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First Cruise - Question about using transfer or not??

First Cruise - Question about using transfer or not??

Jan 7th, 2002, 04:33 PM
  #1  
SueOz
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First Cruise - Question about using transfer or not??

We are doing our first cruise in July on the Zaandam - inside passage out of Vancouver. I am doing the flight on my own. My question is: I may still be able to get transfers through the cruise company. Is there an advantage to this over getting my own transportation - is it just money or are there other advantages? Totally ignorant on this issue!
 
Jan 7th, 2002, 08:47 PM
  #2  
Paul Therault
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The advantage with HAL is that if you purchase their transfers they will take your luggage from off the plane to the ship which will save you tip money and you do not have to worry about carrying your bags to the bus. You also get to the ship and onboard faster.

Paul
 
Jan 9th, 2002, 01:05 PM
  #3  
Paige
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We cruised on Celebrity from Vancouver to Seward in June. Booked our own air with frequent flyer miles and had the same thought about transfers as you. We arrived in Vancouver the day before our sailing and took a cab to our hotel. Took a cab to the cruise ship terminal, pulled right up to the baggage area and didn't have to tote our bags at all. In Seward we rented a car to drive to Anchorage since our flight didn't leave until late in the evening. This gave us the flexibility to spend our day as we wanted and even tho the rental rates are really high in Alaska, it was certainly worth it. If you book flights to arrive and depart close to your cruise departure/arrival then it may be better to book the transfers thru the cruise line.
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 09:03 PM
  #4  
Diane
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We avoid the transfers. While everyone is waiting for the bus to fill, we jump in a taxi and are at the hotel/ship/airport before they leave.
 
Feb 12th, 2002, 11:04 AM
  #5  
Jackie
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Due to high security today, no one transfers your bags anywhere. We just returned from a caribbean cruise and had booked our own transportation. We went a day early and stayed at a hotel that provided transportation from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the ship. We had to stay with our bags at the dock until we were cheked by a securiy person. On returning we picked up our bags and were in a cab to the airport before any of the buses and we saved a lot of money.
It may be different in Vancouver. I hope you have a wonderful cruise.
 
Feb 12th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #6  
Patty
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I don't really agree with Paul's comment about getting on board faster. I find it's actually the other way around. By getting a taxi, you don't have to wait for the transfer bus to fill up and you don't get to the terminal at the same time as a busload of other passengers. Also, getting your own transportation is almost always cheaper than the cruise line's transfers. The only advantage that I can think of to using the cruise line's transfers is "peace of mind" and not having to think about your transportation options when arriving at an unfamiliar airport.
 
Feb 12th, 2002, 11:09 PM
  #7  
Paul Therault
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What I was attempting to say Patty is HAL takes the luggage from the plane to your cabin. You do not have to wait for the luggage to go round and round on the belt and then take it off the belt, have it checked by the security personel, tip the porter, etc. Just get on the bus and go to the ship. It's a flip of the coin to see who gets to the ship faster but I'll bet it's the passengers that bought the transfers. Also less hassle.

Paul
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #8  
Theresa
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Actually because of security measures since 9/11- everyone has to claim their luggage at the luggage claim centers. The cruise lines will no longer take the luggage from the plane and take it to the ship.

You have to get your luggage, take it to the bus, etc. . . .

Also - airlines are no longer able to get on the ship and issue boarding passes. Everyone has to get their luggage after the cruise and then take it to the bus or use a porter.

I have always found cabs are cheaper and quicker then taking their transfers.
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 10:25 AM
  #9  
Peter
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Well Paul, there you go, wrong again - thanks Theresa. Paul always puts the information out there as "fact". By the way, Paul, I would like to wager with you about who gets to the ship faster - transfers or taxis. I'll bet you one cruise of choice that if we took a survey on this forum on that issue, we'd find that those that arrange their own transfer to the hotel/pier arrive faster!!!!! You game?
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 02:23 PM
  #10  
Patty
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Paul, I suppose the luggage situation used to be less of a hassle but it sounds like this has all changed since 9/11. I also make it a point never to bring more luggage than I can wheel around on my own.
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 04:42 PM
  #11  
Theresa
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I have found taxis a lot quicker - especially in FLL where taxis are cheap.

In Miami - it is probably the same amount but I would rather get in a taxi and go directly to the airport as opposed to wait for the bus to fill up, our luggage to come off, etc . . .

I have never sailed out of Vancouver but will this summer. I was speaking with a hotel employee at Pan Pacific and she told me if I take a taxi there (which I will - booking hotel on my own) to pay with a credit card as opposed to currency. She said the credit card will give me a fair exchange rate when the taxi driver wouldn't necessairly.

Apparently all taxis in Vancouver can take credit cards.

