First of all, I want to thank all of you for help with every topic!! We are first-time cruisers, going to Alaska in September, and I have learned so much reading all the information. My question is, has anyone used the shuttle from SeaTac to Vancouver? The air fare difference is more than $200 per person, and the shuttle service quoted me $74 R/T p/p. The three-hour or so travel time is not a problem for us. I will not make my air reservations until I get some feedback!! And again, thank everyone for all your input about every subject.
It's a great option and 30 people in our group are doing just that. They are flying into Seattle, got a Priceline room Downton for 60.00 plus tax. Taking the train the next morning, 23.00 per person one way, then when cruise returns they are talking Quick Shuttle back to Seattle airport for 41.00 and got a room there that night on Priceline for 40.00 and flying out the next morning. You can also do roundtrip Quick Shuttle even the same day your cruise arrives and departs, but too many of us have horror stories about that scenario, we would rather relax by coming in early and leaving a day later. Even factoring in hotels and train/bus, most of them are saving 400.00 per couple, by flying into Seattle instead of Vancouver.
I didn't know about the train option--can you give me more information about that? We love taking the train and would have come from Northern California to the Seattle area via Amtrak if we had more time. How far is the train station from the airport in Seattle? Is it a hassle to then get to the dock? And if we did that, would we need to stay overnight in either Seattle or Vancouver in order to be assured of arriving at the dock in time for sailing? Sorry for so many questions but again, we are first-timers and I'm kind of anal about details... Thanks for your input.
Amtrak has one early morning train from downtown Seattle to Vancouver. You need to add at least $30 for cabs. I have taken Quick Shuttle and highly recommend it, but NOT on the day of sailing. On their regular runs you need to allow 4 hours as they make several stops, consider the express bus if time is tight. The train out of Vancouver leaves around 6pm so yes you need hotels on each end.
Which direction are you looking at for Quick Shuttle? It is very risky- taking it on the day of departure if you can't get an evening flight. If you are in Seattle by 8 am you should be able to make it the same day to Vancouver. http://www.quickcoach.com/
To be more specific
Flight to Seattle-arrival 2PM-450.00[ 225.00 each]
Cab to Downtown Seattle-30.00
Downtown Hotel-70.00 [priceline including tax]
cab ride to train-7.00
Train one way-46.00[23.00 each]
Cab to hotel-10.00 [not including price of hotel as they would have stayed here whether flying in to seattle or Vancouver.
Quick Shuttle one way from pier to Seattle airport 82.00 [41.00 each]
Hotel at seattle airport 45.00 including tax
Total-694.00 works out to 347.00 per person
Flight to Vancouver for 2-1170.00 this does not include cabs or limo from airport or cab from hotel to pier and then cab from pier to airport.
They are saving 476.00 by flying into Seattle instead of Vancouver
The train is a great way to go as they follow the coastline and crossing the border is a snap on the train.
The least desirable is renting a car as you could be tied up at the border for awhile as you will traveling with MANY other cruise passengers, plus driiving is exhausting for most people, not a good way to start a cruise. Doing it the other way is relaxing and fun.
I think she meant the express bus option which is via
Quick Shuttle. They have an express bus and some that make several stops. The Quick Shuttle company has a brochure which they are going to mail me. The toll-free number is 800-665-2122 and the direct number is 604-940-4428. They said that the express bus left Seatac in time for afternoon boarding of the ship, but from what everyone is saying, it sounds as if it would be better to stay overnight in Vancouver the night before sailing. I can make later plane reservations to come home and take the bus from the ship to Seatac. The train sounds like much more fun, though!! I will definitely explore that option.
You can get a one way rental for less than $100. But be certain to have a DOWNTOWN Vancouver drop off. I have driven this many times and my opinion only- it is a great option. I also have several times- stayed the night before in Bellingham- then just a short one hour drive into Vancouver- can beat the lines if you leave by 10am and also have a few hours of touring Vancouver.
I plan to leave from Bellingham the morning that we sail. We have relatives there and will spend time at their home before our departure. I see Quik shuttle express bus has a stop at Bellingham at 10:15 and then on to Vancouver. Boarding starts at 1pm, so I'm assuming this will give us enough time. I didnt realize that Vancouver was so close to Bellingham. Does it sound like I will have enough time to get to the ship ontime?
Thanks to all, I have learned SO MUCH from these boards!
the quick shuttle from the seattle airport to vancouver is the way we are going to go too save over $300 each on the flight. go to their site at www.quickshuttle.com and pretend you are going to book a trip. on the destination space for vancouver you can drop down a menu of all the hotels they drop you off at when you get there. there are alot of them and that makes it an even better deal. read their schedule very carefully as there are black-out days for the trip that does not make alot of stops at hotels to get back to the seattle airport quicker for a return flight. they say it is a very scenic ride from seattle to vancouver and i am looking forward to letting someone else do the driving for me to start off my vacation.
I-5 is a straight through high speed inland route to the border and Vancouver - if you have a little time perhaps an extra half hour or so you could take the cut off for Birch bay State Park and follow the scenic drive through to Blaine and reconnect their for the border crossing - this is essentially the same route that Amtrak follows - before doing this if press for time check News 1130 AM for their up to date border crossing information - if you are doing it on a weekend the border north bound to Vancouver tends to be quite busy as many Seattle folks day trip it up to Vancouver.
Remember 1PM is the start of the boarding process - not the time that you must be there.
Hopes this helps and enjoy Vancouver and your alaska cruise - by the way which terminal are you sailing from - Canada Place or Ballanytne Pier.
I took Quick Shuttle in June from Vancouver to Seattle Airport. They were effecient and friendly. The bus was clean but several years old. One caveat though, you have to clear customs. I'm not familiar with Canadian Customs on the trip to Vancouver, but on the Vancouver to Seattle run, you never know what you'll get. Everyone on our bus was from the ship except for 2 people. They were from Brasil and had visas that expired within a couple days. US Immigration spent about an hour researching whether they would admit them, and in the end did not since they had no return air ticket to Brasil. They obviously planned to overstay thier visa in the US. We were about 45 mins late geting to Sea-Tac Airport because of this. Not Quick Shuttles fault for sure, but have an alternate just in case. A friend who took a cruise ending in Vancourver rented a car for one day with a Seattle drop off. That might be more cost effective as well as timely. I was surprised to learn that you couild do that. I believe he rented from Hertz.
i just saw your post and am very happy to read you are happy with the quick shuttle service. to us it does not matter if it is not as scenic as we were led to beleive. we will still be able to see new territory we have never seen before, have some one else do the driving and will save alot of money in the process. since we are going the day before, the time it takes to get to vancouver will not be a problem. i cant wait to go and i am not going to worry about the drive to vancouver. i am just glad there is a service that sounds good for us too take. it will add to the experience of the cruise.