopped running is definitely needed. We use the evening Amtrak to get between our Portland and Vancouver homes, and when it does run late it runs LATE - as soon as it gets beyond about a half-hour delay it misses the safe 'pocket' between freight trains and the delay gets longer and longer at almost every station stop as the train is held to allow freight to get past on the many single-track parts of the line. If we aren't home by 11:30pm, it's pretty consistently 2am which means no SkyTrain.

 

Cabs are all metered so traffic is the big variable - late at night that's not an issue but around the pier on a cruise day the cabs crawl along slower than walking pace with the meter ticking up. I'd ballpark the Hilton at $25 on the meter from Pac Central, but closer to $40 heading to the pier next day by cab even if you wait until after 10am to avoid rush hour. Given the potential for a very short night in the hotel, consider a cheaper brand that's actually downtown - e.g. the Hampton Inn if you have/collect Hilton points, or if you can stand the thought of 'staying at the Y' then the YWCA Hotel is actually one of the best-reviewed downtown hotels as well as offering ridiculous value (and they do have 'real' hotel rooms, with en suite private bath).

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I appreciate all the help that I’ve gotten here.  United’s Award booking window opened up and I have decent connection through Phoenix on 7/31.  Depart Ohare 10 am.  Arrive Phoenix 11:59.  Depart Phoenix 3:20 pm and arrive Vancouver at 6:30 pm.  It’s a long day of travel but a decent departure hour from O’Hare and longer layover in Phoenix gives some cushion for delays.  Best part I end up in Vancouver using only 12.5 k miles.  

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I would never fly to Seattle.  It is a pain and there are so many flight choices direct to Vancouver.  Never stay at a hotel near the cruise terminal.  There are lots of inexpensive choices in downtown.  A cab to the cruise terminal is 10bucks Canadian.  I have been commuting L.A. to Vancouver for 22 years and it is easy.

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1 hour ago, corkpopr said:

I would never fly to Seattle.  It is a pain and there are so many flight choices direct to Vancouver.  Never stay at a hotel near the cruise terminal.  There are lots of inexpensive choices in downtown.  A cab to the cruise terminal is 10bucks Canadian.  I have been commuting L.A. to Vancouver for 22 years and it is easy.

 

I agree.  But the flights to Vancouver from Chicago were an eye watering 1100 each way in coach.   Thankfully I found a good mileage redemption.  

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I’m getting lucky with United’s frequent flier miles availability. Booked a 25k business class ticket back to Chicago.  Yes, the flight leaves at 10:30 pm but I get to hang out in the maple leaf lounge at the Vancouver airport after a day of sight seeing.  And I can take a shower in the lounge.  So it should be a great end to a great trip. 

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