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extralauren

Will I make an 11:00am flight out of Vancouver if my ship docks at 7:00am?

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This is my first question, hopefully it's an appropriate one:  how long does it take to disembark the ship and get from the Vancouver cruise terminal to the airport?

 

My ship docks in Vancouver at 7:00am. Will I be at the airport in time to comfortably make an 11:00am flight home?  There is only 1 direct flight from Vancouver to my home airport per day. I have 2 young kids and lots of stuff, so I don't want to cut it too close. It's an international flight (I live in the US), if that makes a difference.

Edited by extralauren

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Maybe. 

And that is the best answer you'll get because no one can tell you for certain.

It's a fine question though 🙂

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My ship is scheduled to dock in Vancouver at 7:00am. Will I have any issues making an 11:00am flight back home? It's the only direct flight to my home airport that day, so if I miss it, I'm toast.

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1 hour ago, extralauren said:

My ship is scheduled to dock in Vancouver at 7:00am. Will I have any issues making an 11:00am flight back home? It's the only direct flight to my home airport that day, so if I miss it, I'm toast.

Domestic - no problem   Take the Sky Train ba ck to airport (Waterfront station only about 2-3 blocks from ship).  It would be faster than having taxi fight traffic.

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Can you make it in time?  Probably, if you are off the ship and on your way to the airport by 8:30 and have no traffic issues getting to the airport.  Will you make it?  Impossible to say but that is a rather tight window.  Our experience with luggage retrieval in Vancouver was the worst we ever experienced in 28 years of cruising taking more than an hour (with the least helpful and rudest port baggage handling staff ever experienced) just to get it once off the ship.  But that was just our experience.  Check in and security at the airport can be somewhat time consuming as well.  Our flight was at 1:00 and we had over an hour at the gate wait time.  But 11:00 is pretty early and would require all to go smoothly and without delay.  Maybe consider self disembarkation with your luggage as a start.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Agree - maybe.  We did last year but we travel with only carry on luggage and got in line to self disembark at 7:00am.  The line was quite long but moved well.  Also remember, because you are due to arrive at 7 that does not always work out, or there can be delays in clearing the ship for entry into Canada.  Fortunately if you are early off there are plenty of cabs waiting to get you to the airport (about 35” with no traffic issues).  Later on there can be a wait as the congestion for the entry to the port can be dicey.  

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4 hours ago, extralauren said:

My ship is scheduled to dock in Vancouver at 7:00am. Will I have any issues making an 11:00am flight back home? It's the only direct flight to my home airport that day, so if I miss it, I'm toast.

 

Let's see.  We have no information on what day of the week you arrive, whether there are any other ships in port, what ship you are arriving on, and where your destination is.

 

So to quote NBT above, it depends.

 

Also, I assume you meant "non-stop" rather than "direct", which mean different things.  Further, I doubt that that one flight is the ONLY way you could reach your destination.

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According to Princess Cruises' guidelines, allow at least 4.5 hours between the ship's arrival and the plane's departure. You're cutting it real close with an 11:00am departure.

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15 hours ago, extralauren said:

My ship is scheduled to dock in Vancouver at 7:00am. Will I have any issues making an 11:00am flight back home? It's the only direct flight to my home airport that day, so if I miss it, I'm toast.

If you dock at 7 am, your ship likely will not start letting passengers off until 7:30 or even 8 am.  That makes an 11 am flight doable but tight.  You need to be in the self-disembarker group and take a taxi to the airport (or use the Skytrain if the taxi line is long).  

 

Whatever you do, DO NOT take the ship's transfer.  We did this once in Vancouver and barely made the flight, which was after Noon as I recall.  We had to run through the airport and I know a few people did not make it in time.

 

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18 hours ago, extralauren said:

My ship is scheduled to dock in Vancouver at 7:00am. Will I have any issues making an 11:00am flight back home? It's the only direct flight to my home airport that day, so if I miss it, I'm toast.

 

Domestic?  International?  USA-Bound?   If it US bound, you need to also factor in that you need to clear US Customs and Immigration prior to entering the E-gates at the airport, which can add from 0-60 minutes to your departure.  I would consider 11a very tight.

 

Assuming all the ducks are in a row, this is about as fast as you can do it.  And no, a taxi won't be faster in morning rushhour

7a dock

7:30a absolutely earliest someone might get off ship carrying all their own luggage

7:45a clear Canadian Customs/Immigration off ship

8:00a walk to Waterfront Stn

8:15a board Canada Line to airport

8:45a arr airport, check in

 

at which point you still need to clear security and US Customs/Immigration.

 

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I agree with Scott's timetable - the only potential savings not listed is another 'you did not tell us any pertinent info OP so we have no idea if it applies or not' tidbit, which is that if you are on a cruise that hits Victoria or any other Canadian ports before arriving in Vancouver you may have already dealt with Canadian customs/immigration so have zero delays walking off, plus that if it's a weekday the train frequency will be ~6-7mins so your worst-case wait time if you just miss a train is less.

