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Old 11-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #2086
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Anyone have a feel for whether it's better to rent a car for a 1 day trip to Victoria or take a tour?
Depends on what you are wanting to do in Victoria.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #2087
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Vancouver Aquarium questions

Hello. Wondering about the aquarium. How is it and how does it compare to, say, the National aquarium in Baltimore? How far is it from the cruise terminal? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #2088
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Buchart Gardens
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:52 PM   #2089
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Hello. Wondering about the aquarium. How is it and how does it compare to, say, the National aquarium in Baltimore? How far is it from the cruise terminal? Thanks in advance.
I haven't been to any aquariums on the East Coast, but I think it's fantastic!
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:29 PM   #2090
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My family is planning to take the June 3rd sailing to Alaska next year and this thread has been great--even if I wish it could be categorized by topic for easier/faster reading!

Anyway, I'm thinking that the cheapest option to get to Vancouver is to fly in to Seattle and take the train up. Has anyone done the math to determine if this is indeed cheaper, even with the cost of an overnight hotel and train fare, versus flying directly into Vancouver? This is just one of my million questions as we prepare to book!
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:40 AM   #2091
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Buchart Gardens
If you are only wanting to do Butchart Gardens. I would look into a day trip through a tour company. Saves you a lot of hassle - renting a car / ferry lines ups / how to get there. Etc.

If you are already going to have a car. It's a fairly easy route - you will just have to watch times for the ferry. If it's in the summer - end of June until after Labour Day - they basically run every hour on the hour from 7am until 9 pm. Cost is approximately $120 one way for car / driver and three adult passengers. You can make a reservation for a cost of about $17.50 one way to guarantee a spot on the ferry. You will also have your admission cost into Butchart's. Butchart's is about a 20 minute drive from the ferry terminal. A little under half way between the ferry terminal and downtown Victoria.

The ferry ride (approx. 1.5 hours) is an experience as well. Beautiful scenery. If you are lucky in the summer - around Active Pass at dusk you might see killer whales. The crew is good at alerting passengers over the loudspeakers. The ferries are really nice with a couple of snack bars/counter service, buffett and gift shop available.

From downtown Vancouver, it's approximately just over an hour's drive to the ferry terminal - but depending on the time of day - rush hour you will have to allow more time to get through the Deas Tunnel.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:41 AM   #2092
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeecanada View Post
If you are only wanting to do Butchart Gardens. I would look into a day trip through a tour company. Saves you a lot of hassle - renting a car / ferry lines ups / how to get there. Etc.

If you are already going to have a car. It's a fairly easy route - you will just have to watch times for the ferry. If it's in the summer - end of June until after Labour Day - they basically run every hour on the hour from 7am until 9 pm. Cost is approximately $120 one way for car / driver and three adult passengers. You can make a reservation for a cost of about $17.50 one way to guarantee a spot on the ferry. You will also have your admission cost into Butchart's. Butchart's is about a 20 minute drive from the ferry terminal. A little under half way between the ferry terminal and downtown Victoria.

The ferry ride (approx. 1.5 hours) is an experience as well. Beautiful scenery. If you are lucky in the summer - around Active Pass at dusk you might see killer whales. The crew is good at alerting passengers over the loudspeakers. The ferries are really nice with a couple of snack bars/counter service, buffett and gift shop available.

From downtown Vancouver, it's approximately just over an hour's drive to the ferry terminal - but depending on the time of day - rush hour you will have to allow more time to get through the Deas Tunnel.
I guess the tour price isn't SO outrageous after all. And leave the driving to THEM. Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:52 AM   #2093
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeecanada View Post
If you are only wanting to do Butchart Gardens. I would look into a day trip through a tour company. Saves you a lot of hassle - renting a car / ferry lines ups / how to get there. Etc.

If you are already going to have a car. It's a fairly easy route - you will just have to watch times for the ferry. If it's in the summer - end of June until after Labour Day - they basically run every hour on the hour from 7am until 9 pm. Cost is approximately $120 one way for car / driver and three adult passengers. You can make a reservation for a cost of about $17.50 one way to guarantee a spot on the ferry. You will also have your admission cost into Butchart's. Butchart's is about a 20 minute drive from the ferry terminal. A little under half way between the ferry terminal and downtown Victoria.

