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8 hours ago, strobellayjam said:

...However, there was quite the extensive delay to clear customs in the terminal to conduct the US clearance.  All the passengers were rounded up in a holding area where we sat for over an hour.  We were only 1 of 2 ships in port that day so not sure if this was the norm or an anomaly.  Needless to say, we did not head back out once we were finally onboard.

 

Yes, sorry about that. Sadly, in my experience it is the norm. The US pre-clearance is what can hold people up. The bottleneck occurs due to the number of officers they send down to Canada Place on a ship day. Put two or three ships in the Port of Vancouver and you can imagine the delays. 😮

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2 minutes ago, Cruisingirl2012 said:

Looks like only 1 ship in port on our sailing date.   So do you drop off luggage prior to going through Customs?

Yes.

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On 6/18/2019 at 11:06 AM, martincath said:

The good news is that odds are high that you will be able to get on and off as you like until All Aboard time then, with just Security to worry about. The downside is that you'll do US immigration in San Francisco - and they have fewer desks at the terminal and even less experience of handling cruiseships than Vancouver does (it took three hours for Golden Princess to be cleared by CBP on our trip there, and that's with ~60% of the pax load of Joy).

Just want to double check what will happen at Vancouver & San Francisco please; as we are planning our days there.

Schedule is ....Late night departure Vancouver, ....Victoria, ...San Francisco (in transit there).

 

Questions:

1. If CBP are on duty late in Vancouver we may be able to disembark once we board....?

Any idea how far in advance the cruise line may be able to tell us this, or do we just have to ask on the day...?

 

2. Due to the Victoria port of call we need to plan on US Immigration happening in San Francisco with the associated potential delays....?

 

Thanks. 

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5 hours ago, Tranquility Base said:

Just want to double check what will happen at Vancouver & San Francisco please; as we are planning our days there.

Schedule is ....Late night departure Vancouver, ....Victoria, ...San Francisco (in transit there).

 

Questions:

1. If CBP are on duty late in Vancouver we may be able to disembark once we board....?

Any idea how far in advance the cruise line may be able to tell us this, or do we just have to ask on the day...?

 

2. Due to the Victoria port of call we need to plan on US Immigration happening in San Francisco with the associated potential delays....?

 

Thanks. 

If the itinerary is Vancouver, Victoria, SF (United States) there will be no CBP pre-clearance in Vancouver since you are not leaving Canada to go directly to the US.  So, you will be able to board the ship and come and go as you please.  You will clear immigration at your first US port of call.

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9 hours ago, Tranquility Base said:

Just want to double check what will happen at Vancouver & San Francisco please

Agree with post above - no Preclearance, as that requires you to head straight to the USA and you're not due to the Victoria stop. But depending which ship you're on you may not be able to board early anyway, making leaving again probably pointless - if it's NCL Bliss or Joy, on one of those (IIRC Sep 30) the vessel isn't actually able to dock until a slot clears at the pier so embarkation won't be able to start until ~6pm at the earliest as the ship in port are all too large to enable doubling-up even on the longest side of Canada Place. Port schedule is here to check.

 

And unless you are a personal friend of someone very fancy indeed at NCL, or are sailing in the fanciest suite, so can guarantee being allowed to be first off the ship, odds are immigration at SF will be a looooooooooong day indeed so don't book anything except a ship tour within at least 3 hours of planned arrival time. Maybe they'll bring CBP folks out onto the ship to process more of you at the same time but if not Pier 27 simply lacks enough desks to process a ship fast, let alone a monster ship!!! As mentioned above, I've personally experienced a 3 hour delay to clear a Princess ship of much smaller size than Bliss/Joy at Pier 27.

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8 hours ago, d9704011 said:

 

 

4 hours ago, martincath said:

 

Thank you both for the info & advise.

I will plan our days accordingly.

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On 8/8/2019 at 2:58 PM, martincath said:

Some rental offices have shuttles to collect you; some others offer a cash sum or discount off your rental when you show a cab receipt to prove you took a taxi to get to them (usually $5, which covers at least the first kilometer in a cab locally). It's down to the individual franchisee what they offer rather than a company-wide policy (except Enterprise, who make picking you up part of their standard business model), so when you have a short list of which offices are giving you the best rates on your date check their individual website if the office isn't at the pier or one of the hotel locations within a couple of blocks (it's quicker to just walk to any of the hotel-based rentals near the pier than to wait for a cab, shuttle, or car pickup).

I have rented a few cars over the years in different cities but never had so much trouble as trying to get information for Vancouver.    No matter which company I called none of them seemed to know which office was close to the pier in Vancouver for me to tell them where I wanted to pick up the car.   

 

Then the second problem was how much to drop it off at the end of the day at the airport for a 5:00 p.m. flight.   I always seem to get an agent that was in the US somewhere and had no idea of the office close to the port etc.   

