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dianedebuda

Vancouver pre-cruise prep

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Posted (edited)

Trying to do my trip homework.  Plan to land Sun, Aug 18 7-8 PM.  First time cruiser and haven't been on a plane or through customs in decades.

 

Hotel: Have booked 3 nights at Ramada Airport in Richmond on Westminster.  Criteria was for clean place to sleep with airport shuttle, close to train, cost.  Good match?

 

Fast Food near hotel: Will probably want to grab a quick bite like a sandwich once we get to the hotel.  Most likely will be really tired & hubby has trouble walking distances.  I may have to go out & bring back or have delivery. I see there's a Tim Hortons that doesn't look too far away, but I'm confused from Web on what that location serves and the hours. Actually do want to go to a Tim Hortons somewhere 'cause I've always heard the name but they're not around here locally. Years ago, we had a big (TV) dish and were able to receive the Canadian feed during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.  There was a funny commercial that I think was  for Tim Horton's about the cows making the farmer turn on the TV for curling.  Other suggestions for arrival eats?

 

Attractions: Looked at sites with 10 best Vancouver attractions and the ones that appealed to us seem to be Stanley Park, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden and a quick view of Gastown; from posts here, maybe Queen Elizabeth Park too.  Planning to spend at least a half day at Stanley, but will probably be all day if good weather. Would best transport be SkyTrain + bus with all day pass?  SkyTrain is a "want to ride" item.  Would the HOHO be worthwhile for a general overview & Gastown/Chinatown or just use day pass busses?

 

The Grouse Mountain skyride seems interesting, but not sure it'd be worth the time/cost this time.  The Capilano Suspension Bridge seems interesting also, but hubby would not be able to walk it.  Probably same for the Lynn Canyon Bridge, but at least it's free. Don't know if those trails are gentle enough for hubby to be able to at least see the bridge. Would the bus ride out to either be scenic enough?

 

How about the ferry that can be taken as part of the day pass?

 

Dining: Recommendations for places near attractions?  Looking for local flavor with moderate cost.  Not too many types of food that we don't like except a dislike of sushi and strongly flavored fish - like salmon (no) compared to cod (yes).  Looks like a number of Oriental spots near the hotel, so want to try there too.  Better than those around Chinatown?

 

Departure for cruise.  Plan to take hotel shuttle to airport, drop baggage to Princess there and then take SkyTrain to Canada Place.  A good plan?

 

Thanks for looking.

 

Edited by dianedebuda

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Hotel: clean, safe, much better location, better reviews, and almost certainly even cheaper too assuming you can actually find a room at this stage = YWCA Hotel downtown. Gives waaaaaaaay more food options close by, as well as being much closer to the sites you want to see, and saves a ton of time too as you won't have to waste 90+mins every day getting downtown and back (the Radisson is an easy walk to Aberdeen Station, BUT it's after the split in the line so train frequency is half as often - coming back from downtown after dinner that means 20mins between trains, so much potential for sitting around in SkyTrain stations...). But if your booking isn't refundable you do have one of the most convenient hotels for SkyTrain so yes, it checks off your boxes just fine.

 

Fast Food: Timmies is a Canadian institution, but really for your morning coffee and donuts (personally I enjoy the brekkie sammiches too, but the bigger options are pretty much the same as McDonalds and their ilk, not what I'd ever consider for dinner personally!) If you're seriously looking at fast food when you arrive, you could get something at the airport including Timmies (I think the Alderbridge Way location is nearest the hotel, ~800 yards so about 10mins walk, and it's open 24/7).

 

Attractions: a Day Pass does make life easy, but may not be the best value. Depends how often and where you ride transit! If you are coming into downtown on a weekday so you're buying a 2 Zone fare, then also riding Seabus to North Van (another 2 Zone trip) the heading back home at night, you already saved money - but on a weekend when the whole system is one zone you need 4+ rides to save, and you can stack as many as you like together for 1 ticket as long as the last one starts no more than 90mins from when the first one did... so you may only need to spend <$6 total to get downtown and back. If you are doing a HOHO downtown, I'd suggest that a day pass is unlikely to offer a 'win' that day.

 

Personally I do like HOHOs, and I think it might be a very good idea to do one so that DH can see a good selection of the downtown core, get out and have just a short walk to various attractions, and reboard again. The commentary is best treated as a bonus, with either professional quality but prerecorded on WestCoast (so sometimes played out of synch with location) or live-but-dubious-in-accuracy with LandSea (a lot of the 'driver-guides' on HOHOs are great, but many also suck!) - either way you get to go to Granville Island on a wee boat, which is NOT part of the transit system but they're cute and folks like 'em. The Seabus is the one that's included, and only goes back & forth between two points - Lonsdale Quay over in North Van has really upped its game in recent years though, with a Friday night market and several new pubs & restos, and they just approved a new zoning area for breweries so it's only going to get better in the years to come. If you do get a day pass one day, the ride over is totally worthwhile even for just a beer at Tap & Barrel with a view back across the Vancouver and the other Tap & Barrel patio at the convention centre!!!

