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Solstice and Seattle


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Having traveled to both Vancouver and Seattle several times over the last 20 years, I would make the following observations.

 

My cruises out of both ports have gone smoothly. However, I have had issues at the Vancouver airport twice when flying in.  In both cases the plane landed and then the wait, for the luggage was extremely long.  Several planes came in after ours and got their luggage fairly quickly but our flight took over an hour to show up on the board.  That said Vancouver is a city we have spent considerable time in and will do so in the future.

 

As far as Seattle goes the airport has been fine, though I am very annoyed at their decision to get rid of Anthony's  in the central terminal.  To me I have noticed substantial deterioration of down town Seattle as a tourist experience. We have stayed at a number of hotels, including the Marriott by the harbor, as well as the Grand Hyatt.  The area between the Grand Hyatt and harbor is not what it used to be.  We do not find the city as an attractive place to visit as we used to and will not be spending much time there in the future.

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9 hours ago, npcl said:

Having traveled to both Vancouver and Seattle several times over the last 20 years, I would make the following observations.

 

My cruises out of both ports have gone smoothly. However, I have had issues at the Vancouver airport twice when flying in.  In both cases the plane landed and then the wait, for the luggage was extremely long.  Several planes came in after ours and got their luggage fairly quickly but our flight took over an hour to show up on the board.  That said Vancouver is a city we have spent considerable time in and will do so in the future.

 

As far as Seattle goes the airport has been fine, though I am very annoyed at their decision to get rid of Anthony's  in the central terminal.  To me I have noticed substantial deterioration of down town Seattle as a tourist experience. We have stayed at a number of hotels, including the Marriott by the harbor, as well as the Grand Hyatt.  The area between the Grand Hyatt and harbor is not what it used to be.  We do not find the city as an attractive place to visit as we used to and will not be spending much time there in the future.

 

Sorry to hear  your first hand report.  Luckily, we were able to visit before it went downhill. Pre cruise we stayed in a hilly area  near  many nice spaces and took the " tram" to others. 

 

Our only airport issue was the distance and traffic. Post cruise, we stayed  overnight closer to the airport to avoid any traffic issues. Our motel aranged for  transport to a great on the water dinner experience..best salmon ever!

 

Sad to hear and watch  tv reports of the lawlessness...but  that  all semed to be away from the port which we thought was quite efficient. Great scenic sailaway!

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I have to see my oncologist in Seattle in a couple of weeks.  The route to his office goes through the autonomous zone that was cleared more than six weeks ago, and that is quite peaceful today.  That said, the trip might be dicey due to the "lawlessness" that some believe still exists.  So wish me luck!

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Just amazing watching people lose their stuff over a city where, at the very earliest, the next cruise embarkation will be in May, 2021.  9 months from now.  

Having "braved" a coup in Thailand, insurrections in several cities in Mexico and protests in other places worldwide, the worry I have about Seattle would be....none.

And although it is not really a choice because of itineraries, given the choice of sailing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Seattle, it would be an easy decision.

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On 8/11/2020 at 3:03 PM, Fouremco said:

Earlier this year, YVR was named North America's best airport for the 11th year in a row. It was also named 13th best airport in the world overall, as well as the very best in the world for airports serving 20-30 million passengers annually.  That's a pretty impressive track record. https://www.worldairportawards.com

 

Personally, I've flown in and out of YVR on numerous occasions for both business and pleasure, the latter including but not restricted to cruises, and I've never experienced any issues. It would appear that your experience was definitely an exception to the rule.

 

I agree that YVR is a great airport.... but the Canada Place Cruise Terminal is not (at least pre-COVID). It's always over crowded and pain to get in and out of the terminal. 

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2 minutes ago, GateGuardian said:

 

I agree that YVR is a great airport.... but the Canada Place Cruise Terminal is not (at least pre-COVID). It's always over crowded and pain to get in and out of the terminal. 

Maybe we've just been lucky and have booked cruises that have embarked/disembarked on days that had lower port loads and the terminal was far less crowded. Of course, booking a return flight with lots of time to get to the airport really helps too at the other end of the cruise.

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41 minutes ago, GateGuardian said:

 

I agree that YVR is a great airport.... but the Canada Place Cruise Terminal is not (at least pre-COVID). It's always over crowded and pain to get in and out of the terminal. 

I have had a good experience at Canada Place -- flawless, but I stayed in the Pan Pacific Hotel which is right at the cruise terminal.  Our bags went from our room at the hotel to our room on the ship without us doing anything.  Crowds were minimal, but I'm more of a 2000 passenger ship person so perhaps that makes a difference.  I thought it was an awesome cruise terminal.  So, I guess it depends on your personal experiences.

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56 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Maybe we've just been lucky and have booked cruises that have embarked/disembarked on days that had lower port loads and the terminal was far less crowded. Of course, booking a return flight with lots of time to get to the airport really helps too at the other end of the cruise.

