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Everything posted by em-sk

  1. Yes, they are the replacement Alitalia. They are owned by the government of Italy. Being government owned I would not be worried that they are going to disapear. If your booked on codeshares operated by Air Canada and United then it comes down to those to airlines for the in flight experience. I am fan of Air Canada over United but honestly they are both very close to each other.
  2. In Victoria I can't thing of anywhere where the cruise ship could dock. For civilian docks you have Ogdon point (where the cruise ships normally dock) and a number of smaller docks. They could tender. The other large docks in Victoria are military or coast guard. If they need another Canadian port close to that area that would be Vancouver (that is also busy) or Nanaimo. Nanaimo has a purpose built cruise ship port facility, that NCL used it in years past. However it is very rarely used today.
  3. If I am looking for a basic hotel in the downtown core a few of the choices I would look at: - Days Inn (this is 100+ year old building, refurbish rooms, nothing remarkable about them but it s clean, safe and a good location). - Sandman Hotel (near the stadium), more upscale than the Days Inn but generally small rooms. Good location but not as close to the cruise ship terminal. - Pinnacle Hotel (close to the core of the city, older hotel, nice rooms, potentially a great view). - EXchange Hotel (before being a hotel this use to be the Vancouver Stock Exchange building). Older building but that transformed into a hotel. You can sometimes get good rates. Great location, nice rooms. Nothing over the top.
  4. That makes sense. If your charged 10% VAT on something that costs 0.00 Euro that is 0.00.
  5. There are some fine gardens in Vancouver. Including a botanical garden and two Japanese Gardens. If you do want to go to the Island. I would not do the rental car but instead do the intercity bus. - You would need to take a taxi from your hotel to Pacific Central Station. - There is a 9:30 AM bus that leaves Pacific Central and drives directly onto the 11:00 sailing that arrives in Swatz Bay at 12:35 - You will want to get off the bus on the ferry and walk off the ship. - Take a taxi from the ferry terminal to the Gardens. You would end up with a good four hours to visit the gardens. Coming back - Tax a taxi from the Garden To Swartz Bay Terminal to get on the 5:00 pm sailing you will want to be at the terminal no later that 4:30. - Board the bus on the ferry it will take you back to Pacific Central Station in Downtown Vancouver. - Taxi from there to your hotel. You will be back to your hotel around 8 pm. Pre-booking the bus is at: https://bcfconnector.com/ Even paying for taxis etc, this is likely lower cost. You spend far less time waiting for a ship and you don't need to worry about traffic etc. ---- If you do decide the fly there are a few choices..... Harbour Air operates float plans from Vancouver Harbour (near the cruise ship terminal) to downtown Victoria. Helijet Airways operates helicopter service from Vancouver Heliport to the inner harbour in Victoria. Both are spectacular views. You can sometimes get good deals. The gardens are actually closer to the Victoria Airport than downtown Victoria. So regular airport service may be a better fit though not as interesting. Air Canada, WestJet and Pacific Costal are the three airlines. Pacific Costal operates out of the south terminal in Vancouver and being a small aircraft does not have the same security constraints as the bigger airlines. The flying time is around 20 minutes.
  6. For BA London is their hub and they only have one hub. (Ignoring Gatwick for a moment). London-Phoenix-London is going to be a difficult turn for them to do in 24 hours and keep on schedule day after day using the same aircraft. It would be even worse for flights to California. They are likely to alternative the aircraft on that route with a shorter one. Perhaps something like London to New York, Chicago, Miami, Toronto or Montreal. They will make those decisions on a daily basis to try to minimise delays across the network. If you use a website like flightaware, you can search for that flight and click on a link to see what flight the aircraft did previousely.
  7. It is not uncommon for the airlines to contract out flying to regional airlines especially for routes that use smaller aircraft. Delta has contracted Skywest to operate that flight for them. The flight will have a Delta number on it, check in and the gate staff will be Delta. From a passenger perspective it will be a Delta flight. However, the aircraft, pilots and flight crew will be skywest employees. United, American and Alaska also do the same thing.