The ferry ride (approx. 1.5 hours) is an experience as well. Beautiful scenery. If you are lucky in the summer - around Active Pass at dusk you might see killer whales. The crew is good at alerting passengers over the loudspeakers. The ferries are really nice with a couple of snack bars/counter service, buffett and gift shop available.

From downtown Vancouver, it's approximately just over an hour's drive to the ferry terminal - but depending on the time of day - rush hour you will have to allow more time to get through the Deas Tunnel.
I guess the tour price isn't SO outrageous after all. And leave the driving to THEM. Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #2094
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Originally Posted by LindaBabe View Post
I guess the tour price isn't SO outrageous after all. And leave the driving to THEM. Thank you!

Yes, unfortunately our ferry costs have risen quite a bit in the last few years. The cost to get into Butchart's is quite high as well - approx. $30 per adult - but well worth it. Butchart's is beautiful. Remember to leave time to browse through the gift shop at the end - there is some really nice things in there. There are a couple of restaurants and snack bars available as well.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #2095
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Exclamation

Just a quick warning. Listening to radio report of consistent (during the past year) problems with Budget rent a car in Vancouver. According to report, over 100 consumer complaints have been received against the company for making repairs to undetectable damage on cars after the consumer has returned the car.

The local consumer protection agency suggests that customers take photographs of the rental cars on pickup and on return. I gather there have been a number of problems with the company replacing windshields instead of repairing minor chips.

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Old 11-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #2096
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For those who flew into Seattle then took the train up the next day to Vancouver, where did you stay? I'd like to be pretty close to the train station to save on cab fare.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:02 PM   #2097
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I've been searching for tips for the past few days and haven't found anything, so I will try posting here before I start a new thread.

I'm trying to determine the best, most convenient, and cheapest way to get to Vancouver from Orlando for my June 3rd, 2013 Alaska cruise. So far, I can determine 3 options:

- Fly direct into Vancouver and take out a loan to afford doing so
- Fly into Seattle and take the shuttle bus the same day
- Fly into Seattle and stay overnight, then take the train into Vancouver the next day

My parents will be with me and it will already be a very long trip, so I'm trying to break up the travel time but save cash. The second option seems to be the cheapest, saving us over $500, but it would be too hard on my parents to travel for up to 15 hours. So, I'm trying to come up with some numbers for the third option and am having some difficulty.

There appears to be no hotels in the vicinity of the train station in Seattle who have a shuttle from the airport, or are within a very easy walking distance of the train station. So, we'll need cabs. I could book a private car from the airport to the hotel for $122, but the taxi website doesn't have a flat rate and I can't figure out how much it'll cost (never taken a taxi before)--so I don't know if a cab would be much cheaper.

So! Has anyone stayed overnight in Seattle first, then taken the train up to Vancouver, and how did you do it? How much did it cost you?
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:30 PM   #2098
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post
I've been searching for tips for the past few days and haven't found anything, so I will try posting here before I start a new thread.

I'm trying to determine the best, most convenient, and cheapest way to get to Vancouver from Orlando for my June 3rd, 2013 Alaska cruise. So far, I can determine 3 options:

- Fly direct into Vancouver and take out a loan to afford doing so
- Fly into Seattle and take the shuttle bus the same day
- Fly into Seattle and stay overnight, then take the train into Vancouver the next day

My parents will be with me and it will already be a very long trip, so I'm trying to break up the travel time but save cash. The second option seems to be the cheapest, saving us over $500, but it would be too hard on my parents to travel for up to 15 hours. So, I'm trying to come up with some numbers for the third option and am having some difficulty.

There appears to be no hotels in the vicinity of the train station in Seattle who have a shuttle from the airport, or are within a very easy walking distance of the train station. So, we'll need cabs. I could book a private car from the airport to the hotel for $122, but the taxi website doesn't have a flat rate and I can't figure out how much it'll cost (never taken a taxi before)--so I don't know if a cab would be much cheaper.