If you are nervous about the cruise and getting to the ship - I would go with the cruiseline. They will meet you at the airport, etc . . There is somewhat of a secure feeling in that.

Good luck.
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 10:36 PM
  #12  
Paul Therault
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I have cruised twice since 9/11. One cruise line took the luggage from the plane, plopped it down in front of us so that we may identify it and then they picked it up and put it on a large truck. We went to the ship by bus, walked passed all the passengers from cabs who were waiting outside in a long line. My luggage, according to the staff, was x-rayed before it entered the ship. It did save us quite a bit of time. Approximately 2 hours less than the cab passengers.

The other line, upscale, took the luggage as I explained above and took us to the ship in limos.

Apparently it is the luck of the draw.

I have no reason to make up stories just to disagree with people. I have cruised 72 ships and I know the cruise industry.

Paul
 
Feb 14th, 2002, 03:25 AM
  #13  
Sara
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In almost every case - taking a taxi has saved us so much time over those who take a bus from the airport.

Also - I agree with Theresa. Things have changed drastically since 9/11. I too have sailed 2x since then. Sailed RCCL and Princess.
 
Feb 14th, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #14  
Peter
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Paul - are you saying the major cruise lines have a different embarkation staging area for those who opt for their transfers than for those arriving by taxi? I can tell you that RCCL in Miami or Princess in FLL wasn't that way for my two cruises since 9/11 - the Explorer and the Grand! And yes, I believe you'd make up stories to elevate your employer(s) services (Paul is employed by the cruise lines for all of you newbies who don't know Paul). You have before and you will again - folks, just because there are some things that Paul says that are true - not everything he offers as "fact" are.
 
Feb 14th, 2002, 09:10 AM
  #15  
elaine
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I really think Peter is sadly mistaken.
Paul is not employed by the Cruise lines.
He is a Cruise Specialist Travel Agent.
Now being an Agent myself, I don't know how he finds time to Sell Cruises, he is too busy taking them.
He seems one of those in the Industry for the Perks, not for Acutally servicing clients.
There are actually some of us who do this as a Profession. That have done ship inspections and taken Specialist Courses, but do not have time to sail 72 Times.
Paul, I do applaud your knowledge, but I bet my production is better.
 
Feb 14th, 2002, 09:29 AM
  #16  
Patty
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"We went to the ship by bus, walked passed all the passengers from cabs who were waiting outside in a long line."

Paul, I have never witnessed what you described where transfer passengers were somehow able to bypass other passengers. What cruise line was this and from what embarkation port? I've been on 3 cruises since 9/11 (soon to be fourth) and my experiences couldn't have been more different, as were the other posters' experiences it seems.
 
Feb 14th, 2002, 12:34 PM
  #17  
John
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Peter is a little obnoxious but brings up some good points. I've only been on one cruise since 9/11 and haven't noticed that the buses pulling up as I'm standing in line for embarkation get their passengers off into any preferential line other than the back of the line I'm in. I don't know if what Peter says about Paul is true or not (and I'm not terribly interested) but I have noticed over the last year or so that I've been on this forum, that Paul ALWAYS takes the best position for the cruise lines over the individual. He believes you should use their transfers, use their excursions and don't take on anything yourself. I know I've argued with his point of view that you should do the ship's excursion because you'll never get left behind (implying that you would if you booked it yourself). In this day and age of the world wide web, so much more can be done by yourself than would was even possible ten years ago. You can go directly to web sites for snorkeling, boat rides, dolphin swims and save many dollars and yet be on the same excursion as the ship's sponsor. How many of us book our own cruise, our own air, our own pre or post cruise hotel room?

Paul - a lot of what you say is good advice. The rest is best left as opinion, not fact (as Peter would say).
 
Feb 16th, 2002, 05:22 AM
  #18  
SueOz
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Hi - I'm the one who posed this question in the first place. I'm finding all your replies very interesting, even the cautions on believing everything you read on this forum. I posed this question to someone else and the answer I got was to go with a taxi to the hotel, but to get "transfers from the ship to airport, if you are flying out the same day, can be a major help. (No canadian customs in Vancouver because your stuff will be transported "in bond" to the airport and no hassle getting a taxi." Any opinions on this statement? Will it be tough getting a taxi at the end? Our ship comes in at 8a.m. and our plane departs at 2. Thanks again.
 
Feb 18th, 2002, 03:10 PM
  #19  
Patty
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Sue,
I have no idea what that statement means but can only say that we've never had any problems finding a taxi at the cruise ship terminal. You shouldn't have any problems making your 2:00pm flight - either pier (Canada Place or Ballantyne) is not that far from the Vancouver airport - I think it took us about 30 minutes. Hope this helps.
 

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