 

DHs mobility is my biggest concern - Stanley Park is basically out unless you can walk miles. The Seawall loop around it is 5 miles long, and one-way only even for pedestrians so once you start you are committed, with very few exit options and those all uphill! Queen Lizzie is even hillier - highest point in the city - so getting to it using transit requires walking uphill, always, even if you ride a bus to get closer than the nearest SkyTrain station. Capilano, Grouse, and Lynn are all pretty bad for struggling walkers - especially if balance is a factor. Surfaces include gravel/dirt/woodchip/grass, slopes, roots are all over the place from the many trees, and the bridges themselves of course flex - Lynn is also a bit of a walk from the closest bus stop. I'd need to know a lot more about DHs capabilities before I'd be comfortable recommending any of these sites unfortunately - but if he can handle a bike, Stanley becomes a LOT more accessible (a tandem would allow you to do most of the legwork, and there are adult tricycle rentals available if balance is a main problem).

 

Dining: Near your hotel, that part of Richmond does have a few western options not far away, including a Cactus Club (and they're actually very nice indeed), but really if you're going to get the best food for your funds it's got to be Chinese... and yes, Chinatown downtown doesn't really offer any great Chinese food (well, a couple of recent openings are reversing the trend, and the best downtown Chinese restos are as good or better than the Richmond ones, but there's definitely a vastly bigger selection and better success with 'random mom & pop shop' walk-ins in Richmond than in Vancouver Chinatown).

 

Personally I'm only familiar with a small number of spots within what I'd term sensible walking distance of that Rad, mostly on the swankier end, but if DH can't walk at least half a mile (flat, on sidewalks) you're going to have to factor in short cab rides too ($5 will get you about a kilometre, and it does get cheaper with distance as the initial drop fee gets more amortized) or going to get takeout/delivery a lot - and I don't think Radisson rooms are generally set up with a decent dining space. Dinesty is a Northern style dumpling house that's excellent value and about as far as Timmies. Kirin is a very swank high end Cantonese, Sun Sui Wah similar (they're the folks who invented the King Crab Feast concept, and their roasted squab is also delicious and famous) but both of these are probably outside your preferred budget, so hopefully someone familiar with more of the restos in this neck of the woods will chime in.

 

But with three nights pre-cruise that's at least two days where it probably makes more sense to be dining downtown for dinner, and as you say you also need lunches near your sightseeing stops each of those days... so at this point I'll suggest you simply search for more posts by me to see what I think as I talk about downtown restos a loooottttt!!! e.g. someone else actually asked recently about food on a very tight budget, so this thread may have a lot of good options for you that may save enough pennies to let you have a splurge meal too... until it's clear whether DH can actually handle being in the parks it's premature to try and lock down your dining options anyway I think. Once you have a tighter plan for what you're going to see, I'm happy to make more targeted suggestions nearby.

 

Departure: I don't think you can drop bags with Princess at airport if you aren't taking their enormously-overpriced transportation (even if I'm wrong about that and you can do it, SkyTrain from the airport costs an extra $5pp compared to the station nearest your hotel...). If you can't manage all your bags on SKyTrain, use the 'milk run' shuttle to get to the pier - it picks up at pretty much all the airport hotels and for 2 people is probably ~8-10 bucks less than a metered cab from your hotel, and you can budget for the exact cost regardless of traffic. Or take hotel shuttle to YVR and a cab - they're fixed rate, $35, to the pier but only from YVR.

 

You could always try to sneak your bags into the corral at YVR despite not being on the sheet for transfers - the minion with the clipboard will often be running around helping with bags so you can probably manage to finagle it in there - but you'd have to hope they only look at bag tags and don't compare with any kind of list or you'd risk it getting left behind!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, martincath.  I've been spending time reading your posts the last few days and taking notes.

 

We're booked into the Ramada on Westminster next to Minoru Park, not the Radisson.  From the map, seemed like a reasonable jaunt to the Richmond-Brighouse station from there.  I really DO like to ride trains, even commuters if not imitating a sardine. 😀  Princess says we can dump the luggage at the airport without a transfer...  Maybe I'd better get that in writing 'cause that's a major chunk of the hotel selection since that way we don't have to handle the bags much.  We can cancel the booking & try the Y, but I'd be cheated out of needing some SkyTrain rides. 🤣

 

And riding the buses can be fun when you're not on any time schedule.  Just wandering.   I know, I'm weird. :classic_wacko:  Sounds like you think the HOHOs would be worthwhile for a more organized approach.

