Traveling from Texas to Vancouver to RCCL Cruise..best way. Is it "standard" to go through Seattle? Have flight miles we can use to get to Seattle, Portland, etc. WE have a group of 8 (one elderly parent) going . From Texas, it's going to take a full day of air travel so we plan on going out the day before and probably should plan on staying the extra day upon our return. Suggestions?
What you might consider is flying into Seattle and taking the Amtrak train to Vancouver. It travels right along the shoreline much of the way and is a very nice trip! Make sure you take the train and not the Amtrak bus if at all possible. The fare was very cheap and I believe my wife and I did it for around $35 for first class. Well worth it!. Flying directly into or out of Vancouver to the USA is for some reason much, much more expensive than flying into or out of Seattle.
Have you tried Air Canada? Try their internet website is aircanada.com They are partners with United so you may be able to get to Vancouver with perhaps only one stop. If you book well in advance, through the Internet, their prices are quite good. I have always found their service is be excellent and reliable. I recently booked Toronto to San Diego (in February) for $440.00 (Cdn.). Give it a try.
Coming from Texas, the Seattle route is less expensive than flying into Vancouver(usually). We have always done the bus transfer(6 times) but the train sounds better if the price is not much more.(providing the schedual will work).
We flew into Seattle and stayed there for 2 nights, then rented a car and drove to Vancouver and stayed there for 2 nights also. It was an enjoyable drive but in your case with an elderly person it would be your decision of which would be better
Car rentals can be quite cost effective. We usually do a one-way car rental for less than $100 including international drop off charges. Hertz seems to be cheaper heading South. Avis tends to be cheaper heading north. (Go figure!) A group of eight could rent two cars or a van perhaps. You can make it from Seattle to downtown Vancouver by car in about three hours.
If you take the train, check the schedule because at certain times of the day the train is really a bus. The bus is a drag because they unload all of the suitcases at the border for customs clearance and/or inspection.
I don't know where or when you paid $100 drop off charge but 6/03 they wanted $300 drop off charge. I certainly would have done the drop off for $25 extra for the convience of the car as quick shuttle was $75 pp rt.
in June we cruised out of Vancouver on the infinity. We flew direct to Vancouver the morning before and stayed across the street from the port of departure. The day was spent the enjoying the beautiful city. We were refreshed and at ease when we boarded the next day.
Departure was different. Though disembarking was quick and easy the long 4 hour bus ride to Seattle( plus the stop at customs ) was a let down after such a fantastic cruise. Then there was a few hours to kill at the airport , a few hours in the air, followed by the two hour drive home. This 12 hour travel day was not the way to go for us. Next time the most direct and quickest route.
My husband and I recently got back from a cruside to Hawaii on the Serenade. We flew out of portland on air canada which only took 1 hour. We took the early flight left around 6:15. Customs was a breeze no problem and waited until 10:15 a.m. before the bus came to bring everyone to the ship. I wish I would have visited Vancover the day before and taken a tour of the city. The cruise to Hawaii was great !
You've got to factor in the transfers from Sea-tac airport to the Seattle Amtrak station, and from the Vancouver Amtrak station to the cruise port (or hotel). Either a shuttle or van-taxi (for that large of a group) would be necessary at both of those points. It sounds like a really long day to me and I'm young (sort of- 37). Portland is way too far from Vancouver to fly into- I'd fly into Seattle and rent a van (could do a one way with drop or park it at cruise terminal and drive it back to Seattle- even that long of a rental might be cheaper than (2) one-way drops?) or just fly directly to Vancouver and avoid all of the hassle. I live in Seattle and it is a beautiful ride on the Amtrak when you've got all day to enjoy the ride, but with 8 people, tons of luggage, a flight from Texas and lots of transfers that sounds like a living nightmare to me. Just my opinion!
IT IS a long day from tip o texas to Seattle! Great airfare @ $360 per person to Seattle. Going straight to Vancouver......$615! We've pretty well settled on flying up the day before, staying the night in Seattle ... some hotel. Taking Amtrak to Vancouver the next day and boarding ship.
Return trip: taking 5'ish train back to Seattle and staying another night there, and then begin that long trip back home.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions, etc. All that is left is the hotel.