 

I finally gave up out of sheer frustration and after calling about 10 different phone numbers.   Got nowhere.    I have a mobility scooter so I can't just hop on a bus and getting a taxi that is big enough can sometimes be a problem.   Will try to figure something out once we get to Vancouver and see what we can do.

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1 hour ago, mexico8 said:

I have rented a few cars over the years in different cities but never had so much trouble as trying to get information for Vancouver.    No matter which company I called none of them seemed to know which office was close to the pier in Vancouver for me to tell them where I wanted to pick up the car.   

 

Then the second problem was how much to drop it off at the end of the day at the airport for a 5:00 p.m. flight.   I always seem to get an agent that was in the US somewhere and had no idea of the office close to the port etc.   

 

I finally gave up out of sheer frustration and after calling about 10 different phone numbers.   Got nowhere.    I have a mobility scooter so I can't just hop on a bus and getting a taxi that is big enough can sometimes be a problem.   Will try to figure something out once we get to Vancouver and see what we can do.

Use google maps.  Here are the rental car locations close to the pier.

https://www.google.com/maps/search/rental+car/@49.2845487,-123.1058174,14z/data=!3m1!4b1

 

Close to the airport.

https://www.google.com/maps/search/rental+car/@49.1726211,-123.1637626,11z/data=!3m1!4b1

 

This search capability is very useful for finding hotels, dining, wine shops, etc.

 

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14 hours ago, mexico8 said:

I have rented a few cars over the years in different cities but never had so much trouble as trying to get information for Vancouver. ...

It's the same as with cruiselines and any other big company with a 1-800 number - any time you use a call center you are at the mercy of the worst of the individual CSRs competence/experience/ability to master the training material combined with the inherent quality of the company's corporate training material, how good the actual trainer was on the session(s) attended by the CSR, and the quality of scripts/system actually used in daily work. At least two of those factors vary a lot!

 

When local knowledge is required - and car rental is definitely something that's more often that not very relevant! - the only way to reasonably ensure you are speaking to people with local knowledge is to contact the office directly, by calling the local office number not the corporate line. Sometimes that's hard to find - the website may use the generic phone number because that's the way the company wants it - but Googling can usually find you the right number to call. 604 area code (sometimes 778) are what you want here if you have a question like 'do you give me a cab credit?' but rocketman is totaly right that for simple 'Where/How Far?' factual info, Google Maps is going to provide it.

 

On the taxi front, you can at least be reassured that every fleet in Vancouver has accessible cabs and they all take wheelchairs and scooters of any standard commercially available size. They're pretty much all the same vehicle - a Toyota minivan with a row of seats removed - that still just have 4 passenger seats. ~18% of every fleet must be this format to comply with local law, so worst case is that you wait a few minutes extra at the pier for a cab (if you go upstairs to Pan Pacific, where the bellstaff will hail cabs for you, they can call to ensure an accessible vehicle is despatched).

 

That leaves you with only 2 categories of rental office - close enough you can scoot there (I don't know the range you're comfortable with on that, but at the very least you have the pier itself and the hotels along Canada Place with rental desks inside to choose from, all within about 300 metres) or 'I need a cab to get to them' so that you can be sure of an appropriate accessible vehicle. Airport rentals would cost ~$40 to get to, any downtown rental office is most likely $10 cab ride or less in the core, and the in-between places are rare. If you see the best rate at office X, it's easy to just plug the address into Google maps and see how far it is from the pier.

 

On-the-day rentals vary wildly in price so I'd be tempted to persevere with a booking, especially if you are picky about size/format of vehicle - sounds like you need a big enough trunk to fit your scooter, so a cheap sub-compact won't be any good to you unless ithat scooter folds down to a very modest size.

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On 6/17/2019 at 3:13 PM, martincath said:

 

Routing actually has an impact too - if the first port of call is in Canada, no US Preclearance is needed which means CBP & CBSA can go home at their usual time and have no impact on you. If first port of call is in the US though, you will go through US Preclearance every single time you get on-board, and also go through Canadian immigration whenever you get off! The ship would basically be treated as if it were already inside the USA, with the Canadian border at the pierside.

 

We were on a 10 day Vancouver to Vancouver cruise, our first Port was L.A. Our ship left early April, we did not pre-clear U.S. customs in Vancouver, in L.A., US Custom officials boarded the ship, customs clearance started just after 7:00am, luckily we got up early and were probably about 100th in line so cleared before 8:00am, the people who showed up later some didn’t clear until 10:00am.  

 

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On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 6:44 AM, martincath said:

It's the same as with cruiselines and any other big company with a 1-800 number - any time you use a call center you are at the mercy of the worst of the individual CSRs competence/experience/ability to master the training material combined with the inherent quality of the company's corporate training material, how good the actual trainer was on the session(s) attended by the CSR, and the quality of scripts/system actually used in daily work. At least two of those factors vary a lot!