 

Good to get a frame of reference of the walking.  Hubby can manage quite a bit if he can sit down from time to time and we've bought him a cane seat for that.  Casual with a lot of starts & rest stops.  That's part of why I was allowing a lot of time for Stanley.  The 5 mile would be a bit much though.  The bike idea is great.  Obviously I need to spend time getting more details on the paths etc.

 

Going to have to do an Google street view to see if Queen Elizabeth Park is an option with the grade info you've given me.  Didn't see that on the Points of Interest maps. 🙂

 

Just trying to make sure I've not made major planning blunders ... yet.

 

Edited by dianedebuda

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6 hours ago, dianedebuda said:

Hotel: Have booked 3 nights at Ramada Airport in Richmond on Westminster.  Criteria was for clean place to sleep with airport shuttle, close to train, cost.  Good match? 

 

Fast Food near hotel: Will probably want to grab a quick bite like a sandwich once we get to the hotel.  Most likely will be really tired & hubby has trouble walking distances.  I may have to go out & bring back or have delivery. I see there's a Tim Hortons that doesn't look too far away, but I'm confused from Web on what that location serves and the hours. Actually do want to go to a Tim Hortons somewhere 'cause I've always heard the name but they're not around here locally.

 

OK.... The Ramada Airport is about a 10-15 minute walk to Richmond center, Tim Horton's and the subway station... https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Ramada+Limited+Vancouver+Airport,+Westminster+Highway,+Richmond,+BC/CF+Richmond+Centre,+6551+No+3+Rd,+Richmond,+BC+V6Y+2B6/@49.1687412,-123.1437217,17z/data=!3m2!4b1!5s0x54860acbabc97d29:0xb43516d7c0fb5840!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x54860acc3603c265:0x17217e96032c4dbd!2m2!1d-123.1448615!2d49.1699235!1m5!1m1!1s0x54860acba86f3e0f:0x362e82bf7917bd0e!2m2!1d-123.1384481!2d49.1672705!3e2!5m1!1e1

 

  • Lots of Asian restaurant choices (eg Mui Garden)
  • but Western food may be limited to the Richmond Center food court.  McDonald's that used to be in Richmond Center is no more.
  • There is a Starbucks in the hospital next door.  I recommend going there instead of Tim Horton's for a caffeine fix.

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5 hours ago, dianedebuda said:

Thanks, martincath.  I've been spending time reading your posts the last few days and taking notes.

 

We're booked into the Ramada on Westminster next to Minoru Park, not the Radisson.  From the map, seemed like a reasonable jaunt to the Richmond-Brighouse station from there.  I really DO like to ride trains, even commuters if not imitating a sardine. 😀  Princess says we can dump the luggage at the airport without a transfer...  Maybe I'd better get that in writing 'cause that's a major chunk of the hotel selection since that way we don't have to handle the bags much.  We can cancel the booking & try the Y, but I'd be cheated out of needing some SkyTrain rides. 🤣

Dearie me - I've no idea how I managed to talk about SkyTrain from the Radisson and yet did have your correct hotel location re: Timmies and the restos I talked about (my Google map tab actually still shows the Ramada right now!!!) So, to correct that part of the info - the Ramada is much less convenient for SkyTrain than the Radisson, as it's off to the side and in-between two stations - almost a kilometre to the end-of-the-line Brighouse station (which is closer than Lansdowne, and would also have a better chance at seats if you get on at the first station).

 

By the sound of things that ~11-12min 'Regular Joe' walk will be a lot slower for you guys, making it tempting to ask the hotel shuttle to drop you at SkyTrain (with requisite wait time for the shuttle to be available) so I'll reiterate that shifting to the Y would significantly reduce the amount of walking/shuttling needed and make your trip more efficient as well as ... and you can totally still ride SkyTrain downtown when you arrive, or just for fun whenever, or to get to QEP from downtown (transfer to a bus at King Edward station to get up most of the hill). I'm also a bit iffy about noise in that Ramada - huge hospital behind you and even without the ambulance noises you're on one of the busiest roads for vehicles in Richmond, so I'd suggest ear plugs unless you're used to sleeping in a very urban environment. Minoru is a very nice park though, so that's a plus!

