For a one day precruise, do I need to convert any funds into CAD? Expenses I anticipate are taxi airport to hotel (USD?), dinner (credit card), and taxi hotel to ship (USD?). Maybe a few drinks but, again, shouldn't a credit card work fine?
You can pay in USD however if any change is due it'll be Canadian.
Credit card company will do the conversion on your bill.
MasterCard and Visa work pretty well in Vancouver, but it's best to convert a few dollars (I recomend $50 or so) to Canadian currency to cover incidentals -- the purchase of newspaper, a snack, or some small souveniers, for example.
Several of the downtown hotels are within walking distance of the cruise ship terminals. Last year, I walked from the Crowne Plaza Georgia Hotel to the terminal at Canada Place with a pair of "roller back" suitcases. The walk was pretty easy because it's down hill all the way and there are wheelchair ramps at nearly all of the crossings.
It's up to you. However when we did the one day prior to Vancouver in June, I converted $100 US to CAD and had about $25 CAD left over which I exchanged back to US onboard later. We predominantly only used the Canadian for Taxi, the Transit system (busses), and local grocery store to buy a soda and a snack. Everything else went on the Credit Card.
Independance of the Seas
Monarch of the Seas, October, 2007
Serenade of the Seas June, 2006
Unless you use your ATM, all banks charge extra fees in Vancouver. For clairfication most all cabs take credit cards, which is my recommendation to use. You do not need to change any money with your list of purchases and I certainly would not recommend changing $50. Canada accepts US funds, fairly common, But the US never takes Ca funds. I travel all the time across the boarder. The rates are about even now, so budget with that in mind.
Sounds like we will do perfectly fine staying with USD and credit cards. I really don't want to end up having to pay to change money twice.
No, don't do that. Just put whatever Canadian cash you have left in a safe place for your next trip to Canada (which may well happen on your next trip to Alaska, since Alaska is definitely a destination to which most folks want to return).