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Embarkation/Debarkation from Vancouver


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As part of my Alaska research, I'm looking at various ports of embarkation/debarkation. I read a comment on this board about the "challenges embarking from Vancouver" Since the search feature isn't working, I'm having a hard time finding posts about this. Can someone tell me the pros and cons of this port? Thanks!

 

Next Cruise: Alaska - 2005!

 

Triumph, Inspiration, Holiday, Explorer of the Seas, Granduer of the Seas, Glory, Conquest, Sensation

 

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Flights back to the US are more expensive and harder to schedule than from SEA, but you can get transportation to/from SEA fairly easily. Car/bus/train/limo are all options for getting from SEA to YVR.

 

I've been thru YVR 4 times on/off the ship and havent had more of a problem than anywhere else I've been.

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Embarkation in Vancouver was a real hassle. At the Vancouver airport we waited in long lines for over 2 hours to get through Canadian immigration. We turned in or customs statement at immigration and then collected our luggage without any further lines.

We spent 2 days in Vancouver and had to go through US immigration when we boarded the ship. This was another hour and a half.

 

Traveling out of Vancouver is not easy, but the city is magnificent and worth the effort. Besides, I think Seattle and San Francisco cruises are round trips to those cities which means you would miss Colleg Fjord and Anchorage.

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Hubby and I returned yesterday from the Summit at Vancouver. Disembarkation was a breeze (maybe because we were the only ship at the terminal?). We walked off the ship, found our luggage and spent no more than 15 minutes getting through the doors to a cab. Everything was well marked and there were guides at every corner. Cab ride into the airport ran $20 US. As we live in Phoenix, we flew direct back home on America West. From the time we walked up to the ticket counter to processing through US Customs, our time was about 40 minutes. Note: you will process much faster if you bring your US Passport -- the lines "on the other side" were at least 3 times longer. Hope this info helps.

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icon_wink.gif Vancouver

 

Have never had any trouble embarking in Vancouver.

 

Disembarkation - another story. Things have gotten a lot tighter in the last couple of years. We flew in and out of Seattle. When we disembarked in Vancouver we did HAL's transportation to the SeaTac airport. There were 2 buses for this particular trip. The first bus left from the pier 2 hours ahead of our bus. When we got to the border, that bus was still going through immigration. Everyone on that bus had to open ALL suitcases. Our bus was only required to watch our luggage go around the inside of the building on the beltway. Only a couple of people had to open their carry-ons. We were done in about 20 minutes. Our bus driver said that a couple of weeks before, one bus was detained nearly 4 hours. They don't care if you are coming from a cruise ship or just touring by land.

 

We know from previous years not to schedule a flight out of SeaTac until the next day. It is over a 3 hour bus ride from the pier in Vancouver to the airport. Many people on our bus missed their planes.

 

icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

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The Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal in Vancouver is a beautiful cruise ship dock. I have sailed from many ports and Canada Place is the nicest I have seen so far. The terminal is spacious with easy access (all under cover too) for dropping off passengers & luggage. Once inside due to the large size there is much less congenstion then I have often encountered. Of course embarkation is a necessary evil that goes hand in hand with cruising - We all have to be processed and get our little key / credit cards and it takes time. the best way to avoid huge long lineups is to time your arrival at the dock early.

 

disembarkation in Vancouver was very easy and smooth form our cruise in May. When they announced that the ship was cleared and we could leave we just walked from our stateroom off without any lineups or hassel - The ship even had 2 gang planks availabe for passengers to ensure no lineups. Once in the terminal we grabbed our luggage and headed to our parked car. the easiest disembarkation I have ever enjoyed.

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We came throught there last Saturday 6/19. It took 42 minutes from the time we left the Coral Princess till we were on the way to the airport. Not bad for the 1000's who were going through at the same time. The airport was a little slower but still moved along well for the crowds flying out. Don't sweat it just go on and have a good time as 99% of us did. The other 1% will always find something to complain about. Alaska is worth any inconvience you might suffer getting there and back.

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Embarkation take 3 hours for those that had to wait their turn on Sunday 6 JUN. US customs to get on the ship had to do 3 ships out of Canada place. Didn't open till Noon and it was a lengthy process. Getting off and clearing the terminal was a breeze (at least for us Canadians) on the 13th. Off the ship and in our car at the cruise park a 10 minute drive away around 9 AM.

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I have also disembarked in Vancouver a few days ago.

 

You should be fine...as long as...you do not book your flight prior to Noon.