 

I'm also going to suggest something I almost never do, but especially if you want to keep the Ramada booking could be very useful for you - rent a car. Parking in Stanley and QEP is actually very efficient - especially the former since you pay for the license plate, not the spot, so can drive around from car park to car park without having to pay each time separately. This effectively becomes a mini-HOHO for you, with DH only having to walk from each car park to the sites within the park nearby, then driving the longer legs between. At QEP you can park right on the top as well as lower down, so e.g. DH could walk from top down through the quarry gardens, stopping at benches as required, then you could walk back up to get the car and circle around to meet him and he avoids the uphill slog again. Lynn Canyon is also incredibly easy with your own car - and with a cane I'm sure DH could at least walk in from the car park to the ranger station & cafe and see some of the white water below even if he doesn't want to cross a bridge or hike any of the steeper trails.

 

And yes, Google Maps will be very helpful for walking routes - they sent guys with backpack cameras around the entire Seawall and a few other paths around town, so you can both virtually-walk the route and also get directions which include elevation changes. The Seawall itself is always pretty much flat & level, but Prospect Point involves a fair bit of uphill climbing to reach and the rest of the park also varies a bit up & down.

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10 hours ago, xlxo said:

 

OK.... The Ramada Airport is about a 10-15 minute walk to Richmond center, Tim Horton's and the subway station...

Lots of Asian restaurant choices (eg Mui Garden)

  • but Western food may be limited to the Richmond Center food court.  McDonald's that used to be in Richmond Center is no more.
  • There is a Starbucks in the hospital next door.  I recommend going there instead of Tim Horton's for a caffeine fix.

10-15 minutes = 30-45 hubby time. 🙂 

 

I'm not fixated on Western food.  Don't see a point to stop at chains that exist where I live.  I'm not a coffee drinker; I mainstream Diet Coke for my caffeine . Tim Horton's is a destination just because I've always heard the name and it just seems so ... so Canadian? 😀

 

7 hours ago, martincath said:

I'll reiterate that shifting to the Y would significantly reduce the amount of walking/shuttling needed and make your trip more efficient as well as    ...    I'm also a bit iffy about noise in that Ramada - huge hospital behind you and even without the ambulance noises you're on one of the busiest roads for vehicles in Richmond, so I'd suggest ear plugs unless you're used to sleeping in a very urban environment. Minoru is a very nice park though, so that's a plus!

 

I'm also going to suggest something I almost never do,  ... - rent a car. Parking in Stanley and QEP is actually very efficient

You're making some very strong points about the hotel selection.   I live rural and am used to quiet...  I saw the hospital on the map, but the only negative noise comments that I saw for the Ramada was for a loud pub across the street; I'd booked a rear room facing the park.  The hotel didn't seem too far on the map from the station and there was a bus stop in front, but the time-to-walk comments are making me look at this again.

 

The Y is downtown and their site says they're only a block from the SkyTrain.  No parking there now because of construction, but I hadn't considered renting a car ... until now.  Your points about being a mini-HOHO for hubby hit home.  The last thing that I want is to wear him out before we even start the cruisetour ... and the airports are going to be tiring enough.  He hasn't needed a wheelchair for anything, but I've been considering asking for airport assistance just to be safe.  He often uses a scooter in the grocery or big box stores and I've suggested one for him for the ship.

 

So if I switch to the Y, I could optionally eat at the Tim Horton's at YVR, then take a fixed-rate taxi to the hotel.  For departure, I'd take a taxi to Canada Place and not have to worry about whether Princess would give me a hassle with dropping the bags at the airport for transport to the ship.  Think I read the taxis take credit cards.  I'm not tip savvy, so what should I expect for drivers & porters?  I'd prefer to bring some Canadian $ for this 'cause I think it's a courtesy to use the local currency even though I'm sure they deal with US $ all of the time.

 

Thanks for pointing me back to researching alternates.

 

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1 hour ago, dianedebuda said:

Thanks for pointing me back to researching alternates.

No problem. First your specific questions - yes, cabs all take Credit BUT only Visa/MC, no AmEx or Discover (though like anywhere we have some annoying cabbies who like to pretend their machine is broken, and once in a blue moon it might actually be - but it's amazing how often they start working again as soon as you say you don't have any cash so it's card or nothing! Check before getting in just in case)

 

Tipping in Canada = same as in the US, but specifically at the pier you'll actually see signage about not tipping. The guys working probably earn a lot more than you do! If you cab right to bag drop, there's basically zero work done by the guy you'd hand the tip to anyway - bags go from cab trunk to a conveyor belt that is just a few yards away. They will of course happily take your tips regardless, but any amount offered is more than the official requirements!!! Cabbies generally happy with at least 10% for simple drive around town, but if they actually do anything useful like handling a lot of bags for you bump it up to 15-20% (there's no charge for bags here, so tipping is the only way to reward them for bag handling) and you can add the tip to the card payment.

