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I have completed my online check in for our Aalskan Cruise, departing June 8. I was surprised that we weren't assigned a specific check in time. Having never sailed on Princess before, is this typical? Can we choose to arrive whenever we want?

Thannks.

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2 minutes ago, PandaBear62 said:

I have completed my online check in for our Aalskan Cruise, departing June 8. I was surprised that we weren't assigned a specific check in time. Having never sailed on Princess before, is this typical? Can we choose to arrive whenever we want?

Thannks.

 

About 3 weeks before you sail, you’ll get an email from Princess explaining the staggered boarding process (I got my email this morning and I set sail on May 9th). The staggered boarding is done by deck and it shows what time each deck should show up at. Truth be told, nobody really pays attention. My boarding time is shown as 1PM, but I’ll be at San Pedro shortly after 11AM depending on traffic. I’ve usually been aboard before midday on my previous cruises.

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I'm not certain which is your port. Boarding in Vancouver and Seattle usually begins with priority boarders around 11:30 with general boarding quickly following. Not sure regarding boarding the process in Whittier.  These are the three ports where there are June 8th sailings. You will receive some boarding information regarding staggered boarding, but it is mostly just a suggestion.

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We pay no attention to these types of notices, and have never had a problem boarding. If others want to follow or claim different that is their choice.We will keep doing as we always have. 

 

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The staggered boarding times are suggestions, not enforced. It’s not that people ignore the times... they are merely suggestions so if you don’t want to follow the suggestion, it’s your choice. 

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Been searching all day.  What time can you drop your luggage in Vancouver? This will be my first Platinum cruise and I want to enjoy every minute as it is a short one!

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42 minutes ago, kywildcatfanone said:

You can board anytime you arrive and boarding is in progress.

About 10:30 or 11?

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Posted (edited)
On 7/28/2019 at 3:02 PM, CynCyn said:

Been searching all day.  What time can you drop your luggage in Vancouver? This will be my first Platinum cruise and I want to enjoy every minute as it is a short one!

Officially the port allows bag drop some time between 10am and 10:30am. However in practise, even on the really busy 3/4 ship days, you can drop your bags earlier than this. 9:30am is probably the earliest time that you can assume bag drop will be operating.

 

But if you show up that early you'll just end up sitting around in the terminal for an hour or more before any movement of passengers, rather than bags, is allowed! Platinum on Princess really doesn't get you anything that makes boarding early worthwhile - it's not like there's unlimited free booze or anything! - so personally I'd rather use my time more efficiently and board late when the queues are bascially nonexistent. Curb to cabin in 20 minutes is my preference rather than sitting about for an hour first - and unless you're already familiar with Vancouver, you're missing out on several hours of sightseeing in one of the finest cities on the planet if you board early...

 

So dropping gags as early as possible then leaving the pier to go sightseeing makes perfect sense - otherwise as long as you show up before 11am you will beat everyone following the 'suggested' boarding times, and while you might have a few even earlier people queuing ahead of you it should still be at most an hour or so before you get on, and if it's a quieter day you might turn up and find the queues start moving almost right away.

Edited by martincath

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2 hours ago, martincath said:

Officially the port allows bag drop some time between 10am and 10:30am. However in practise, even on the really busy 3/4 ship days, you can drop your bags earlier than this. 9:30am is probably the earliest time that you can assume bag drop will be operating.

 

But if you show up that early you'll just end up sitting around in the terminal for an hour or more before any movement of passengers, rather than bags, is allowed! Platinum on Princess really doesn't get you anything that makes boarding early worthwhile - it's not like there's unlimited free booze or anything! - so personally I'd rather use my time more efficiently and board late when the queues are bascially nonexistent. Curb to cabin in 20 minutes is my preference rather than sitting about for an hour first - and unless you're already familiar with Vancouver, you're missing out on several hours of sightseeing in one of the finest cities on the planet if you board early...

 

So dropping gags as early as possible then leaving the pier to go sightseeing makes perfect sense - otherwise as long as you show up before 11am you will beat everyone following the 'suggested' boarding times, and while you might have a few even earlier people queuing ahead of you it should still be at most an hour or so before you get on, and if it's a quieter day you might turn up and find the queues start moving almost right away.

That helps a lot.  I will try to drop bags and wander around for awhile.  I am staying at the airport because I don’t get in until after 11.  I would like to get dad some chocolates (Rogers, of course!) and then take in the sights.  Thank you, you always help so much! Another OT question, I am at the Sheraton Airport.  I can get to Waterfront from the Richmond-Brighthouse Station right?

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11 hours ago, CynCyn said:

That helps a lot.  I will try to drop bags and wander around for awhile.  I am staying at the airport because I don’t get in until after 11.  I would like to get dad some chocolates (Rogers, of course!) and then take in the sights.  Thank you, you always help so much! Another OT question, I am at the Sheraton Airport.  I can get to Waterfront from the Richmond-Brighthouse Station right?

No worries - and yes, you can get to Waterfront from Richmond-Brighouse. Since the latter is one of the terminus stations, get on literally any train and ride it right to the other end and you'll be at Waterfront Station. The only downside is you share that branch with commuters - lots and lots of commuters. So unless you wake up early enough that you can be on the train by about 7am you're better to wait until close to 9am. Since the ride and walk on the other end is ~30mins, taking SkyTrain no earlier 9am actually works perfectly for dropping bags at the pier - but if you are an early bird and want to get going on the sightseeing, there is a sensible alternative...

