Alaska Cruising Day 0.
It doesn’t seem like we ever sleep really well the night before a vacation, but I think the idea of sleep before Alaska was like asking for a night in the Cinderella Suite at Walt Disney World- highly unlikely. As soon as the alarm went off we were up, packing and heading to the airport. We had a midmorning flight headed into Vancouver International Airport. The plan was to land by mid-afternoon, get to the hotel, and sight see for a few hours. Our flight was uneventful and we arrived on time. After reembarking the plane you head over to baggage claim and pick up all your luggage, then you head to customs.Going through Customs was quick, and we headed down a long hallway toward the general exit. We were asked by several people from one cruise line or another if we were headed to a cruise. We said yes Disney, and they pointed us to the Disney Rep. She checked out names off a list, and said she would guide us to our driver. Tugging our bags over to a line of drivers she didn’t see ours, but we did. Our driver had a sign with our last name on it. He welcomed us, asked if there was anything we needed, like a bathroom break- which we did, and then he helped us with our luggage. There was a nice SUV waiting to take us to our hotel in downtown Vancouver. The ride was about 25 minutes. We were the only passengers in our SUV, and our driver was friendly and knowledgeable about the city. We already were smiling and enjoying our decision to book everything through Disney. It was completely stress free.
We pulled up to the drop off for our hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront.
It was a little chaotic (we found out later that another cruise line had a delay and their ship would be boarding leaving late/possibly the next day which was why everything was in chaos). There were tons of people arriving/departing so there was no hotel staff to greet us at the car- something we saw down most other times during our short stay. We got out, took our bags – no offer of a bell service although they did have one, and we probably would have declined anyway- thanked our driver and headed in the door. What a surprise when we got inside, we were trying to figure out where the check in desk was, which seems like it should be easy but it wasn’t because there were several desks, none of which said check in… when a staff for another cruise line approached us and asked us if we were going on a cruise. We said yes Disney. She pointed us down a hallway and said the Disney desk is down that way and you can check in with them. Great. We head down a short hall way, only to see nothing that looks like a Disney desk. We did all this while dragging our bags with us. Well in utter confusing we split up, one of us took the bags back to the front area of the hotel to figure out which desk was check in, while the other looked for someone with a Disney name tag. We did successfully check in, and talked with a Disney staff who said after we got our room we could check in with them as well. All right, time to haul our bags to our room. We found our room, a standard view room with a King bed (we had Disney request this for us on our reservation) and opened the door to a great view. Apparently in our excitement we never took a picture of our room!
It was pretty awesome. We had a nice view of the city, a clean well appointed room. Was it anything swanky and special? I guess that depends. To us it felt like any nice hotel room, but I can’t imagine I’d pay the steep prices to stay there if it wasn’t close to the port, booked through Disney, and fell in out streefree plan. The room was just a nice room. The hotel grounds and amenities were very nice and I’d be happy to treat myself to them. It’s a 50/50. As a splurge it was a great hotel to enjoy. As a room to sleep in, it wasn’t anything life changing. After dumping our stuff off, we hurried to check in with the Disney desk. They took our information, checked us into their system, gave us information about how to handle our luggage tomorrow, and when we needed to meet the group to head over to the ship. All this was because we had booked a transfer to the ship through Disney. Again just looking for stress free. With that all settled we figured we should go about our plan of touring Vancouver a bit. We stepped outside and the hotel service caught a cab for us. The cab was sufficient, and took American credit cards. We gave our destination, and away we went!
Follow along from the beginning: Disney Cruise Alaska Part 1.