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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Spirit/Alaska/Vancouver airport question

We will be going to Alaska next year - May and will be paying for the flight with americian express points. You can book (and are highly encouraged) to book flight as soon as you can (331 from date needed). I looked at the flights they have so far, and going up there is no problem (we fly to ancorage) however coming home we fly home out of vancouver. The latest flight we see so far is at 11 a.m and one at 11:30 am. After that the next flight out is 7pm putting us home the next day. I know they tell you not to book a flight home before noon - but what are our chances of an 11 am flight out? I just don't want to come home the next day (missing another day of work). What are your thoughts?? Thanks bunches! I know the last alaska cruise we went on , or 35.00 we were able to check into the airport from the cruiseship. Fast and easy, but I can't remember the times i had - but know it was like a 1pm flight.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Spirit/Alaska/Vancouver airport question

cherylroy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We will be going to Alaska next year - May and will be paying for the flight with americian express points. You can book (and are highly encouraged) to book flight as soon as you can (331 from date needed). I looked at the flights they have so far, and going up there is no problem (we fly to ancorage) however coming home we fly home out of vancouver. The latest flight we see so far is at 11 a.m and one at 11:30 am. After that the next flight out is 7pm putting us home the next day. I know they tell you not to book a flight home before noon - but what are our chances of an 11 am flight out? I just don't want to come home the next day (missing another day of work). What are your thoughts?? Thanks bunches! I know the last alaska cruise we went on , or 35.00 we were able to check into the airport from the cruiseship. Fast and easy, but I can't remember the times i had - but know it was like a 1pm flight.
This is one instance in which I would allow even more buffer than your cruise line's requirement for their transfers. When flying from Vancouver to the United States, you'll clear U. S. immigration and customs before boarding your flights at Vancouver Interational Airport. This step allows flights into the United States to operate as domestic flights within the United States after they cross the international border. Unfortunately, you may encounter long lines at the immigration and customs checkpoints in addition to lines at the check-in counters and at the security checkpoint. If you cut it close, the additional delay could cause you to miss your flight.

Norm.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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I really thought we cleared customs, etc the last time we were on the hip for 35.00 per person. It was fast, convenient and saved time. This was 3 years ago, so I imagine things have changed. Thanks!
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Old May 15th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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cherylroy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I really thought we cleared customs, etc the last time we were on the hip for 35.00 per person. It was fast, convenient and saved time. This was 3 years ago, so I imagine things have changed. Thanks!
I noticed in another post that you said that you are going "southbound this time." If you went northbound on your previous cruise to Alaska, you probably cleared U. S. immigration and customs when you boarded the ship in Vancouver and thus did not have to clear either upon disembarkation.

The normal practice is to clear each country's immigration and customs upon entry into that country. When cruising, one usually clears immigration aboard ship upon arrival in the first port of each country and then clears customs in the cruise terminal after claiming one's luggage. When flying, this usually occurs upon deplaning at the first airport where one lands. Alas, the United States and Canada have a special arrangements whereby U. S. officials "preclear" vessels and aircraft coming to the United States from major Canadian ports and airports. When cruise ships sail to Alaska from Vancouver, U. S. officials "preclear" embarking passengers in Vancouver. Likewise, U. S. officials "preclear" passengers boarding aircraft coming to the United States in most Canadian airports. Immigration and customs agents at the port or airport of arrival theoretically do have the right to inspect "precleared" ships, airplanes, and passengers again, but I have never heard of them actually doing so.

When arriving in Vancouver on a cruise ship returning from Alaska, you'll first clear Canadian immigration and customs in the normal manner, then proceed to the airport, check in for your flight, take all of your luggage through the U. S. immigration and customs checkpoints, turn in your checked luggage, then clear U. S. security screening with your carry-on luggage and board your plane in the normal manner. Upon arrival in the United States, you'll come straight off the plane and go directly to your connecting flight or ground transportation as though arriving on a domestic flight.

Norm.
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Old May 18th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Have you looked into the US Direct program?? I do not think you will have to go through customs when you get into Vancouver or at least you will not have to haul all your luggage through..

The only problem with booking your flights so early is the airline could offer more flights...Do you have to book early because of the points??
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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:02 PM
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Sign up for either morning flight. Carnival will get you off the ship first. Positively sign up while on the ship for express baggage on the return flight home and Carnival will take your bags directly to the airport and to your plane which saves a lot of time (well worth the extra money: I forgot how much it was; I think it was approx. $20 pp) We did the exact sailing July 2007 and had no problems what so ever. So, that means when you set your luggage outside your cabin the night before you disembark, you won't see your luggage again until you arrive at your destination (home). It saves you the trouble of dragging your luggage to the bus and then through the Vancouver terminal.