 

If you head into town before the commuters you can use the Pan Pacific Hotel bell desk to store your suitcase for $5. Since it's right above the pier it's extremely convenient to pick up your bag again, and Stanley Park is already open - so you could enjoy a nice quiet walk along the Seawall and through the park, hitting ticketed sites later (most of which don't open until 9am even in summer) and grabbing your choccies just before heading back to the pier so you don't have to carry them around and risk them getting squished or overheated. Thwere's a Rogers store on Water Street in Gastown, a short walk from the pier - it's our most historic neighbourhood and has plenty of restos for lunch as well as many tourist-focused shops like choccies, ice cream, local art & souvenir stores.

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6 hours ago, martincath said:

No worries - and yes, you can get to Waterfront from Richmond-Brighouse. Since the latter is one of the terminus stations, get on literally any train and ride it right to the other end and you'll be at Waterfront Station. The only downside is you share that branch with commuters - lots and lots of commuters. So unless you wake up early enough that you can be on the train by about 7am you're better to wait until close to 9am. Since the ride and walk on the other end is ~30mins, taking SkyTrain no earlier 9am actually works perfectly for dropping bags at the pier - but if you are an early bird and want to get going on the sightseeing, there is a sensible alternative...

 

If you head into town before the commuters you can use the Pan Pacific Hotel bell desk to store your suitcase for $5. Since it's right above the pier it's extremely convenient to pick up your bag again, and Stanley Park is already open - so you could enjoy a nice quiet walk along the Seawall and through the park, hitting ticketed sites later (most of which don't open until 9am even in summer) and grabbing your choccies just before heading back to the pier so you don't have to carry them around and risk them getting squished or overheated. Thwere's a Rogers store on Water Street in Gastown, a short walk from the pier - it's our most historic neighbourhood and has plenty of restos for lunch as well as many tourist-focused shops like choccies, ice cream, local art & souvenir stores.

That is an awesome plan! I’m embarking on a Saturday- will I still have commuters?

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20 minutes ago, CynCyn said:

That is an awesome plan! I’m embarking on a Saturday- will I still have commuters?

Nowhere near as many - we are a relatively modern city in terms of the jobs a lot of folks have (creative industries, tech companies) but there's still a very large proportion of '9-5 M-F' work schedules. Even better news is that on Saturdays the whole transit system is cheaper, just one Zone all day long so the cost of your SkyTrain ticket drops to just $3pp (even less if you have >65s or <14s).

 

If you have tappable credit cards (Visa or MC with the little WiFi symbol next to the Chip) you can just tap those on the entry and exit gates and you'll be billed the right amount - the system even remembers your card so if you e.g. hopped on a bus up to the park after dropping bags you would not be rebilled as long as it was within 90mins of your SkyTrain trip starting - so you don't even have to figure out waht kind if ticket to buy. But if you need a concession ticket or are buying more than one on the same card, the ticket vending machines are very straightforward to use - and I'm pretty sure they won't let you buy a multiple-zone fare for immediate use on the weekends anyway.

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14 minutes ago, martincath said:

Nowhere near as many - we are a relatively modern city in terms of the jobs a lot of folks have (creative industries, tech companies) but there's still a very large proportion of '9-5 M-F' work schedules. Even better news is that on Saturdays the whole transit system is cheaper, just one Zone all day long so the cost of your SkyTrain ticket drops to just $3pp (even less if you have >65s or <14s).

 

If you have tappable credit cards (Visa or MC with the little WiFi symbol next to the Chip) you can just tap those on the entry and exit gates and you'll be billed the right amount - the system even remembers your card so if you e.g. hopped on a bus up to the park after dropping bags you would not be rebilled as long as it was within 90mins of your SkyTrain trip starting - so you don't even have to figure out waht kind if ticket to buy. But if you need a concession ticket or are buying more than one on the same card, the ticket vending machines are very straightforward to use - and I'm pretty sure they won't let you buy a multiple-zone fare for immediate use on the weekends anyway.

Awesome!

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Posted (edited)
On 4/19/2019 at 4:54 PM, PandaBear62 said:

I have completed my online check in for our Aalskan Cruise, departing June 8. I was surprised that we weren't assigned a specific check in time. Having never sailed on Princess before, is this typical? Can we choose to arrive whenever we want?

Thannks.

Yes.  

After 30 + cruises, many on Princess to Alaska, and depending on your embark cruise port,  you can board as early as 10:30 am-11 a.m.   In time to have lunch in H.C. or pizza by the pool.

Good luck, and enjoy.

Edited by Kingofcool1947

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Quick question about embarkation in Vancouver. If heading back down to LA on a 3 day positioning cruise, do you clear US immigration at the port of Vancouver and arrive in LA as a cleared passenger, as you would if you were flying from YVR to any US airport and deplane using the domestic airport gates?

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^As long as there aren't any stops, yes, you'll always Preclear... but if there is a stop in Victoria (or any other Canadian port) before you head to the US, no Preclearance.

 

IIRC a 3 day cruise to LA won't have time to make any stops unless it's a really, really fast ship so they should all Preclear 😉

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Thank you for the information. Yes, on a 3 day cruise, there isn’t any time for a stop anywhere. We did the same cruise but in reverse (LA to Vancouver and not the ship going backwards 😉 ) and it was get on, get there and get off. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/19/2019 at 4:54 PM, PandaBear62 said:

I have completed my online check in for our Aalskan Cruise, departing June 8. I was surprised that we weren't assigned a specific check in time. Having never sailed on Princess before, is this typical? Can we choose to arrive whenever we want?

Thannks.

 

Once you are issued your cruise card you can board.

Edited by Kingofcool1947

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5 hours ago, Kingofcool1947 said:

 

Once you are issued your cruise card you can board.

You can but it's still within the order of loyalty levels so there may be a short wait. 

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