 

Local currency certainly will be appreciated - but since we are very close to the US border, so many of our tourists are Americans, the exchange rate is ~3:4 in your favour, and anything under $5 here is a coin, I think a lot of bell staff would rather get US$1 notes (basically if you'd give them CAD$1, they make more with the US$1 even allowing for a delay in spending and it's easier to deal with a wodge of notes in your pocket than a big pile of smash by the end of a shift). Folks you're tipping on a % though, definitely use CAD if you have them - but you can buy virtually anything with credit so even if you end up with a lot of wheelchair pushers, bell hops, and the like to tip you'll probably find that hitting an ATM and withdrawing $50 is plenty for the handful of very small transactions like a pack of candy or a bottle of pop where the merchant won't take cards (locally it's usually a $5 minimum).

 

If you actually do ride buses, be aware that they do need local cash. SkyTrain has ticket vending machines, no problem using cards there. If your credit card is bang-up-to-date with not just a Chip but also NFC payments (the little WiFi symbol, called something like 'Tap & Go' or 'Paywave') then life gets much easier - you can tap your card on the Compass sensor to board buses as well as SkyTrain, and you'll be billed the exact amount of the cash fare when you tap back out (so no need to figure out how many Zones you are traveling in). Buses are always 1 Zone, no need to tap out, but everything else you are locked in behind fare gates so need to tap again to exit. This doesn't work for Day Passes, we chose the older version of the tech so it cannot do math for you behind the scenes like some other cities - all it does is check if your card paid <90mins ago, if so it's free to board another vehicle but if >90mins it bills you for a separate 'cash' ticket every trip.

 

The woolier things - good point re: YWCA construction, no car park this year (although with price of overnight parking downtown you may find it cheaper to rent cars for 1 day at a time and return them anyway!) I just checked availability since you gave your dates already, and the Y does have their full range of rooms available on your dates but the prices are higher than normal - 3 nights in a private bath double would run CAD$671 incl taxes, ~US$508, so if you got a good price out at the Ramada it's a trickier choice. If you don't mind sharing a bathroom then room rates drop at lot at the Y - there are 'Jack & Jill' baths shared between just two rooms - and Seniors also get 10% off the rates. Really you need to decide on your transportation options, what you'd do different at the two locations, then ballpark your likely spend differential - of course there's the time factor, as a downtown base means a lot of time savings, but everyone has a different idea of the value of their own time.

 

If you were downtown and took a HOHO then a car wouldn't be needed for any downtown sites. QEP, Lynn, even somewhere else out in the 'burbs too you could do in one day with a car easily, so a single day's rental could still make sense even if you moved to the Y.  But if you do decide to skip Lynn, then just QEP in a cab both ways would likely be much cheaper than a 1 day car rental + gas - and if you SkyTrain to King Eddie then call a cab, you'd be looking at ~$5 each way in and out of the park on top of the transit tickets so even less. Free city wifi (#VanWiFi) means you can easily use apps on your phone without needing to pay roaming charges, so install the local Kater or eTaxi app if you feel that cabs would be useful even a handful of times so you have more info at your fingertips about where the cab is/when it will arrive.

 

On the mobility side, hands-down you want to ask for airport assistance - and also at the pier. There's a LOT of queuing at Canada Place, and while you do get to sit around before you start moving through Security and CBP, once you get up there are basically no seats anywhere until you are done with all the queues. A cane seat might be enough to get a little rest when not moving, but asking for a wheelchair also gets you expedited through the queues - so the usually-long wait until a chair and pusher is available is offset by them whooshing along.

 

If his current scooter breaks down for travel I'd bring it - IIRC no airline is allowed to charge any fees for required mobility devices, but they do have rules about size/weight/batteries. Possible issue - unless you have requested an Accessible room on the ship, normal scooters and wheelchairs won't fit through the doors! Since you're not supposed to leave them in corridors, that means an accessible room is a necessity if you rent or bring a scooter/chair on the ship - if there are no such rooms left you may have to decide on something like a walking frame or a very light travel chair/scooter which can either fit in standard doors or collapse and get carried through them.  No idea how DH feels about being wheeled around rather than having control over his own movements though, so your options may be restricted further.

 

A scooter would also take care of the issues with Stanley Park etc. provided it has decent battery life - there are usually plugs available at cafes and the like for top-up recharging while out, though you may have to ask. It's really just that long 5 mile loop around the Seawall - one of the most definitively-Vancouver experiences so if you can manage to achieve it without crippling DH it's definitely worthwhile! - which might challenge a battery pack if you've already scooted the 2+ miles up from the Y for example. Buses all 'kneel' and have dedicated wheelchair/scooter areas at the front (the sideways seats fold up and there are locking rings/straps to secure various designs of chair), SkyTrain likewise has spaces but would not be useful for moving around within the downtown core as too few stations there.