  8. Depends on where your heading. If you staying in Canada and heading back east I would go for a flight leaving around noon.
  9. Skywest in that case would use a Delta gate. Delta is usually in A. There is a very quick undergound shuttle train that connects everything. The bags are checked onwards and you should not have to go through security again. I would not be worried.
  10. Prince Rupert is a significant transportation hub. For cargo containers heading to Chicago and other parts of the midwest the Prince Rupert cargo terminal shaves about a week vrs Long Beach, Seattle or Vancouver. It has a population of around 15,000. Tourism is important in the community but since the community has a significant economy beyond just tourism you will find it has a different fell that stops in Alaska. If you walk up the hill your will be in the downtown area. As other posted there is tourism oriented shops but also everyday shops like Safeway and Walmart. There is a museum in town.
  11. Cruise lines pre buy large blocks of seats. The cruise line usually don't ticket until they have to. You need to wait for that to happen before the airline will do anything.
  12. Yes, will want to bid for an upgrade on the Air Canada site. I would first try to pull up your booking on aircanda.com . Both Lufthansa and Air Canada run on the same computer system (Amadeus), so its usually the same booking reference (sometimes called locator) for both. Answer the question of "can you upgrade" is difficult. You have three companies involved, the cruise line, Lufthansa and Air Canada. That said, the one that actually matters is Air Canada since they will decide what seat your in and charge any upgrade fee directly to you. If you have the booking reference and your last name. Go the upgrade website and pull it up. It is either going to let you put in a bid or you don't qualify. I have had them in past clear me for an upgrade weeks before the flight if they need the space. Pays to do it early.
  13. I am assuming your on Air Canada. The good news is Barcelona is not a major business destination out of Canada. So there are not going to be a lot of paid business class passengers. That means there are more seats available for upgrade. Air Canada uses a biding process where online you identify how much your willing to pay to get an upgrade. They usually clear all of these upgrades and the ones from their loyalty program around 48 hours before departure. Bid as early as you can, they will sometimes clear them early, especially if they need to free up seats in economy. This is where you can go to bid: https://upgrade.plusgrade.com/offer/AirCanada?lang=en Nearly all the widebodies AC aircraft are three class aircraft. Economy, Premium Economy and International Business Class (branded as Signature Class). Premium Economy is similar to what your would call domestic First Class in the US. Not a true international business class seat but a definite upgrade. There may be one of two widebodies floating around with just two classes, economy and premium economy that is much closer to business class. I think they usually get allowed to the flights to Algeria and Morocco.
  14. I have done the Jewel, Jade and EPIC. The Solo meetup on NCL is fine. You have to keep in mind NCL programs are by design very unstructured. You can attend the meet up if you want to or not. The host will organise dinner reservations if people want to go to a specific restaurant as a group. Some people will want to do dinner others will chat about port calls and maybe organise something on their own. There is no fixed agenda/program that is in anyway pushed the ship. The Studio on the larger ships have that shared lounge that is only available to those in studios. Not all singles are in studio and depending on pricing sometimes it may be cheaper to get a different type of cabin as a single. The studio has a cappuccino machine and I always liked the continental breakfast. You can start your day sitting down in a quite place with a coffee and pastry without the rush of the buffet.
  15. There is a taxi stand at both domestic and international arrivals. I would not be worried about lack of taxis. Your likely to get a Toyota hybrid and not a town car as a taxi. A certain percentage will be van taxi's that are able to take a wheelchair. The airport has some standards for things like vehicle age, driver training and how clean the taxi is. They are safe, drives are trained and your heading to a fairly high end hotel in a nice part of the city. As martincath said it is fixed price. Uber at airports always involves multiple people waiting looking for their car. I would not have security concerns about either option.
  16. The baggage fee from US to Canada is $30US for the first bag $50 for second. Going back it is also $30 and $50 but in CDN. Cheaper. So if each of you are bringing bags it is only $30 for each of you.