 

Your cruiseship will be aware of your outbound flight schedule and they will disembark you based on your scheduled departure time.

 

More than one ship disembarking on the same day can cause quite a jam in the lines at the airport. Just play it safe and book an early afternoon flight.

 

Also, I do not recommend purchasing a transfer from the cruiseline. Get off the ship on your own, get a cab and be on your way. No fun waiting on a bus/shuttle to fill up.

 

Or..... plan to stay a day or two in Vancouver (a great city!!) ...and book an early morning flight out...and you will beat the cruiseship crowds, who won't be arriving at the airport until 9:00ish. icon_wink.gif

 

Boo's Mom

 

...as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

 

 

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Boo's Mom,

How much is the cab fare from the dock to the airport? It sounds like it would be less stressful than worrying about missing a flight while a bus fills up.

 

Spirit 9/05 - Glacier Bay

Glory 9/03 - Western Caribbean

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We were on the same sailing with Boo's Mom and 2tSquared -- we were waiting in one of the lounges on board at 9am, and were on our QuickCoach bus headed for Seattle at 9:35am. Couldn't have been smoother. They even had complimentary luggage carts for us to use to pick up all our checked baggage. We had to get off the bus at the Canada/US border, and go through immigration, which took about half an hour total, primarily because there were some folks who had been picked up at a hotel in Vancouver before we got on, and their bags had to be examined (ours never got off the bus.)

 

John

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nanaknees..... We always take a van taxi, because there are four of us plus luggage. The cost was in the area of $20.00 US dollars....and then a tip would be extra.

 

My guess is that a regular car taxi might be a little cheaper. (?)

 

I agree. Somethings are just worth the few extra dollars.

 

We were traveling through the Vancouver airport with someone who not only missed her 11:30 flight, but they were not going to get her home that day all the way to Miami. She was going to be sent to Dallas...where she had to spend the night at a hotel...(at her expense)...(because she missed the flight).....and then catch a flight the next day on to Miami.

 

So, how much extra is all of that going to cost? A lot.

 

Boo's Mom

 

...as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

 

 

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Cabs- Canada Place to Vancouver airport run at least $25+++ca. Use your credit card for the best exchange. If there is a long line, head upstairs and tip the Pan Pacific doorman for a cab. Will be a lot quicker.

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Hi..thanks for all the replies. Did I read this wrong, but did someone say it's a three hour bus ride from the cruise port in Vancouver to the Vancouver airport? Or is this Seattle? I'm totally confused here. :confused:

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I believe they mean the trip from terminal to Seattle (the airport is only about 20 minutes away in Vancouver).

I've been researching this alot-we are doing the inside passage departing Vancouver 8/4. We live in Northern California and in the begining planned on flying from Sacramento to Vancouver a day or two ahead of time (I would always reccommend arriving at the departure city at least the day before to make allowances for travel delays)-but when I checked the air fares it was much less expensive to do 2 separate flights: Sacramento to Seattle and Seattle to Vancouver (saved for the 4 of us about $400). So we are flying to Seattle for a few days and then going to Vancouver 2 days prior to our cruise departure. By arriving early we wont have to worry about any delays for embarkation. I looked into alot of lodging options in Vancouver-even with the exchange rate the cost is pretty high, and I wanted a place that was nicer than the low end accommodations-but not so fancy that it would feel out of place for our children (Daughter turns 10 the day we arrive in Vancouver, son is 7 1/2). I settled on the Fairmont Vancouver Airport-they have several packages that included breakfast and other amenities that compensated for the rate. The added advantage is we won't have to travel from the airport to the hotel the night we arrive, and we can have thier staff arrange our towncar (priced out better than the shuttles for 4 people) for the trip to the cruise terminal.

 

With regards to traveling home-we scheduled our return flight for 3 in the afternoon the day of disembarkation. From what I've seen on these boards and several others we will have plenty of time to get through all of the necessary lines.

 

As a suggestion-if anyone has to book a flight that leaves later in the afternoon or evening of departure day:look into day rates at the airport hotels:we have done this several times in Orlando. Even if I did not have children traveling with me I would go this route-I much prefer spending several hours relaxing in a hotel room vs. sitting in an airport terminal. In the grand scheme of spending money on a vacation, I always plan to spend a small portion on stress avoidance measures (in this same manner we choose to use a local shuttle service that offers door to door service to the airport, although this has actualy been a money saver for us given the increasing expense of airport long term parking lots).