Have a great cruise. We did.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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The ONLY possible way you have any chance for this flight is with US DIRECT. Without it, you need a flight AFTER 1pm.

And it isn't up to "Carnival", it's up to customs, dock agents etc, what time the ship clears and timely. You are there during the week. It will take up to 45 minutes for your bus, plus the waiting, loading time.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 03:36 PM
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Incidently, Continental does not participate in this program, despite the fact that they are listed on the webpage describing the program.

Also, the US Direct only applies to NORTHBOUND sailings.

Phil & Liz
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Old June 12th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil&Liz

Also, the US Direct only applies to NORTHBOUND sailings.

Phil & Liz
Competely wrong. Disembarking in Vancouver on a southbound cruise MOST certainly has the option for US Direct. What are you talking about???
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Old June 14th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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WE have exchanged emails with Carnival and the agencies in Vancouver regarding our use of this on our trip in September. Below is the exchange.

Perhaps it is Carnival who is mistaken.

----------Begin paste of email here_--------
RE:'CCL=975-596' US Direct Program
Monday, June 9, 2008 11:11 AM
From: "Guest Info" <guestinfo@carnival.com>
To: "baumeister02" <baumeister02@yahoo.com>
Thank you for visiting carnival.com. In regards to your query, that program is only offered on northbound alaska sailings.

If there is anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.
Carnival Cruise Lines

-----Original Message-----
From: baumeister02 (baumeister02@yahoo.com)
Date: Sunday, June 01, 2008 02:26 PM
To: Guest Info (guestinfo@carnival.com)
Subject: US Direct Program
Hello,
We are booked to sail in September ----(Booking # deleted)Carnival Spirit
Our question is about US Direct Program for Alaska
Cruise Ship Passengers as described at
http://www.portvancouver.com/vanAlaC.../usDirect.html
We called 1-888-227-6482 Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm
CST and talked with Mitha Burns with our question.
She said that she has been with Carnival for 3 years
and has never heard of the program, yet the site
clearly shows:
Program participants
Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland
America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises,
and Royal Caribbean
Could someone do 2 things for us:
1. Inform Ms. Burns of the program
2. Tell us whether our sailing (Booking # deleted) Carnival Spirit) qualifies and Carnival will be able
to accomodate us via this program.
We are asking Carnival because the site clearly says
to contact the cruise line directly:
For more information
Travel agents or passengers who want to take advantage
of the US Direct program can elect to participate at
the time of the cruise purchase or at a later date by
contacting the participating cruise lines directly.
Thank you.
__________________
The Original Phil & Liz

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. Margaret Thatcher

Never take an idiot travelling, you can always pick one up when you get there. Billy Connolly

I Didn't Come here and I ain't Leaving.
Willie Nelson

9/01/2013 Carnival Legend
2/16/2014 BC 7

Bill Murray
20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil&Liz
WE have exchanged emails with Carnival and the agencies in Vancouver regarding our use of this on our trip in September. Below is the exchange.

Perhaps it is Carnival who is mistaken.

----------Begin paste of email here_--------
RE:'CCL=975-596' US Direct Program
Monday, June 9, 2008 11:11 AM
From: "Guest Info" <guestinfo@carnival.com>
To: "baumeister02" <baumeister02@yahoo.com>
Thank you for visiting carnival.com. In regards to your query, that program is only offered on northbound alaska sailings.

If there is anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.
Carnival Cruise Lines