  17. If your on the Air Canada non-stop you check in with Air Canada. You will need the locator or ticket number. When you pull up the booking in Air Canada you can attach your Aeroplan or United miles number to the booking. If there is any special benefits that cross over they will when doing that. It is unusual to see credit card benefits cross over like that. You should be able to select seats ahead of time on the Air Canada site. Free if you have a Flex or higher economy ticket. There is a fee if it is a lower class fee. If you fly enough with united to get status in United's loyalty program that will also get you free bags on Air Canada.
  18. What you may encounter is airlines on their websites may sometimes chose to supress some interline options that are available. For example a Delta flight making a connection to an America flight. These exist and a travel agency or a third party website will have access to all of these. The airlines call center people may also have access to these. As long as they are ticketed under the same ticket number there is nothing wrong with them in principle. Usually these more obscure interline flights are expensive. However if its a cruise line that is working with unpublished rates these may sometimes have a combination of fares that makes it attractive.
  19. BC Connector will get you all the way to downtown. They did suspend service for a short period during COVID but have added the service back. I though there was mention in the threat earlier about car rental. Victoria is a very walkable city and you can get buy without a car if your staying downtown. Parking in downtown Victoria can be a bit challenging in summer. The city owns several parkades that use the same pay parking systems as the street parking. You can pay at the machines or using the app. Parking is $3 for 1 hour $5 for 2 hours; $6 for 3 hours etc.
  20. If your looking at having a rental car in Victoria my suggestion would be do the BC Ferries Connector from Downtown Vancouver to Swartz Bay Terminal. With that setup you would take the Connector onto the ferry but you would be walking off the ship on the Victoria side. There are always a stand of taxis at the Swartz Bay terminal and it is a very short taxi ride from their to the Victoria Airport where you can pickup a rental car. That way your pickup and returning your rental at the same place.
  21. I would second the comment on Costco. Over the last year or so I have found the best deal on car rental in Canada through Costco.
  22. Unless you have a lot of bags the cruise ship transfer is not a big deal. The cruise terminal is located on a lower level below the Pan Pacific. Across the street from the Fairmount Waterfront. Both are very nice hotels.
  23. I would normally suggest public transit, Skytrain (metro/subway system in Vancouver) is excellent. However with the mobility issues having a car may make sense. The port is actually a terminal in downtown Vancouver. If you google for it is called "Canada Place". The Canada Place complex has the convention center on the ground level; Pan Pacific hotel above; Cruise Terminal is on a lower level under the convention center. It is surrounded by high-rise condo towers and office buildings. You will find most major car rental outlets will have outlets within a few blocks of the cruise terminal however they are located in parkades of office towers. So it is a bit tricky to find. There are lots of attraction downtown including museums, galleries, etc. The airport is located in an area called Richmond. If your staying out in Richmond I would avoid the downtown venues and go for the ones with good parking. Stevenson Harbour is a historic fishing/canning area in Richmond. Lots of historic buildings, some good restraints etc. Richmond has a large Asian community. There is a number of shopping complex that are full of Asia shops. Aberdeen Centre would be the main one. You probably don't want to come all this way to do shopping but their is outdoor outlet mall near the airport. Going over the bridge into Vancouver,... If you are in to gardens Queen Elizabeth Park has a fantastic view of the city, a conservatory and rose garden and a restraint with a great view of the city. Vandusen botanical garden is traditional garden. There is also a Japanese Garden at the University of British Columbia. I would normally suggest the Museum of Anthropology however they are closed for seismic upgrades. Granville Island in Vancouver has a public market in a historic building, lots of artisan workshops and specialty shops surrounding it. The Vancouver Museum is also outside the downtown core and tends to have revolving exhibits. In North Vancouver..... If you don't mind driving, Grouse Mountain is in North Vancouver and there is a gondola that takes you up to the top of the mountain.
  24. My advise is find a hotel in downtown Vancouver, explore Vancouver and then catch Amtrak on Saturday from Vancouver to Seattle. Spend some time in Seattle and gab your flight on Sunday. If you don't want to spend time in Seattle there are shuttle buses from Vancouver direct to the airport in Seattle. However the train is a much more comfortable experience. Save Victoria for a future trip.
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