Vancouver, B.C.

Alaska? Who the heck wants to vacation where there are no palm trees, beaches, and warm, clear water to snorkel and/or surf? Answer: Nearly every experienced cruiser, who answered the question, “Which was your favorite cruise?” Well, then. North to Alaska.

Note: Click on the picture at left to see our photo album.

To begin our vacation, we flew from Raleigh to Vancouver. We generally like to reach our port city the day before to avoid missing a moment of time shipboard. On arriving in Vancouver airport, we toted our considerable luggage to the Canada Line and road the train/subway to our hotel. Not a single transfer was required.

Unfortunately, my unerring sense of direction erred, and we exited the station on the side opposite the hotel. This was doubly unfortunate in that we had arrived in the rain. The Pan Pacific Vancouver was a welcome terminus to our voyage. Joy inquired as to a whether there might be a room with a better view and we received a room with a 180 degree panorama of the harbor for the same price. As an added bonus, we could see the cruise ship, Rhapsody of the Seas, right outside our window the next morning.

It was overcast and wet, but we walked the Stanley trail through the Harbour Green Park along the seawall. Outdoor sculpture, beautiful landscaping, and the entertainment of watching float planes take off and land were highlights of our soggy but beautiful outing.

The next day we enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the rest of Vancouver from the Vancouver Lookout. From this vantage point, one can see that Vancouver is the setting for a large number of skyscraping jewels of architecture. Chicago may have the best overall skyline, but Vancouver has the best modern design skyline. Further, the setting, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and waterways, was just unsurpassed.

We then enjoyed the quick walk over to Gastown. Contrasting with the crisp modernity of greater Vancouver, Gastown is a quaint mix of outdoor cafes, boutiques, and tourist shops. It even has a steam clock that pipes out its chimes on the hour.

The morning was quickly over. It was time to gather our things in our room and ride down the elevator to the cruise terminal in the same building. Look out Alaska. Here we come.

Pan Pacific Vancouver – Video 1 of 2

Joy teased me about saying my name at the beginning of the video. “Who is going to watch this that doesn’t know your name?” Point taken. Check out the monopod I’m using to hold my camera. This proved useful over and over again throughout the cruise. Also, the video was edited and uploaded from my iPad 2.

Vancouver Lookout – Video 2 of 2

Ride up the elevator and walk around the Vancouver Lookout with us.


  • Gayla says:

    While I am not usually a Jazz fan, I enjoyed the music going up the elevator.

  • Chris V says:

    Sounds like a very good start, rain not withstanding. Looking forward to reading more. I knew a girl who used to work as a bartender on a train through Alaska. It was part of the cruise, overland between 2 ships in different ports.

  • Matt says:

    Enjoyed the pics and commentary, of course. But so as not to be outdone Marilyn and I will be celebrating her retirement on the Caribbean Princess out of New York June 22 to Halifax & back. It’s not Alaska but should be fun and to areas we have yet to visit. Hopefully my camera eye will be as good as yours. We look forward to comparing notes one of these days soon. Miss you both. M&M

    • Tom says:

      We thought about the two of you often given your romantic Alaskan cruise experience. Can’t wait to hear about your Halifax cruise. We’re looking for a cruise that stops up that way at PEI.

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