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Advice on avoiding horrendous lineups at Vancouver's Cruise Terminal

Advice on avoiding horrendous lineups at Vancouver's Cruise Terminal

Old May 6th, 2024, 07:51 PM
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Advice on avoiding horrendous lineups at Vancouver's Cruise Terminal

Doing day Alaska cruise out of Vancouver in June. Boarding starts at 10:30am and we've registered for a 11am embarkation... however... now reading lots of posts (on other forums) about what a nightmare Vancouver's Port Terminal is - 3-hour lineups and mass confusion.
Should we rebook for 10:30am instead and come even earlier - or - as a few posters have said, arrive late in afternoon?
Any other tips to make the best of it? We're not cruisers and only doing this because husband's siblings and their partners have organized. Also, I'm trying to convince hubbie to rent a car out of Skagway rather than doing the WRP train trip - we have always been very independent travellers and I always do research to the nth degree - and the planning, but I need your advice for the Vancouver terminal (or car rentals in Skagway too).
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Old May 7th, 2024, 06:17 AM
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Vancouver’Cruise Terminal Dilemma

Because there are 3 ships departing that port on cruise day for Alaska, and from everything I’ve read about the terminal the question is, do we go super early or late to embark?
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Old May 30th, 2024, 07:17 AM
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It's been a while since my last cruise (pre Covid), but we've always arrived to board the ship as early as possible. We're usually within the first group of passengers to board and we find it much more relaxing than fighting the crowd that arrives later on (and I've experienced the lines at Vancouver's terminal once before).

Other benefits of arriving early to the ship is that I like to walk around the ship and get familiar with the layout while also getting pictures of the common spaces without a lot of people in them lol. I can also get a tour of the spa while no one is there, take care of any dining reservation issues without wait, etc. There is usually a buffet lunch available so you can get to it early and get a nice table to sit and relax at before the crowds arrive.

Downside is your cabin won't be ready so whatever carry on luggage you have you'll have to lug around with you until they tell you it is.
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Old May 30th, 2024, 05:40 PM
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I replied on your other similar post about Vancouver boardings. Your time is pretty good.

Re Skagway, I went on a van tour and we could see the train which takes a slightly different route than the road. Having a car would give you the most flexibility for stops and time to browse around town rather than being stuck with a fixed itinerary. But many people find the train a highlight. There are smaller companies which offer van one way and train back. Availability will depend on your date and arrival time. In hindsight, I wish I'd done the van up and train back down.

Don't wait too long to book the train.
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