Alaska Cruise! Advice for Catching Flights?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by KLondon, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. KLondon

    KLondon Mouseketeer

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    Hey All!

    While we've done a few Disney cruises in southern climes, we're doing our first Disney cruise to Alaska in just a few short weeks! This was thrown together very last-minute after the planets aligned to allow all of our family to take some vacation together.

    Because it was so last minute, our flight options were fairly limited. While we're flying into Vancouver the day before, we need to fly back home (we're in Ontario, Canada) on the same day the cruise ends.

    So here's my dilema... Our (domestic) flight home leaves Vancouver at 11am, which is about an hour earlier than Disney recommends. A few questions for those who've maybe had a similar situation:

    1. Do I have a reasonable chance to make this flight? I've done some searching on the forum, and it seems like it should not be a huge problem. I believe the right idea will be to visit the Wonder's Guest Services asap and request the early debarkation group (Express Checkout?) so that we can leave the ship asap with our luggage in tow.

    2. Will we be okay to just hail a taxi to take us to the airport, or should I look at reserving some kind of private car service? We're a family of 4 with (not excessive) luggage.

    Many thanks for any and all advice and insights.

    K.
     
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  3. goingsouth

    goingsouth I should be Cruising today

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    our flight was at 1240 and I was worried. We spoke to guest services and they gave us the Ariel (earliest) tags. We had a car service arranged to take us to the airport. Made it there by 9. Good luck...:)
     
  4. Meekins

    Meekins Earning My Ears

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    We are a from Ontario too and did the Alaska July 15th sailing. We had the second earliest disembarkation tags (grey daisy duck)...we were in a cab (there was no line up for cabs) at 9am...at the airport by just after 9:30am. You don't need to worry about customs so I think you should be fine - especially if you ask for the earliest disembarkation tags.
     
  5. sarabeth10772

    sarabeth10772 Earning My Ears

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    We were on the July 22 sailing of the Disney Wonder. We had a 12:45 flight on July 29. I think we got to the gate around 11:30. We were 4th off the ship (green Tinkerbell) and there was a LONG line for a taxi. We had the Disney Transfers so we made it to the airport quickly.

    Either ask for the express disembarkation and you will be one of the first ones off the ship, however I think you will have to take your luggage with you off the ship if you do the express disembarkation.

    FYI...while the Wonder arrived into port on July 29 on time, it arrived on July 22nd about an hour later then expected.
     
  6. 87Heel

    87Heel DIS Veteran

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    We were on the July 29 sailing (got off the ship Aug. 5) and made our 11:30 am flight to Toronto easily. Guest services asks you to let them know that you have an early flight, and they will assign you the Ariel tags (first to be called). You also have the choice to carry off your luggage yourself. The Ariel tags were off the ship by 8am (carry-off just before that). We walked to the train station, bought tickets at the kiosk, waited about 5 minutes and were on a train to the airport. Slight line at Air Canada (we had bags to check and the kiosk check-in was having problems) but still on our way with no problems at all.
    We debated car service or 2 taxis (since we are a family of five) but we had no problems figuring out the train (plenty of people to point you in the right direction)!
     
  7. meajuly5

    meajuly5 DIS Veteran

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    I think you will make it. As you indicated, go to guest services. Since it is tight timing, would walk you own luggage off. We did that and were off the boat just before 8:00. We had a car service. When we got off ship, we called the service and thy were let not the area where we were. We were at airport by 8:40. Make sure you go to domestic terminal. We were directed to wrong areas. A lot of the porters/staff were uncertain when we asked questions.the longs were Long at customs ct but you should be ok with a domestic flight
     
  8. EeyoreIsMyName

    EeyoreIsMyName DIS Veteran

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    You could always do the Express Walk-Off where you take all your own luggage off the ship as soon as it has been cleared by the port authority.

    The earliest tags are Ariel and they announced them shortly (maybe 10-15 minutes) after Express Walk Off. I think you could make it if you used the Ariel tags. We were Daisy Gray and were at the airport by around 9:45am.

    A car of your own pre-reserved would leave before the Disney bus gets loaded.