 

Happy Cruising

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We embarked on 6/6 for the NCL Sun. As latitudes members, they sent us in a separate line where the wait was about 15-20 minutes. Then you have to wait to clear US customs. The wait there was probably 30 minutes. We did arrive fairly early (about 12:00), and I don't have any idea if it got better or worse. We were on the ship and eating lunch by about 1:15.

 

On 6/13 when we disembarked, there were 3 ships in port. We were disembarking at the same time as the Celebrity Infinity, and could see them on the other side through a partition. We were some of the last to disembark, as we were "independent travelers". We found our luggage (mountains of it), after about 15 minutes. We waited in line to clear customs for probably 30 minutes. Our transportation back to Seattle was via a rental car, so we finally located the rental car counter and arranged for a shuttle to take us to the downtown location and waited for the shuttle (another 30-45 minutes).

 

However, if you are planning on taking a taxi, beware. The rental car CSR said that a shuttle would be coming, or we could take a taxi and they would reimburse us. We asked where the taxi line was, and he pointed to this EXTREMELY long line. He told us it looked like the wait for taxis would probably be between 1 and 1 1/2 hours. I'm sure it depends on how many ships are currently disembarking, but I wouldn't have been wanting to wait in that line if I had a flight leaving any time soon.

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If you are willing to pay extra for a limo, are they more readily available than taxis, or is it the same line? We will be arriving at Ballantyne pier. Anyone know if the taxi situation is the same there?

sarahjane

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I have no idea if a limo would be quicker. I would certainly hope so if you're paying more.

 

Also, the situation at Ballantyne Pier may be totally different. I'm sure part of the problem at Canada Place was that three ships were disembarking, and we were some of the last getting off our ship. Maybe someone who has been through Ballantyne can give you more info.

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Just so all of you are aware, there are TWO terminals for sailing out of Vancouver.

One is Canada Place and the other is Ballentyne Pier.

They are about a 8 minute cab ride away from each other.

Embarkation procedures and experiences will differ between these two, so make sure

someone's review is the same pier your ship is leaving from. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would automatically eliminate any cruise departing from Vancouver unless you come the day before. Our plane got in at 1:40. We stood in the immigration line for 2 1/2 hours, making it to the ship at 4:15 for a 5 pm departure. Do you realize what an unpleasant thing it is to stand in a line this long? With three children?

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I just sailed on the Radiance of the Seas last week---and we departed out of Ballantyne Pier. We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at the Westin in downtown Vancouver. The line to customs was a breeze--maybe a 3 minute wait. Taxi fare from the airport to the hotel was USD$20.00.

 

We arrived into Ballantyne using a taxi for about USD$10.00 from the hotel. Embarkation was a breeze---along with Disembarkation. Waited for about 2 minutes through Canadian customs once off the ship.

 

We then took a taxi from Ballantyne to the airport---was about a 30 minute trip and cost USD$30.00. Not to bad---and we didn't have to wait for the cruise ship bus.

 

The only long line we encountered was the US Immigration line heading home...waited for about 25 minutes--and then it was smooth sailing from there!

 

Hope this helps!!

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We arrived in Vancouver and the lines were super long and weaved back and forth, but went extremly fast. Our plane arrived at 1057 and we were thru customs within an hour or so. I personally think getting thru customs at the dock was slower.

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We disembarked in Vancouver on June 19 and it was very easy and smooth - actually the best I've ever had with Princess - I never liked the experience in FLL - always packed and can't find luggage. But Canada Place is a different story. Princess did the crowd contrl very well and only one color group at a time (so were the luggage area). Therefore only about 5-min to go thru the Canadian custom once we picked upthe luggage.

 

The only problem we enoutered was to find the elevator to the parking garage - it was 'hiding' behind all the HAL passengers that just got off and waiting for their city tour buses and blocked the elevator completely and we could not find it till we had to ask the terminal workers many times and they pointed to us where it was supposed to be ..

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Just got off the Dawn Princess 7/5/04. The ship docked at 7:30 am and we were called off around 8. We had a 4:40 pm filight so we signed up for a Vancourver tour through Princess. We got to the bus in 15 minutes! No lines! Very easy. The bus tour was nice and dropped us off at the airport at noon. However, when we went to check in for our flight, so we could get rid of all the luggage we were told to come back at 2:30! So we had to spend 2 an 1/2 hours at the airport with all our luggage. :(

 

Once we were able to check in customs went very fast :)

We then just had to wait for our plane.

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