Thursday, August 21, 2014

Alaska and the Yukon - Vancouver, BC

July 27
Vancouver, BC

I woke up early this morning as I wanted to view our arrival in Vancouver, but not early enough.  I wanted to watch us sail under the Lions Gate Bridge that we had driven over on our first day in Vancouver, but I was too late for that.  I did get to see the Vancouver skyline and Stanley Park as we sailed toward Canada Place which is the cruise terminal.  It was a beautiful morning with mild temperatures and clear blue skies.  We were docked by 7:30 and Val and I had our last breakfast in the Neptune Lounge where we said our goodbyes to Diana, the very helpful concierge.  All that was left to do was to wait for our number to be called so we could exit the ship.

The Vancouver skyline as we sail into the harbor.
Looking back at Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge.

The Vancouver skyline and marina.
Another view of Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge.

Straight ahead is Canada Place where we'll be docking.
The Celebrity ship that was ahead of us is already docked.

Now it's our turn.
Since we were in a suite we had priority debarking so our number was soon called and we were on our way off the ship.  The Vancouver cruise terminal is incredibly efficient with someone at every turn directing you, the luggage claim was well organized so it was easy to find our luggage, and customs was quick and easy to get through; we were very impressed.  We were staying in the Fairmont Hotel at the airport again so we just thought we would grab a cab, but we saw there were airport shuttles available at a much cheaper cost so we grabbed one of those.  Again, the signage and helpful people made finding the shuttles very easy. We were off the ship and on the shuttle in less the fifteen minutes.

It was about a half hour trip through downtown Vancouver to the hotel and much to our surprise and delight, our room was ready.  We thought we would have to be sitting around waiting for a while, but we were in our room by 9:30, not bad.  We settled in and after a while decided to check on our car that had been in long term parking for three weeks to make sure it was still there and would still start – the answer was yes to both questions.  We had lunch at one of the numerous places to eat at the airport and then settled in for the afternoon.  If it wasn’t a Sunday, we would have driven back to the Market on Granville Island, but we thought there would be just too many people, especially on such a beautiful day.  Our room looks down at one of the terminal areas and  out to the runways so it’s interesting to watch the planes come and go and all the operations that take place to get the planes loaded, unloaded, and in and out.

I spent part of my day watching the planes arrive and depart and all of the associated activities.
After hanging out in the room most of the afternoon, we went back down into the terminal and had some pretty good Chinese food for dinner and bought some banana bread for tomorrow’s breakfast.  There wasn’t much else to do so we spent the rest of the evening reading and watching TV and then called it a night.  It felt good to just rest for a day. Tomorrow we head for home.

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