Disembarkation Day – Vancouver Sightseeing
This morning our breakfast was scheduled for 7:00am since we were on the Main Dining schedule. We knew we didn’t have to be off the ship until 9:00am (out of our room by 8:30), so we left our bags in our room and headed to breakfast. We were sad to say goodbye to Svetlana and Istvan and told them we would be sure to request them as our servers next time we are on the Wonder. Breakfast went pretty quick, and we went back to the room and did a final sweep of the room before heading out around 8:00am or so. Walking out we had to stop by this table to pick up the knives they had “confiscated” that we had purchased in Alaska. Once you return on ship from a port, they take anything you’ve purchased that is not allowed on the ship (such as alcohol or knives, etc) and give you a card with a number on it. You give that card to the staff at the table to collect your items. It was a seamless and quick process.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Vancouver. We had a Vancouver Delights tour scheduled with LandSea Tours, but we weren’t due to meet the representative until 9:30am. So we found a bench and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and seeing some behind the scenes action for the Wonder:
About 9:15am we headed to the front entrance to meet our LandSea representative. He asked us to walk across the street with him just because it was easier for the driver to navigate to that side. I had done a lot of research, and there was a Vancouver tour that Disney was offering for the same price, but that tour didn’t have as many stops as this tour, and this tour also delivered us to the airport and stored our bags. They had a regular Vancouver City Tour that was around 4 hours long, and this one (Vancouver Delights Tour) which was 7 hours long. We didn’t have to be at the airport until 8:00pm, so this one worked perfect for us.
Our driver picked us up and then made some stops at a few other hotels and then we were on our way. Our driver, Summer, was a local and very informative. Our first stop was at the Granville Public Market. We had heard this was very similar to Pike Place Market in Seattle which we loved, and this was an accurate description. In fact, I think I enjoyed Granville Market a little more, and would love to go back and spend a full day there. We were given an hour to shop, eat, etc. I wished we had stopped here closer to lunch, because they had so much that looked delicious that I would have loved to try! We did buy a scone and some chocolate chip cookies to snack on later. Here are some pics of the market area:
After we left here, our next stop was the Vancouver Lookout. Admission was included in the price of the tour which was awesome. It would have been $17.50 (CAD) each otherwise. We had great 360 degree views from the lookout, and there were signs posted all over giving some history of the sights in Vancouver. We spent about 30 minutes here before heading out.
While driving to each location, Summer was great about pointing out other areas and giving us some history or details (such as the beach area with logs placed all around to watch the sunset, the Rogers Centre stadium, the Olympic Cauldron, etc).
Our next stop was at Stanley Park where the totem poles were located. Stanley Park was PACKED and Eddie and I were so glad that we had got up early the first morning of our cruise and experienced Stanley Park where we felt like we were the only ones there!
Our next stop in Stanley Park was at Prospect Point. This offers beautiful views of Lions Gate Bridge and Vancouver. They have a café there and some outside tables as well. On the way to Prospect Point we passed a Stanley Park Brewery that is being built. We can’t wait to come back to Vancouver and spend more time.
There was a gift shop at Prospect Point so of course I had to buy a Christmas tree ornament:
After our scenic pictures, we got back on the bus and headed to Capilano Salmon Hatchery and then the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Admission was also included in the price of the tour. The Salmon Hatchery was neat and had some beautiful trails:
Next was the Suspension Bridge:
The Suspension Bridge was so crowded!
We walked the bridge across and back and then got some lunch. It was around 3:00pm at this point and we hadn’t ate since breakfast on the ship. We stopped at Logger’s and got a huge hot dog and fries. Eddie and I split one, but Hunter had his own, lol.
We were all given these certificates when we were getting ready to leave Capilano Suspension Bridge:
Our driver dropped off the others at their hotels (there were about 4 stops). That was another great thing about this tour….we were given priority at the Vancouver Lookout and at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (no waiting in line) and the bus was small, we had 19 people in our group. We were dropped off last at the airport, and we did tip Summer well. Not only was she a great tour guide, we would have had to pay around $43 for a taxi to take us to the airport, not to mention all the admission fees we would have had to pay to the sites we visited. This tour can’t be beat, and I am definitely recommending this to all of my clients who go to Vancouver, either for a cruise or just to visit Vancouver.
By the time we got to the airport, we were starting to get tired. We arrived around 6:00 or 6:30pm, and we couldn’t check in until 3 hours before our flight (8:00pm). Luckily Vancouver airport has a nice food court outside the terminals where we sat and relaxed until we could check in. We decided to wait to get something to eat until we had went through security since we had a late lunch. The process was a little quirky, we used the kiosk to check-in, then were told to take our bags to another location in the airport to be checked. Once we got there, we were told that once we arrived in Chicago (our layover), that we would need to collect our bags and re-check them. We were a little frustrated by this because we only had a 1 hour and 20 minute layover. It was something to do with being late at night and security, etc. Thankfully once we got to Chicago everything went pretty quickly, but it was a hassle having to go through security again. Especially when it was 5:00am and our bodies were functioning on very little sleep.
We made it back to our home airport around 9:30am and were home by 11:00am. We immediately took a nap and set our alarms for 2:00pm so we wouldn’t sleep all day. That worked well. We were ready to go to bed at our usual time of 10:00pm that night. We did sleep pretty late the following day, but we needed it. We are glad we had that extra day to readjust before heading back to work.
Well this is the end of this report, I hope you enjoyed it! Please send me a message if you have any questions about Alaska! We absolutely loved this cruise and are already trying to figure out when we can go back again. Eddie said he never wants to do another Caribbean cruise again, LOL (I wouldn’t go that far, haha!). But seriously, the scenery cannot be beat. God’s creation is absolutely stunning and we were very fortunate to be able to go on this adventure.
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