 

Even the little ferries across False Creek actually have some 'RORO' models - Aquabus calls them the 'Cyqabus' - so bikes, scooters and chairs can just roll right on when it comes to visiting Granville Island. Taxis have about 1/5th of the fleet Accessible - all the minivans you see basically. It may take a little longer getting a cab that's compatible with a chair or scooter, so one that folds up and fits in a standard trunk would make your cabbing go faster than if you always had to wait for one the scooter can drive inside - but there's no extra charge, and the Apps do allow you to demand an accessible vehicle if you need one.

 

In general we are an extremely accessible city - but if you do end up deciding to bring or rent a scooter or wheelchair, I'd suggest checking the local tourism board's pages on Accessible Vancouver. You'll also find that some hotels with accessible rooms don't list them on their website, so call them up whether it's the Ramada, Y, or somewhere else and ask - I know the Y does have some rooms they keep 'off the books' for this purpose, no idea about the Ramada though.

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Hubby doesn't own a scooter - just uses the store provided ones when his knees are bothering him.  Will probably also bring a Rollator walker (that he doesn't use here) on the trip just in case.  For the most part, he gets around pretty well, so we don't need accessible rooms.  It's just periods of time > 15-20 min on his feet that give him trouble and we don't want to count on a seat being nearby where he can rest for a couple of minutes.  The rentable scooters for the ship can fit through a standard cabin door.  How kind of you to bring up possible issues though.

 

Interesting that Google has the walk from Ramada to Richmond Center as 7 min, but xlxo says 10-15 min.  Need to take that into account if real life walk time = 2x Google times.  Then I can translate that into hubby time. 😀

 

So the Seawall path should be on our list.  I'll find a way to make it happen - maybe rent a scooter since it sounds like it could be used there.  Stanley Park is our #1 Vancouver attraction and I want to make the most of it.

 

Thanks so much for the handholding, martincath.  I really need to spend a couple of days now digesting your input and doing more research.  How on earth can you find the time to reply to all of these posts?  🤔 😀

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No worries. Retired for years, no kids to look after, my volunteering is all around school hours these days, and if I'm not out and about I'm usually at my desk unless there's a TV show both the missus and I watch together, so I'm at my desk most of the time I'm at home but not eating or sleeping! The new Cruise Critic actually makes it much easier to respond promptly, so even when I'm doing other stuff I'll pop in again when I hear the alert sound.

 

xlxo is a frequent visitor and usually stays in that neck of the woods so most likely knows the area better than I do; but I'd guess that the difference is as simple as Google's arbitrary location for 'Richmond Center' being in a different place within the mall than the Timmies xlxo mentioned, which is sort of at the opposite corner compared to where you'd be approaching from. It's not a tiny mall, so could easily be 5-10mins extra walk to cover the extra distance! Since you said you were open to other cuisines, if you do stick to the Ramada xlxo can probably give more resto reccos nearby than I can too.

 

In general I find Google's walking algorithms work very well here - if you change the direction of a route they add extra time going uphill for example, and they do use longer walk times if e.g. it's a sidewalk with controlled intersections where you'd have to wait for the lights compared to a path that has no traffic crossings to worry about. Once you figure out how much faster or slower than 'Joe Average' 3.5mph you walk and adjust Google times by the same factor they pretty much nail it.

 

The Seawall does normally have benches placed very frequently, but that furthest part of the loop around the outside of the park suffers from lack of width once you get to the storm gates, so work on the assumption that there's maybe a 2 mile stretch without seating being readily available. Before and after that, and anywhere else around town, plenty of seats - you can usually see the next batch from the one you'e sitting on. Just watch out for bikes - pedestrians walk by the water, bikes inside them, but benches are sometimes further in that the bike lanes.

 

Tourist cyclists can often be oblivious because they're looking at the scenery and not used to the signage, locations of official pedestrians crossings etc., but locals are the worst by far for speeding and just generally being a**holes on bikes (and don't get me started on the folks who think the Seawall is ideal for practising their speed-skating on!!!) so do look both ways and clearly indicate you're about to step out by pointing (even then I've had folks just whoosh right through without stopping - I'm always sorely tempted to stick a brolly through their front spokes when that happens!!!)

