The beginning of our 2019 Alaskan Cruise adventure officially kicked off when our friend arrived to drive us to the airport. We arrived just shortly before noon, printed our luggage tags from the kiosk, dropped off our bags, and were through security in just under 15-minutes. 15-minutes you say? You must be flying from some small, empty airport! Nope, we pre-paid for our bags when we checked in, and the pre-check was a walk up.
Last year, before we went on our Mediterranean cruise, we all applied for Global Entry which includes TSA Pre-check. Global Entry is awesome, and pre-check is the preverbal icing on the cake. Especially, since busy Orlando International Airport (MCO) is our home airport.
We stopped a Vino Volo for lunch which was Isabelle’s choice after looking at the food options. This is not our first time at a Vino Volo, but this is the first at the MCO location. The food hit the spot and the wine selection was pretty decent.
We timed it just right that once we paid our bill and walked to our gate it was time to board.
Emily found a fantastic deal on a non-stop flight, a rarity, in our travels given the fact we are ok with multiple stops if the price is right. This also gave us a full day to see the sights in Vancouver on Sunday before our cruise departs on Monday.
On the flight we didn’t have setback entertainment, but the airline did offer content via their website and app. I saw a short tv episode about influencers which ironically had a brief clip of the Disney Magic in New York.
We arrived at YVR on Saturday evening to short lines at customs; basically it was a walk up to the kiosk where you scan your passports and complete the digital customs form. We encountered the same short, almost nonexistent customs line during our previous trip to Vancouver. I say this because, I’ve heard the waits can be long and judging by the queues set up, I briefly thought worst case scenario which was along the lines of waiting in line on the opening weekend for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Orlando. I have no way of telling how long the lines could get at YVR, but we did wait 4-hours for Hagrid’s. I guess what I’m getting at here is we seem to arrive a the perfect time which may not be representative of a normal international arrival.
Luggage arrived and we were off to the shuttle pickup area just outside the terminal.
A couple of years ago, we lucked out and the shuttle was there when we showed up.
This time around we were not so lucky, but hey, its a free shuttle so the 30 minute wait didn’t really matter. Only problem was we arrived at our hotel just as Costco closed. Costco? Yes, Costco. Since we were arriving in the evening again, we chose to stay our first night in Canada back at the Abercorn Inn in Richmond, minutes from the airport. This is the same place we stayed in 2017, and Costco is directly across the street.
They open at 9AM tomorrow, and you bet we are heading over to check out the wine selection since we have room for 2 more bottles per Disney Cruise Line’s policy of 2 bottles or a 6-pack of beer per person per port policy.
Once checked in, we turned around and headed right back out to find something quick to eat for dinner. After nearly a 6 hour flight and 3 time zones our internal clocks were off from local time, but we pressed on and embraced our new time zone. The original plan was to hit up the Costco food court for pizza or we’ve heard they have poutine. However, since they closed at 6PM on Saturday, we were left with plan B. We took a walk down the street; and I’d say it was no more than a 5-minute walk to Tim Horton’s.
It has been a long time since I’ve been to a Tim Horton’s, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve actually been to a real location as it was in the Midwest, not Canada. Fifty cents Canadian for a Canada Day donut, are you kidding me?! That is approximately 38¢ USD for a donut. Already a solid start to this vacation, or maybe this is the coffee and donut talking because my brain says it is past my bedtime (but my watch says otherwise).
I will say, @mitchelbrwn responded to my Tim Horton’s tweet telling me, ‘every good story begin at Tim Horton’s’! Well Mitchell, I hope you are right, I hope this is a sign of a great cruise and an even more enjoyable series of trip reports.