 

Since even a few minutes here and there matter in these circumstances, I'd suggest that if you do manage to be among the first folks off ALL the ships that day - unless you are the only ship in port, even being the very first person of your vessel could still see hundreds of other pax from up to 3 more ahead of you... - and the taxi queue looks very short, getting into a cab will be faster than SkyTrain. Morning rush is inbound, you are heading outbound, so end-to-end drive will likely be <35mins. As soon as you're waiting even 10mins for a cab though, SkyTrain starts winning.

 

In short, 11am is definitely feasible if you are mobile and hustle. If you have Global Entry or NEXUS to expedite you through both Security and US Preclearance queues at YVR it becomes extremely feasible even flying to the US rather than domestically.

 

But frankly the best advice I can offer is to extend your vacation by at least one night. That way you can take whatever flight you like, as early as you like, without worrying about the ship - and you get to spend some time in one of the best handful of cities on the planet to visit. Early morning flights in summer are the sensible way to go, precisely because you avoid all those foolish cruisers who run straight to the airport from their ships and then clog up all the queues! 😉

 

Get to YVR before 8:30am and you guarantee avoid the problem (though don't come much before 5am if you're going to the US, as CBP don't open until 4:30am...)

 

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Also being international you need to be there 2 hours ahead of time.

 

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Where was the ship before it arrives in Vancouver?
If it was a US port, then you will need time to clear Canada customs and immigration in Vancouver.
The process shouldn't take that long for a US citizen but the compulsory line-up to get to see the official could take a while, especially since you may need to go to the baggage hall first.
If your previous port is Victoria BC, this won't be a problem (you''ll clear customs there) or if you're very lucky (check with the cruise line) you may have immigration officers on board to pre-clear you.
If it was me, I'd carry my own bags off the ship, be at the gangway at least 15 minutes before docking time and hopefully the line-ups won't be too bad at that point in the morning (the early bird...)

The subway goes directly to the airport from the Waterfront station near the ship and takes about 40 minutes, door to door. And, yes, the subway will be quicker than by road - and less likely to be delayed.
Things you can do ahead of time:

1. buy your subway tickets before you board the ship in Vancouver to save more time and to know where the station is located.

2. Check with your airline about check-in times at YVR for a flight into the US (you will need time to pre-clear US immigration at YVR).
3. Get your boarding passes before you get to the airport.
So, yes, if the ship offloads on time and 'the creek don't rise', I'd say you'll make your flight.

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 "I have 2 young kids and lots of stuff,"

 

I think some of the posters above missed this very important comment in the OP's posting.  With two youngsters and lots of stuff, you won't be taking the train.

 

Basically the answer is NO, you do not have time to make that flight.

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52 minutes ago, Canuker said:

Things you can do ahead of time:

1. buy your subway tickets before you board the ship in Vancouver to save more time and to know where the station is located.

Not anymore - when Compass came in the prebought ticket books ceased to exist. As soon as the machine spits out a ticket, it's time-limited to 4am the next day even if you never tap it. DayPasses are the only tickets which can be bought in advance, and even then only from brick & mortar vendors not ticket machines, and at ~$10pp poor value for one ride. Acquiring a reloadable Compass Card would be possible - but unless return visits to Vancouver are planned to use up the minimum preload cost it's a real hassle - in theory you can mail the cards back for a refund, but that would be a cheque in CAD$ less an admin fee for postage.

 

32 minutes ago, cruiseryyc said:

 "I have 2 young kids and lots of stuff,"

 

I think some of the posters above missed this very important comment in the OP's posting.  With two youngsters and lots of stuff, you won't be taking the train.

 

Basically the answer is NO, you do not have time to make that flight.

Good catch of the edit CYYC - this was not what OP originally asked, which can be seen in the post quoted by Scottbee above.

 

I'd agree that 'lots of stuff' means a low possibility of self-disembarkation, which puts the proverbial kibosh on this plan right from the start. Young kids on SkyTrain is a plus, not a minus, as long as they can walk though - under 5s are free and the driverless trains mean kids generally LOVE them, they can stand right at the front and pretend to drive... which is annoying because I like to do that too, but the looks you get when you shove a 3 year old out of the way and start making 'choo-choo' noises... 😉

 

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Agree with Scottbee...it's exactly what we've done in the past...but easy for us to say.

With OP's kids and "lots of stuff" to carry...taking the skytrain may not be a good option...although it would be the fastest.

There could be a long line for taxis outside Canada Place...perhaps having a private transfer will help you get to YVR faster......but then you'll have to worry about traffic. 

If you decide to take that 11am flight...just make sure you have an option B.  Happy Sailing!

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