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Old 03-29-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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Quick Shuttle or Train to Vancouver - departure times?

I am looking into the schedule for taking transportation from Seattle to Vancouver. It looks like both the train and Quick Shuttle leave at 7:15/7:30 in the morning. The next choice is too tight for comfort - they don't arrive until 2PM, and given the border crossing, I am not willing to take that risk. I've taken Quick Shuttle Vancouver to Seattle, and it was a very good experience. But since that was getting off, there was not the same time pressure.

Leaving that early means either staying at a hotel on one end or the other, which adds to the cost. Not sure that is saving over driving.

The other option is driving, but it will take two cars, so that is added expense as well.

I was hoping for a slightly later departure time. Is there another option that I haven't thought about?
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:17 PM   #2
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If you are actually on the train (if that's what you book, AND if there are no track problems that cause you to be changed to the bus no matter what you booked) you do not stop at the border. From what you wrote I'm not sure you know that.

Then again, Amtrak doesn't own the rails; freight companies do. So freight gets the right of way, and Amtrak has to stop if the freight trains feel they need to go first. It's one reason Amtrak is so known for being late.

Vancouver is so lovely and you really don't want stress on the day you start your cruise...I really do urge you to not get into town on the day of your cruise. There are MANY hotels at many price points in the Canada Place area. We've stayed at Century Plaza, which was basically nice, and we've also stayed at a Holiday Inn (if you're looking at websites it's the one with the weird swimming pool practically in the middle of the lobby) and we'd stay at both again. Both are a short taxi ride away, or even a walk away if you've got rolling luggage, and as long as you're not in town during the Stanley Cup they aren't terribly expensive at all. (at least not in my experience)
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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We had the same thought process and chose Amtrak for the following reasons:

1. One way car rental is expensive even if you rent at an off-airport location to save on fees.
2. Driving can be faster than the bus or train but I am not interested in border crossing delays in the summer that might eat into the time savings.
3. If you take Quick Shuttle you still have to get off the bus at the border with your luggage and clear customs.
4. You clear customs on the train in the comfort of your seat while in stop a the border. Your arrival time is not guaranteed on Amtrak but I think is more accurate than driving. But trains have unavoidable delays also.
5. Amtrak for 2 adults and 2 kids was $84 total. Cheaper than Quick Shuttle and much cheaper than a car when you factor in total rental costs. We did factor in one night hotel, cab fare to the train, and the early departure but the ease of the train seemed to win out for us.
6. We are treating the train like an excursion. Viewing the beautiful scenery in the comfort of a train with food and bathrooms was the way for us to go even if the cost was the same or more. Our kids are just as excited about the train as we are!
7. We are spending 2 days before our cruise in Whistler so delays won't imact us like they will for you.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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Per my friend that lives in Seattle. Take the train. On cruise days expect delays with the buses going to Vancouver. The price was the same. They do take AAA so if you have that you can get a discount . To me since I am meeting family and friends and traveling by myself to get to Vancouver the train won out. I have a HI reserved for one night in Seattle flight gets in at 730pm and wil taxi to Amtrak. Once my bags are loaded I don't fool with them until we stop in Vancouver. It was the exact same amount with QS as Amtrak with business class with my AAA but I wanted to scenery.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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I live outside of Seattle. I would not be renting a car. I've been to Vancouver many times and don't need the time to explore. It would cost more to come the night before because there would be a hotel.
Quick Shuttle can't be faster across the border - it is the same border. They have signs telling which crossing is a longer wait. In fact, when I took Quick Shuttle last time (granted the other direction), it was much slower because the border agents were checking the buses more than cars. If it was just us, it is faster because we can take the Nexus lane - but with the other group coming, we can't.
The cost of parking and the cost of an extra night of hotel seem comparable. It is a cost I'd rather avoid if possible - which is why I was looking into another form of transportation.

7:15 just seems too early, given we'd have to get to downtown Seattle. Much longer day than just driving. I was really hoping there would be something slightly later.
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