Saturday, June 2, 2018

Golden Princess to Alaska - Disembarkation Day

In the past we’ve gotten to and from Vancouver a variety of ways. Some years we drive our own car, sometimes we fly, sometimes we take Amtrak, and just a few weeks back we used a rental car. While we don’t necessarily like riding a bus for a few hours, today it should have worked out best to use the Princess transfer from Vancouver to the Seattle airport.

Since we were making no stops in Canada before crossing the US border we were able to be on the coach that collected our luggage and sealed it in the compartment under the bus. It was nice not to have to pick it up in the cruise terminal. We also didn’t have to go through Canadian customs at the port because as part of this program (I think it is called Direct to Bus or Direct to US?) we had already filled out our customs form and turned it into Princess a few days prior.

Here is a copy of the disembarkation times for the different groups in case you’re interested. And if you’d like to see the log of the cruise, you can find that here.

Boy, I'm thankful we weren't flying out today. In the past the bus ride always has had us in Seattle by 1:00 in the afternoon, even on a bad day. On a good day we could be there by noon. Neither one of those things would even come close to what we experienced today. While we disembarked the ship close to our scheduled time of 8:30 am, we were taken into the terminal to wait in a line. For a full hour. Only six or seven chairs available for more than 60 people. Did I mention we had to wait at least an hour?

If that was our only delay we still could have made good time to Seattle. But we ran into an even bigger delay at the border. How big of a delay? We're talking a good two and a half hours. Just waiting for our turn. Here's something to know if you're taking the cruise line transportation to the US - scheduled bus services, like Greyhound or the Bolt Bus or Quick Shuttle get priority. So even though you might be the second bus in line you might wind up being the seventh bus to get processed. Yeah, so there was that. 1:00 in Seattle? Nope. How about 2:00 or 3:00? Nope and nope. Let's try closer to 4:00. That's seven and a half hours from the time we walked off the ship instead of the four hours we are used to. Ugh. Next time no more bus. We're going back to Amtrak.

Actually, we would have done Amtrak today but hubby has a Mariner’s baseball game tonight. He’s a big baseball guy and he likes it when he can get a game in when we go to Alaska. So if we have to move mountains to make it happen, we will. Just wish we could have moved the bus faster!

So goodbye to Alaska for the year (or at least for now) and hello to Seattle. Mariners, that is.