 

When local knowledge is required - and car rental is definitely something that's more often that not very relevant! - the only way to reasonably ensure you are speaking to people with local knowledge is to contact the office directly, by calling the local office number not the corporate line. Sometimes that's hard to find - the website may use the generic phone number because that's the way the company wants it - but Googling can usually find you the right number to call. 604 area code (sometimes 778) are what you want here if you have a question like 'do you give me a cab credit?' but rocketman is totaly right that for simple 'Where/How Far?' factual info, Google Maps is going to provide it.

 

On the taxi front, you can at least be reassured that every fleet in Vancouver has accessible cabs and they all take wheelchairs and scooters of any standard commercially available size. They're pretty much all the same vehicle - a Toyota minivan with a row of seats removed - that still just have 4 passenger seats. ~18% of every fleet must be this format to comply with local law, so worst case is that you wait a few minutes extra at the pier for a cab (if you go upstairs to Pan Pacific, where the bellstaff will hail cabs for you, they can call to ensure an accessible vehicle is despatched).

 

That leaves you with only 2 categories of rental office - close enough you can scoot there (I don't know the range you're comfortable with on that, but at the very least you have the pier itself and the hotels along Canada Place with rental desks inside to choose from, all within about 300 metres) or 'I need a cab to get to them' so that you can be sure of an appropriate accessible vehicle. Airport rentals would cost ~$40 to get to, any downtown rental office is most likely $10 cab ride or less in the core, and the in-between places are rare. If you see the best rate at office X, it's easy to just plug the address into Google maps and see how far it is from the pier.

 

On-the-day rentals vary wildly in price so I'd be tempted to persevere with a booking, especially if you are picky about size/format of vehicle - sounds like you need a big enough trunk to fit your scooter, so a cheap sub-compact won't be any good to you unless ithat scooter folds down to a very modest size.

 

On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 6:44 AM, martincath said:

It's the same as with cruiselines and any other big company with a 1-800 number - any time you use a call center you are at the mercy of the worst of the individual CSRs competence/experience/ability to master the training material combined with the inherent quality of the company's corporate training material, how good the actual trainer was on the session(s) attended by the CSR, and the quality of scripts/system actually used in daily work. At least two of those factors vary a lot!

 

When local knowledge is required - and car rental is definitely something that's more often that not very relevant! - the only way to reasonably ensure you are speaking to people with local knowledge is to contact the office directly, by calling the local office number not the corporate line. Sometimes that's hard to find - the website may use the generic phone number because that's the way the company wants it - but Googling can usually find you the right number to call. 604 area code (sometimes 778) are what you want here if you have a question like 'do you give me a cab credit?' but rocketman is totaly right that for simple 'Where/How Far?' factual info, Google Maps is going to provide it.

 

On the taxi front, you can at least be reassured that every fleet in Vancouver has accessible cabs and they all take wheelchairs and scooters of any standard commercially available size. They're pretty much all the same vehicle - a Toyota minivan with a row of seats removed - that still just have 4 passenger seats. ~18% of every fleet must be this format to comply with local law, so worst case is that you wait a few minutes extra at the pier for a cab (if you go upstairs to Pan Pacific, where the bellstaff will hail cabs for you, they can call to ensure an accessible vehicle is despatched).

 

That leaves you with only 2 categories of rental office - close enough you can scoot there (I don't know the range you're comfortable with on that, but at the very least you have the pier itself and the hotels along Canada Place with rental desks inside to choose from, all within about 300 metres) or 'I need a cab to get to them' so that you can be sure of an appropriate accessible vehicle. Airport rentals would cost ~$40 to get to, any downtown rental office is most likely $10 cab ride or less in the core, and the in-between places are rare. If you see the best rate at office X, it's easy to just plug the address into Google maps and see how far it is from the pier.

 

On-the-day rentals vary wildly in price so I'd be tempted to persevere with a booking, especially if you are picky about size/format of vehicle - sounds like you need a big enough trunk to fit your scooter, so a cheap sub-compact won't be any good to you unless ithat scooter folds down to a very modest size.

Martincath:   So appreciate all your information and thank you for taking the time to post.   I did end up with a US rep for Alamo when I called (I thought it was to the Vancouver office).    I got quoted a cost of $152 for 6 hours rental and there was only one vehicle available.   I think I will wait until we land in Vancouver and decide then what to do with the 8 hours until our flight departs at 5:00 p.m.  

 

Many years ago we enjoyed Granville Island so I will check into ways of getting there from the port and then how to get to the airport from there.    It might not require us to get a car rental at all.    My scooter will fold down to fit into most car trunks so that won't be a problem if we end up using a taxi or an Uber.

 

Thanks again for your post.

 

 

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