This summer fellow Touring Plans blogger Erin Foster and I were lucky enough to take a Disney Cruise to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder with our families. We enjoyed some incredible Port Adventures like dog sledding, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad and viewing the Misty Fjords National Monument by float plane. Before my family and I set off on our trip of a lifetime, we spent a night at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel and a lovely evening exploring parts of Vancouver. After a good night’s rest, it was time to get up, get ready and head over to Canada Place – the Vancouver cruise terminal. In case you find yourself at the Vancouver cruise terminal about to embark on an amazing Disney Cruise to Alaska, here’s everything you’ll need to know.
Because we were staying at the Fairmont Waterfront, the cruise terminal was conveniently located just across the street. After bell services picked up our luggage to be transported to the ship, we set off on the less than five minute walk to the cruise terminal. As we made our way there, we passed the parking area and bus drop off zone.
Within minutes we were inside the cruise terminal. It was very quiet and it seemed like we were a few of the first people to arrive. The first thing we came upon was a souvenir shop where you could purchase some last minute Canadian merchandise as well as binoculars if you thought you might want them for wildlife spotting in Alaska.
Next up was customs and security. Sorry folks, they have a strict no photo policy. But just imagine a typical airport security area. Customs was very quick and efficient and we were through in a matter of minutes after a quick glance at our passports. Security took a bit longer, but it was extremely organized and the staff was very polite. Just like the airport, be prepared to remove your shoes, jackets and things from your pockets. About 20 minutes later, we were finished with customs and security and on our way to check in for our cruise. When we arrived at check-in, the line was almost non-existent. We were able to walk right up to the counter. Because we had all of our paperwork with us and in order, the entire check-in process took about three minutes. If you haven’t cruised with Disney before, it will take a little longer as they take photos of everyone in your traveling party. We were able to skip that part of the procedure and just use our photos from our last cruise.
Now that we were checked in and assigned a group number (group 2!) for boarding, we moved on to get our kids set up for the youth activities. I had preregistered both of my boys online to make the process simpler at the cruise terminal and again it paid off. In less than five minutes, my kiddos were being fitted with their Disney Cruise Line kid’s club bands. These bands look exactly like Disney World’s MagicBands with a cute little Captain Mickey on it.
Once we had completed all of our business, we still had about 30 minutes until boarding was to begin. Disney has thought of everything, so of course, they had some things set up to help us pass the time. There were backdrops set up if you wanted to take a pre-cruise photo with your family.
They also had character meet and greets. Captain Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were on hand while we were there.
And for adults who just wanted to sit back and relax, there were lots of folding chairs set up and cast members were handing out copies of that day’s Personal Navigator. What is a Personal Navigator, you ask? It is your daily schedule of everything that will be happening on the ship. There were also restrooms available.
Time passed quickly and soon it was time for our group number two to board the ship!
Overall, I felt that everything at the Vancouver cruise terminal went very smoothly and effortlessly. If you have ever sailed out of Port Canaveral, you can probably tell by my photos that the Vancouver cruise terminal is not nearly as glamorous. Although it was very no-frills, I was extremely pleased with the entire experience.
Have you ever sailed out of the Vancouver cruise terminal – Canada Place? Do you have any other helpful hints for fellow readers? We would love to hear from you!