We have found that there can be a big difference from one day to another.  Things seem to be worse early in the season. The number/size of ships in ports also make a difference.

 

You have a couple of impacts over the past couple of years due to various issues such as the delay in US budget approval.  On those days staffing for US customs in the port was reduced.

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12 minutes ago, npcl said:

We have found that there can be a big difference from one day to another.  Things seem to be worse early in the season. The number/size of ships in ports also make a difference.

 

You have a couple of impacts over the past couple of years due to various issues such as the delay in US budget approval.  On those days staffing for US customs in the port was reduced.

Good point re budgets. We've run into that problem at Port Everglades, but with mid-afternoon flights haven't been overly disadvantaged.

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4 hours ago, ECCruise said:

Just amazing watching people lose their stuff over a city where, at the very earliest, the next cruise embarkation will be in May, 2021.  9 months from now.  

Having "braved" a coup in Thailand, insurrections in several cities in Mexico and protests in other places worldwide, the worry I have about Seattle would be....none.

And although it is not really a choice because of itineraries, given the choice of sailing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Seattle, it would be an easy decision.

 

Think its a legitimate question, people do like to book flights and hotels...

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11 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

 

Think its a legitimate question, people do like to book flights and hotels...

True. I see that. 

But the fear/distaste over something that was largely over weeks ago and limited to a small area (same as Portland) is amusing. 

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7 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

True. I see that. 

But the fear/distaste over something that was largely over weeks ago and limited to a small area (same as Portland) is amusing. 

 

Agreed!  LOL!

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I live in downtown Seattle (20 years) and I am saddened to read the concerns from those of you about visiting and cruising from our city. Some of this may be from mis-reporting by media. It is not as bad as they make it look. For example, during the demonstrations, the media focused on the few that were violent. That makes for good TV. Fortunately the police started focusing their energy on arresting those people. Now we have very little demonstrations, and the few that happen are peaceful. (there may be an idiot or two every now and then, but they are handled quickly). And most of the demonstrations were far away from where most tourists stay.

 

Our city has and will continue to have police. This whole defunding police thing is very bad branding.  The way I see it going is the police will focus on public safety. Calls for mentally ill and homeless situations will be taken off their plates and given to people who are trained to deal with those issues. 

 

Seattle has grown by 100,000+ people in the last decade, and Amazon has 50,000 mostly high-paying jobs located in downtown. This has driven the cost of living skyward. Of course this had negative impacts on some people and additional homelessness is one of the effects. Success brings some issues. New housing and shelters are being built, or planned to be built, and that will help in the long run. However I agree that there is visible homelessness in parts of the city.

 

I hope that you reconsider and try cruising out of Seattle in the future. We are going through growing pains but I am confident that we will come out the other end a better city. Lots of good things under construction now, such as the new waterfront promenade (still a few years from completion).

 

Chuck

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Here is another problem and I don't know if this applies to Seattle or not.   Many cities due to the covid are placing homeless people into hotels and some cities are supplying them with drugs and alcohol.    I have seen on the news that these are not fly by night hotels but major chains.   In San Francisco this week they found some meth labs in the hotels. Most concerning was a report this morning that a homeless man was given a voucher for a hotel in Fort Lauderdale and murdered someone else in the hotel.  

 

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2020-08-12/homeless-man-accused-of-killing-hotel-guest-in-south-florida

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Here is the real story on the ground since this started out about Seattle.

At hotels for homeless Seattleites, fear and frustration outside but comparative calm within

Honestly, since a big percentage of those being housed in hotels are homeless US veterans (the DOD has earmarked over $200 million specifically for this purpose) I am more concerned that these people are safe rather than worrying about one isolated incident in 2 different cities. 

And I would go to Seattle tomorrow.  And stay in a hotel.  And worry about nothing.

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On 8/11/2020 at 7:12 PM, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

Celebrity normally offers cruises to Alaska both out of Seattle and Vancouver.  Take your choice.  I will say that my embarcation from Vancouver was hell and I will never set foot in that cruise terminal again.  And it was entirely due to having to clear US Customs.  Not properly staffed.  I stood in line for over 4 hours and was completely wiped out by the time I got on the ship.  I've sailed out of Seattle a few times.  Was there last May for an Alaska cruise on the Solstice.  We stayed at Inn at the Market.  And went up to see the Chihuly Museum.  Did not see homeless people.  I've always found Seattle to be a very pleasant city, although I liked it much better when Celebrity sailed from the pier downtown.  Walking distance from Inn at the Market.  Vancouver is a lovely city as well, but they need to get the cruise terminal under control.  

 

May 2019 - Alaska cruise out of Vancouver - embarkation from Hell (hours and hours) and that was WITH a fast track through Customs with our NEXUS (Global Entry) card.  Customs wasn’t the issue, but understaffed Cruise Desk agents, definitely were.

