Part 1 – Our Alaskan Cruise: Vancouver

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Tired but ready for the adventure!

Our cruise left from Vancouver, so we flew in 2 days early to check out all that Vancouver has to offer!

Travel Tip: If going on a cruise, be sure to fly in at least one day early (if not more). This gives you some buffer time for any flight delays/cancellations etc. which do happen!

Transportation: We arrived in the early afternoon to Vancouver. Uber was not available from the airport, so we chose to take a taxi from the airport to our hotel. It look about 30 minutes to get into Downtown (about $50).

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View from our room!

Lodging: We stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront which was such an unbelievable location! It was a short walk to restaurants and attractions, and even better, it’s across the street from where you board the ship!

Highlights of the Fairmont Waterfront:

  • Herb Garden and Colony of Bees: They have a herb garden and their own colony of bees at the hotel (that you can visit!). They use the herbs and honey in their recipes at the restaurant. One of my favorites when staying there? Burnt honey ice cream – trust me, order this if you are there. You won’t be disappointed! 🙂
  • Breakfast Buffet: Our hotel package came with breakfast included at the ARC restaurant. I would highly recommend going for this option. The buffet was a great place to fuel up for the day, and had high quality and delicious food. Everything from fresh fruit, yogurt, delectable pancakes and french toast, as well as made to order omelets.
  • Rooftop Pool and Hot Tub: It was pretty chilly and windy when we were there, but we did take advantage of the hot tub. It has a beautiful view from up there!
  • Customer Service: The staff bent over backwards to make our stay enjoyable. They even brought our bags over to the ship for us!


Day 1:

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  • Stop 1 (Exploring): 
    • We checked in, and then walked along the Seawall (it’s a long path that takes you through Stanley Park and along the waterfront).
  • Stop 2 (Dinner):
    • We ate dinner with my in-laws at Mahony & Sons. Be sure to bring a jacket! It was chilly, but sitting outside with the incredible views of the water was well worth it. They also had great food and service (not to mention great drinks too!).


Day 2:

  • Stop 1 (Tour):
    • We went on a half-day Viator tour called “Vancouver City Sightseeing”. It was through Wild BC Tours and Guiding. They were great! I highly recommend this tour. It was a great way to get an overview of Vancouver.
      • Highlights of the tour:
        • Granville Island: a cute artsy island with lots of fun shops to check out, and lots of good snacks! 🙂 We got our dog, Bentley, some homemade dog treats and us some treats at their farmer’s market (freshly made granola and a big cookie!)
        • Stanley Park: Totum poles, beautiful bike paths, views of the famous Lionsgate Bridge, and lookout points
        • Gastown
        • Chinatown
  • Stop 2 (Lunch): 
    • Quick, and convenient, we ate lunch at the ARC restaurant at the hotel.
Gas station for the sea planes
  • Stop 3 (Exploring):
    • We rented bikes from Club 16 Fitness right along the Seawall. We rented them for 4 hours ($30/ bike). Helmets and locks come included.
    • We rode our bikes all along the Seawall and stopped for water and scenery breaks along the way. The trails are impeccable, and it’s a great way to be able to see Vancouver.


  • Stop 4 (Dinner):
    • My in-laws loved the food and view at Mahony & Sons the first night, we went back the second night.
  • Stop 5 (Drinks): We decided to walk the Seawall my brother and sister-in-law and stopped at Tap & Barrel for drinks. They had so many fun beers to try, and lots of different cocktails!

Day 3:

  • Stop 1 (Check Out):
    • As I mentioned, the hotel was so kind and offered to bring our bags to the ship for us so that we did not have to worry about bringing them with us to ship check in. The process couldn’t have been smoother or easier!
  • Stop 2 (Boarding the Ship!):
    • Boarding the ship! We walked across the street, checked in, and boarded the ship! The whole process took only about an hour, which was record speed for us.
Walking around the ship
  • Stop 3 (Exploring):
    • While we waited for our rooms to be ready, we explored the ship, and checked out the restaurants!
  • Stop 4 (Lunch):
    • We ate at Illumina the first day on the ship for lunch. It was definitely the way to go since the main dining areas were pretty packed.
  • Stop 5 (Sail Away):
    • Beautiful views going under the Lionsgate Bridge and seeing Stanley Park. We even made a couple friends up on the deck.
  • Stop 5 (Dinner):
    • We went back to Illumnia for dinner. Great service and food again.

…then we were off crusing to the Inside Passage!



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