Welcome to the start of my Disney Cruise Alaska Trip Report! Today is all about our travel day to Vancouver. A little background….we are a blended family with 4 kids. As you will see, we only took one kid on this vacation. Reason being we are starting a tradition of a high school trip of their choice (my son’s choice was a 7 night Disney cruise – Alaska was just icing on the cake). This gives us some bonding time with that child, not to mention it gives us the opportunity to do things we wouldn’t be able to afford with all four kids in tow (Alaska excursions can get pricey). In full disclosure, I did get a travel agent discount on this cruise.
We had an early morning today, our flight was leaving at 7:23am. We woke up around 4:30, showered and went downstairs for breakfast. We were only a mile away from the airport parking area, and a shuttle was pulling up right after we got our luggage out of the car. We ended up making the shuttle and were inside the airport by 5:30am. The line to check bags with Delta was ridiculously long! I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve traveled quite a bit. It took us over an hour to get through that line! We saw several people who were told they would miss their flight. Delta didn’t charge us to check our bags so that saved us $75 – I assume since there was a problem with the bag belt which caused the delay is why we were not charged. We then headed for security and while in line they had a dog sniffing everyone in the line. Well, the dog stopped by me so they held me back. Then the dog sniffed at Eddie too (he had walked on up further after I was held back). After a minute the security guard told us to go ahead, but then when we got up to the security lines, we heard the guy say “this is the three.” So they were talking about the three of us apparently – and we had to go through a separate security line. We didn’t have to remove our shoes or anything, but they opened up and searched all of our bags. I’m not sure what the dog smelled unless it was the snacks we had purchased the night before for our long plane ride! After they had went through all of our bags, we rushed to our gate and made it in time for the last boarding call – whew! Here we are, happy to be on the plane!
We had a layover in LAX (Los Angeles) of about 2 hours, so we grabbed lunch while at the airport. The guys went to go get lunch and I was saving some seats (LAX airport was horrendous). I had heard on the speaker that anyone who did not have their boarding pass issued by WestJet, should come up to get a new boarding pass (ours had been issued by Delta – the flight was operated by Delta, but was a WestJet flight). So when the guys got back, I took our passports up to the desk. The attendant told me that we were not on this flight, had I made any changes? I told her “no, I haven’t changed anything.” So she called Delta to see what was going on. For some reason (a reason they couldn’t explain), Delta had removed us from the flight. THANKFULLY, we were able to get back on, but we lost our seats on aisle 10 and were now on the very last row of the plane – although seated together. I told Eddie that I really hoped that things started going smoother, because this was beginning to get stressful!
We made it to Vancouver around 2:30pm. Going through customs was extremely quick and efficient there, we were very impressed with the airport, and it was really pretty. We waited for our luggage, then went to the cash exchange to get some CAD ($200 USD got us $237 CAD).
Then we went to grab a taxi to our hotel in downtown Vancouver – Westin Bayshore. The cab ride was about 20 to 25 minutes and cost $43 CAD.
Once we arrived at the Westin Bayshore it was around 4:00 or 4:30pm. I went to the desk to check in and was told that we could wait for an “upgrade” which she told me was a corner harbor view room that was larger than a standard room, or we could take an obstructed harbor view room now. We decided to go with the upgrade since we were only planning to drop our bags off in the room anyway and head to Gastown for dinner. We left our bags with bell services and went outside. We talked to the guy in charge of bike rentals there (Westin guests received 2 hours of bike rental free), and he gave us a map and told us it was a 15-20 minute walk to Gastown. It was a nice day and we wanted to walk by Canada Place where we’d be boarding the next day, so we decided to walk. Here’s some of our sights on the walk over:
The virtual flight similar to Soarin’ at Disney World / Disneyland
We ate at Steamworks, a pub/brewery in Gastown that I had read good reviews about.
Steamworks Brewing Co
We were not disappointed, we all enjoyed our meals. We got a crab/artichoke dip for an appetizer (this was our least favorite, kind of bland and lukewarm, not served hot):
I got a Steamworks burger and Eddie got wings and we split:
Hunter got the fish & chips:
They also had a store there where you could buy wine or beer if you wanted to take some on the cruise with you.
After we finished up dinner we started the walk back to our hotel. By this time it was around 6:30pm (9:30pm to our bodies) and we were started to get tired after our early wake-up. We stopped by the Olympic Cauldron and the Orca for pics on the way back:
Our plan was to grab some bikes and head to Stanley Park after we checked in. It was about 7:30pm at this point and the bike rental representative was no longer there, but I had asked the front desk earlier and they said that the desk outside would be able to assist. So we went in to collect our luggage from bell services and take it to our room (I had received a text on the walk back that our room was ready). We walked up to our room and this is our room:
I didn’t think it was a very large room, although the bathroom was nice and big and we did have a nice view. The regular rooms must not be very big. At this point I asked Eddie where my makeup bag was – I had kept it out of my luggage to use it that morning at our airport hotel, but then gave it back to him to pack up. Well, he forgot to switch it to our checked bags because we were kind of in a rush to get to the airport….so here I am getting ready to leave for a 7-night cruise with no makeup, no toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. We looked up the closest drug store and figured we could stop by there on our way back from Stanley Park. Um, nope. First off, we couldn’t get the desk outside to help (the guy was quite rude actually) – so no bike rentals. I was pretty disappointed because I really wanted to spend some time in Stanley Park. So, start stacking everything up that had happened that day on top of me being pretty tired at this point, and I was very irritable. Eddie decided to stay at the hotel and Hunter and I walked to the nearest drug store, where I ended up spending $100 to replace the things in my makeup bag (and Hunter’s toiletry bag too – it was also left behind). We walked back to the hotel about 9:30pm. It was still light outside and I was determined to stay up until 10:00pm to try to get acclimated to the time change. We watched some tv until around 10:00 and then called it a night.
Up next – Disney Cruise to Alaska Boarding Day! Early morning in Vancouver and boarding the Disney Wonder! Read all about it here!