 

October 2019 - Pacific Coast cruise out of Vancouver - one of the speediest and best embarkations ever!

 

Same year, same cruise terminal with two polar opposite experiences.

Edited by hvbaskey
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20 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Here is the real story on the ground since this started out about Seattle.

At hotels for homeless Seattleites, fear and frustration outside but comparative calm within

Honestly, since a big percentage of those being housed in hotels are homeless US veterans (the DOD has earmarked over $200 million specifically for this purpose) I am more concerned that these people are safe rather than worrying about one isolated incident in 2 different cities. 

And I would go to Seattle tomorrow.  And stay in a hotel.  And worry about nothing.

One isolated incident in 2 different cities?  Do you call Chop with 2 murders and taking over a police precinct by a bunch of rioting radicals an isolated incident?  That's pure anarchy.  My cousin lives South of Portland.  That city has been under siege by radicals for over 2 months as they attempt to burn down a Federal Courthouse.   Now they are heading for the suburbs.   

 

I'm staying away from Seattle, embark or debark, for a long, long time.  Celebrity should consider using Vancouver as embarkation for Alaska cruises.  

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19 hours ago, cruisetonowhere10 said:

I have had a good experience at Canada Place -- flawless, but I stayed in the Pan Pacific Hotel which is right at the cruise terminal.  Our bags went from our room at the hotel to our room on the ship without us doing anything.  Crowds were minimal, but I'm more of a 2000 passenger ship person so perhaps that makes a difference.  I thought it was an awesome cruise terminal.  So, I guess it depends on your personal experiences.

 

Last October (2019), we stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront (hop / skip / jump from Canada Place) and watched the Eclipse come in.  They too offer porter services (complimentary) and our bags were taken from our hotel room directly to the ship’s cabin.  LOVED it 🙂

Eclipse%20YVR%20Arrival%203-600x400.jpg

 

FairmontViewRoom709-600x400.jpg

 

Edited by hvbaskey
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4 minutes ago, Auntiemomo said:

One isolated incident in 2 different cities?  Do you call Chop with 2 murders and taking over a police precinct by a bunch of rioting radicals an isolated incident?  That's pure anarchy.  My cousin lives South of Portland.  That city has been under siege by radicals for over 2 months as they attempt to burn down a Federal Courthouse.   Now they are heading for the suburbs.   

 

I'm staying away from Seattle, embark or debark, for a long, long time.  Celebrity should consider using Vancouver as embarkation for Alaska cruises.  

Please read.  It helps.

The 2 incidents mentioned by the other poster and cited by me were concerned ONLY with those that happened in hotels that were housing homeless individuals.  One incident in San Francisco and 1 incident in Fort Lauderdale.  It had nothing to do with Portland 

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17 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Please read.  It helps.

The 2 incidents mentioned by the other poster and cited by me were concerned ONLY with those that happened in hotels that were housing homeless individuals.  One incident in San Francisco and 1 incident in Fort Lauderdale.  It had nothing to do with Portland 

 

Yes, it does help.  Unfortunately, some people don't want to read.

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1 hour ago, ECCruise said:

Here is the real story on the ground since this started out about Seattle.

At hotels for homeless Seattleites, fear and frustration outside but comparative calm within

Honestly, since a big percentage of those being housed in hotels are homeless US veterans (the DOD has earmarked over $200 million specifically for this purpose) I am more concerned that these people are safe rather than worrying about one isolated incident in 2 different cities. 

And I would go to Seattle tomorrow.  And stay in a hotel.  And worry about nothing.

while the recent reports do not bother me there are a few reasons I consider Seattle to be less attractive to visit now than in the past. It tends to be simple things dealing with cleanliness, ease of getting around hassle free , availability of restaurants, public facilities,  A couple observations from my last visit last August.

 

1. The number of restaurants that used to be available in the area around the Grand Hyatt is down substantially compared to a couple of years ago.  Some of those still open now look shabbier.

 

2. Definitely more of a negative impact with much more aggressive homeless behavior.  In a two day visit witnessed multiple times of harassment of those passing by. Watched a fight on Pine street in the middle of the day. Some acted like the public restrooms in Pikes market was there personal space and were verbally aggressive towards tourists trying to use them. Given a choice I would rather travel to an area without such issues

 

3. Far less felling of safety walking in area around hotels in the evening, even between hotels and  Westlake Center.  Far more people loitering on the street.  According to one discussion I had with a police officer the area between 3 and 5th and between Pine and Union was somewhat of a trouble spot for them.  Most of which he stated was drug related.

 

The changes is Seattle are similar to those around times square in NYC.  A few years ago you could go around that area fairly easily and it made for a nice couple of days while hitting some Broadway plays.  The last couple of years you cannot go 10 feet without getting harassed in some fashion or another.

 

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