-----Original Message-----
From: baumeister02 (baumeister02@yahoo.com)
Date: Sunday, June 01, 2008 02:26 PM
To: Guest Info (guestinfo@carnival.com)
Subject: US Direct Program
Hello,
We are booked to sail in September ----(Booking # deleted)Carnival Spirit
Our question is about US Direct Program for Alaska
Cruise Ship Passengers as described at
http://www.portvancouver.com/vanAlaC.../usDirect.html
We called 1-888-227-6482 Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm
CST and talked with Mitha Burns with our question.
She said that she has been with Carnival for 3 years
and has never heard of the program, yet the site
clearly shows:
Program participants
Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland
America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises,
and Royal Caribbean
Could someone do 2 things for us:
1. Inform Ms. Burns of the program
2. Tell us whether our sailing (Booking # deleted) Carnival Spirit) qualifies and Carnival will be able
to accomodate us via this program.
We are asking Carnival because the site clearly says
to contact the cruise line directly:
For more information
Travel agents or passengers who want to take advantage
of the US Direct program can elect to participate at
the time of the cruise purchase or at a later date by
contacting the participating cruise lines directly.
Thank you.
Yes they are mistaken. http://www.portvancouver.com/vanAlaC.../usDirect.html
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Old June 16th, 2008, 11:52 AM
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[quote="Rev22:17"]cherylroy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I really thought we cleared customs, etc the last time we were on the hip for 35.00 per person. It was fast, convenient and saved time. This was 3 years ago, so I imagine things have changed. Thanks!
I noticed in another post that you said that you are going "southbound this time." If you went northbound on your previous cruise to Alaska, you probably cleared U. S. immigration and customs when you boarded the ship in Vancouver and thus did not have to clear either upon disembarkation.
doing so.

quote]

It is not "probably". They most certainly did clear US customs in Vancouver. There is NO customs and immigrations in Alaska for cruise ships. On northbound trips, the only place you go is Alaska, so you always just walk off the ships in Whittier or Seward. Getting on, you aren't going anywhere non US, until Vancouver.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
And I have already pointed out to them that Continental is not a participating airline as they say on one of the sites regarding US Direct.

They emailed me back saying they would correct the errr.

Someone at both agencies need to proofread their sites so that the erors are not duplicated as they were by me here.

Phil & Liz
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The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. Margaret Thatcher

Never take an idiot travelling, you can always pick one up when you get there. Billy Connolly

I Didn't Come here and I ain't Leaving.
Willie Nelson

9/01/2013 Carnival Legend
2/16/2014 BC 7

Bill Murray
20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 09:06 AM
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We just returned Southbound on the Carnival Spirit.Just use Luggage Express .It is $15 per person.If you have a flight after 10:30 you can use it.(If your airline does it,AA does it).They had us meet at 8:10,then they gave you #A--E.A with early flights.We where D and had a 2:00 flight.Don't see your luggage till you land at the end of your flight.They also get your Boarding Passes for you.They say it saves about 2 Hours.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaites2000
We just returned Southbound on the Carnival Spirit.Just use Luggage Express .It is $15 per person.If you have a flight after 10:30 you can use it.(If your airline does it,AA does it).They had us meet at 8:10,then they gave you #A--E.A with early flights.We where D and had a 2:00 flight.Don't see your luggage till you land at the end of your flight.They also get your Boarding Passes for you.They say it saves about 2 Hours.
Is this the service you sign up for on the ship?

Thanks.

PS...our apologies to cherylroy for hijacking her thread !!

Phil & Liz
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The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. Margaret Thatcher

Never take an idiot travelling, you can always pick one up when you get there. Billy Connolly

I Didn't Come here and I ain't Leaving.
Willie Nelson

9/01/2013 Carnival Legend
2/16/2014 BC 7

Bill Murray
20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:52 AM
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Default US Direct

We are cruising R/T out of Vancouver..Now Carnival said we are not able to use US Direct as it is only for their NB sailings..HOWEVER the Vancouver Airport said we could..Also when I made my final payment and listed my travel arraingments on the carnival WEb site there was a link saying we were eligible for US Direct..Now I am confused..
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Old June 25th, 2008, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: US Direct

Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyW
We are cruising R/T out of Vancouver..Now Carnival said we are not able to use US Direct as it is only for their NB sailings..HOWEVER the Vancouver Airport said we could..Also when I made my final payment and listed my travel arraingments on the carnival WEb site there was a link saying we were eligible for US Direct..Now I am confused..
Well there ya go !

Seriously, someone with contacts at Carnival...(John are you reading?) needs to get them straight on this. They are responsible for creating a false impression that impacts many travelers, some of whom have never had to deal with Customs at both ship port and airport. I relish those who live in places like Florida where they can drive to any port and not use an airport at all.

Regardless of the final outcome of this do they or don't they issue, we will not be using the service. There has been too much uncertainty that one cannot leave such an important planning process as this up to chance.

We will simply go with the Luggage Express plan as it does not seem to be in dispute.

Phil & Liz
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The Original Phil & Liz

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. Margaret Thatcher

Never take an idiot travelling, you can always pick one up when you get there. Billy Connolly

I Didn't Come here and I ain't Leaving.
Willie Nelson

9/01/2013 Carnival Legend
2/16/2014 BC 7

Bill Murray
20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.
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