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Old 07-26-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
Disneyfun1
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best place to fly into for alaska cruise and hotels?

Next summer we are doing an alaskan cruise for my birthday. is it best to fly straight into vancouver, canada or do it another way? we are flying from phx, az, anyone know what flight prices may be? also, we book the hotel disney recommends, the Fairmont Waterfront, is that any good, or should we book our own elsewhere? Trying to make it as easy as possible having never been to canada before.

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Old 07-26-2014, 12:27 PM   #2
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We are leaving for Alaska in less then 2 weeks out of the Bay Area and we are flying Southwest into Seattle early on Friday and then taking the Amtrak to Vancouver Sat morning to spend the weekend. The flights to Seattle and the train were less then half the price of the flights I found flying directly into Vancouver (Air Canada/United started at over $350 round trip per person). I kept waiting for the Southwest Wanna Get Away fairs and got our flights for less then $80 per person one way. If you are patient and can deal with Southwest, you should be able to find a reasonable flight out of Sky Harbor. We are taking the Quick Shuttle back after the cruise from Vancouver to Seattle and then flying home the next morning.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
cedricandsophie
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I've flown into Seattle and Vancouver. I find vancouver very east to get around. Great downtown area with lots to do. Stanley park is fabulous. If you have the time I would definitely recommend an extra night. I have stayed at the fairmont. Lovely hotel. Also like the Sheraton. Good walking distance to shopping and restaurants. Canada is a stickler about passports so be sure to have one for everyone.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:01 PM   #4
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For ease, flying into Vancouver couldn't get any easier. We stayed at the Pan Pacific, which is right above the cruise terminal. Also extremely easy since the bell hop came to our room and took the luggage to the ship check in for us. I booked a great rate on Hotwire that was way below the rack rate posted online.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:37 PM   #5
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We flew into in Vancouver from Phoenix in May. USAirways has a nonstop flight to Vancouver that couldn't be easier. It is also well timed to flying in the day before, yet late enough if you need to fly home immediately after your cruise. We also stayed at the Pan Pacific which was amazingly convenient to the port.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
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Just go look up flight prices now to get an idea? End of may it was $900pp from DFW to Vancouver and $350 to Seattle. We flew to Seattle and took the train which was fun. If we went again I would fly direct but I'm glad we did the train experience once! Just depends on time and budget and what you've experienced. Vancouver is beautiful!
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
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Although flying directly into Vancouver seems expensive, when looking at flying into Seattle and then either taking Amtrak or the Shuttle to Vancouver it seems like a hassle having to drag luggage from the Airport, to the train/shuttle, and then several more hours to get to Vancouver......not sure it is worth it even to save a few bucks. For me, flying from the Charlotte NC area, as of right now the flight costs for next year are almost the same flying into either Seattle or Vancouver. Of course that could change a lot in the upcoming months, but I will keep an eye on it.

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Old 07-26-2014, 09:05 PM   #8
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Flying into Vancouver- super easy- clean airport. We paid with miles and it was the same "price" as a ticket within the continental US. You can take public transportation right to the waterfront area. The Fairmont was amazing, amazing, amazing for us… a wonderful way to start our vacation. We stayed on the Gold level, and there is an outside patio from which you could see the Wonder come into port. They transported our bags to the boat for us.
Enjoy the cruise!!!
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:12 PM   #9
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As others noted, if cost is the main issue, it's often cheaper to fly to Seattle and then take a train or rent a car or something. If "ease" is the goal, it's of course easier to fly straight into Vancouver. Note that the best prices on plane tickets are often not found way in advance, but closer to the 1.5 to 2-month out mark. I haven't looked at Vancouver, so maybe prices move differently there, but that's pretty universal.

However, if you are using frequent flyer miles, it is the same number to Vancouver as it is to Seattle on most airlines. You can usually get a really good value for your frequent flyer miles to Vancouver if you are using them. A problem is that the cheap frequent flyer seats go quickly - you will want to get tickets as early as possible if you are using frequent flyer miles.