 

Glad you've already checked into the rental scooters etc. so you won't have any unpleasant surprises with doors; I tend to err on the side of caution, having run into all sorts of 'surely nobody would forget about checking THAT, I'll assume they have it handled' over the years only to then hear that, no, folks did book the Amtrak or a hotel in the wrong Vancouver!!!

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I think you'll be happier with the YWCA location wise.  However, I'm not so sure about noise wise.  I stayed at the YWCA a few months back and found it too can be noisy with a Beatty street facing room.  Show up early for check-in and discuss room choices with the front desk.

 

I'm highly sensitive to noise and find it hard to win...

  • front street windows are scenic, but traffic noise upset me
  • I request rooms away from elevators, ice machines and stairs
  • I would think rooms facing alley's are quiet... until I hear the garbage bin doors slamming by staff and street people

Good luck!

 

 

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10 hours ago, dianedebuda said:

  Will probably also bring a Rollator walker (that he doesn't use here) on the trip just in case.  For the most part, he gets around pretty well, so we don't need accessible rooms.  It's just periods of time > 15-20 min on his feet that give him trouble and we don't want to count on a seat being nearby where he can rest for a couple of minutes. 

 

If he has troubles walking... I encourage bringing the rollator.

 

My mom had issues with walking too.... so glad we got we a collapsible transport chair.  We travelled a lot with that chair as it made it easier to get around (especially for emergency trips to public washrooms).  This is the wheelchair we got... https://www.hmebc.com/products/transport-chair/

 

  • expedited boardings at the cruise terminal and airports
  • don't need to look hard for a seat at a busy terminal
  • cab drivers were surprised how small the chair collapses into the size of luggage
  • on stormy days, the wheelchair greatly helps getting from the cabin to the dining room.  Greatly reduces the risk of a fall
  • the wheelchair meant mom could keep up with the rest of us on long walks.
  • the swing up handle meant there was no need for a transfer as the chair can be brought right to the table.

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7 hours ago, xlxo said:

I think you'll be happier with the YWCA location wise.  However, I'm not so sure about noise wise.  I stayed at the YWCA a few months back and found it too can be noisy with a Beatty street facing room.  Show up early for check-in and discuss room choices with the front desk.

 

Plane gets in 7-8  on a Sun evening, so doubt I'm going to have much choice.  Figure we're going to have noise vs sleep problems no matter where we are 'cause it's 1) a strange location and 2) we live in the sticks, so not used to urban noises at night. 🙂  Yeah, the Y was a few $ more than the Ramada, but the convenience of the close HOHO stop seems worth it.  So glad I went ahead and posted my hotel plans and got y'alls feedback.

:canada
 
Know what you mean about the wheelchair, transport & keeping up.  My dad (95 next month) moved to nursing home end of last year and is now using wheelchair.  It's an everyday thing for me.
 
 

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Earplugs and a white noise generator (a phone app these days, so no space required!) are part of our standard travel kit - weirdly enough I'm now so adapted to urban noise that it's nights in the countryside I wake up due to the lack of noise after dark then dang birds tweeting at dawn!

 

If you're used to pushing a chair already and DH doesn't object to using one, I'd agree with xlxo a folding travel chair is likely the simplest fix to enable you to get around and sightsee.

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't trying to imply that I push the chair regularly, just that I'm aware of sizes, logistics of putting one in a car, etc.  Pushing hubby in a chair would only be an absolute last resort - both for his sense of independence & my back ... 

 

Hubby's expressed interest in an adult tricycle for Stanley.  Not seeing any to rent so far except at JV Bike a few blocks from the hotel.  Probably too far from Stanley for him by himself, but maybe I could ride it to the park & he could HOHO.  But see that Spokes says (in a comment) that the paths are too narrow for those in some places.  martincath, you said in a post back in 2015 that "You can rent adult tricycles if you're worried about falling off because you're stunned by the beauty of our scenery rather than just too lazy;-) "  So, should I believe Spokes or continue my hunt for the trike?

 

I had hubby read this thread so we could discuss the hotel options.  He sends his Thanks for all of the details.

Edited by dianedebuda

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4 hours ago, dianedebuda said:

Wasn't trying to imply that I push the chair regularly, just that I'm aware of sizes, logistics of putting one in a car, etc.  Pushing hubby in a chair would only be an absolute last resort - both for his sense of independence & my back ... 

 

Hubby's expressed interest in an adult tricycle for Stanley.  Not seeing any to rent so far except at JV Bike a few blocks from the hotel.  Probably too far from Stanley for him by himself, but maybe I could ride it to the park & he could HOHO.  But see that Spokes says (in a comment) that the paths are too narrow for those in some places.  martincath, you said in a post back in 2015 that "You can rent adult tricycles if you're worried about falling off because you're stunned by the beauty of our scenery rather than just too lazy;-) "  So, should I believe Spokes or continue my hunt for the trike?