    Be aware that you & all your luggage may be pulled by Customs for a security check (happened to us). We did not know that our flight was leaving earlier than we had scheduled until we arrived at the airport that morning. If the ship is late for any reason (fog, mechanical difficulties, etc.), that will push the timetable for arrival back as well. There was a late arrival to the port on July 22nd.

    If you miss your flight, just go to the Fairmont Airport (you've won a day in Vancouver!). Myabe if you think of it that way, it won't matter so much???:confused3 I would always rather miss a flight going home than getting there. :thumbsup2

    :eeyore:
     
  9. cwdefouw

    cwdefouw DVC Member since 1999

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    As a Canadian resident flying from Vancouver you won't have to worry about being delayed at US Customs and Immigration at the airport like a US resident would. The 12:00 PM recommendation takes into account those delays that a US resident could face.

    As long as the ship comes in on time and clears CA customs on schedule, if you do express walk-off and have a car service pre-arranged, you should be able to get to the airport by 9:00-9:30. For a Canadian domestic flight at 11:00 that should be fine.
     
  10. Dug720

    Dug720 SQUIRREL!!

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    Wait, is there actually an order in which you disembark on the smaller ships? I never heard or saw anything about "This is your character, this is when you leave the ship" on the Dream. Everyone just went to the atrium lobby and lined up to disembark. (Or that's what it seemed like anyway.)
     
  11. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    This is only in the terminals that are not big enough to handle all of the luggage at one time. It is not done this way in PC.
     
  12. Dug720

    Dug720 SQUIRREL!!

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    Oh, ok. Thanks for the information! :goodvibes
     
  13. jrabbit

    jrabbit DIS Veteran

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  14. KLondon

    KLondon Mouseketeer

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    Thanks EVERYONE for your comments and advice! I feel a lot better now. :)

    jrabbit - Great advice re: SkyTrain. I had that on my list to consider, so it's awesome to hear your experiences with it. I'm thinking that may be the way to go (and a cheap ride to the airport, too!). Since we're staying pre-cruise at the Pan Pacific, I think we'll probably use SkyTrain to get there, too.
     
  15. jrabbit

    jrabbit DIS Veteran

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    If you do that, you should look at buying a book of 10 one way tickets from the grocery store in the airport (7-11 or Plaid Pantry or something like that). There is a large surcharge on tickets from the airport, but the book of tickets works just fine and saved the 3 of us some money even though we used only 6 of them. Was easy to find in the airport. Don't remember where I found this info online.

    BTW, we did not fly into Vancouver, we drove up from the States, but found a really good deal for parking there - less than $40 for the week!
     
  16. jtkboston

    jtkboston hooked on cruising

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    Considering an 11:45AM flight to US on day of disembarkation--what are your thoughts? doable? how risky?
     
  17. meajuly5

    meajuly5 DIS Veteran

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    Walk your own luggage off th ship. Arrange for private transport. You could be at airport by 8:30. Lines at air Canada were looooongggg. We found customs and security long in Canada. Don't waste time on transfers et bc I the lines are long it will be tight.
     
  18. Donna3271

    Donna3271 DIS Veteran

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    I have a 12 pm flight. I requested early walk-off. I am not going to stress over it. If Disney did not feel it was doable, they would have recommended a later fight (12pm is their recommended earliest).
     
  19. chiburple

    chiburple Mouseketeer

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    Just one more vote for you should be able to make it. This was my experience earlier this year:

    I decided to return to the airport via taxi because I had extra time and didn’t want to pull my bag uphill for the return to the station. I asked when I boarded when we should be ready if we wanted to walk off the ship with our bags. I was told to be in the atrium around 7:15 and so I was. There was quite a long line there, but once they opened the doors (around 7:30ish) it moved pretty quickly. Customs took virtually no time at all and I was looking for a cab around 7:40/7:45am. The roads were busy as it was Monday morning, but honestly traffic wasn’t too bad. With tip I paid $40 for the cab fare. The airport check-in wasn’t too busy either. I was sitting at my gate, eating Tim Horton’s by around 9:15am.

    Also, you have the option of taking the skytrain which had been my original plan, but once I disembarked I didn't see the need to go through that effort.
     

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