The Pan Pacific is supposed to be the easiest hotel to stay in, since it's literally right on top of the cruise terminal. The Fairmont Waterfront is just across the street, though, so it should be fine, also. We will be at the Pan Pacific next week. Like others, I got the reservation at a good discount via Hotwire (see earlier in this thread for the details to look for on Hotwire so you would know that's the one you're getting).
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJC1861 View Post
Although flying directly into Vancouver seems expensive, when looking at flying into Seattle and then either taking Amtrak or the Shuttle to Vancouver it seems like a hassle having to drag luggage from the Airport, to the train/shuttle, and then several more hours to get to Vancouver......not sure it is worth it even to save a few bucks. For me, flying from the Charlotte NC area, as of right now the flight costs for next year are almost the same flying into either Seattle or Vancouver. Of course that could change a lot in the upcoming months, but I will keep an eye on it.

Linda
We flew from this area in July 2011 for Vancouver. The miles cost was the exact same from NC to Seattle or Vancouver. That made the decision super easy for us.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:55 PM   #11
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Flew in to Seattle to save $$, rented a car and drove to Vancouver and stayed at Pan Pacific and dropped the car off there. Pan Pacific was sooooo nice!!!
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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We flew directly into Vancouver from NC last year (June 2013). I checked out the flights to Seattle and we would have considered using SWA, but that would have meant driving to RDU, parking there for 9 days, getting to Vancouver, etc. The flights were very close in prices so like others it was a no-brainer to fly direct into Vancouver.

We paid about $680 p/p roundtrip and I did two, one ways. I booked United going there and then AA coming home so make sure you look at individual flights for prices and times. We needed a good time to leave Vancouver and I found this somewhat of a challenge - it felt like too many left way too early or way too late and just a handful leaving at lunch time for the East coast.

I've been to Seattle several times and I love it there but as a family we fell in love with Vancouver so I'd highly encourage anyone to spend some time there. My DH often dreams of moving there He custom paints hockey goalie masks so he tries to convince me how much work he could get there, lol

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Old 07-27-2014, 12:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJC1861 View Post
Although flying directly into Vancouver seems expensive, when looking at flying into Seattle and then either taking Amtrak or the Shuttle to Vancouver it seems like a hassle having to drag luggage from the Airport, to the train/shuttle, and then several more hours to get to Vancouver......not sure it is worth it even to save a few bucks. For me, flying from the Charlotte NC area, as of right now the flight costs for next year are almost the same flying into either Seattle or Vancouver. Of course that could change a lot in the upcoming months, but I will keep an eye on it.

Linda
Dh has mobility issues, so we flew into Vancouver last May and stayed at the Fairmont Airport hotel, it was expensive but very convenient. We also paid for DCL transfers. Sometimes its worth it to pay for convenience. After the cruise we also stayed at the airport hotel but took the train back into the city so that we could go to Stanley Park and Granville Island.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:04 PM   #14
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There are many other hotels in downtown Vancouver than the Pan Pacific or various Fairmonts. It's all very close in, and even if you wouldn't walk with all your bags, most everything is in "walking distance".

I noticed that PHX flights from/to anywhere are crazy expensive, especially as you get closer to the dates, and in my experience they do NOT go down. If you see a price you like, take it. I'm not normally a person that books early, but with PHX I have shot myself in the foot more than once by not booking when I saw a decent price.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
There are many other hotels in downtown Vancouver than the Pan Pacific or various Fairmonts. It's all very close in, and even if you wouldn't walk with all your bags, most everything is in "walking distance".

I noticed that PHX flights from/to anywhere are crazy expensive, especially as you get closer to the dates, and in my experience they do NOT go down. If you see a price you like, take it. I'm not normally a person that books early, but with PHX I have shot myself in the foot more than once by not booking when I saw a decent price.
I bought my flight for the end of May at the beginning of January. I was upset because the prices did go down as we got closer to the date, especially for our return flight. Unlike Southwest, I couldn't get the lower rates and a credit. I was stuck with the rate I got, which I thought was the lowest at the time. But, on the other hand it was driving me crazy watching the fares every day and worrying about them going up as the plan filled up.
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