 

I had hubby read this thread so we could discuss the hotel options.  He sends his Thanks for all of the details.

2015? Dang, you really are digging into the research!!!

 

JV Bike I see trikes at all the time (they're near Costco and my dentist) but I don't think I can recall seeing them sitting outside any other bike rental places; however I honestly think that Spokes and the others near the park are more concerned with the physical space taken up inside their stores than the fact that paths may be too narrow (trikes are niche items, regular bikes much more popular)!

 

The  paths themselves are plenty wide enough for a tricycle as they are always wide enough for two bikes to pass each other (the one really narrow bit was over on the south side of False Creek where a bunch of trees were used to divide the lane into one really narrow and one huge section - it got fixed two winters ago). A trike may fill the whole path on your side of the line at the narrower spots, making it harder to overtake, but frankly anyone annoyed by that would likely be dinging their bells and shouting at you even if you're on a regular bike because they want to speed (15kmh - a little under 10mph - applies everywhere on the Seawall, is routinely ignored by a core of locals, and if you get reeeaaaalllly lucky you might see the horse cop speedtrap in action catching the offenders, which is super entertaining!!!)

 

The only real bottlenecks I know of are at the Seawall kiddie's waterpark, where to ensure that speeding cyclists don't murder a bunch of toddlers they have metal barriers which overlap enough that riding a bike through them is very difficult, and impossible at speed - people are asked to dismount and walk their bikes instead. This means that the gap does remains wide enough for a person plus a bike at their side to fit through of course! I've never measured the width of a trike, but I've seen many on the Seawall at various points over the years, even more of the recumbent tricycles (there are several disabled local riders who have the 'spider' format with two oar-like arm 'pedals' instead of foot pedals), and a ton of double-wide strollers. Worst case you could walk the trike around the playpark on the pedestrian path, it's not a big one.

 

I'd ask JV rather than their competition if you want to play it safe - but given that Spokes happily rent 'chariot' kiddie trailers, which are much wider than regular bikes, I'm pretty sure this is a 'rent from us not them!' angle being played!!!

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On ‎6‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 8:29 AM, dianedebuda said:

I saw the hospital on the map, but the only negative noise comments that I saw for the Ramada was for a loud pub across the street; I'd booked a rear room facing the park. 

I realize this is irrelevant now... the pub across from the Ramada permanently closed a few weeks ago.  They won't be making any more noise until a new one replaces it.

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train, bus, ferry site 

 

https://www.translink.ca/Fares-and-Passes.aspx

 

we used the tap and pay option , in our case used our phones with google pay, you could use credit card, no need to buy tickets etc.

 

can move between train/bus and ferry in 90 minutes and counts as 1 fare in the zone being used.

 

caught the sky train to down town and then a bus to our hotel for price of the train

 

used throughout our stay, went across to the suspension bridge and  grouse mountain on the train/bus/ferry and back, all very easy.

 

caught the train to the pier as well, only a short walk with the cases at the end to the pier.

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, martincath said:

2015? Dang, you really are digging into the research!!!  ....  The paths themselves are plenty wide enough for a tricycle

I do tend to get OCD at times, but your post that I quoted just came up as part of a Google search.  I only put the year on as a reference in case something had changed - like the noise issue from a now defunct pub.  However, that post was part of a Vancouver Answers from a Vancouverite (2) thread that I've bookmarked for a later read as well as its predecessor.

 

Thanks for the trike clarification. Had watched a 10 min video of biking the trail & saw the gate you mentioned.  Biking will stay on the table as a possible option now.  Gives motivation for more time on the exercise bike here.  🙂 

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^Yup, Youtube vids and Google streetview make for excellent research tools these days. As long as you double-check that businesses mentioned are still open and what current pricing is on attractions/transit costs, there's a lot of still-relevant info on the location-focused older threads like the one you found.

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Just a quick thanks for all the help.  Finished our 2 day stay and will be checking out today for the ship.   So glad I listened to you about changing to the YWCA.  It was perfect for us with a close HopOn-HopOff pickup.  We did a LOT of HOHO trips. 😊 Hubby managed to walk the Chinese Garden and from the Rose Garden to the Totems at Stanley.  Great time had here by both of us even though I'm not going to make it on the SkyTrain.

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Glad it all worked out for you Diane - hope embarkation was smooth yesterday, and you enjoy your cruise!

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6 hours ago, martincath said:

Glad it all worked out for you Diane - hope embarkation was smooth yesterday, and you enjoy your cruise!

Can you help this guy.

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