So! Has anyone stayed overnight in Seattle first, then taken the train up to Vancouver, and how did you do it? How much did it cost you?
I live in Seattle, and this is what I would probably do if I were trying to save money:

Try Eastside for Hire (http://www.eastsideforhire.com/) for flat rate taxi service from the airport to the Best Western Executive Inn in Seattle (http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwest...RateFlag=false ). It is within walking distance of Seattle Center (Space Needle, EMP, etc.), and, more important, it is a terminal point for the Quick Shuttle (http://www.quickcoach.com/ ). Spend the night at the Best Western, and you can pick up the Quick Shuttle directly from that hotel, and they will drop you off directly at most of the Vancouver, BC downtown hotels the next day. Technically, you can take the QuickShuttle straight from the Executive Inn to Canada Place, but I wouldn't do that. I'd be a little nervous crossing the border the same day--we always cross the night before.

It's actually a lot cheaper to take the Quick Shuttle from the Executive Inn (it's what we always do) than it is to take it from the airport.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:19 PM   #2099
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I live in Seattle, and this is what I would probably do if I were trying to save money:

Try Eastside for Hire (http://www.eastsideforhire.com/) for flat rate taxi service from the airport to the Best Western Executive Inn in Seattle (http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwest...RateFlag=false ). It is within walking distance of Seattle Center (Space Needle, EMP, etc.), and, more important, it is a terminal point for the Quick Shuttle (http://www.quickcoach.com/ ). Spend the night at the Best Western, and you can pick up the Quick Shuttle directly from that hotel, and they will drop you off directly at most of the Vancouver, BC downtown hotels the next day. Technically, you can take the QuickShuttle straight from the Executive Inn to Canada Place, but I wouldn't do that. I'd be a little nervous crossing the border the same day--we always cross the night before.

It's actually a lot cheaper to take the Quick Shuttle from the Executive Inn (it's what we always do) than it is to take it from the airport.
Thanks so much for the reply! Good to have another option.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:26 AM   #2100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post
I've been searching for tips for the past few days and haven't found anything, so I will try posting here before I start a new thread.

I'm trying to determine the best, most convenient, and cheapest way to get to Vancouver from Orlando for my June 3rd, 2013 Alaska cruise. So far, I can determine 3 options:

- Fly direct into Vancouver and take out a loan to afford doing so
- Fly into Seattle and take the shuttle bus the same day
- Fly into Seattle and stay overnight, then take the train into Vancouver the next day

My parents will be with me and it will already be a very long trip, so I'm trying to break up the travel time but save cash. The second option seems to be the cheapest, saving us over $500, but it would be too hard on my parents to travel for up to 15 hours. So, I'm trying to come up with some numbers for the third option and am having some difficulty.

There appears to be no hotels in the vicinity of the train station in Seattle who have a shuttle from the airport, or are within a very easy walking distance of the train station. So, we'll need cabs. I could book a private car from the airport to the hotel for $122, but the taxi website doesn't have a flat rate and I can't figure out how much it'll cost (never taken a taxi before)--so I don't know if a cab would be much cheaper.

So! Has anyone stayed overnight in Seattle first, then taken the train up to Vancouver, and how did you do it? How much did it cost you?
We flew into Seattle, stayed a night and took the Amtrak train to Vancouver. It was AWESOME. If you don't want to stay overnight, they also have an evening train.

As for previous questions about what to do in Vancouver, we bought the Pink Bus 3-day pass -- which is a bus that you can get on and off all day and it afforded us tons of options of areas of visit (including Granville Island, Stanley Park, Chinatown) and we loved it. We thought Vancouver was a fantastic city and is now one of our favorites! And don't forget to visit the Olympic torch in the waterfront place (next to Pan Pacific).

We, too, stayed at the Pan Pacific and at first booked with a AAA rate. But keep an eye on their site as specials are constantly being offered. We ended up with a deal where we paid everything up front (no refunds) the week before we left and saved hundreds over the AAA deal!
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